1. Get Started With Lost Title Replacement Assistance Online

Online assistance is available to help you get through the title replacement process as quickly as possible. If your car title has been lost, damaged or stolen, replacing it is crucial. Without a valid certificate of title, you may have trouble transferring ownership of your vehicle, and depending on where you love, ordering a duplicate may not be straightforward. Gathering the right documents ahead of time and understanding the duplicate title application will save you time and effort in the long-run.

  1. By Mail

Receiving assistance by mail often takes longer and requires more work than getting help quickly online. However, some people prefer to deal with DMV processes in this manner. When performing DMV transactions by mail, you will need to set aside enough time for your correspondence to reach the DMV office and for the DMV to mail you a response. Additionally, be sure to double-check all applications, documents and payments, since correcting these items by mail will add to your wait time.

  1. In Person at a DMV Office

There are some DMV transactions that you will have to complete in person at the DMV. However, you can make these visits as short and effective as possible by preparing beforehand. Knowing which documents to bring and what steps you need to take before visiting an office in person will help you take full advantage of your trip. Since not all DMV offices offer the same types of services, make sure you use the online assistance to help you get ready.


The procedure to replace a lost car title at the DMV in California is generally completed by drivers when the original form is missing or stolen. Motorists will need to meet the requirements for replacing a lost or damaged car title in a timely manner due to the importance of this form for conducting different procedures through the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). For instance, the details listed on a CA title certificate are typically necessary to complete a title transfer process among other procedures. The CA DMV currently allows licensees to request a replacement car title in person and via mail. For more information about how to replace a vehicle title in California, continue reading below.

When do you need to get a duplicate car title in California?

The DMV requires you to replace your CA lost car title, a certificate that has been stolen or documentation that is no longer valid. For example, you may request a replacement car title in the event your original document is mutilated or illegible. A title that has been torn, damaged by water or written on may be considered invalid. You may also apply for a duplicate of your title if you have not received a title certificate. Section 3 of the replacement title application form will require you to state the exact reason for requesting a replacement through the motor vehicle agency.

Documents Required When Applying for a California Car Title Copy

Motorists wondering how to get a replacement car title in California will be required to submit specific documentation via one of the currently available application methods. Drivers with a lost car title will first need to fill out the corresponding replacement title application form and furnish it along with payment for the applicable fee. If the reason for requesting a replacement copy is due to the current document being illegible or mutilated, the licensees will also be required to attach their old title. Additional documents, including proof of ownership (such as a vehicle registration card) and acceptable photo ID, may be necessary if the details pertaining to the registered owner (his name or address) do not match DMV records. Prior to initiating your process to request a replacement vehicle title in CA, contact the DMV and check whether you will need to present any additional documents or fees.

Available Methods for Replacing Your Car Title in California

If you are still wondering how to apply for a car title replacement, then note that you have the option to submit your application package via mail or present it in person at a local CA DMV office. There is no way to replace a car title online in CA. You will be required to request a replacement auto title in California in person at a title office provided you are the registered owner of the vehicle in question but your name or address do not match the information on your DMV record. Continue reading below to find out more about the aforementioned replacement title application methods.

By Mail

Initiating a procedure to replace a car title by mail is a convenient method to apply for a duplicate with the state DMV. When submitting a mail-in request for replacing your California lost car title, you will need to provide a completed application form as well as payment for the applicable fee. Additional documents may apply depending on your circumstances. Once the department processes your request, it will mail a copy of your vehicle title within 15 to 30 calendar days from the date the application was completed.

In Person

If you are wondering how to get a new title if lost or stolen, then note that you can visit a nearby DMV location in person and furnish the applicable documentation. Your in-person method to replace a lost car title with the DMV in California will also require you to present a completed application form along with payment for the set fees. If you need to replace a lost car title in person in CA due to the discrepancy in information, then remember to bring proof of ownership, such as your registration card, and an acceptable photo ID document. Overall, these documents will allow the DMV to conduct a car title search. Furthermore, a photo ID may be necessary regardless of your reason for applying at a title office.

How to Fill out the Duplicate Car Title Application in California

Part of the CA requirements for replacing a lost or damaged car title is filling out the corresponding application form, which is currently available on the official DMV website. The form to replace a lost car title at the DMV, also known as Application for Duplicate or Transfer of Title, consists of several sections and requires licensees to enter specific personal details and vehicle-related information. When applying for a duplicate of their California lost car title, applicants will need to complete sections one through three on the front of the application form and include the following details:

  • Information about the registered owner(s) of record, including the full name as it appears on the title/registration
  • Details about the legal owner of record (lienholder/title holder) if applicable
  • A missing title statement, which must be filled out and signed by the person who lost the title certificate

Note: This form may also be utilized for a paperless title certification as well as to complete a transfer of title with duplicate or paperless title.

California Car Title Replacement Fees

If you are seeking an answer to the question, “What are the fees to replace a lost car title in California?” note that the price varies. Prices are subject to change without notice. Providing payment for the applicable lost car title fee is mandatory for the state Department of Motor Vehicles to process your request and mail a new title document as soon as possible.

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