How to Transfer a Car Title in California

To transfer a car title in the state of California, it’s a good idea to read these instructions, locate all the appropriate lines on the title, and read any instructions on the title before you start filling in the information. There are four different types of titles in California. The state’s website has helpful diagrams that tell you where to sign on the different versions. These instructions assume you have a new “rainbow” title as opposed to the older “pink slip.”

  1. Look at the front of the title near the middle. The current owner or owners need to write in the date and sign their names on the lines under the short declaration stating they are releasing interest in the vehicle.
  2. Under those lines is a box. Write in the current odometer reading in the appropriate spot. Then write in the date and sign your name on the lines under the odometer reading.
  3. The buyer should turn over the car title and look near the top. They will need to print information in the series of boxes across the top that ask for: Full name of the new owner, full name of a second owner if applicable (don’t forget to check the box to indicate whether the title should say AND or OR), mailing address, city, state, zip code, and physical address where the car will be kept (if applicable).
  4. Once that information is entered, the buyer will need to sign their name on the line that says “Signature of new registered owner.” Next to that they will enter their driver’s license number, followed by the purchase date. A second owner can enter the same information on the next line if applicable.

A YouTube user filmed a video that demonstrates how to fill out the back of a California title. It may be worth watching if you need a quick tutorial; however, make sure the title shown in the video has all the same lines as yours so you aren’t putting information in the wrong place.

For more information about transferring a car title in California, visit the Department of Motor Vehicles website.

How to apply for a Replacement Title in California?

A duplicate title is applied if planning to hand over possession of the automobile, but the California title was misplaced, taken, or deteriorated. California certificate of title is the evidence of owning the automobile. It is necessary to keep the certificate to show proprietorship once decided to buy or donate.

The four main steps for applying for a Replacement Title in California are listed below.

  1. Fill out the form: Fill out the Application for Replacement or Transfer of Title (REG 227) form. The form is accessible on the website of the Department of Motor Vehicle in the state of California.
  2. Documents: Collect all the details and records, such as the driver’s license or identification card, the last 5 digits of the Vehicle Identification Number, and the vehicle license plate number.
  3.  Pay the fee: Pay the replacement title charge. The cost ranges from $20 to $23. The fee varies conditionally on the motor vehicle.
  4. Mail the application: The application form can be mailed or present it personally to the office of California’s Department of Motor Vehicle.