Los Angeles Cars Online

Formalities Involved In Buying And Selling A Used Car In California


If that’s your first time buying or selling a used car in California, familiarize yourself with the formalities involved in buying and selling a used car in California.

The MUST-HAVE paperwork for the transaction is:

  • the vehicle’s title (proof of ownership or also known as the “pink slip”)
  • smog check certificate

The owner (seller) has up to 5 days to complete the Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability. You can complete the form Online  or print out the form out and mail it to DMV.

The new owner (buyer) has up to 10 days to file the application for transfer of ownership and pay applicable fees (usually $15) before becoming the legal owner of the vehicle.

“The Vehicle/Vessel Transfer and Reassignment Form (REG 262) is a single-page multipurpose form that combines odometer disclosure and bill of sale. The REG 262 is not available Online because it is printed on security paper, which makes it compliant with federal odometer disclosure regulations.” (Quoted for California DMV Website)
For those of you who don’t need to disclose the odometer reading, you may download and print a Bill of Sale REG 135 (PDF) form.

To register a used car you purchased, you’ll need:

• Bill of Sale (REG 135)
• Statement of Facts (REG 256)
• Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (REG 138)
• Vehicle/Vessel Transfer (REG 262)

Links to the first two forms are provided above. The Statement Of Facts Form is available here.
Form REG 262 is available from a brick-and-mortar DMV office, only.

More information about buying or selling used cars in Calfornia can be found on California’s DMV Website.

In spite of this lengthy guide, the formalities involved in buying and selling a used car in California and the process itself is quite straight forward.