How To: Convert From Nontransferable Registration (HTVR 15)

(PDF) Version

You always need...

  • The last-issued California or out-of-state title

You sometimes need…

  • The last-issued California nontransferable registration card
  • An Application for Title or Registration (REG 343) form
  • An Application for Duplicate or Paperless Title (REG 227) form
  • Bill(s) of sale
  • Smog certification
  • An odometer disclosure
  • A motor vehicle bond
  • Renewal fees

What Makes a Vehicle Nontransferable?

Nontransferable registration is issued to an out-of-state vehicles when the vehicle's registered owner(s) wishes to register the vehicle in California, but is unable to submit proof of ownership for the vehicle.

The terms "nontransferable" and "not transferable," as used by DMV, are interchangeable.

Sample of a nontransferable registration card:

Nontransferable registration card

How Do I Get a California Title for a Nontransferable Vehicle?

Vehicles with nontransferable registration cannot be sold, transferred, or issued a California Certificate of Title until specific conditions are met. 

If you are the owner shown on the nontransferable registration card, you must submit the following:

  • The last-issued out-of-state or California title. A California Certificate of Title can be the last-issued title when a vehicle was titled in this state, left California, was registered in another state, and no title was issued by that state. If the California Certificate of Title is lost, you must first submit an Application for Duplicate or Paperless Title (REG 227) form. If the vehicle is two years old or newer, and the California Certificate of Title is lost, you must contact the legal owner to obtain a replacement title.
  • The current California nontransferable registration card, if available.
 If you are not the owner shown on the nontransferable registration card, you must submit the following:
  • An Application for Title or Registration (REG 343) form completed and signed.
  • The last-issued California or out-of-state title signed by the owner(s) whose printed name(s) appear(s) on the title and listing you as the new owner(s).
  • Bill(s) of sale for the complete chain of ownership, if you purchased the vehicle from someone other than the owner(s) shown on the title.

Note: If a legal owner (lienholder) shown on the title did not sign the title to release interest in the vehicle, you must obtain a "lien satisfied" statement from that lienholder.

What If I Can’t Find the Out-of-State Title?

Vehicle owners with nontransferable registration who decide to sell or dispose of their vehicle often discover their out-of-state title has been lost or misplaced. If you do not have the last issued title, you must contact the state the vehicle was last titled in to apply for a duplicate title. If the state the vehicle was last titled in is unable to issue a duplicate, a motor vehicle bond may be required (contact DMV for more information).

What Fees or Other Documents May Be Required?

No fee is required to acquire a California title on a nontransferable vehicle if you are the person shown on the nontransferable registration. However:

  • A transfer fee is due if a registered owner is being added or deleted, a lienholder is being removed, or any other addition or deletion is being made.
  • Renewal fees are due if the application is presented within 30 days of the registration expiration date.
  • When parking citations are shown on the vehicle record, the parking fees must be paid with the renewal fees or a clearance obtained from the issuing parking agency.
  • Smog certification may be required with a renewal or transfer.
  • An odometer disclosure may be required for vehicles less than 10 model years old and changing owners.
  • A motor vehicle bond may be required if you cannot obtain ownership documents for the vehicle. Contact DMV for more information on motor vehicle bonds.

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

HTVR 15 REV (2/2013)