Lost title / ownership in doubt
Always get a notarized bill of sale if you are getting a vehicle with a “lost” title. if its a gift make sure they put it in writing!
Ok if the title is just lost, just go to your local Licensing Office with the owner and you can take care of everything there in the office.
If you bought/received a vehicle without a title this is what you need to do.
Step 1 find out who owns the vehicle.
Contact public disclosure in Olympia, (360) 902-3780
Ask for a public disclosure form, fill it out and fax or mail back to Olympia.
Once you have the owners info go to step two.
Step 2 contact the owner
Take a release of interest (download here http://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/420050.pdf) and ask the owner to sign and have it notarized so you can “get it out of their name”
Your local Licensing office can notarize it for free.
If you can not find the owner you need to send a letter to the last known
Address CERTIFIED MAIL w/RETURN RECEIPT, I also recommend sending
a 2nd letter regular mail with “PLEASE FORWARD” written on it.
In the letter you should send a Release of Interest form (get from DOL) that has been Highlighted so they know what to fill out. Include a note explaining that you bought it from “So and so” and that the State says that they are the last owner and that you need them to Sign the release so you can “get it out of their name”.
If the certified letter comes back unopened, take it to your Local DOL office. (see step 3)
If you get the receipt back and nothing else after 15days, take it to your local DOL office. (see step 3)
If you get a notarized Release of Interest back go get it titled!!!
Take your bill of sale, Returned Cert. Letter and/or receipt to your local licensing office. They will need to give you a Application for Ownership in Doubt to fill out. (download here http://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/420008.pdf)
Call the Washington State Patrol, set up a date for an inspection
Washington State Patrol inspection, take all the paperwork (step 3) and your vehicle to the WSP for an Inspection.
Take the inspection and all your paperwork (step 3) back to your DOL office and you can now Register the vehicle in your name. The inspection will cost you $50 bucks (on top of all the normal fees) at this time and you will not get a title for 3 YEARS*. The owner has the right to come back and claim the vehicle in those 3 years. If you are looking at spending a lot of time and money into the vehicle you should look into bonding the vehicle.
* you must request a title and pay for it when the 3 years is up. It will not be mailed to you automatically. Also if you do track down the owners and get them to sign a release you can get your title sooner.
Modified by xOphear at 2:57 PM 2-9-2006
Modified by xOphear at 4:40 PM 2-9-2006