How Long Does It Take To Get a Duplicate Title In West Virginia (Lost or Stolen)

How Long Does It Take To Get a Duplicate Title In West Virginia

Titling in West Virginia is a pretty standard service with most of the same offerings that other states have, as far as types of titles and what you can apply for, except for bonded titles. West Virginia even has an interesting “abandoned car” titling service.

So, how long does it take to get a duplicate title in West Virginia? On average you can expect to get a duplicate title in West Virginia between 2 and 6 weeks. However, the time frame depends on the complexity of the process and what you’re applying for. Unfortunately, West Virginia doesn’t offer an expedited process. 

The W.V. DMV is a pretty standard, straightforward vehicle, registration, and titling service that doesn’t stand out of the crowd with any innovative procedures or expedited applications.

How To Apply For A Duplicate Title In West Virginia

In West Virginia, you can apply for a duplicate title either by mail or you show up in-person at a local Department of Motor Vehicles office. Whichever method you choose, be sure to bring the proper documentation and ID. 

The form is pretty cut and dry. The first few sections (A, B, and C) require your personal information, including name and address, along with your vehicle’s identification number, year, body style, and license plate number. 

Section D is for vehicles that have had a lien on them. The lienholder has to discharge the lien—indicating that it has been satisfied—along with signing the application under the supervision of a certified notary who must notarize the document as well.

Finally, there is section E, which is an authorization from you to the DMV allowing them to process and deliver a duplicate title.

As far as duplicate titles go, it’s a fairly short form, which is a nice change from typical DMV forms in other states.

Once your forms are submitted and the $15 fee is paid, you can expect your duplicate title to arrive in the mail somewhere between 2 and 6 weeks.

If you decide to mail in your application, you’ll still need all of the above documentation with clear print-outs of your ID. You will mail your application to any local West Virginia DMV you choose. 

Unlike most states, which have a central location for mailing your applications and documents, local offices suffice in West Virginia.

Read also: How Long Does It Take To Get A Replacement Car Title In Virginia?

Can You Apply For A Duplicate Title Online In WV?

Despite being able to mail in your documentation and apply that way, there’s no method for applying for a duplicate title online in West Virginia.

You can download and fill out the documents and applications necessary for ordering a duplicate title, but you’ll have to bring them to your local DMV office or mail them in. 

The State of West Virginia neither supplies an expedited method for a duplicate title application nor an expedited method for obtaining one. 

Read also: How Long Does It Take To Get a Duplicate Title In California (Real FACTS)

Titling A Used Car Purchase In West Virginia

When purchasing a used car in West Virginia, make sure you have a title that matches the car’s make, model, VIN #, and odometer of the vehicle you are purchasing. It’s all too easy to be scammed and end up with a garbage title for a lemon vehicle. 

There are a few stipulations that the West Virginia DMV imposes on applications for car titles on used vehicles:

  • Individual sales where the price is less than 50% of the true value, a Bill of Sale is required
  • Individual sales above 50% of the true value are subject to a tax on the price
  • Bill of Sale price must match the price listed on the title or West Virginia will base a new tile on the true value listed for the vehicle
  • Both the buyer’s and the seller’s driver’s licenses are required along with a Bill of Sale Form DMV-7-TR.

There are several fees associated with applying for a certificate of title for a recently purchased, used vehicle:

  • $15 title fee
  • 6% titling tax for vehicles that cost more than $500 and a $30 fee for those costing less
  • $10 lien fee (if applicable)
  • Registration fee or registration transfer fee

As with all titles, an Application for Certificate of Title for a Motor Vehicle Form DMV-1-TR is also due.

An odometer disclosure is only necessary if the vehicle is less than ten years old and it doesn’t matter if the seller is out-of-state or not, it must be titled in West Virginia if you live in West Virginia.

Read also: How Long Does It Take To Get a Duplicate Title In Missouri?

Titling For A Gifted Or Donated Vehicle In West Virginia

The recipient has to provide the title to the local West Virginia DMV office along with a signed Affidavit of Transfer of Ownership Without Consideration Form DMV-5-TR.

Without the signed affidavit, the recipient will have to pay a tax that’s based on the book value of the vehicle being titled. Parent-to-child gifted vehicles are not subject to the tax unless the affidavit isn’t filled out. 

There cannot be a purchase price listed on the application for the title if filed in conjunction with the Affidavit of Transfer of Ownership Without Consideration or the transaction will be denied by the DMV. 

If there is conflicting information between the title and the vehicle that’s being gifted, the original owner will have to apply for a duplicate title that eliminates the difference. 

The fee for transferring the title into the recipient’s name is $15, which is the standard fee for all title applications and processing transactions. 

Duplicate Titles After A Death From The Registered Owner

Jointly-owned vehicles will need to have the title changed to a single owner in the event of one owner’s death.

In West Virginia, it takes nothing more than having the word “or” placed between the names of both owners to ensure an easy transition.

If the word is “and” an Executor will have to sign in the name of the deceased when applying for a duplicate title with only one name. 

If no Will is indicating the inheritance of a jointly-owned vehicle and there is also no Executor, the surviving owner will have to fill out a Legal Heir Affidavit Form DMV-185-TR. 

This form will enable the surviving owner to legally apply for a duplicate title in their name only. The surviving owner will still have to provide the typical documentation:

  • Odometer reading
  • Insurance information
  • Registration card 
  • Driver’s License or State Issued ID

After completing the appropriate forms and paying the $15 titling fee, a duplicate title will be mailed out and received in two to six weeks.

Abandoned Vehicle Titling In West Virginia

Several licensed entities can apply for and receive a title for abandoned vehicles in West Virginia.

  • WV towing companies
  • WV dealers
  • WV repair facilities
  • WV auto auctions
  • WV salvage yards

If you think about that, it means almost anyone, if you know the right people. To apply for a title for an abandoned vehicle, fill out form DMV-100-TR and submit it to West Virginia DMV Records.

Records will determine if there is an owner for the vehicle. If they locate an owner of the DMV title records, the DMV will send the owner a letter to their last known address and wait a period. 

Once that time has elapsed, you’ll have to fill out a Form DMV-131-TR and the vehicle will be advertised in the local paper and news outlets.

Once that’s complete, you can commence the next several steps in the process.

  • Fill out a DMV-1-TR form
  • DMV-1B for the Vehicle’s Identification number
  • TM1 for an odometer certification
  • Gather the original signature cards from the certified letters sent out to the last known address of the previous owner
  • Obtain a Copy of Record from the West Virginia Records Department
  • Copy of the letter sent to the original lienholder
  • NADA value check to see if the vehicle’s value exceeds $9,500
  • Title fee
  • Registration fee

It’s quite a list to assemble, however, it’s entirely necessary to give the previous owner—if they’re still around—every last opportunity to claim ownership of the abandoned vehicle. 

If no one steps forward, then the titling process will carry forward and along with all of the supplemental documentation, and associated fees, the West Virginia DMV will process and mail out a certificate of title. 

All Things Considered

West Virginia has a weird, unbalanced length of time to send out duplicate, transfer, and regular titles within a two to six-week period. It’s a little head-scratching viewing the disparity but it is what it is. 

Fortunately, West Virginia’s process isn’t overly convoluted and the fees for getting a duplicate—or any other title—are reasonable.

It’s also nice that you can mail your application to any local W.V. DMV department that you wish. This cuts down on long-distance mail travel across the state.

So long as you have the correct documentation and the accompanying fees, applying for a duplicate title in West Virginia is a pretty simple process, so long as the weirdly dissociative waiting period doesn’t bother you.


Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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