A bill of sale is an essential document when buying or selling a vehicle in California. This document serves as legal proof of the transaction, ensuring a smooth transfer of ownership.
A Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) bill of sale is a vital document required when buying or selling a vehicle in California. This legal document not only serves as a record of the transaction but also ensures the smooth transfer of ownership between the parties involved.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explain the importance of the CA DMV bill of sale, and its role in the vehicle transfer process and provide a step-by-step walkthrough on how to accurately fill out the form.
What is a Bill of Sale?
A bill of sale is a legal document that records the transfer of ownership of a vehicle from the seller to the buyer. It provides critical information about the vehicle, the purchase price, and the parties involved in the transaction. This document is necessary for registration, taxation, and insurance purposes.
Why is a Bill of Sale Important?
A bill of sale is important for several reasons:
- Proof of ownership: It serves as evidence that the buyer is the new legal owner of the vehicle.
- Legal protection: Both the buyer and the seller are protected in case of any disputes or issues regarding the vehicle’s ownership, condition, or agreed-upon terms.
- Tax and registration purposes: The Bill of Sale is required when registering the vehicle with the California DMV and helps determine the appropriate sales tax.
How to Fill Out a California DMV Bill of Sale Form (REG 135)
The California DMV provides a standardized bill of sale form called the REG 135. This form is specifically designed for vehicle transactions in the state of California and captures all the required information for a successful transfer of ownership.
You can download the REG 135 form from the California DMV website, or you can obtain a printed copy from a local DMV office. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to fill out the REG 135 form:
- Vehicle Information: Enter the vehicle’s year, make, and model. Also, provide the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and License Plate Number.
- Seller Information: The seller must provide their full name, address, and driver’s license number.
- Buyer Information: The buyer must provide their full name, address, and driver’s license number.
- Purchase Price: Enter the agreed-upon purchase price of the vehicle. If the vehicle is a gift, write “GIFT” in this section and provide the relationship between the buyer and the seller.
- Odometer Disclosure: Federal law requires the seller to disclose the vehicle’s odometer reading at the time of the sale. Enter the current odometer reading and check the appropriate box to indicate if the mileage is actual, not actual, or exceeds mechanical limits.
- Date of Sale: Enter the date of the transaction.
- Signatures: Both the buyer and the seller must sign the Bill of Sale to validate the document.
Additional Requirements for Vehicle Transfer in California
While the bill of sale is a critical document in the vehicle transfer process, there are additional requirements when transferring ownership in California:
- Title Transfer: The seller must sign the Certificate of Title (pink slip) and provide it to the buyer.
- Smog Certification: For vehicles less than four years old, the seller must provide a smog certification issued within the last 90 days, unless exempt.
- Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability: The seller must submit a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability to the California DMV within five days of the sale.
- Vehicle Registration: The buyer must register the vehicle at a local DMV office within ten days of the purchase.
Understanding and completing the California DMV Bill of Sale form (REG 135) is crucial for a successful vehicle transfer in California. This legal document serves as proof of ownership, provides legal protection for both parties, and is necessary for tax and registration purposes.
By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure a smooth transfer of ownership and avoid potential complications.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to get give away cars for free or have any questions about the vehicle transfer process, head over to Gov Relations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a bill of sale for a private vehicle sale in California?
Yes, a Bill of Sale is required for private vehicle sales in California. It serves as legal proof of the transaction and is necessary for tax and registration purposes.
Can I use a generic bill of sale form instead of the California DMV REG 135 form?
While a generic Bill of Sale form may include similar information, it’s advisable to use the California DMV REG 135 form to ensure compliance with state-specific requirements.
Do I need a bill of sale for a vehicle purchased from a dealership?
In most cases, dealerships handle the required paperwork, including the Bill of Sale, title transfer, and registration. However, it’s always a good idea to keep a copy of the Bill of Sale for your records.