What documents do I need to buy a used car?

When I went to purchase a used car from a dealer in Seattle, I was told I needed to sign a Washington State Vehicle order and must have a legal drivers license. What else do I need to have to legally buy this car? Do I need insurance?

Jul 2, 2018 Seattle, WA

Taylor Covington

Jul 2, 2018

Yes, you will need to have insurance on this new vehicle to legally drive it in Washington. As for the documents to actually purchase the car, you will need:
  1. Ideally, a vehicle history report, owner’s manual and anything else that came with the vehicle.
  2. Smog test (if required by your state).
  3. Title (which requires the seller to go to the DMV or AAA office with you for registration).
  4. A bill of sale stating VIN (vehicle identification number), mileage, plate number, both the seller and buyer’s names and addresses, and the sale amount.
  5. Original title with seller’s current information on it. Make sure the name matches the seller’s ID if it is a private, cash sale.
For more information about buying a car out of state, check out our guide here. Plus, if you're looking for new Washington car insurance, we have several options to choose from.

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