Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 23 of 38

Chapter 22: Corrections and Adjustments

22.005 California Certificate of Title Describes the Wrong Vehicle

When the certificates issued for a vehicle do not describe the vehicle acquired by the owner:

  • A Verification of Vehicle (REG 31) form is required to determine the correct vehicle descriptive information.
  • The person in possession of the California Certificate of Title with the incorrect description (vehicle identification number) must give the title to the owner of the vehicle described and obtain the correct, properly endorsed California Certificate of Title for the vehicle in their possession.

Below are the procedures if the vehicle owner shown on the California Certificate of Title cannot be located:

If the Transfer Has
The Procedures Below Must Be Followed
Been recorded
  • The incorrect California Certificate of Title properly endorsed for release and signed on the reverse side by the new owner must be picked up. The incorrect title must not be defaced, corrected, or have an attempt to correct it.
  • A completed Statement of Facts (REG 256) form or memo explaining the circumstances must be submitted.

Not been recorded
  • The incorrect applicant’s name(s) on the back of the California Certificate of Title must be lined through y the correct owner(s) must endorse in the space available.
  • The applicant must complete and sign a Statement to Record Ownership (REG 101) form.
  • The incorrect applicant complete a Statement of Error or Erasure (REG 101) form explaining the error and state they have no interest in the vehicle.
  • A REG 256 must be completed or a memo explaining the circumstances.