When changing ownership of a vehicle, you must notify the DMV of the change. This includes changes such as selling, gifting, inheriting or completing of a car loan.
To transfer the ownership you may need the following:
- Signature(s) of the seller or lienholder, if any, on the Certificate of Title
- Signature(s) of the buyer(s) on the Certificate of Title
- Smog Certification
- Odometer disclosure for vehicles less than 10 years old
- Transfer Fee
- Taxes or other fees
- California Certificate of Title or Application for Duplicate or Paperless if the title ist lost.
- Additional Documentation
Removing a Title Lien When You Finish Paying Your Loan
When you have made all the payments on your vehicle loan, the lienholder should mail you a signed vehicle title.
You must send that title along with a $15 transfer fee to the DMV to get a new title issued to you that is free from that lien.
Gifting or Donating a Car
Visit "Car Donation" for more information about donating a car to a charity.
You may "gift" your car to a qualifying family member. The process is similar to selling the car, except you may not need to perform a smog test.
If you are receiving a car as a gift, you should not need to pay a "Use Tax".