California car title

A Comprehensive Guide To Renew California Car Title

As soon as you buy a vehicle, you need to apply for the car title and registration. You will also have to properly transfer a vehicle that is registered out-of-state in case you move. Furthermore, you will have to renew your vehicle registration before it expires. And if you lose your documents, you must go for the duplicate title registration.

If you want to legally operate your car on the public roadways in the state of California, you have to make sure it is titled and registered. And this guide will help you in understanding the process of getting that certificate and your vehicle registration.

Make sure your vehicle is properly insured and get those necessary vehicle inspections and smog checks whenever required.

California car title

Applying for New Car Registration and California certificate of title

Moved to California

In case you have recently moved to California, you will have to transfer your out-of-state registration within 3 weeks. Here are the steps you need to take for this purpose.

  • It’s a requirement to visit the nearest DMV office and prove that you are the registered owner.
  • If applicable, you can also pass a smog inspection.
  • After that, go for a vehicle identification number inspection.
  • Fill out the application for the California certificate of title and registration properly.
  • Pay the associated fee to get your certificate of title in California.


Bought a car from a dealer in California

The dealer will take care of all the steps mentioned above if you purchase a new vehicle. You will receive your permanent paperwork for registration within a week from the California DMV office.

Bought the car in a private sale in California

If you have bought your vehicle in a private sale in California, it is essential to complete the title transfer. You also need to apply for new registration and menu toggle license plates within 10 days. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • You must visit your local DMV and complete the transfer.
  • The state of California asks to sign and submit the title and the statement of odometer disclosure.
  • Provide the proof of smog check passing and pay the registration and transfer fee.

Vehicle title transfers in California when buying/selling and duplicate title

In case you have bought or sold a car in any private transaction, it’s obligatory to complete the title transfer in this transaction.


Being a seller, you must fill and sign your portion of the vehicle title that releases you from being a registered or legal owner. And for that, you will need:

  • A full bill of sale.
  • Notice of Transfer (Release of Liability to California DMV office).
  • If applicable, do a smog check.


Being a buyer, you must fill the buyer section in the vehicle title. Sign it and bring this document to the California DMV for registration and title transfer within a month.

Duplicate title

In case you lose this certificate, you need to apply for a duplicate title or replacement as soon as possible. You will require to fill and sign the application and submit it to the California DMV office.

If you are still making payments for your car, the title won’t be in your possession. Once you have paid and received the pink slip, you must remove the lienholder’s name from the certificate.

Renew Car Registration in California

It is mandatory to renew your car registration before it expires. This will help you in avoiding any late tickets or penalties. Additionally, you will stay away from operating an unlicensed vehicle that might lead to vehicle impoundment.

By renewing through menu toggle registration, you will get a new license plate with an updated year. It will re-establish you as the legal owner of your vehicle. But before that, make sure the DMV knows about your current address.

Before the expiry date, you will get the renewal notice in your mail as the legal owner of your vehicle. It will also contain all the instructions you need to renew the registration. In the state of California, you have the option of renewing the registration either online, via mail, phone, or in person.

Here’s a video that can help you in filling out your California car-title application in detail.


Applying online is by far the most convenient way of renewing your registration if you have internet access. You just need to visit the CA DMV Office website, and menu toggles your way to find your desired option.

California car title renewal

With a simple menu toggle, you can choose from different options available on this website.

This DMV office website is quite vivid and concise. You can easily access all the information under one roof. However, you need to keep in mind; you can only use the menu toggle for older vehicles as of now. The state of California is increasing the ambit to include more vehicles each year.

With just a simple menu toggle, you can conveniently go for vehicle registration, driver licenses, and ID cards. The menu toggle on this website allows you to initiate and complete a range of different services.

Services that you can complete using the menu toggle

There are different types of services you can start and complete using the menu toggle. This menu toggle allows you to duplicate title and initiate your application for the California certificate of title.

Besides the duplicate title and the California certificate of the title, you can do a procedure with a range of different services. Some of these have a sub-menu toggle for extended services.

