Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 21 of 38

Chapter 20: Replacements and Substitutes

20.055 Notarized Lienholder Signatures for Replacement Certificates of Title (VC §5752)

The legal owner/lienholder (LO) releasing signature on an Application for Replacement or Transfer of Title (REG 227) form, including when used to transfer an Electronic Lien and Titleholder (ELT), must be notarized.

Exception: A notarized signature is not required when:

  • A sole RO signs the LO section to transfer the legal ownership to a financial institution.
  • An insurance company and/or an agent for the insurance company transfers a total loss salvage vehicle to the insurance company and an acceptable lien satisfied document from the LO indicated on DMV’s records is submitted.

The LO’s releasing signature must be notarized if the insurance company sells the vehicle using the REG 227.

Notary Requirements—A California notary’s stamp must include the notary’s name, the commission number and expiration date, the county and state in which the commission number was granted, and the state seal. An out-of-state notary’s stamp is acceptable as submitted, since other states may not require the same information as California.

Notarization may be:

  • Next to the LO’s releasing signature on the REG 227.
  • On a separate sheet of paper attached to the REG 227.
  • On any other document submitted in lieu of the releasing signature on the REG 227 that shows satisfaction of the lien, such as a REG 166.

Do not question the validity of the notarized signature, the notarization stamp, or the notary’s signature.

RDF Procedure—When the LO’s releasing signature on a REG227, or an acceptable attachment, is not notarized as required, return the application on a report of deposit of fees (RDF) using Reason Code B and completed as Signature of “notary” on Section F with notary’s stamp.

A REG 227, REG 166, and any other type of lien release for a California-titled vehicles two model years old or newer are not acceptable.