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How to Replace a Lost Vehicle Title in California

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California drivers must have a California car title as proof of ownership of their vehicle. In the event of a lost, damaged or stolen car title, you must apply for a CA car title replacement as soon as possible.

More Important Information on Car Title Replacement

How to Report a Stolen Car Title

The California DMV does not require you to notify local law enforcement about a stolen or lost car title. However, DMV.com recommends reporting the missing car title before applying for a car title replacement. Reporting the theft will protect your identity should somebody find your car title and attempt to use it as their own.

California Eligibility Requirements for Obtaining a Duplicate Car Title

The California Department of Motor Vehicles requires drivers to replace car title documents:

  1. Lost car titles
  2. Stolen car titles
  3. Car titles damaged beyond legibility

Additionally, replacing car titles is common practice after changing your name or address. Regardless of your reason for needing a new document, there are two methods for replacing car titles with the CA DMV:

  • In person
  • By mail

Replace Car Title In Person

To replace car titles at a local CA DMV office, you must have the following:

  • A completed Application for Duplicate Title form (REG 227), which must be notarized and signed by the legal owner. The following details need to be included:
    • The owner's complete name
    • The owner's address
    • The owner's California drivers license number
    • The number of the car's license plates
    • A signed statement of facts about what happened to the car title
  • Your CA driving license.
  • Payment of the $19 fee, which can vary based on the type of vehicle.
    • The CA DMV accepts cash, checks, money orders, and debit/ATM cards

When applying to replace car titles in person, be sure to make an appointment at the DMV to avoid long lines and unnecessary wait times.
Note: While proof of car insurance is not required, it is always a good idea to have your insurance card with you when you go to the DMV office.

Replace Car Title By Mail

If you would like to replace lost car titles by mail, the process is just as easy. Fill out an Application for Duplicate Title form (REG 227), have it notarized, and send it with a check or money order for the $19 car title replacement fee to the following address:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Vehicle Registration Operations
P.O. Box 942869
Sacramento, CA 94269-0001    

How to Replace a Car Title if Out-of-State/on Military Duty

If you have lost your car title and are either out-of-state or an active service military member, you are still required to obtain a car title replacement. To do so, you will have to follow the steps associated with applying by mail.

  1. Fill out an Application for Duplicate Title form (REG 227) and have it notarized.
  2. Enclose a check or money order for the $19 car title replacement fee.
  3. Send the form and payment to the following address:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Vehicle Registration Operations
P.O. Box 942869
Sacramento, CA 94269-0001    

To learn about other circumstances, contact the CA Department of Motor Vehicles directly.

If Your Title Is Damaged

In the event that your title is not lost or stolen but only damaged, the CA DMV requires that you submit your damaged title when you go to obtain your replacement. You can do so by mail or in person.

If You Find Your Lost Title

If you happen to locate the title that you had lost after receiving your replacement document, it is recommended that you contact the CA DMV for further action. While the original title that had been lost has been rendered invalid because of your replacement, it is best to notify the DMV so that you take the appropriate action.

Related Links

Submitted by rudiman on 1st Jul 2015

My car is titled in

My car is titled in California but I now live in Nevada. I have lost the title and need to replace. What do I do?

Submitted by Kazem on 17th Apr 2015

I moved out of California and

I moved out of California and need a lost title sent to me here in New Orleans. My truck has been totaled and I need a new title to get a settlement from the insurance co. The 227 form said if my address is different, then I must show up in person? How can I get a new title from out of state?

Submitted by CaliforniaTexas... on 8th Dec 2015

I moved to Texas from

I moved to Texas from California to become Caretaker to my parents. I need the CA Title to respond to insurance company need to release my auto after it was totaled by the insurance company.

I can not travel to California due Caretaker required duties.

Please help me get a new title from California.

Submitted by sneadman on 12th Aug 2015

qwerty

qwerty

Submitted by Milanboy68 on 10th Mar 2015

I Financed my Milan Premiere

I Financed my Milan Premiere from a Dealership but my credit was bad at the time so my Mother put the Car in her name. I paid off my Car on June 3, 2014 but never received my Title from the Credit Union that made payments too. It have a very long time want to remove my Mother's names and replace it finally with mine. What recommendation from you how resolve this problem???

Submitted by Mary1125 on 12th Feb 2015

We live in Nevada and want to

We live in Nevada and want to sell our vehicle but lost the title. Title is still registered in California. Can i get it via mail instead of having to walk into the nearest California DMV? If yes, how do I do this?

Submitted by jewelllzzz on 21st Jan 2015

For a lost title, if I

For a lost title, if I fill-out & notarize the appropriate form and visit the DMV in person, will they print out and give me the new title during the appointment (on the same day) or will they mail it to me, so I receive it later?

