California Vehicle Title Search

People Phone License Plate VIN
People Phone License Plate VIN

How To Run A California Vehicle Title Search

A California vehicle title search is an easy online process that is typically run on used vehicle to find out if there the vehicle title is clean and there are no lien holders still on the title. CA vehicle title searches are often times part of a vehicle history report where you can also find out the history of the used vehicle including accidents, recalls and previous owner information. The intent for most people that run these types of reports are to uncover any potential issues when purchasing a used car, truck suv or motorcycle. It’s a best practice procedure that only cost a few bucks, but it can uncover any issues that might not be known or disclosed by the previous vehicle owner. If there is a lien holder on a vehicle or the title is salvaged, it might be very difficult to register the vehicle with the California DMV as well as getting the title information transferred over to the new owner’s name.

Information Included on a California Vehicle Title

  1. The owner’s name and address
  2. The vehicle’s year, make and model
  3. The date the vehicle was first sold
  4. Vehicle identification number
  5. License plate number
  6. California vehicle title issue date
  7. Release of Interest section at the bottom of the title

California Vehicle TitleHow to Transfer a California Vehicle Title

The transfer of a California vehicle title is very simple if you have the physical title in your possession. The previous owner will sign the bottom of the title, as well as the new owner. The purchase price and date of the vehicle must be included as well as the mileage and the “Release of Interest” section that should be mailed in by the previous owner. The Release of Interest, aka The Release of Liability, can also be filled out online through the California DMV website. This is a very important step because if there is an accident or a situation the vehicle is involved in and the release of liability form was not sent in, it will leave the previous owner open for getting sued or being liable for any damages that were incurred. Another good procedure when transferring the California vehicle title is to have a bill of sale and to also make sure to have the condition of the vehicle listed on both the title and bill of sale. Most of the time that a vehicle is sold, especially without an existing warranty, the vehicle condition will be listed “As-Is” which means that what you see is what you get and there are no guarantees by the original owner.

How to Get a Duplicate California Vehicle Title

If you visit the DMV website and you select the “Vehicle Registration” tab, you will select the “Application For a Duplicate Title” form (# Reg227). You can download the form in a PDF format, fill out the form with your full name and address as it’s listed on your registration, your driver’s license number and any additional information you have. Then you can mail in the duplicate vehicle title form to the California DMV with the appropriate fee for the duplicate title. Please note that when you apply for a duplicate California vehicle title, the original title is cancelled and null and void. Processing may take a few weeks and your duplicate CA vehicle title will be mailed to the address listed on file unless you request to have it sent to another address


California Vehicle Title Search - FAQs

Can I run a free California vehicle title search?

It will usually cost you around $20 to run a California vehicle title search and vehicle history report on a used car, truck, SUV or motorcycle. You will need to have your vehicle's 17 digit vehicle identification number to run a CA vehicle title search.

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Responses to “California Vehicle Title Search

  1. Hi. I purchased a vehicle in the state of Wisconsin from the owner.
    She never did title the vehicle when she moved to from California. I am having troubles reaching her. How can I obtain the title from California.

    Please help

    1. Enes, this is not an uncommon situation where the vehicle title was lost or the vehicle title was never received. You will want to contact the California DMV directly about this situation and fill out the forms to obtain a duplicate California vehicle title and you will also need to present your bill of sale and any other information that proves you purchased this vehicle. Also be prepared to fill our an affidavit which is a legal binding document that you legally purchased this vehicle from the previous owner.

Author: SQAdmin
Last Updated: November 17, 2020

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