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My girlfriend has her car registered in Arizona and wants to

Resolved Question:

My girlfriend has her car registered in Arizona and wants to sign the title over to me, so I can register it in California, which is where I am a resident. What steps to take in which order?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  PATRICIA replied 5 years ago.

HelloCustomer here is some information that is required of you in your state of California:


How To Get Started

You will always need:

What Constitutes a Change in Ownership?

Any change of the registered owner or lienholder (legal owner) of a vehicle or vessel is considered to be a change in ownership that must be updated on the records at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The change is usually due to:

  • Sale or gift
  • Adding or deleting the name of an owner
  • Inheritance
  • Satisfaction of lien (full payment of car loan)

Transfer-Whenever there is a change of ownership, the DMV refers to the transaction as a "transfer."

Seller-The person(s) and/or company shown as the registered owner on the Certificate of Title (and DMV's records) is always referred to as the seller, even if the vehicle is a gift.

Buyer-The person(s) and/or company who is going to become the new registered owner is referred to as the buyer.

What Fees Will Be Due?

Fees will be determined when the application is submitted to DMV and may include:

  • Transfer
  • Use Tax - Based on new registered owner's city and county of residence
  • Registration Renewal
  • Planned Non-Operation
  • Duplicate Title
  • Replacement License Plate - Due if a license plate has been lost or stolen.


NOTE: Transfer fees are due within 10 days of the "sale." Penalties are assessed if payment is not received by DMV within 30 days of the "sale." If multiple sales occur before DMV is notified, a separate transfer fee is collected for each sale when the application for transfer is received by DMV.


Is a Smog Inspection Required?

When you transfer ownership of a vehicle that is four or less model years old, a smog certification is not required; however, a smog transfer fee is collected from the new owner. When a vehicle is more than four model years old, the seller is required to obtain smog certification when transferring ownership of a vehicle UNLESS certification was obtained within the last 90 days or the vehicle is:

  • Hybrid
  • 1975 year model or older
  • Diesel powered
  • Electric
  • Natural gas powered and has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 14,001 lbs. or more
  • Motorcycle
  • Trailer
  • Vessel
  • Being transferred between family members (spouse, domestic partner, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild) or by court order. A Statement of Facts form (REG 256)(PDF) must be completed for the exemption; however, if registration renewal fees are due, the smog exemption may not apply.

Most smog certifications are submitted electronically to DMV. Keep your receipt because it contains an inspection number that may be used to locate your smog certification record at DMV.

More information regarding smog requirements.

What Documents Are Required?

California Certificate of Title "pink slip" or Application for Duplicate Title (REG 227) (PDF) If the title is missing, you must use a REG 227 (PDF)to complete the transfer of ownership. The lienholder's release, if any, must be notarized.

Vehicle/Vessel Transfer and Reassignment Form (REG 262)

If the vehicle has been sold more than once with the same title, the REG 262 is required from each seller.

Statement of Error or Erasure (REG 101)

Any names appearing in error require a REG 101 completed by the person(s) whose name(s) appears in error.

Statement of Facts (REG 256)

When the vehicle is a gift or sale from a family member, the new owner (buyer) completes a REG 256.

Affidavit for Transfer Without Probate (REG 5)

California Titled Vehicle or Vessel Only

This form is used when the registered owner of a vehicle has been deceased for 40 days or more, and the value of the decedent's property in California does not exceed $100,000. The vehicle must be titled in California. The REG 5 is usually completed by the next of kin. (Contact DMV at 1-800-777-0133 for complete information.)

Declaration of Gross Vehicle Weight/Combined Gross Vehicle Weight(REG 4008)(PDF)

If the vehicle you are purchasing is a commercial motor vehicle, you may be required to complete a REG 4008 indicating the gross vehicle weight (GVWR) or combined gross vehicle weight (CGVWR) at which your vehicle will be operated.

Odometer Disclosure

Disclosing the vehicle's odometer mileage reading is required by federal regulations for all transfers with the following three exceptions:

  • A vehicle 10 years old or older
  • A commercial vehicle with a declared gross or combined gross vehicle weight of more than 16,000 pounds
  • new vehicle being transferred prior to its first retail sale by a dealer.

Additional Odometer Mileage Reporting information.


NOTE: If you have an older title or ownership certificate without an odometer certification box, or if the vehicle was sold more than once, complete a Vehicle/Vessel Transfer and Reassignment Form (REG 262).


Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability

You must notify DMV within five days when you sell or transfer ownership of your vehicle. To do so, complete a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (NRL) form:

Department of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 942859
Sacramento, CANNN-NN-NNNN

Keep a copy for your records.
The Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability relieves you of responsibility for civil or criminal actions involving the vehicle after your date of sale. Your name, however, will not be removed from the DMV's records until the new owner submits the vehicle title to the DMV for transfer of ownership and pays the appropriate fees

Be Sure NRL Is
Complete and Legible.



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