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Selling your car, dealing with the title exchange
Are you in the process of selling your car but don’t want to give up the title to the buyer until all the payments are made? Visit http://www.dmv.ca.gov/faq/faqbuysell.htm for information about documenting with the DMV that you are the legal owner and will hold onto the title until the registered owner makes the last payment. To prevent being held accountable for traffic tickets or automobile collisions, you will need to complete a “Notice of Release of Liability (REG138)” form, which is available online. This form must be filed within five days of the date the vehicle registration is transferred. Also, before you hand the title to the purchaser, sign it and then turn it over and enter your name and address in the “New Legal Owner” section. When the transfer into the buyers name is complete, you, as the seller, will receive the new title and the buyer will get a new registration card. Doing this legally protects you should the buyer stop making payments. To make sure the transfer process is done right, the you and buyer may want to make an appointment to visit together your local DMV office. Appointments can be made online, as well. After the buyer has made all the payments on the vehicle, you must forward the title to the new owner or the DMV. The change will be recorded and the DMV will issue a new title to the new registered owner. There is a $15 transfer fee attached to the process.