To prove vehicle ownership, it’s important to have a valid, up-to-date, accurate California Certificate of Title. Here’s how you can transfer and change a title.
Replace a title. Get a replacement if your vehicle title is lost or destroyed. Get a title if the lienholder is out of business. Remove a lienholder and get a title after paying off the loan for your vehicle or boat, even if the lienholder has gone out of business. Salvaged, abandoned, or contaminated vehicles. Buying a vehicle brings excitement but also a mountain of paperwork. Upon leaving a dealership, you will have a stack of information, ranging from your vehicle's warranty to your signed financial obligation. One thing that cannot be provided by the dealership is the vehicle's title. That document will be. What does 'title' mean when filling out an application? I'm going crazy, trying to figure out which 'required' field they say is blank. I filled everything, but my answer for 'title' may be wrong. Change information on your vehicle title If information is incorrect on your title, or you need to change information, you will need to notify the RMV and request an amended certificate of title. You will receive your amended certificate of title in the mail within 10 – 14 business days.
Anytime there’s a change to a vehicle or vessel’s registered owner or lienholder, that change needs to be updated in DMV’s records within 10 days and the California Certificate of Title needs to be transferred to the new owner.
A change in ownership is usually due to:
Depending on the type of transfer (see below for additional types), you might need to complete and submit additional forms (see the full list of transfer forms below).
Submit your title transfer paperwork and fee (if any) to a DMV office or by mail to:
PO Box 942869
Sacramento, CA 94269
You can also transfer a title through our Virtual Office. Learn more about the steps and get started.
If you need us to expedite your title processing, you can request rush title processing for an additional fee.
Depending on the type of transfer, you may need to pay the following fees:
See the full list of fees.
Renewal fees and parking/toll violation fees don’t need to be paid to issue a duplicate California Certificate of Title.
These forms may be required when transferring ownership of a vehicle or vessel:
Application for Duplicate or Transfer of Title (REG 227)
Vehicle/Vessel Transfer and Reassignment (REG 262) form (call the DMV’s automated voice system at 1-800-777-0133 to have a form mailed to you)
Statement of Facts (REG 256)
Lien Satisfied/Title Holder Release (REG 166)
Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability
Vehicle Emission System Statement (Smog) (REG 139)
Declaration of Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)/Combined Gross Vehicle Weight (CGW) (REG 4008)
Affidavit for Transfer without Probate (REG 5)
Bill of Sale (REG 135)
Verification of Vehicle (REG 31)
When you’re buying a new car or a used car from a dealership, the dealer will handle the paperwork and you’ll receive your title from DMV in the mail.
When vehicle ownership is transferred between two private parties, it’s up to them to transfer the title. If you have the California Certificate of Title for the vehicle, the seller signs the title to release ownership of the vehicle. The buyer should then bring the signed title to a DMV office to apply for transfer of ownership.
If you don’t have the California Certificate of Title, you need to use an Application for Duplicate or Transfer of Title (REG 227) to transfer ownership. The lienholder’s release, if any, must be notarized. The buyer should then bring the completed form to a DMV office and we will issue a new registration and title.
Reference. Make sure you have all signatures on the proper lines to avoid delays. Here’s a video showing where to sign on a California Certificate of Title.
Once the seller gives the buyer all required documentation and DMV receives the completed NRL, the seller’s part of the transaction is complete.
*If the vehicle has been sold more than once with the same title, a REG 262 is required from each seller.
Once the buyer has provided the DMV with all the proper documents and fees, the vehicle record is updated to reflect the change of ownership and a registration card is issued.
A new title is issued from DMV headquarters within 60 calendar days.
To transfer a vehicle between family members, submit the following:
You may transfer a vehicle from an individual to the estate of that individual without signatures on the Certificate of Title.
Submit the following:
Use tax and a smog certification are not required.
Vehicle ownership can be transferred to a deceased owner’s heir 40 days after the owner’s death, as long as the value of the deceased’s property in California does not exceed:
If the heir will be the new owner, submit the following to a DMV office:
If the heir prefers to sell the vehicle, the buyer also needs (in addition to the items above):
To transfer vessel ownership, submit the following:
After you sell a vessel, complete a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (NRL) within five days of releasing ownership and keep a copy for your records.
Because a California Certificate of Title is a legal document, it is important to keep it accurate and up-to-date. Here’s how you can update or change a title.
You must order a duplicate California Certificate of Title when the original is lost, stolen, damaged, illegible, or not received.
To order a duplicate title, submit the following:
You can submit your application either in-person* at a DMV office or by mail:
Department of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 942869
Sacramento, California 94269-0001
If you’re submitting your form to a DMV office, we recommend you make an appointment so you can avoid any lines.
You’ll receive your title by mail 15-30 calendar days from the date you submit the duplicate title application.
*If you’re applying for a duplicate title and the registered owner’s name or address doesn’t match DMV records (except for obvious typographical errors), you must submit your application in person with proof of ownership (e.g. registration card) and an acceptable photo ID (e.g. driver license/ID card).
Visit our Virtual Office to request a duplicate title online.
Your true full name must appear on your vehicle or vessel California Certificate of Title and registration card. If your name is misspelled, changes (e.g as a result of marriage or divorce), or is legally changed, you need to correct your name on your title.
To change or correct your name, submit:
You may submit your application to any DMV office or by mail to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Vehicle Registration Operations
PO Box 942869
Sacramento, CA 94269-0001
If a name or other information is entered on a title by mistake, complete a Statement to Record Ownership (REG 101).
If the vehicle has a legal owner/lienholder, then section 5 of the REG 227 needs to be notarized. If the registration does not show a legal owner/lienholder, notarization is not required.
Need help finding the lienholder on your vehicle title? We keep a listing of banks, credit unions, and financial/lending institutions that may have gone out of business, merged, changed their name, or been acquired by another financial institution.
No. You must obtain a title from the state where the vehicle was last titled.
If you’re unable to obtain a title from that state, provide documentation that they cannot issue a title. A motor vehicle bond may be required
Contact us for more information.
Use our fee calculator to estimate any applicable registration or title transfer fees.
You need to renew your vehicle registration every 1-5 years in California, depending on the vehicle. Make sure your registration is up-to-date.
Some applications can be submitted to a DMV office near you. Make an appointment so you don’t have to wait in line.