When you are selling a vehicle in the state of California, you’ll need to know how to transfer or sign your California Title. Otherwise known as the “pink slip” this document holds the ownership rights to your vehicle.
As the registered owner you have several things to check on your DMV paperwork before the new owner can drive off. Knowing how to sign your California Title is important if you want to properly transfer the title of your car, truck or van.
Steps to signing your California Title
The first thing you must do is sign the front of the vehicle title as shown with the black arrow. This only applies if you are the registered owner.
Next you must fill out the section highlighted by the green arrow. This is the odometer or mileage information for your vehicle. This section is labeled Transferor/Seller Signature.
There are a few exceptions to remember when it comes to transferring your car title.
If you are not the sole owner of the vehicle, and there’s multiple owners or co-signers they must both sign the title. Also if your vehicle was previously titled in another state, you must have a copy of the original title attached.
Once you have properly signed your title, the new owner must complete his section to release liability. This form is usually found on the back side of your pink slip.
This section detaches from your original pink slip and must be submitted to your local DMV office. This is so you are not liable for anything that happens once the new owner drives off.
To release liability of the sold car, take your completed half of the California title to your local DMV office. This is also known as REG138 or the Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability. California law mandates that you do this within five days of the car being sold.
You can also mail this form to the DMV:
Department of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 942869 MS E169
Sacramento, California 94269-0001
How To get a copy of your California Title
You can also head down to your local DMV office or mail them using the address shown above. Keep in mind that you’ll need to wait 4-6 weeks and there’s a charge associated with a reprint.
Common questions about a California title
What else do I need to do?
Once the new owner has filled out the paperwork and you’ve submitted your signed release of liability, contact your insurance company immediately.
How is the new registration calculated?
If the new owner has questions about fees associated with registration point them to the DMV website for more information.
My California title looks different, what’s wrong?
The Department of Motor Vehicles often changes the layout or look of their titles. While the look may be different the forms and sections to sign off on are the same. Our tutorial on signing your pink slip doesn’t change.
What do I do with my license plates?
Usually these are sold with the vehicle but in the event these did not transfer to the new vehicle, you’ll need to turn these into your local DMV office.