Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 9 of 38

Chapter 8: Report of Sale – Used Vehicles

8.020 Distribution of the Report of Sale-Used Vehicle (REG 51) (VC §§4456 and 5901)

  • Use the following for distribution of the REG 51.
  • Application copy (upper portion of the original).
  • Within 30 days of the date of sale, submit the application copy to DMV with the fees and documents required to transfer the vehicle.

Exceptions: Deliver the application copy and all transfer documents to the buyer instead of DMV for the following situations:

  • Buyer demands Certificate of Title (see Section 8.055).
  • Public agency sales (see Section 8.070).
  • Sales to Consul Corps employees (see Section 8.060).
  • Mail order sales (see Section 8.080).

Purchaser’s temporary identification copy (bottom portion of the original)

For customer privacy, fold the purchaser’s copy so that only the upper portion with the report of sale number, vehicle make, and vehicle identification number show y place it in the lower rear window.

  • If the information will be obscured, place it in the lower right corner of either the windshield or a side window.
  • For trailers, display in the same manner in the towing vehicle.

This authorizes operation of the vehicle until the buyer receives the license plates and registration card.

Exceptions: Do not attach the purchaser’s copy to the vehicle on:

Vehicles to be altered before registration (see Section 6.025, New Vehicles Sold by California Dealers).

  • Used Vehicles Sold for Registration in Another State (see Section 8.050).
  • Used Vehicle Sold for Use on Private Property (see Section 8.035).
  • Used Vehicle Sold for Export to Another Country (see Section 8.040).
  • Title Only and Transfer Only sales (see Chapter 11).
  • Reporting Used Vehicle Sales to IRP Operators (see Section 8.075).

Dealer’s notice (bottom portion of the replacement)

No later than the fifth calendar day following the sale date, not counting the actual date of the sale, mail the dealer’s notice to the DMV address shown on the REG 51.

  • This releases the dealer from civil liability arising from operation of the vehicle.
  • The dealer’s notice cannot be submitted to a field office.

Dealer’s book copy (upper part of the replacement)

  • Retain the dealer’s copy for four years (this corresponds to DMV’s retention period).
  • The books are the property of DMV and may be inspected at any time (VC §§4456, 5901, and 11714e).