Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 12 of 38

Chapter 11: Transfers

11.015 Basic Transfer Requirements (VC §§5603, 5751, and 5753)

For a basic transfer of a California-registered vehicle, the following must be submitted:

The California Certificate of Title properly endorsed for transfer as follows:

Line 1—The registered owner(s) of record must release interest:

If the Vehicle Is Registered toThe Following Is Required
Co-owners joined by “and” (a slash [/] symbol between the names)The signature of each owner
Co-owners joined by “or” or by “and/or”The signature of only one owner.
Co-owners with a Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship “JTRS” designationThe signature of each owner.
A business entityThe name of the business entity y an authorized representative’s countersignature.
An individual doing business as (dba)The signature of the individual.
A sole owner(s) (there is no legal owner (lienholder) of record)The signature of the sole owner(s).
You may accept the signature of a sole owner on line 2 instead of line 1.
A trust with a trustee listedThe signature of the trustee for the trust.
A trust without a trustee listedThe signature of the trustee for the trust. Require a Statement of Facts (REG 256) form certifying to their appointment as trustee for the trust.

A Vehicle/Vessel Transfer and Reassignment Form (REG 262) is acceptable in lieu of the registered owner’s signature(s) to release on line 1 of the title or on the Application for Replacement or Transfer of Title (REG 227) form.

Line 2—The lienholder of record, if any, must release interest on line 2 or a Lien Satisfied/Legal Owner/Title Holder Release (REG 166) form unless the name of the lienholder is to remain the same for the new owner, in which case, enter “Same” on Line 2 and reenter the name and address of the lienholder on the back of the title. If a California titled vehicle is two model years old or newer, a lien release on REG 227, REG 166, or any other type of lien release are not acceptable. A replacement title must be requested by the lienholder of record.

Refer to Chapter 23 for unavailable legal owner procedures.

Odometer Mileage Disclosure—Must be entered on a complying title or on a Vehicle/Vessel Transfer and Reassignment Form (REG 262). Refer to Chapter 5 for odometer information.

New Registered Owner Section—The name, address, y driver’s license or identification card (DL/ID) number for each new registered owner must be entered on the appropriate lines.

If an owner has not been issued a California DL/ID card, their out-of-state DL/ID number, if any, is acceptable. Print the out-of-state DL/ID number and state of issuance in the upper-right corner of the face document or application. The out-of-state DL/ID number cannot be keyed but will be microfilmed with the title.

The word “None” should be entered for persons who have not been issued a DL/ID card from California or any other state.

Purchase Price and Purchase Date—The purchase price or the word “Gift”or “Trade” must be indicated. For a gift or trade, the new owner must indicate the vehicle’s estimated value on a Statement of Facts (REG 256) form.

New Legal Owner/Lienholder Section—The name and address of the new legal owner (lienholder), if any, must be entered on the appropriate lines. The word “None” should be entered when there is no lienholder.

Applications submitted by a dealer lacking this information must be returned to the dealer.

  • A smog certification, if appropriate, or evidence of exemption.
  • The transfer fee, any other fees due, and use tax or evidence of exemption. Refer to Chapter 4 for use tax information. The transfer fee must be paid within 30 days of the date of transfer to avoid a late penalty. If the customer pays the transfer fee on time, they may pay the use tax without penalty when the application clears.
    When a transferee acquires a vehicle and the registration subsequently expires, the transferee has 20 days from the date of transfer to pay renewal fees without penalty (VC §9553).
  • A Certificate of Excise Tax Clearance (CDTFA 1138) form for commercial vehicles powered by a fuel other than gasoline or diesel. For additional information see Chapter 13.
  • A Report of Sale-Used Vehicle (REG 51) form, if sold by a dealer. The dealer section of the title is completed for each dealer sale (wholesale or retail). For additional information see the Transfers Involving Dealers or Lessor-Retailers section in this chapter.
  • Non-Transfer Changes to Registered Ownership—Some types of registered owner changes are not transfers, but require the owner’s signature(s). Process these as no-fee changes. A new Certificate of Title is issued. Examples of changes:
John “or” Mary DoeJohn “and” Mary Doe
John “or” Mary DoeJohn “and” Mary Doe, JTRS
John Doe dba JD Electric Co.John Doe

Transfer of CVRA Vehicles—Refer to Chapter 13.

Transfer of Lemon Law/Warranty Return Vehicles—Refer to Chapter 2.