How to Transfer a Car Title in California?

Daniel Joelson

Daniel Joelson

Total Posts: 344

Published Date: March 9, 2024

Daniel Joelson has been in the consumer finance space since 1994, he has helped to develop underwriting manuals for the financial sector. With a vast amount of Knowledge in consumer finance, he has been writing articles for all types of loans. With his knowledge, he is able to help many people to answer different financial problems.

In California, transferring ownership of a vehicle involves several steps mandated by the state. If you are unsure about how to transfer a car title, TFC Title Loans is here to help with clear guidance.

How to Transfer a Car Title in California

TFC Title Loans brings over 30 years of expertise in auto title loans and title transfers. We believe in simplifying the process of buying a car by providing clear instructions on transferring ownership in California.

transfer a car title
How to transfer a car title

Buying a Vehicle

From a Dealer: When purchasing from a dealership, they handle all necessary paperwork and fees for transferring the car title to your name.

From a Private Individual: If buying from an individual, follow these steps:

  1. Verify the seller has signed the title and filled out all required sections.
  2. Ensure there is no lien holder, or that the lien holder has signed off on the title.
  3. Verify the odometer reading and match it with the seller’s verification.
  4. Complete a smog check if the vehicle is over 4 years old (a fee of $8 applies).
  5. Take all documents to the DMV, pay a $15 vehicle transfer fee, and any applicable use tax within 30 days of purchase.
  6. Notify the CA DMV within 5 days of taking possession of the vehicle.

Selling a Vehicle

To facilitate a smooth transfer when selling your vehicle, follow these steps:

  1. Provide the buyer with the vehicle title, ensuring it’s signed (apply for a duplicate if needed).
  2. If there are liens, obtain lien holder signatures before transferring the title.

Transferring a Vehicle as a Gift

For family or inheritance transfers:

  1. Ensure the recipient signs the title.
  2. Submit a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability form within 5 days of the sale.

For gift or donation transfers:

  1. Follow the same steps as selling a vehicle.
  2. Provide a smog check certificate if required.

Receiving a Vehicle as a Gift

From a Family Member:

  1. Verify the giver filled out the title correctly.
  2. Complete a smog check if applicable.
  3. Submit required forms and fees to the CA DMV.

From a Gift or Donation:

  1. Follow the same steps as receiving from a family member.
  2. Include smog certification and state the vehicle’s current value in the Statement of Facts.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Transfer a Car Title in California

  1. What is a car title transfer? A car title transfer is the process of legally transferring ownership of a vehicle from one person or entity to another. It involves updating the vehicle’s title with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to reflect the new owner.
  2. How do I transfer a car title in California? To transfer a car title in California:
    • Complete the title transfer section on the current title with the buyer.
    • Provide a bill of sale, odometer disclosure, and smog certification (if applicable).
    • Submit the required forms and fees to the California DMV either in person or by mail.
    • Get a new title in the buyer’s name once the transfer is processed.
  3. Can you transfer a car title if there is an outstanding title loan? Yes, you can transfer a car title with an outstanding title loan in California, but it requires coordination between the lender and the buyer. The lender must release the lien on the title by submitting a lien release form to the DMV before the transfer can be completed.

Quote from Daniel Joelson, Consumer Finance Expert: “Transferring a car title involves more than just signing paperwork—it’s a legal process that ensures the accurate transfer of ownership. Understanding the requirements and following the proper steps is essential to completing a title transfer smoothly.”

Car Title Loans with TFC Title Loans

If you have an existing auto title loan with TFC, you will need to pay it off before transferring the title. To obtain a new auto title loan, contact us for a simple and quick process.

This guide on transferring a car title in California is brought to you by TFC Title Loans, offering valuable information and assistance through our extensive referral network. Contact us today for the funding you need, backed by trusted and compliant title lenders.

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DISCLAIMER: As our policy to make sure you know what we do and what are our limitations, we offer you these disclaimers. We are NOT A LENDER and we do not make short term cash loans or credit decisions. We are a referral service and work only with licensed lenders/brokers.

We may act as the broker for the loan and may not be the direct lender. Loan proceeds are intended primarily for personal, family and household purposes. We do not offer or service student loans.

*Loan amounts by the lenders vary based on your vehicle and your ability to repay the loan.

*Since we do not lend money directly we cannot offer you a solicitation for a loan, except in the state of California. In all other serviced states we WILL match you with a lender based on the information you provide on this website. We will not charge you for this service and our service is not available in all states. States that are serviced by this Web Site may change from time to time and without notice. Personal Unsecured Loans and Auto Title Loans are not available in all states and all areas.

*Auto Title Loan companies typically do not have pre-payment penalties, but we cannot guarantee that every lender meets this standard. Small Business Loans typically do have pre-payment penalties and occasionally will use your car as collateral to secure the loan.

*All lenders are responsible for their own interest rates and payment terms. TFC Title Loans has no control over these rates or payments. Use of the work competitive or reasonable does not mean affordable and borrowers should use their own discretion when working directly with the lender.

*The amount of people who applied for a loan and we helped and those who received a loan is not the same. We cannot guarantee we will find a lender who will fund you.Just because you give us information on this web site, in no way do we guarantee you will be approved for a car title loan or any other type of loan. Not all lenders can provide loan amounts you may see on this web site because loan amounts are limited by state law and/or the lender. Some lenders may require you to use a GPS locator device on your car, active all the time. They may or may not pay for this or charge you for this. This is up to the lender and we have no control over this policy of the lender. Typically larger loans or higher risk loans use a GPS.

*In some circumstances faxing may be required. Use of your cell phone to receive updates is optional.

*Car Title Loans are expensive and you may have other ways to get funding that is less expensive. These types of loans are meant to provide you with short term financing to solve immediate cash needs and should not be considered a long term solution. Residents of some states may not be eligible for a loan. Rejections for loans are not disclosed to our firm and you may want to contact the lender directly.

*Car Title Loan lenders are usually licensed by the State in which you reside. You should consult directly with these regulatory agencies to make sure your lender is licensed and in compliance. These agencies are there to protect you and we advise making sure any lender you receive money from is fully licensed.

*Trading Financial Credit, LLC dba TFC Title Loans, Car Title Loans California, Dineromax. If you are using a screen reader and are having problems using this website, please give us a call at 1-844-242-3543 for immediate assistance.

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