Chapter 11: Transfers
11.185 Transfer Without Probate (CVC §5910 and California Probate Code §§6401, 6402, 13050 and 13100)
An Affadavit for Transfer Without Probate California Titled Vehicle or Vessels Only (REG 5) form may be used to transfer ownership of a vehicle when the registered owner or legal owner (an individual) of the vehicle is deceased, provided 40 days have elapsed since the date of death of the owner, the value of the decedent’s property in California does not exceed $150,000, and the vehicle is titled in California. The value of the decedent’s property does not include any vehicle, vessel, manufactured home, mobilehome, commercial coach, or floating home.
After the above requirements are satisfied, a REG 5 may be executed without procuring Letters of Administration, Letters Testamentary, or awaiting probate of a will by the:
- Surviving next of kin.
- Guardian or conservator of the estate of the next of kin.
- Trustee, under a trust agreement by the deceased, if the primary beneficiaries are the next of kin.
- Sole beneficiary or beneficiaries, under the last will of the decedent.
After the 40-day waiting period (California Probate Code §13.100)—In addition to the procedures listed in the Basic Transfer Requirements section in this chapter, the following must be submitted:
The Certificate of Title completed by the heir as follows:
- Signature on the registered owner’s name y countersignature on line 1 of the Certificate of Title.
- A completed and signed REG 5. A power of attorney cannot be used to sign the REG 5. If owned jointly by two or more deceased owners, a REG 5 is required for the most recently deceased owner only.
Note: A REG 5 cannot be used to circumvent the interest of the surviving owner when the vehicle is jointly owned by two or more persons and only one owner is deceased (CVC §4150.5). However, the heir may execute a REG 5 to release the interest of the deceased co-owner when the vehicle is registered as community property (COMPRO).
- An original or certified copy of the death certificate for all deceased registered owners, including the most recently deceased.
- Use tax or, in lieu of use tax, collect a Certificate of Vehicle, Mobilehome, or Commerical Coach Use Tax Clearance (BOE 111) form issued by the Board of Equalization and a Statement of Facts (REG 256) form. If the co-owners are joined by “y,” the vehicle may be transferred solely to the surviving co-owner without collection of tax. However, a REG 256 must be submitted by the surviving co-owner stating that the vehicle was bequeathed to them.
- A transfer fee to the heir and any other fees due. If the heir transfers ownership directly to another person, two transfer fees are due and a penalty may be due if the last transfer is late.