If you’re interested in transferring the title of a car, either because you’ve sold your vehicle or you’re gifting it to a family member, you’ll want the ownership legally transferred as well. This is done for liability purposes, so that if accidents occur or there are problems with the car, you are no longer responsible. Transferring the title also means that the insurance coverage can be transferred to the rightful owner and driver as well.
Transferring to a Relative
Transferring the car to a relative is actually quite simple and can be done in no time, especially if you’re gifting your current vehicle to your kid who just got their license, or you’re simply selling the car to a relative who has better use for it. Transferring the car to a relative in the state of California requires a checklist of items including the California Certificate of Title, a statement of facts about the vehicle, an odometer inspection if the car is less than a decade old, and the final transfer fee, payable to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Transferring Vehicle Ownership
If you’ve recently sold your car or need to transfer the title because you’ve just purchased a new one, you’ll have to do this legally through paperwork and not just through verbal agreement with the previous owner or buyer. Transferring vehicle ownership requires obtaining the information about car and how it was purchased, or the legal title, so that the new owner can issue their information onto the title and remove the existing owner information. This information is also needed to ensure that the car is not registered as missing or stolen.
Registering Car from Out-of-State
Buying a car that’s registered out of state requires more paperwork than the transferring of the vehicle to a family member or someone within California, simply because California has numerous rules for vehicles to regulate emissions, smog, and other fuels into the environment. For the out-of-state registration in California, you’ll need the initial application for the title, previous out-of-state titles, a smog certification, and any other information, as required by the DMV, including inspections, mileage certifications, transfers of ownerships and registrations, and more. We’ll help you navigate your out-of-state registrations on a case-by-case basis and depending on where the car originated from.
While you may be wondering why all of these documents are needed, the simple point is that they’re for your safety and the safety of the car you’re driving in California. As required by local law, California strives to make the roads safer by ensuring that all the cars on them are registered and secure for public driving. If you attempt to drive a car in California without the adequate paperwork to prove that you’re the rightful owner, have insurance, or you cause issues on the road, this could lead to some legal issues that can be troublesome and costly to resolve. Instead, it’s recommended to follow local laws in California and register your car or transfer the title when it’s been sold or purchased, given to a family member, or coming from out-of-state.