How To: Complete a Name Correction on a Certificate of Title

You always need:

You may also need to:

  • Pay a fee
  • Show your California driver license or identification card with photograph

When is a Name Statement Needed?

Your true full name must appear on your vehicle or vessel California Certificate of Title and registration card

Your name, as it appears on your vehicle or vessel record, may need to be changed or corrected when it:

  • Is not your true full name.
  • Is misspelled.
  • Changes (for example, as a result of marriage or divorce).
  • Is legally changed.

If your last name is hyphenated or is multiple words, the last name will appear as one word on the California Certificate of Title and registration card. This is not an error and does not require correction.

How do I Correct My Name?

To change or correct your name on your vehicle/vessel’s California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) record you must submit:

  • Your California Certificate of Title with your correct name printed or typed above the incorrect name.
  • A completed Name Statement in Section F of the Statements of Facts (REG 256) form indicating the reason for the change with your signature on the bottom of the form (see sample).

You may submit your application to any DMV office or by mail to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Vehicle Registration Operations
P.O. Box 942869
Sacramento, CA 94269-0001

Image of some REG 256 Instructions.

What if a Financial Institution has the Title?

When the California Certificate of Title is held by a lienholder, you must

  • Give the lienholder the completed and signed (REG 256) form.
  • Ask the lienholder to submit the California Certificate of Title and (REG 256) to DMV at the address above for correction.

What if I Don’t Have the Title?

If the title was lost, stolen, misplaced, or mutilated, you must submit:

  • Completed Application for Duplicate or Paperless Title (REG 227) form.
  • Evidence, such as the registration card, that you own the vehicle and your California photo driver license (DL) or identification (ID) card. (If you mail your application, be sure to write your DL or ID card number on the application.)
  • A completed and signed REG 256 form.
  • Pay the duplicate certificate of title fee.

If your name or address is changing (this does not include a misspelled name or address), you must apply in person at any DMV office and present either one of the following:

  • A California photo DL or ID card.
  • An out-of-state DL or ID card and one of the following photo identifications:
    • A valid passport
    • Military ID card
    • ID card issued by a state or United States government agency
    • Student ID card issued by a college or university
    • ID card issued by a California-based employer

How Much Does It Cost?

There is no cost to change or correct your name; unless an Application for Duplicate or Paperless Title (REG 227) form is submitted. Transfer fees are due if you are adding or deleting another person’s name, because that is a transfer of ownership.

For registration fees, see the brochure Registration Related Fees (FFVR 34). Because fees are subject to change, for the most current information visit our website at