With recent changes to the motor vehicle code for permanent farm use placards in Virginia, many farmers are faced with a problem; they own a vehicle and never found it necessary to have the vehicle titled in their name. Whether they never took it on the road, or some other reason, they now are posed with the problem of how to get their vehicle’s title in their name. Under current Virginia law, all motor vehicle owners, including owners of trailers or semitrailers, are required to obtain the certificate of title for the vehicle before it is operated on any highway (§ 46.2-600).
If you have the title signed over to your name from the previous owner, simply follow these instructions from Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If you don’t have a title in your name, you can complete this form (Affidavit in Lieu of Title Certificate – VSA 12) to submit with this form (Application for Certificate of Title – VSA17A) along with any other documentation proving ownership. Again, you can review the process on DMV’s website. Forms of proof of purchase, such as a bill of sale, will be very helpful in these situations. DMV also offers a form the seller and buyer can complete in place of a bill of sale.
DMV plans to have the new permanent farm use placards for sale by late September, and resolving missing titles now will make purchasing new permanent farm use placards simpler. Keep in mind, the law has an effective date of July 1, 2023, to allow farmers a full year to learn about and prepare for the new requirements.
Lastly, the requirement for liability insurance coverage on all exempted vehicles, such as farm use, went into effect July 1, 2022.