Selling car privately in CA

Workday thyrku
Jul 5 19 Comments

First time selling car. Researched online but still worried I might miss a step. Can anyone who sold car recently provide insight?

1. Smog test

2. There are only 2 documents are needed.
a) original title - Keep top portion. Give bottom portion to buyer.
b)Vehicle/Vessel Transfer and Reassignment Form REG 262 - call DMV to have this form mailed to me

3. After sale, submit the forms above to DMV in person. Can this be done online?

4. Report the transfer to DMV within 5 days. Can also do this online.

When meeting buyer, i plan to take photo of drivers license and their car insurance. Plan to have buyer go to the bank with me to transfer fund before filling up forms and giving the bottom portion of title to them.

Anything else I should be aware of?

Thanks!

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TOP 19 Comments
  • Cisco Hnay279
    you don't need to fill out the title transfer thing, just do it online. if you fill it out and mail it in, you have a 50% chance of receiving a "YOUR REGISTRATION WILL BE SUSPENDED" letter for the vehicle anyways. do it online and it's guaranteed to go into their database.
    Jul 5 9
    • Tesla Nik0la
      Agreed!
      Jul 5
    • Workday thyrku
      OP
      What do I need to submit to DMV in person? The car title form?
      Jul 6
    • Cisco Hnay279
      nothing
      Jul 6
    • Tesla Nik0la
      Yeah if you submit the release of liability online and keep the bill of sale. That’s legally fine. But for your own ease of mind you can drop those 2 things off at the dmv too in addition to submitting the form online.
      Jul 6
    • Cisco Hnay279
      there is literally no reason to go to the dmv. once you release your liability online, you are done. anything related to the car is no longer your responsibility, including its registration. the buyer only has a short period (a week i think) to have the title/registration transferred to them and to pay the sales tax. i've sold a bunch or vehicles in CA and never once set foot in a DMV for a sale. i don't even go to the DMV when i buy a vehicle... i go to AAA instead because that takes 10 minutes instead of 5 hours
      Jul 7
    • Workday thyrku
      OP
      Hi,

      Based on what I researched for selling cars less than 10 years old, I need to filled these 2 forms and submit to DMV in person or by mail. I do not think I can submit online. What am I missing?

      a) original title - Keep top portion. Give bottom portion to buyer.
      OR Application for Application for Duplicate or Paperless Title REG 227

      b)Vehicle/Vessel Transfer and Reassignment Form REG 262 - call DMV to have this form mailed to me
      Jul 7
    • Cisco Hnay279
      the top part of the title which you can tear off is the release of liability form. just fill this out online. you don't need to apply for a duplicate or paperless title. that makes no sense.

      print a copy of reg 135 (bill of sale) and fill it out with the buyer when you sell the car. keep this for your records. it's not needed to fill out the online release of liability form.

      the reg 262 form appears to be some special power of attorney transfer form which is why you have to call to get it. i've sold over 5 vehicles in CA in the last 10 years and only did a bill of sale and release of liability. i do the release online now because there's a 50% chance they lose the one on the top of the title you can mail in.

      don't forget to cancel your insurance after you do the release online.
      Jul 7
    • Workday thyrku
      OP
      Thanks! The only documentation I need to pass to buyer is the bottom portion of the title? Odometer should be filled out in the title.

      The only documentation I as seller need to do is to submit release of liability online?
      Jul 7
    • Cisco Hnay279
      the buyer needs the title to register the car under their name. yes, once you release your liability, anything that happens with the car is not your fault even if the buyer never registers it for some reason
      Jul 7
  • Yelp / Eng sJJv80
    2.c) Write a bill of sale for the buyer with the actual purchase amount.
    Jul 5 1
  • Tesla Nik0la
    You don’t really need a 262 unless you don’t have a title. 3 main documents only tbh:
    1. Title (in your name and no lien holder aka bank/part-owner)
    2. Smog should be done within 90 days of transferring vehicle
    3. Bill of sale. PDF can be downloaded from DMV.

    I used to flip cars back in college.
    You can always get more for your car by selling to private party vs dealer trade-in.
    Jul 5 4
    • Workday thyrku
      OP
      Thanks. Shouldn't I i do smog test before selling?

      Do i need to submit all forms to DMV in person? If need to submit in person, can I go to DMV in city which I don't reside in? I see people queuing outside of DMV in Fremont before it opens!

      Do I need to purchase a carfax report? Do people usually bring the car for inspection before comitting?
      Jul 5
    • Wells Fargo qUyB01
      When I do a smog certification do they give a physical copy? I read online that the record is stored with the DMV but no certificate is given
      Jul 5
    • Tesla Nik0la
      People bringing car for inspection depends on case to case. If you have the car fax report it will only strengthen your case and buyer feels more comfortable. It’s not a requirement from the seller though.
      Smog should be done before transferring papers, I just mentioned 90 days to tell you that it shouldn’t be older than 90.
      No need to go to stand in line. You can just go at the front desk and drop the papers off. (Release of liability and the bill of sales).
      Jul 5
    • Tesla Nik0la
      The record is posted in DMV database but make sure you get a copy of the certificate. Btw, you should have two bill of sales; one for you and one for the buyer.
      Jul 5
  • Cisco / IT lkc@it
    What forms required if the car is financed and bank has the title? Should buyer write the check to me or bank?
    Jul 8 0
  • Oath Atinlay2
    What a PITA
    Jul 5 0