How to Replace a Lost Vehicle Title in California
You may apply for a duplicate vehicle title if your original title is lost, stolen, or damaged. A vehicle with a missing title cannot be bought or sold, so owners must apply for and obtain a replacement before they can sell their vehicle.
WHAT YOU NEED WHEN APPLYING FOR A DUPLICATE/REPLACEMENT TITLE
- Complete the Application for California Duplicate Title (REG 227) form, making sure to indicate on the form that you are applying for a duplicate title. A paperless title certification, transfer of title with duplicate or paperless title is also possible with this form.
- Once completed, you must have the application form properly notarized.
- If your original title is damaged or mutilated, you must return the original title when applying for a replacement.
- If your title shows a lienholder, you must give the lien holder a completed and signed Statement of Facts (REG 256) and ask him to submit this to the DMV with the title for correction.
Along with your application form and the other materials, you must submit a $17 duplicate title fee, which will vary with the type of vehicle plus a reflectorized license plate fee of $1. If there is only a name change to be done, without the duplicate title form, no fee is applicable.
SUBMITTING THE APPLICATION
You can submit the application and fees for a duplicate title at your local DMV office, or mail the package to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Vehicle Registration Operations
P.O. Box 942869 Mail Station E254
Sacramento, CA 94269-0001
- For checking on the status of your title, you can call (800) 777- 0133 Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays from 8:00 am-5:00 pm Pacific time and on Wednesdays from 9:00 am-5:00 pm Pacific time. You can also use the online inquiry form to check the status of the application.
- See also Title Transfers, Replacing Your License, and Replacing your Registration.
- See also Address Changes and Bill of Sale.