Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 12 of 38

Chapter 11: Transfers

11.125 Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (NRL/IRL) (REG 138) (VC §§5602 and 5900)

The registered owner or the person in physical possession of a vehicle being sold/transferred must submit a completed REG 138 to DMV within five calendar days of the sale (transfer). This can be done using a printed REG 138 or online, using the Internet Notice of Release of Liability (IRL) on the DMV Internet website. DMV cannot update the vehicle record if the transfer date is missing.

The Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (REG 138, Rev. 1/2024) form has been revised with DMV’s webpage addresses and a QR code. Other changes include updated verbiage throughout the form, the addition of a privacy statement on the collection of personal data, and the removal of pictures.  

Continue to accept REG 138 (Rev. 2/2012) until depleted.

Owners who transfer and deliver possession of a vehicle and a properly endorsed Certificate of Title to the purchaser are not subject to civil or criminal liability for the parking, abandonment, or operation of the vehicle by another, provided the owner has delivered or mailed a REG 138 to DMV or has submitted to DMV an IRL or the documents and fees required to transfer ownership of the vehicle to the new owner.

When a REG 138 is received, date stamp the upper-left corner above any printing and forward it to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Incoming Mail Unit, MS A235
PO Box 942859
Sacramento, CA 94259-0001

IRL—Sellers may submit an IRL on the DMV website.

Expedite Update of NRL/IRL Procedure—Use this procedure when a customer submitted an NRL or IRL, but the vehicle record was not updated, and as a result, the customer is receiving parking or toll violations and/or delinquent registration notices.

The following must be submitted:

  • A copy of the original REG 138.
  • A complete IRL transaction receipt.
  • A new REG 138.