A California motor vehicle bill of sale form is used when a vehicle (or vessel) is purchased to report the sales price, identify the buyer and seller, and provide evidence that the transaction took place. A bill of sale is essential in documenting the transfer of ownership and is required in all private sales. It also eliminates the seller’s liability, ensuring that they will not be responsible for any issues the buyer may experience after the sale. The parties should go over the form to verify the pricing information and the vehicle’s description. After the transaction is complete, the buyer will have ten (10) days to register the vehicle, and the seller will have five (5) days to report the sale to the DMV. Both parties should keep a copy of the form for their records.
California Vehicle Registration
To register a vehicle in California, the owner must perform the following:
- Fill out an Application for Title or Registration (REG 343).
- Prepare for registration by gathering the bill of sale, smog certification, proof of odometer reading (if the vehicle is less than ten (10) years old), and the vehicle’s title. If the title is lost, the buyer must also complete an Application for Duplicate or Transfer of Title (REG 227).
- Submit the forms to a DMV office by mail, or schedule an appointment and file the paperwork in-person (initial vehicle registrations cannot be made online).
- Pay the fee to complete the registration process. Fees vary depending on the vehicle type, the county/city of registration, and other determining factors (see current registration fees).