Submitted by Golynnie on 6th Dec 2014

What is the procedure for my

What is the procedure for my case? I'm divorced, and my ex-husband is the legal owner of my car; however, it was awarded to me in the divorce settlement. I need to change the name on the title from his to mine. Does this still count as a transfer within a family? We cannot find the original title form. What should I do?Please advise!

Submitted by kheinrichs on 29th Nov 2014

I moved out of state and need

I moved out of state and need to get a name change done on my CA title/or order a title duplicate so that I can change th owner manually.

Submitted by BradMunkey on 23rd Nov 2013

I bought my car from a guy

I bought my car from a guy who was moving to Germany He gave me the title after I payed him completely and the bill of sale I sent all of that to the Nevada department so I could have it registered and titled in my home of record military They sent me my plates back but not the title When I called they told me they never received it I now have had NO title for the car to give to my bank for almost two years now and no way of contacting this guy in Germany How do I get a title in my name for a car I bought and have had registered for this long now My interest rate skyrocketed when the bank didn't receive the title from me and it's really a big pain

Submitted by mehredt on 8th Jul 2013

While in the military I

While in the military I registered my motorcycle in California in 2000. I have since moved to Colorado and I cannot find my title. The bike has been inoperable since 2001 and I am trying to figure out what I need to do to get a duplicate title and the associated fees.

Submitted by marcos723 on 25th Feb 2013

I had a loan long time ago

I had a loan long time ago and they asked me for the pink slip of my car a while back i already paid off the loan years ago and they cant find my pink slip what can i do ? do get one under my name since i what to sell the car i need to transfer the name to a new owner

Submitted by mlsard on 13th Mar 2013

need to see reply to question

need to see reply to question

Submitted by lching_il on 16th Oct 2012

Can I apply for a duplicate

Can I apply for a duplicate title if I am currently residing out of state?

Submitted by erinowen on 14th May 2013

I need a duplicate title to

I need a duplicate title to register my car in Kansas where I am now living, do I just need to fill out the form and send the check or can this be done online. Thanks

Submitted by perrypsyd on 4th Mar 2013

There was no reply-just blank

There was no reply-just blank box

Submitted by dylbon123 on 2nd Oct 2012

I inherited a vehicle from my

I inherited a vehicle from my father that passed. We cannot find the title for the vehicle. How do I go about transferring the title to my name?

Submitted by Elizabeth borjon on 7th Apr 2014

Transferring car from my

Transferring car from my deceased dad

Submitted by Elizabeth borjon on 7th Apr 2014

My dad passed away & I can't

My dad passed away & I can't find pink slip

Submitted by herlocos30 on 19th Apr 2012

Dodge gran caravan

Dodge gran caravan

Submitted by rudyak on 27th Feb 2012

I purchased an automobile in

I purchased an automobile in California in 1974. I moved to Nebraska in the summer of 1975. The car was put into storage. I'd like to start restoring it, but cannot locate the title. Step 2 above states that I must have form REG 277 properly notarized by a California Notary. That just isn't possible. Can I have a Nebraska Notrary complete that section?

What kind of fees could there be in addition to the $17.00 duplicate title fee?

Do you keep records this far back?

Submitted by ecrofair on 8th Oct 2011

I purchased a vehicle while

I purchased a vehicle while living in California. I now live in Colorado and would like to sell the vehicle. I can't find my title. Do I need to get a title to sell it in Colorado? If so, do I get a title from California or Colorado? How long does it take? The vehicle is still registiered in California.

Submitted by ljmosher on 24th Oct 2011

I have the same problem

I have the same problem except I live in MA. I sent in the form for a duplicate title and my check was cashed on 10/7. Should I expect my duplicate title in the mail soon?

Submitted by wallsb on 8th Oct 2011

I purchased my car while

I purchased my car while stationed in California, I retired and moved to Texas while still making payments on that car. Ford Motor Credit send my statements to my Texas address for several years until the car was paid off. Once the car was paid off, I called Ford Motor Credit asking for the title. They said it had been mailed to my California address because I never put in a change of address. I explained to FMC that the California address no longer exists because the military had completly demolisted 3 square miles of houseing to create new military houseing. They said the title would be returned to the California DMV and to contact them. Is this correct? How do I find out if California DMV really has my vehicle title? If so which one of the procedures do I follow to obtain it?

Submitted by Antonydeepak on 14th Jul 2011

If I were to mail the

If I were to mail the package, how should I pay the duplicate fee- cash, cheque, mo ???

