Looking to buy a car in California? At Quick Auto Tags, we’re here to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible. Our comprehensive guide covers all of the important steps and tips you need to know before making your purchase. From obtaining the vehicle’s title to registering the car with the DMV, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also take a deep dive into sales tax in California, including the state and city sales tax rates, and how certain zip codes can impact the amount of sales tax you owe.
Additionally, we’ll show you how to compare the VIN of the car to the VIN on the titling document provided by the seller, so that you can avoid common scams and make a smart purchase. Whether you’re a first-time car buyer or an experienced owner, our guide will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to navigate the car buying process with confidence.
Getting your car titled in California can be a long and arduous process. It takes time to go through the steps to get it done. The best way for you to get what you need is with our title transfer ownership services. Once you’ve completed everything there’s no need to worry about getting pulled over by law enforcement because of an outstanding registration or license plate issue. For more information on the process continue reading below.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles accepts many forms for you to be able to do a transfer in California. The most common form to accept to do a transfer is the California certificate of title. However, there are cases in which the previous registered owner/seller does not have the title. Listed below are the most common forms of documentation to accept for transferring a title.
When you’re buying a vehicle in California there are a few things to keep in mind in terms of how much it is going to cost you. The #1 determining factor in pricing is sales price and sales tax. The more you paid for this vehicle the more you will pay in sales tax & the VLF (vehicle licensing fee). The rate in tax that you’ll pay is relative to what city/county you’re in. Some cities, in addition to county taxes, have to pay a city tax as well. This is why when you’re pricing out how much it costs to change the vehicle ownership of your car it is imperative that you give the most accurate information – correct city and zip code – as this information will greatly impact price. I’ll give you an example, Riverside city has roughly 8 different zip codes – the zip code 92509 will not charge a city tax, but the zip code 92501 will.
Aside from the taxes, you pay the upcoming registration fees, or any overdue registration fees will impact the price to transfer the vehicle into your name. Calling the Department of Motor Vehicles with the vehicle registration information prior to committing to the purchase of the vehicle is a good step to make sure that you know what you’re dealing with in terms of cost. Sometimes finding out that a vehicle owes back fees allows you to negotiate on the purchase price of the vehicle. The following fees are also collected by the DMV:
The DMV says this to the new owner: “Buyer beware” – do your due diligence. In most cases, the DMV will not waive fees unless you can prove that you were misled intentionally by the previous owner.
Any time you do a transfer in California the SELLER is supposed to provide you with a certificate indicating that the vehicle has passed smog. However, if the vehicle was smogged within the last 90 days, that same smog can be used. If you don’t actually have the smog in your possession, don’t worry, the BAR has a record of all smogs for vehicles in a database, click here to check out the smog history of your vehicle: https://www.bar.ca.gov/services/Vehicle/PubTstQry.aspx
In California, once your vehicle is older than 9 years old you will no longer be REQUIRED to document the odometer reading, however, it is advisable that you do for record keeping’s sake. There are certain units that will not require any odometer readings:
If you have an MSO, or MCO, or out-of-state titles the requirements to register your vehicle are slightly different than a vehicle that has already been titled in California. Please click here for additional information on how to register an out-of-state vehicle.
The California DMV will not ask you to provide proof of liability insurance when you are going to transfer ownership of a vehicle. However, it is still required to have it to operate a vehicle in California.
Listed below are a few tips that I HIGHLY recommend before you commit to the purchase of a vehicle.
I think it’s important to understand the small distinction between the title (proof of ownership, certificate of title, being an owner of a vehicle) and registration (fees that are paid so the vehicle can operate on California roads). You can own a vehicle that is not registered. It is possible to transfer a vehicle into your name without paying the registration IF the vehicle is in non-op. On the flip side, you can register a car but not title it. The bottom line: they are two separate things.
Once you have completed the
The DMV now has a “virtual field office” (VFO) that allow customers to do CA DMV title transfer online – or so they make the customer think it’s done online.
What we have learned about VFO is that you still must provide ORIGINAL documents and they must be sent to the DMV – the “online” transaction is very much paper dependent. The DMV title status remains incomplete if those documents are not received.
Additionally, the California DMV is notorious for losing the paperwork that is mailed to them. It is strongly advised to not attempt a DMV title transfer online.
If you require additional information on how to title and register your vehicle please fill out the form below with your contact information and your inquiry and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
We’re here to help! Our team of experts will handle all the paperwork for you, so you can get back on the road in no time. Just sit back, relax, and let us do all the work while you enjoy a cup of coffee. It doesn’t get any easier than that! You don’t have to worry about dealing with complicated forms or getting lost in confusing jargon because we take care of everything for you. So stop wasting your time at the DMV and start enjoying life again today by letting us take care of it for you