Online California DMV Vehicle Registration
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- Title Transfers
California car titles are one of the most important documents associated with vehicle ownership. There are four instances in which the transfer of titles is necessary in the state of California:
Before you learn how to transfer car titles in California, it is important to understand the process of buying a car. There are two ways to go about it:
When buying a new vehicle, the dealership will take care of registering and titling the car for you. All that you will have to do is purchase car insurance beforehand to take the car off the dealership lot. However, if you buy a vehicle from a private seller in California, it is your responsibility to obtain a CA car registration and transfer car title certification with the seller in person.You should also be sure to ask for the following:
If you are selling a vehicle, you need to know the process of transferring car titles. You can either sell your car in person or online. If you want to save yourself the time that you would spend meeting and haggling with difficult buyers, selling online is an excellent alternative. To do so, just follow these steps:
On the day of the transaction, you are required to transfer title documentation into the buyer's name:
This same process is used if you are transferring the title of an RV.
Note: If you are transferring your vehicle title to someone in another state, you and the buyer will have to get in touch with that state's Department of Motor Vehicles to find out what steps to take.
In the event you have lost your original vehicle title, you will have to first request a duplicate title before you sell your vehicle and transfer the title. To do so, you will simply have to fill out an Application for Duplicate Title and visit your local tax county collector's office or a nearby DMV office to hand it in.
In terms of where and what to include on the Certificate of Title document, you must include the following information on the back of the car title:
It is required that the seller locate and fill out the "By Seller" section in order for the transfer to be complete.
In the event you are buying or selling a used vehicle from a private party and the odometer reading is not needed, the CA Bill of Sale (REG 135) can be used instead of other car title transfer documents. The Bill of Sale can also be used in conjunction with the Vehicle/Vessel Transfer form to act as a second proof of the transaction. It is the responsibility of the buyer and the seller to ensure that the following information is included in the form:
One element that continues to come up in conversation is the VIN or vehicle identification number. This is the 17-digit code that is completely unique to the vehicle in question and is used to help buyers learn more about the car's past.
VIN history reportsfeature everything from accident reports and descriptions of past repairs to the history of all previous owners. For that reason, they are the perfect tool to make a buyer feel more comfortable.
While you now understand the car title transfer process in California, it is important for you to have a solid understanding of its many different components. Repair shops, while seemingly unrelated to the transfer of title, can actually make the process much easier. For example:
Finally, cars are not perfect. Breakdowns and flat tires can happen to anyone at any time. When they do, it's best to have a good mechanic to contact.
After buying a car, it is highly recommended that you find a good car warranty. As the owner of this new or used vehicle, you will want to make sure that you are covered in a variety of instances. A basic car warranty provides you with a mileage allowance and can come with other features, such as roadside assistance and a network of repair shops.
From a private seller's perspective, it is also advisable to refer your buyer to specific car warranty insurance. Just like providing a vehicle history report, helping a buyer find a car warranty will assist you in selling the vehicle.
If you decide that you would rather not sell your car, gifting and donating are other viable options at your disposal. If you are transferring a car title to a family member, you do not need to provide a smog test. In the state of California, family members are considered:
Half, step, and adopted family members are also included under the state definition of "family." In addition, the only instance in which a smog certification may be required is if the transfer is going to a sibling.
If you do not fit in any of the above categories, you must follow these steps to receive car title:
Donating a vehicle is very similar to the process of gifting a car. You must follow all of the same steps:
The only difference between donating and gifting is that most charities will require you to submit a smog certification. All smog certifications must be current, meaning that they are dated within 90 days. In addition, you may receive a tax exemption on your donation depending on the charity you choose to give to.