What is a notary?
A Notary is a person who is licensed to perform notarial acts on important documents that require certification. To put it simply when a document needs notarized the notary makes sure the person is who they say they are.
In Washington the law requires that the current owner prints an affidavit of loss/release of interest and signs it in front of a notary if they lost the title with the previous owner’s signature. The last thing you want to happen is to complete a transaction, only to discover you can’t legally sign the vehicle over to someone else.
Notarization will prove that you’ve sold the vehicle and that you’ve given up liability just in case something happens to it before the new owner has it registered. I’ll lay out below the proper steps of getting a title notarized.
Part 1 of 2
Know the laws and formalities before you have your vehicle title notarized
Step 1: Do some research on your state laws. You want to make sure you know the laws regarding the transfer of your vehicle. Also you must know whether or not you have the right to sell a vehicle if you are not the legal owner, or a minor.
Tip: Go to the DMV website, click on your state, and find out exactly what documents your state requires to sell your vehicle.
Step 2: Determine who needs to be present upon notarization.
In Washington the Current title with the previous owner’s signature releases ownership. If the seller lost the title, they must complete an Affidavit of Loss/Release of Interest (PDF) and sign it in front of a notary or licensing agent.
It’s highly recommended that there be a notary present because it protects you against fraud and if something happens before the new owner registers the car.
Step 3: Schedule an appointment.
Call Notary To-Go today and schedule an appointment if you need a title notarized. I’ll come to you wherever and whenever and I’ve received the proper training to make sure things go smooth.
Tip: Most Notaries offices are scheduled at least 3 days out in Vancouver, I’m ready now!
Step 4: Bring all required paperwork. You need to bring a valid form of ID to the notary, and you will need an Affidavit of Loss/Release of Interest (PDF)
Part 2 of 2: When the Notary Arrives
Step 1: Take all required items and documents with you to your appointment. At the very least, you will need a state issued, photo ID card, or military ID card, the vehicle title that needs signing, the Affidavit and payment.
Tip: Don’t hesitate to double-check and confirm the documents you need to bring with you when you call to make an appointment with a notary.
Step 2: Sign the title. Sign the vehicle title with blue or black ink while the notary is in attendance.
Tip: Make sure the signature is consistent to the one on your ID card. For example, if you include your middle name or a suffix on your ID card, make sure you do the same on the title. This goes for both buyer and seller.
Step 3: Have the notary verify and sign. The notary will sign and stamp the title, verifying that the signature is authentic.
Step 4: Pay the notary fee. This fee varies by state, and has a maximum allowed.
Once the title has been notarized by a notary public, your car title transfer has been bound by law. You should have no problems when transferring the title, and all issues of liability regarding the vehicle are the responsibility of the new owner.