Transfer Car Title in California

What is a Title Transfer?Transfer-Title

The title is the document that indicates the owner of the vehicle. To change ownership from one to another, a title transfer must take place.
Visit the DMV within 10 days to update the record.
Selling or buying a vehicle, Paying off a loan, transferring to family member, gifting or donating a vehicle, inheriting a vehicle or making a name correction are some reasons to complete a title transfer.

Selling a VehicleTransfer-Title

When selling a vehicle it is a good idea to order a history report.
To transfer ownership first locate your Title (pink slip) and enter the mileage of the vehicle in the appropriate area if your vehicle is less than 10 years old. Sign and date the title as the registered owner. Ensure that any lien holder sign and date the title as well.
The buyer completes, signs and dates the title. A smog certificate may be required unless the vehicle is a Hybrid, electric, natural gas powered with a gross vehicle weight of 14,001 pounds or more or diesel powered.

Buying a VehicleTransfer-Title

The dealer will take care of new car title transfers.
For used vehicle purchases:
To transfer ownership have the seller enter the mileage of the vehicle in the appropriate area of the pink slip if the vehicle is less than 10 years old. Have the seller sign and date the title as the registered owner. Ensure that any lien holder sign and date the title as well.
As the buyer, complete, sign and date the title. A smog certificate may be required unless the vehicle is a Hybrid, electric, natural gas powered with a gross vehicle weight of 14,001 pounds or more or diesel powered.
Make an appointment with the DMV to register the vehicle and title in your name. Be prepared to pay the $15 transfer fee.

Removing a LienTransfer-Title

After you pay off your car loan, you’ll need the lien holder removed from the title. Typically, this is something the lien holder will take care of for you.
Once the title is mailed to you, you have 30 days to update the DMV. This can be done in person or by mailing the documents and fees to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Registration Operations
P.O. Box 942869
Sacramento, CA 94269-0001

Transferring to FamilyTransfer-Title

The state refers to transferring ownership to or from one of the following as a family transfer:
oSpouse
oParent
oChild
oGrandparent
oGrandchild
oSiblings
oDomestic partner
California waives the use tax and smog test requirement between immediate family members, but not siblings.
The registered owner need to fill out the back of the title, signing and dating it and entering the mileage in the designated area if the vehicle is less than 10 years old.
Have the new owner also sign and date the title, acknowledging the odometer reading. If the registration is not current, the new owner must obtain smog certification from the registered owner or take the car to get smogged himself.
The new owner should then make an appointment to register and title the vehicle. Be prepared to pay the $15 fee and have all necessary paperwork with you.

Gifting a VehicleTransfer-Title

When gifting a vehicle the value is determined by using the purchase price or current market value. The recipient should figure out the current value to include on a Statement of Fact.
If you are the recipient of a gifted vehicle, follow these steps to appropriately transfer ownership:
Complete, sign and date the title (pink slip). Ensure that he vehicle is registered or that there is a Notice of Planned Non Operation filed with the DMV.

Unless this is a family transfer (see above section), a smog certificate may be required unless the vehicle is a Hybrid, electric, natural gas powered with a gross vehicle weight of 14,001 pounds or more or diesel powered.
Fill out a Statement of Facts (REG 256 to apply for a use-tax exemption.
Complete a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability keeping a copy for your records. This must be done within five days.
Make an appointment with the DMV to register the vehicle and title in your name. Be prepared to pay the $15 transfer fee.

Donating a VehicleTransfer-Title

There are a number of ways to donate a vehicle. To ensure you receive tax credit for the donation consult a tax expert.

Inheriting a VehicleTransfer-Title

Forty days after someone passes away, a rightful heir can claim the deceased owner’s vehicle. Because some circumstances vary, consider consulting a probate attorney for legal advice.
Here are the Inheriting a Vehicle steps you, as the heir, must take to transfer ownership:
Countersign the deceased owner’s Certificate of Title on line one.
Complete an Affidavit for
Transfer Without Probate.
1.Complete a Odometer Disclosure Statement.
2.Complete the appropriate Statement of Facts sections.
3.Make an appointment to pay the DMV a visit to submit the paperwork and pay the transfer fee.
When you transfer the title, the registration will be updated with the new name. All you’ll have to do is pay the additional fees that go along with registering your car. Use the state site’s registration fee calculator to find exactly how much you’ll owe. Also be prepared to fill out an Application for Title or Registration just in case.
Don’t overlook getting insurance on the vehicle if you plan to take it for a spin on California roads. To shop for insurance online, check out our Insurance Center.

Making Name CorrectionsTransfer-Title

Changing a Name
Write the corrected name under "New Registered Owner" on your title and complete a Statement of Facts form indicating the reason for the name change. Sign and date the form and make an appointment with the DMV. There is no fee required.

Deleting a Name
Have both parties sign the title if it currently has and between the names. If it says or, only one person needs to sign. Write the corrected name under "New Registered Owner."
Submit the revised title to the DMV, first making an appointment at the DMV. Also note the fee to transfer is $15.
Adding a Name
Add the new name in the appropriate section on the back of the title.
Make an appointment before you head to the DMV. When you submit the revisions you’ll also pay a $15 fee.