Submitted by Ralph Hernandez on 6th Jul 2011

My elderly mom wants to

My elderly mom wants to donate "her" disabled auto to my son that was registered under my dad's name who passed away. The auto has been on blocks for many years. She is unable to find a "Pink Slip" nor remmebers if my dad received one.Suggestions would be appreciated.

Submitted by Anonymous on 17th Apr 2011

I recently bought a car from

I recently bought a car from a man who said it was his girlfriends car and she lives in San Francisco. When I went to have the car registered they told me I have dto get a lien satisfy. Well I wrote the young lady at the address on the duplicate registration and sher no lonnger lives there. The man nowhere to be found. What do I do to get registered?...Otherwise I have to park the car or resell it......What do I do?

Submitted by Anonymous on 27th Mar 2011

a few years ago I bought a

a few years ago I bought a boat trailer that was unregistered. The seller gave me a Bill of Sale, but I never registered it. I also cannot locate the Bill of Sale I recently sold the trailer but the buyer claims that the trailer cannot be registered at all. Is there a way to work this out? Thanks.

Submitted by Anonymous on 21st Apr 2011

Go back to the sellor and ask

Go back to the sellor and ask them to file a lost title form. You can even fill it out for the sellor. The sellor has to notarize it. Then when the sellor gets the replacement title, the sellor signs it over to you. This time, turn it in to the DMV.

California state law says that you can't sell the boat until you have the title, so you have to get the title or give the new buyer his money back.

Submitted by mellie78mdb on 1st Sep 2011

what if you can't find the

what if you can't find the seller? I have the same situation & this car is sitting. I don't know what to do.

Submitted by mellie78mdb on 1st Sep 2011

I've heard that if a behicle

I've heard that if a behicle that has been on your property for a certain amout of years, you can claim ownership ? Is this true? The car I was speaking of is sitting at a friends house & I lost the title. I can't go have it towed without proff that its my car. What can I do?

Submitted by Anonymous on 22nd Mar 2011

I aksed title feburary 1st

I aksed title feburary 1st but it does not arrive yet. do I have to ask again?

Submitted by haardesty5902 on 30th Dec 2009

Someone stole the

Someone stole the registration sticker off our car. How do you go about getting a replacement?

Submitted by garcia.1211 on 11th Dec 2009

I would like to know how i

I would like to know how i can go about obtaining a license plate for the front of my viechle it fell

off my car and what is the fee or can i get it replaced. Also how can I get a new title and the cost of this transaction .

Submitted by GiselleZ on 13th Mar 2009

Huh? The California DMV took

Huh? The California DMV took my vehicle title at the counter and stapled it to other docs needed in registration process (for an out-of-state, foreign-origin car). I would prefer to keep title safely locked up but I drove with it stapled to my temporary paperwork until a much later date, after a special smog test for my 'foreign' car made me eligible for br. So, upon returning to the DMV to completed registration and get plates for the car, I stated that I wanted my title removed and returned to me. I own the car, the DMV doesn't own it and has no business holding on to my vehicle title.

The DMV did not remove the title from the stapled pages when asked and hand it over to me. No explanation. Person serving me went on break and after much waiting I had to get back to my job site. Now what? Spend money on a title replacement and wait 8+ weeks for it to be delivered to me? Meanwhile, my original title may fall into the wrong hands--someone with a harmvul mind-- via a DMV employee?

California DMVs have a fortess builit around their phonelines--citizens can only get through to a centralized appointment maker. This scenario is one more bureaucratic hell. Or am I missing something? Was the DMV actually planning to send me a fresh new title from the Golden State? Am I not allowed to retain a vehicel title issues by another West Coast state?

I thought I was through dealing with the disruptions of a major move, but this sort of thing just bogs me down more, body & spirit. And I can't just call up the local DMV because the state has it rigged so everyone must call a special number to get appointments--rather than permit calls to local DMV.

Submitted by Anonymous on 8th Feb 2011

You have to surrender your

You have to surrender your out of state title and wait for a new title from California to come in the mail. You are issued a temporary title until then. Standard procedure on out of state vehicles, Also standard procedure on in-state seller-to-buyer title transfers. For questions answered call the DMV at 1-800-777-0133 to talk to an agent. You will probably will have to wait on hold for a while. Michael

Submitted by mcabico on 9th Feb 2009

I also replaced my

I also replaced my registration card. but the car is under my sisters name. is there anyway to get a replacement for the registration card.

Submitted by gsahasi on 3rd Feb 2009

I seem to have misplaced my

I seem to have misplaced my registration and would like a duplicate please.

Gurminder

Submitted by Anonymous on 11th Apr 2011

how did you do, gurminder?

how did you do, gurminder?