There are multiple reasons why you may decide to give a car as a present. You may have a child who just obtained a driver’s license, or your spouse may need a new vehicle to commute to work.
Either way, the common step you need to take is to transfer the title of ownership, filling in the mandatory documents to ensure the entire process goes smoothly.
Once you sign over the title of your vehicle to the other party, the new owner must present the completed forms to the local DMV.
Car title transfers are easy if you know how to handle them. For that purpose, here’s a step-by-step guide to learn how to gift a vehicle in California.
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If you are gifting your vehicle to a family member, the CA DMV groups the following people as family members:
- Domestic partners
The process of gifting a vehicle
If you are signing over the title of your vehicle to a new owner, you will need to provide the recipient with:
- The vehicle title signed by the transferor and the new owner. Plus, the signatures of any lien attached to the vehicle, if applicable.
- For transferors missing their vehicle titles, an Application for Duplicate of Transfer of Title must be signed by both the transferor and the new owner.
- Whether your vehicle is less than 10 years old, transferors must present an odometer reading. Complete a Vehicle/Vessel Title Transfer and Reassignment Form if your title does not have any more space for the odometer mileage.
- Submit a Smog Certification, unless you are gifting the car to a family member or your car is 4 model years or fewer and not diesel-powered.
This process must be completed within 5 days from the date you gifted the vehicle.
At the same time, you’ll need to submit a release of liability form to your local DMV. Once your local DMV gets your release of liability, you will no longer be accountable nor held responsible for the gifted car.
The process of receiving a gifted vehicle
If you get a vehicle as a present, you’ll need to title and register your gifted vehicle within 10 days after the date of receiving the car.
Go to your local DMV with all the required documents from the previous owner of the vehicle and complete the following:
Submit a completed Statement of Facts to get fee exemptions for family transfers and smog certifications.
If you get a car as part of an inheritance, you need to submit an Affidavit for Transfer without Probate. You may be required to submit other documents depending on your case. Contact you local DMV for more information about this procedure.
Pay the title transfer fees: Transferred title ($15) and Smog transfer fee ($8). The following forms of payments are accepted: cash, debit/credit card, cashier’s check, and money order.
Once you complete every single requirement, you’ll be ready to drive your new vehicle.
Transfer your California title online now
A title transfer is an important procedure that serves to demonstrate individual or business ownership of a vehicle.
The requirements vary from state to state, and it’s your responsibility to fulfill all those requirements.
At the same time, the sooner you transfer the title of a car into your name, the better for everyone to keep things in order. It’s in your best interest to be aware of this procedure for your own protection.
Did you know that eTags offers California vehicle title transfers online? It’s fast, easy, and hassle free.