The menu toggle

  • Using the registration sub-menu toggle, you can renew a vehicle registration.
  • This menu toggle assists you in renewing your menu toggle driver’s license as well as your ID card.
  • Use it to get your duplicate title.
  • Request a duplicate driver’s license through the menu toggle as well.
  • It can also assist you in finding a traffic school or change your address.
  • You can use the menu toggle to fill out an application for a driver’s license or ID card.
  • Use the card replacement sub-menu to go for card replacements.
  • Go for real ID registration with a sub-menu toggle.
  • Changing your California title is also possible with a sub-menu toggle.
  • With the menu toggle, you can also look up your occupational licensing status.
  • You may use the menu toggle to request your driver record through the pull notice program in the menu toggle vehicle in one of the links sub-menu toggle.
  • The menu toggle can help you in filing for planned non-operation from one of the links sub-menu toggle.
  • With this menu toggle, you can pay your reinstatement dues for a suspended registration.
  • The menu toggle allows you to add or remove your Non-Use Affidavit.
  • You can also check your licensing and registration fees with the menu toggle.
  • It can help you in renewing your motor carrier permit in the vehicle registration renewal sub-menu.

Title services that you can initiate and complete through other means

There are some services you can initiate online using the Department of Motor Vehicles websites. But make sure you read and follow the instructions and document order properly.

Via mail, phone, or in-person

Completing the entire title process via mail, phone, and in-person is very simple. But it is recommended to use one method to less complicate the procedure. The DMV office website has full contact info and a sub-menu toggle instruction to assist you with the entire process.

You can reach out to the office at Vehicle Registration Operations DMV PO Box 942869 Sacramento CA 94269-0001. For the renewals, you can use the same address at PO Box 942869. Sacramento, CA 94269-0001.

That’s not all…!

The DMV office has also designated its community partners and service providers that complete certain registration services on behalf of DMV California. These services include the likes of duplicate stickers, vehicle registration renewals, and title transfers.

These partners are also authorized to charge for their services for enforcement purposes. You can also go for a duplicate title through this method.

Positives and negatives of using online services

There are various benefits of using the online service, and of course, there are some downsides as well.

The DMV Chatbot

The DMV chatbot offline general gets you to the right menu in time. And there is a quick link, sub-menu available for a variety of options.

The Search Tool

The website also has a search form in the browser window; be sure to see it around if you resize the page. Different areas of this page become accessible when you resize the browser window. You can always “Ask DMV” chatbot offline as well.

The Translation Tool

A better translation of some areas of the website is mandatory when you change the language. When you translate, the original text halts the procedure you are looking to compare online when using the website.

And make sure you check the heading and document frequently that the website states. To ensure everything goes according to the plan, search continuously. Be sure to check the heading. If you are going in person, you must have access to a self-service kiosk placed at various points.

Google Translate the original web page for convenience. But the quick links sub-menu does the job well when it comes to navigation. When using the web page DMV California “Ask DMV” chatbot in your language.

See various services in your language, including identification card replacements and car title renewals duplicate titles. Always use Google Translate original text for this. Getting your duplicate title becomes easy this way.

The Convenience

Overall, the registration operations in the office through online applications are quite agile. These registration operations generally work well when you go in person. But going through the process via mail or phone can take a lot of time and is complicated.

The website also highlights all the DMV safety guidelines. These will be provided to you when you go for the registration operations in person. Make sure you have the vehicle identification number when you go for the registration or duplicate title. You can also use the service for your card replacement and post any paperwork to box 942869 Sacramento.


The Department of Motor Vehicles has made sure that the information is available to facilitate your vehicle registration and car title. This Department has made the entire process extremely simple. You just need a menu toggle knowledge to get through it.

Menu toggle drivers licenses, ID cards, title registration, duplicate title, or renewals are just a few clicks away. Just find the right sub-menu to get the paperwork done through relevant service.

At times the page may shift around, but that is not an issue. Some options also come with a sub-menu toggle to resolve your problem.

Hence, registration or renewal of title in California is not a big deal. Complete the process within the allocated time to avoid any inconveniences. The Department of Motor Vehicles in the state does that for enforcement purposes.

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