Can You Gift A Vehicle In Washington State

Can You Gift A Vehicle In Washington State?

Last Updated on February 24, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

Oh, the happiness of generosity. It’s delightful to unexpectedly gift someone with a unique present. And it’s even more thrilling if that present happens to be a vehicle.

But what if you’re in another country or state like Washington? Can you gift a vehicle in Washington State? 

To make your life easier, I’ve tried to research the process of gifting a vehicle in the great state of Washington, and I’m here to share the lowdown with you. Read on. 

Is It Okay To Give A Vehicle As A Gift In Washington State?

Truck Loading a Car

Giving a vehicle as a gift in Washington State is acceptable. A statement of gift from the donor is necessary, but no notarization is needed. 

You can write “Gift” on the title as the purchase price, serving as the statement of gift. While only sometimes mandatory, proof of payment might be requested in the state. 

“The cars we drive say a lot about us.” 

Alexandra Paul, American Actress

So, with a straightforward process and paperwork, you can gift a vehicle hassle-free in Washington. But how can you buy a car for someone else as a gift?

What Are The Requirements For Gifting A Vehicle In Washington?

When you want to gift a vehicle in Washington, ensure you’ve got your hands on a Bill of Sale showing the purchase price. 

Alternatively, you can go with a statement of gift signed by the person who used to own the vehicle. 

If it’s a gift, you’ll need to show some proof that the previous owner paid the necessary sales tax. 

And remember, if the vehicle is less than ten years old, you’ll also need to get your hands on a completed Odometer Disclosure Statement. 

Check out these reasons for being unable to work after a car accident here.

Is There A Usage Tax On Cars Given As Gifts In Washington?

There is no usage tax when you’re gifted a car [1] in Washington. 

If the person who gave it to you already paid sales or use tax on it, and you can prove it, you won’t have to pay any extra use tax when you transfer the title into your name. 

So, if the gift came with taxes covered, you’re in the clear – no extra costs for you.

How To Transfer The Car Title To Another Person In Washington?

1. Complete The Vehicle Bill of Sale (Form 420 065)

This form is the foundation of the transfer process. You, the seller, and the buyer must fill it out accurately. 

It includes essential details like the vehicle’s make, model, year, vehicle identification number (VIN), sale price, and the names and addresses of both parties.

Find out how you can gift a car to someone in another state here.

2. Remove License Plates

Before the vehicle changes hands, take off the license plates. These plates are typically associated with you, the seller, and shouldn’t stay with the vehicle. 

You can surrender them at your local licensing office or transfer them to another vehicle you own.

3. Report the Sale to WA DOL

Swift action is key here. You must report the vehicle’s sale to the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) within five business days of the transaction. 

This can be done online, by mail, or in person at a DOL office. This step protects you from any future liabilities tied to the vehicle.

Is It Better To Give A Car As A Gift Or Sell It For $1 In Washington?

Car with Red Ribbon

Giving a car as a gift is the smarter choice. It’s the only way to switch ownership without paying taxes. Also, the car’s price must be close to its actual value, around $2,000. 

“Washington’s gift of vehicle ownership is a road less taxing, where the joy of giving fuels the highway of hassle-free transfers.”

Howkapow Gift Site

Selling it for just $1 won’t fly – you’ll still have taxes. So, if you’re thinking about giving a car or selling it for almost nothing, gifting is the way to avoid tax hassles.

How Much Is The Gift-Tax Free In Washington State?

In Washington State, you don’t need to worry about gift taxes [2]. You can give gifts of any amount to anyone without paying extra taxes to the state. 

And the good news is that if you inherit money or property, you don’t have to pay any special taxes in Washington. 

With that, you don’t have to pay extra taxes whether you’re giving a small or big gift. This makes sharing your kindness with others in Washington easy and stress-free.

Also Read: Best Gifts For Dads Who Like Cars


Do you have to pay taxes on a car that was given to you?

As per the IRS, in 2023, you can gift up to $17,000 to an individual without incurring any tax. So, if the car’s value falls below this limit, there’s no federal tax on the gifted car.

How can you transfer a car title from California to Washington?

Schedule an appointment with the Washington DMV. After that, bring your California vehicle registration and proof of ownership (car title). 

The Washington DMV will handle the process, issuing new registration and license plates on the spot. 

Should both parties be present in Washington state to transfer a title?

All purchasers must be there for the ownership transfer at a licensing office unless they’ve got notarized signatures on a title application. 

This step guarantees a seamless title transfer process within the state.

Wrapping Up

And there you have it. Giving someone a vehicle in Washington state is easy, like a calm drive by the ocean. 

Whether it’s your cousin’s favorite car or a reliable old truck for a friend, the important thing is sharing the happiness of driving. 

Also, you can only do a few important things: get a Bill of Sale or a signed gift statement. 

And if it’s a gift, make sure the old owner paid the sales tax – that lets you avoid paying extra tax. So, be generous, handle the necessary paperwork, and give your gift without problems.


Kimberlee Johnson
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