2005 Washington Revised Code RCW 46.12.101: Transfer of ownership — Requirements — Penalty, exceptions.

    A transfer of ownership in a motor vehicle is perfected by compliance with the requirements of this section.

         (1) If an owner transfers his or her interest in a vehicle, other than by the creation, deletion, or change of a security interest, the owner shall, at the time of the delivery of the vehicle, execute an assignment to the transferee and provide an odometer disclosure statement under RCW 46.12.124 on the certificate of ownership or as the department otherwise prescribes, and cause the certificate and assignment to be transmitted to the transferee. The owner shall notify the department or its agents or subagents, in writing, on the appropriate form, of the date of the sale or transfer, the name and address of the owner and of the transferee, the transferee's driver's license number if available, and such description of the vehicle, including the vehicle identification number, as may be required in the appropriate form provided or approved for that purpose by the department. The report of sale will be deemed properly filed if all information required in this section is provided on the form and includes a department-authorized notation that the document was received by the department, its agents, or subagents on or before the fifth day after the sale of the vehicle, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and state and federal holidays. Agents and subagents shall immediately electronically transmit the seller's report of sale to the department. Reports of sale processed and recorded by the department's agents or subagents may be subject to fees as specified in RCW 46.01.140 (4)(a) or (5)(b). By January 1, 2003, the department shall create a system enabling the seller of a vehicle to transmit the report of sale electronically. The system created by the department must immediately indicate on the department's vehicle record that a seller's report of sale has been filed.

         (2) The requirements of subsection (1) of this section to provide an odometer disclosure statement apply to the transfer of vehicles held for lease when transferred to a lessee and then to the lessor at the end of the leasehold and to vehicles held in a fleet when transferred to a purchaser.

         (3) Except as provided in RCW 46.70.122 the transferee shall within fifteen days after delivery to the transferee of the vehicle, execute the application for a new certificate of ownership in the same space provided therefor on the certificate or as the department prescribes, and cause the certificates and application to be transmitted to the department accompanied by a fee of five dollars in addition to any other fees required.

         (4) Upon request of the owner or transferee, a secured party in possession of the certificate of ownership shall, unless the transfer was a breach of its security agreement, either deliver the certificate to the transferee for transmission to the department or, when the secured party receives the owner's assignment from the transferee, it shall transmit the transferee's application for a new certificate, the existing certificate, and the required fee to the department. Compliance with this section does not affect the rights of the secured party.

         (5) If a security interest is reserved or created at the time of the transfer, the certificate of ownership shall be retained by or delivered to the person who becomes the secured party, and the parties shall comply with the provisions of RCW 46.12.170.

         (6) If the purchaser or transferee fails or neglects to make application to transfer the certificate of ownership and license registration within fifteen days after the date of delivery of the vehicle, he or she shall on making application for transfer be assessed a twenty-five dollar penalty on the sixteenth day and two dollars additional for each day thereafter, but not to exceed one hundred dollars. The director may by rule establish conditions under which the penalty will not be assessed when an application for transfer is delayed for reasons beyond the control of the purchaser. Conditions for not assessing the penalty may be established for but not limited to delays caused by:

         (a) The department requesting additional supporting documents;

         (b) Extended hospitalization or illness of the purchaser;

         (c) Failure of a legal owner to release his or her interest;

         (d) Failure, negligence, or nonperformance of the department, auditor, or subagent;

         (e) The transferee had no knowledge of the filing of the vehicle report of sale and signs an affidavit to the fact.

         Failure or neglect to make application to transfer the certificate of ownership and license registration within forty-five days after the date of delivery of the vehicle is a misdemeanor.

         (7) Upon receipt of an application for reissue or replacement of a certificate of ownership and transfer of license registration, accompanied by the endorsed certificate of ownership or other documentary evidence as is deemed necessary, the department shall, if the application is in order and if all provisions relating to the certificate of ownership and license registration have been complied with, issue new certificates of title and license registration as in the case of an original issue and shall transmit the fees together with an itemized detailed report to the state treasurer.

         (8) Once each quarter the department shall report to the department of revenue a list of those vehicles for which a seller's report has been received but no transfer of title has taken place.

    [2006 c 291 § 2. Prior: 2004 c 223 § 1; 2004 c 200 § 2; 2003 c 264 § 7; 2002 c 279 § 1; 1998 c 203 § 11; 1991 c 339 § 19; 1990 c 238 § 4; 1987 c 127 § 1; 1984 c 39 § 1; 1972 ex.s. c 99 § 1; 1969 ex.s. c 281 § 38; 1969 ex.s. c 42 § 1; 1967 c 140 § 7.]


         Effective date -- 2004 c 200: See note following RCW 46.12.040.

         Finding -- 1998 c 203: See note following RCW 46.55.105.

         Effective date, implementation -- 1990 c 238: See note following RCW 46.12.030.

         Effective date -- 1967 c 140: See note following RCW 46.12.010.

    Definitions: RCW 46.12.005.

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