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Chapter 1: General Registration Information
1.135 Signatures and Endorsements
Chapter 1 General Registration Information
1.135 Signatures and Endorsements (CVC §§ 17, 19, 5751)
DMV Policy on Signatures
- Accept the usual signature of the registered or legal owner with omissions or additions to the printed name. See signature examples in the Name Statement Requirement section of this chapter.
- Individual’s usual signature with omissions or additions to the printed name is on documents. Signatures can be:
- A form of script or printing by hand unique to that individual. A REG 256 may be required stating this is the person’s usual signature.
- A stamped signature of the individual’s usual signature. A stamped signature does not have to be countersigned. Acceptance of a stamped signature applies only to DMV documents; other documents may still require an actual signature.
Individuals Doing Business As (DBA)—The endorsement for an individual doing business as a company/business must include the individual’s signature. Example: If John Jones dba Jones Cooler Service is shown on the title, the signature as: John Jones, John Jones dba Jones Cooler Service, or John Jones dba Jones Cooler Service by John Jones are all acceptable.
Company and/or Business Names—The endorsement for a company or business name, including a leasing company, must include the company/business name and an authorized representative’s countersignature or initials. DMV does not require proof that the person is an authorized representative of the company/business.
Countersignatures—A signature or initials only as the countersignature for a company or business on any document is acceptable. DMV does not require proof that the person is an authorized representative of the company/business.
Signature by Mark—A witnessed “signature by mark” is acceptable on a certificate of title from an applicant who cannot write. The witness must print the applicant’s name and sign his/her name next to the applicant’s mark. For release of ownership, the signatures of two witnesses are required next to the mark or on a sworn statement, such as a REG 256.
When an individual cannot place a mark due to the loss or loss of the use of his/her hands, verify the person’s identity (identification [ID] card, passport, etc.) and make the certification on the application.
Include a REG 256 with the application explaining why the individual’s mark is not present and the form of ID verified.
Trusts—Endorsements must show the name of the trust and be countersigned by:
- One trustee, if the vehicle is being put into the name of the trust.
- All trustees shown on the title, if being transferred out of the name of the trust.
- At least one trustee, if no trustees are shown on the title. A REG 256 must accompany the application indicating that the trustee signing was appointed as a trustee.
- At least one trustee for a release of a vehicle not registered in a trust. Ownership is determined by the decedant’s will as contained in the trust. Copies of the trust, a REG 256 and bill(s) of sale may be required.