Ultimate Guide to Transferring Your Vehicle Title at the California DMV


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Here's the ultimate guide to transferring your vehicle title at the California DMV. We've simplified the entire process to save you time.

What You’ll Need to Transfer your California Vehicle Title

  1. Smog inspection certificate
  2. Completed Verification of Vehicle (Form REG 31) form

For out-of-state title transfer:

  • Completed Application for Title or Registration (Form REG 343)
  • Out-of-state title and registration
  • License plates (unless already expired, surrendered, or assigned to an interstate-registered vehicle)
  • Weight certificate (for pick-up trucks)
  • $21 for title fee
  • Payment for registration fee (use the DMV’s registration fee calculator to determine the amount)

For ownership transfers…

  • Bill of sale
  • Existing title from seller (including seller’s signature and any applicable lien releases)
  • Odometer disclosure (found on back of title; for vehicles less than 10 years old)
  • Payment for $15 title transfer fee and applicable use tax fees

What You’ll Need To Do

  • Step 1: Obtain a smog inspection certificate.
  • Step 2: Obtain a completed Verification of Vehicle (Form REG 31) form to prove the legality of your vehicle’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number).  Your vehicle can be verified by any one of the following:
  • DMV employee (optional: make an appointment!)
  • CA-licensed vehicle verifier.
  • Certified auto club employee.
  • California law enforcement or peace officer.
  • Step 3: Visit your nearest DMV office (recommended: make an appointment!)
  • Present the required documents and ID.
  • Receive your CA vehicle title.
  • Step 4: Hit the road and drive!

Need other California DMV help?

We're here to help. Start a free 15 day trial of Skip Plus to get personal assistance and help here. We'll even help you get DMV appointments and schedule road tests.

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