What to know when changing vehicle ownership

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Richard Perry.

■ By Richard Perry / Contributed

Greetings from the Hemet Car Guy.

Recently, my father-in-law Bob has fallen terminally ill due to his fight with cancer. Bob, former director of Patton State Hospital and director of mental health for many counties in California, is the patriarch of our large family and a very smart man. He has always been conscious of his need to prepare for what’s ahead even for the unexpected.
Bob told me he wanted me to sell his motorhome, and wanted to give his Jeep to my sister-in-law. It was easier for Nicci to change ownership because there was no lienholder and the transfer was done within the State of California.
I’ve had many readers and customers ask me for advice when it comes to transferring vehicle ownership. Whether you’re selling it on your own or gifting the vehicle to a family member it’s important to know the steps required in transferring liability.
After some research, I found steps on what to do from DMV.org and here’s some requirements before transferring:

• The vehicle must pass a smog check.
• The buyer must provide the ownership documents to the DMV.
• The buyer must pay the $15 title transfer fee and appropriate taxes within 30 days of the request to transfer.
• Obtain a vehicle verification by either a DMV employee, a certified auto club employee, or a California law enforcement/peace officer. The person performing the verification will need to fill out a Vehicle Verification Form REG 31 for you—do not lose this form!

Once you complete your vehicle verification and smog inspection you may need to convert your out-of-state title to a California title, which we’ll get through in these next steps. Typically, you’ll apply for California registration at the same time.

Provide the following items at your local DMV:

• A completed “Application for Title or Registration” (Form REG 343).
• A completed Form REG 31
• Your vehicle’s out-of-state title and registration.
• Your vehicle’s license plates.
• The smog inspection certificate.
• If you’re titling a truck or pick up – a weight certificate
• Bill(s) of sale.
• Odometer disclosure on the back of the car title.
• Payment for the title fee.

For more information on the process, steps, and materials needed to transfer a vehicle title visit your local DMV office or go to www.dmv.ca.gov

Happy Driving!

Richard Perry is the Hemet Car Guy and owner of VIP Autos in Hemet. For more information, visit www.hemetcarguy.info.

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