Chapter 18: Lien Sales – Abandoned – Abated Vehicles
18.145 Vehicles Valued at $4,000 or Less
Chapter 18 Lien Sales—Abandoned—Abated Vehicles
18.145 Vehicles Valued at $4,000 or Less (CC §3072)
The lienholder is not required to apply to DMV for authorization to conduct a lien sale for vehicles valued at $4,000 or less. The Lien sale process for a vehicle valued at $4,000 or less is as follows:
Within 15 days of the date the lien arises (date the public agency impounded the vehicle or private property owner authorized the tow), or within 30 days of the date the lien arises for other reasons, the lienholder must submit a completed Registration Information Request for Lien Sale (INF 1126) form and the nonrefundable processing fee to DMV to obtain a printout of the vehicle record using the vehicle identification number (VIN).
A vehicle with a missing VIN must be referred to the CHP before a vehicle record is released to the lienholder.
Immediately upon receipt of the vehicle record information, and at least 31 days, but not more than 41 days, prior to the sale date, the lienholder must send:
- A Notice of Pending Lien Sale for Vehicle Valued $4,000 or Less (REG 668) form and a return envelope, pre-addressed to DMV, by certified mail with return receipt requested, or by U.S. Postal Service Certificate of Mailing to:
- The registered owner.
- The legal owner.
- Any known interested parties.
- REG 668 by certified mail to DMV.
When there are multiple Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (REG 138) forms on the vehicle record, only the buyer noted on the last REG 138 must be notified. If there is no vehicle record, the REG 668 must be sent to DMV and any known interested parties.
The owner(s) and any interested parties have 10 days from the date the REG 668 is mailed to oppose the sale. The Declaration of Opposition on the REG 668 must be signed and returned to DMV to oppose the sale.
If the sale is opposed DMV sends the lienholder letter denying the lien sale application.
If the sale is opposed and the lienholder submits any of the items in Declaration of Opposition section in this chapter DMV sends the lienholder a letter granting authorization to continue the sale.
At least 10 consecutive days prior to, and including the sale date, the lienholder must post a REG 668 in a conspicuous place on the premises of the business office of the lienholder. If the sale is at another site, the lienholder must also post a REG 668 at the sale site.
The lienholder must have the vehicle available for inspection at a location easily accessible to the public for at least one hour before the sale. The vehicle must also be at the place of sale at the time and date specified on the REG 668.
The lienholder must conduct the sale in a businesslike manner. Sealed bids are not allowed.
After the sale, the lienholder must:
- Remove and destroy the license plates.
- Submit a completed Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (REG 138) form to DMV within five days of the sale.
- Complete a Certification of Lien Sale for Vehicle Valued $4,000 or Less (REG 168A) form. If no one places a qualifying bid on the vehicle, the lienholder must complete the REG 168A as both the seller and the buyer.
There is no redemption period. The buyer may take immediate possession of the vehicle.
The lienholder must give the buyer the:
- REG 168A.
- Printout of the DMV record.
- Certified mailing and/or certificate of mailing receipts (attached to the REG 168A).
- DMV authorization to continue the sale, if the lien sale was opposed.
All notices must specify the vehicle make, year model, VIN, and engine number (for motorcycles).
The following must be submitted:
- An Application for Title or Registration (REG 343) form or a Report of Vehicle to be Dismantled (REG 42) form, as appropriate.
- A properly completed REG 168A completed by the lienholder or agent. If there is no buyer, the lienholder completes the REG 168A as both the seller and buyer.
- The certified mailing or bulk postal receipts (attached to the REG 168A).
- The DMV printout of the vehicle record.
- If the lien sale was opposed, the DMV Authorization to Continue the sale.
- A Verification of Vehicle (REG 31) form, unless there is a vehicle record on the database.
- Other documents, as needed, such as bill(s) of sale and odometer mileage disclosure on the Vehicle/Vessel Transfer and Reassignment Form (REG 262).
- A smog certification, if appropriate.
- Fees due. See the Determining Fees section in this chapter.
The procedures below must be followed:
- Verify that:
- The Registration Information Request for Lien Sale (INF 1126) form was submitted within 15 days of the date the lien arose. If not, the lien sale is invalid.
- There are postal receipts for DMV, registered/legal owner, buyer noted on the last REG 138, and pending registered owners shown on the DMV printout (obtained to start the sale).
- The postmark date on each of the postal receipts is at least 31 days, but not more than 41 days, prior to the sale date.
- There are bill(s) of sale to provide a chain of ownership from the buyer listed in the Certificate of Sale section on the REG 168 to the current owner, if necessary.