Selling a car in California can be easy or complicated — depending on the situation. Usually, when you trade in or sell your car at a new or used car dealership, you sign a few papers and you are done. The dealership takes care of all the paperwork. However, if you want or need to sell your car to a private buyer, things are not that easy.
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Selling a car in California can be easy or complicated — depending on the situation. Usually, when you trade in or sell your car at a new or used car dealership, you sign a few papers and you are done. The dealership takes care of all the paperwork. However, if you want or need to sell your car to a private buyer, things are not that easy. A sale will usually involve a little legwork and a trip to your local DMV office, may be even a couple of trips.
So what paperwork do you need when selling your car privately? On the front of the vehicle title, there are spaces for you, the seller, to record the date and your signature, two signatures if it is co-owned, releasing it to the buyer, whose information is in the second section. Be sure all form fields are fully completed and signed by both parties. The Mileage Disclosure section is required by law. Your vehicle title should always be kept in a safe place, as it is proof of ownership of your vehicle, and could be the only form you need to sell your vehicle.
There are several other forms that may be required in some situations, though, before the transfer of your car is complete. This multi-purpose form is only available directly from California DMV, but is only necessary in certain situations.
For example if power of attorney is required, or if the title is missing, or if there is not enough room on the Title for any required information. Odometer disclosure is mandatory on vehicles less than 10 model years old. The POA grants the buyer authority to sign further documents to take full ownership of the vehicle. Remember, both parties must sign this form. Reg is not available for download because it is printed on security paper. You can pick up a free copy of this form at your local DMV office.
Until the vehicle is registered by the buyer, it still legally belongs to the seller, which can be a problem. If the buyer parks the car illegally or commits a crime with the vehicle, before it is re-registered, you could be held liable for damages. The Notice of Release of Liability should be filled out, signed by both parties, and mailed in within five days of the sale.
Alternatively, submit REG online. Once this form is submitted, the seller is released from any liability if the buyer breaks the law with what is technically still your vehicle. This is another multi-purpose form that may be needed to clarify any information the DMV may need to complete a registration.
The seller might need to use this form to specify tax exemption status, smog exemption status, ask for a transfer only or title only, or name change. It might also be used to request a wheelchair lift or wheelchair carrier window decal or specify vehicle body changes. This is more for buying a car titled in a State other than California. If the vehicle has been titled out-of-state, then it will need a California Title.
Before buying a car you plan on registering in California, though, make sure it can be registered California! If the owner is deceased, then the seller will need to fill out this form and provide proof of ownership, by inheritance, of the car for sale.
This smog certification statement is required for all vehicles, or newer gasoline vehicles and or newer diesel vehicles, in-State or out-of-State, whenever the vehicle is sold or transferred. Vehicles less than four model years old are exempt from this smog certification statement, as well as if the transfer is to an immediate family member, such as spouse, partner, sibling, child, parent, grandparent, or grandchild.
You can check the status of the last smog certification online. Emissions is one of the few cases where the seller can be held liable for repairs. If the vehicle does not pass smog certification within 90 days of the transfer, the seller will be held responsible for costs related to the smog certification and any repairs necessary to bring it up to applicable emissions standards.
Federal Emissions or State Emissions vehicles cannot be registered in California, unless they are specifically exempted. If the original Title is missing, when selling a car to another party, the buyer will need to apply for a new Title. Both parties need to complete this form, as well as any lienholders, to facilitate the transfer of ownership and obtain a new Title.
Because the bank has a vested interest in the vehicle, they keep track of it. Once the loan or lease is satisfied, that is, paid off, the vehicle then becomes the property of the driver, at which point the lienholder is removed from the Title. In some States, like California, the lienholder keeps the Title until their vested interest in the vehicle is paid off, at which point they release the Title with the lienholder section signed, dated, and stamped.
In other States, where the owner holds the Title, a lienholder release will automatically be released by the financial institution to accompany the Title. You you may have to contact the lienholder to have them complete and notarize that the lien has been satisfied and they no longer have a vested interest in the vehicle.
With no lien on the Title, the owner is free to transfer or sell the car as they see fit. How to Sell Your Car. Sell Your Car Home Explore. Selling Your Car? California Certificate of Title On the front of the vehicle title, there are spaces for you, the seller, to record the date and your signature, two signatures if it is co-owned, releasing it to the buyer, whose information is in the second section. Notice of Release of Liability REG Until the vehicle is registered by the buyer, it still legally belongs to the seller, which can be a problem.
Download REG 5 Vehicle Emission System Statement Smog REG This smog certification statement is required for all vehicles, or newer gasoline vehicles and or newer diesel vehicles, in-State or out-of-State, whenever the vehicle is sold or transferred.
Selling Your Car? Here is All the Paperwork You Will Need (California Edition)
The Reg. It is not available online because it is printed on security paper, which makes it compliant with federal odometer disclosure. A normal transfer, with or without the certificate of title If this is a paperless title you will also need fill out a DMV Reg , documenting the sale of car to the new owner. You will need to complete this DMV form when there is more than one transfer for a vehicle. For example; Juan sold the vehicle to Tony, Tony is selling the vehicle to Debbie. The title A.
Selling car privately in CA
A very useful DMV form to have with you when buying or selling a bike. I just bought my bike from a guy who lives in Auburn, CA. I met up with him in Fairfield last Wednesday, and did the deal in the parking lot of the shopping mall. As he was filling up the info on the title, he made a typo and started to write the mileage starting from the fifth right-most digit on the title, instead of the fourth digit. He scratched the fifth digit and put his initials above it.