DMV Family Transfer
CHANGE OF OWNER OF A VEHICLE BETWEEN FAMILY MEMBERS
What is the transfer?
When the DMV makes a transfer what it does is change the name on the title of the vehicle, that name is the legal owner of the registered vehicle. When a vehicle changes ownership either by sale, gift or inheritance and the name of the new owner is now on the vehicle record, that is a transfer.
For example when you sell a car:
You and the legal or financial owner, if there is one, release interest on the ownership of the vehicle when signing the Certificate of Title.
The new owner completes and signs the Application to Transfer the Title on the back of the Certificate of Title.
The signed title and any other required document must be delivered to the DMV to make the title transfer and that the vehicle is now registered in the name of the new owner.
After the completion of the transfer, the DMV will issue a new Certificate of Title for the new owner or if there is a financial certificate, for the owner of the financial.
Are family transfers different?
They are significantly different. This article describes the differences between a regular transfer and a family transfer.
What is a family transfer?
A family transfer is when the property is transferred to a:
Wife or husband
Mother or father
Daughter or son
Grandmother or grandfather.
Granddaughter or grandchild.
Sister or brother, etc.
Why is this transfer different to the regular transfer?
There are three main differences between Family Transfer and Regular Title Transfer:
In a regular transfer, the used tax based on the purchase price of the vehicle expires at the time of transfer. The transfer of a member of the family is exempt from use tax, with the exception of a transfer between siblings who are not minors.
A regular transfer requires a smog check in most cases before the vehicle can be registered in the name of the new owner. A transfer between family members does not require a smog check if the mandatory has already been made every two years and is in force.
A regular transfer requires the department to reset the vehicle’s value (reclassify) to determine the corresponding vehicle’s license fee.
The license fee is based on the purchase price or the current market value of the vehicle is exempt from the reclassification of the value of the vehicle.
To establish eligibility for use tax or reclassification exemption, be sure to report that it is a transfer of family member.
What do I need to make a family transfer?
The DMV will ask you for:
The California Certificate of Title properly signed on Line 1 by the registered owner. The new owner must complete the New Registered Owner section on the back of the title and sign it.
A Statement of Facts (REG 256 Rev. 1/96 or later) for the use of taxes and the smog exemption, if applicable.
The transfer fee.
Odometer disclosure for vehicles under 10 years old.
You may also be charged additional fees as registration fees.
Disclaimer of Liability
”Notice of Release of Liability” must be completed and sent by the vendor to the DMV. The seller is legally obligated to report the transfer to the DMV within five days of the day of the sale.
What fees will I be charged?
The DMV charges a fee of $15 for the transfer. If it is not paid within 30 days after the day the transfer was made, a penalty fee of $10 will be added.
Registration renewal fees may be pending. If the registration has expired and a status of Non Planned Operation (Non-op or PNO) is not in the file, you will be charged for the charges and fines due. California law requires the inspection and certification of most vehicle emission control systems every two years once the registration has been renewed, the smog check every two years. If you are renewing your registration during a biennial period, a smog exemption will not apply for the transfer of the family member.
The fees to be paid will be determined by the DMV when sending the application.
Can a Family Title Transfer be made without paying the Registration Renewal Fees?
If the vehicle is under Non-Operational in the DMV record and the transfer fee is deposited before the expiration date of the Non-Operational status, the transfer may be effected without paying Registration Renewal Fees.
California laws require the inspection and certification of most vehicle emission control systems every two years after the registration is renewed. It is known as ” The Biennial Smog Requirement ” which translates into Biennial Requests (every two years) of Smog. If you are going to renew your registration within a Biennial period, a smog exemption for the transfer of the family member does not apply.
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