The state of California requires people to obtain a California vehicle title as a proof of ownership of their vehicle.
If you have lost your California car title or the title for a truck, motorcycle, motor home or other motor vehicle, you must apply for a vehicle title asap.
You may not be a vehicle title expert, but there’s no reason why you cannot have the job done.
If you need to handle a lost, stolen or damaged vehicle title, here you’ll learn more about lost car title replacements in California.
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Stolen titles and how to report them
In the state of California you are not obligated to report your stolen title to a local law enforcement.
However, the California DMV requires drivers with stolen titles to report to them about the loss before applying for a vehicle title replacement.
It is important to report the theft, so you can protect your identity from other unscrupulous drivers who may try to use it as their own.
Requirements for a Duplicate Car Title
If any of those cases applies to you, the California DMV requires drivers to replace their vehicle documents.
- Lost car titles
- Stolen car titles
- Car titles damaged beyond legibility
Note that California allows drivers to replace their car documents either in person or online.
Replace your car title in person
Californian residents who decide to replace their title in person must take the following steps:
#1- Fill out an Application for Duplicate Title form. It must be legally notarized and signed by the legal owner of the vehicle.
Note that the Duplicate Title form must include:
- The owner’s complete name (Legal owner)
- Current home address
- California driver’s license number
- Car’s license plate number
- Signature to the statement of facts about what happened to the car title
#2- Valid driver’s license
#3- Pay the duplicate title fee: $21 (They vary depending on the type of vehicle)
One disadvantage of replacing your car title in person is the long lines or unnecessary waiting times. Most people make appointments in advance to avoid the hassle.
Replace your car title by mail
When it comes to replacing a vehicle title by mail, the process gets easier than in person but you still need to move from one place to another.
- Complete an Application for Duplicate Title form
- Have your Duplicate Title form notarized
- Submit it with a check or money order for the replacement fee to the California DMV
Note that your replacement fee varies based on the type of vehicle that you own.
Damaged car titles
Has your car title been damaged? In that case, you need to submit your damaged title to the California DMV once you go there to apply for a replacement.
Know that you can always handle this procedure either by mail or in person.
Finding your lost car title
If, by any chance, you find the car title that you had lost after getting a replacement document, contact the California DMV to keep a record and follow further actions.
Even when your previous car title has lost validation, it is your duty to let them know about your case so they can tell you what to do next.
Did you know that eTags can help you transfer your California title online? It’s even faster and easier. Click here to start your new California transfer.