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How To Register an Out of State Vehicle in California
Dear NeedTags, my daughter has a car that's actually titled in my business name. I'd like to get it transferred into her name during the registration process and then I'd like to register it in California. She just moved into an apartment in Orange County, and I know she'll need to get her driver's license changed from a Texas driver's license to a California driver's license. After she does that, how do I go about getting California plates and current registration? Thank you!
It's a pretty simple process really. It'll be handled as an out-of-state vehicle purchase, from your business to her. Your business on it's own can not obtain title in California unless it has a California address. This is probably not what you were considering doing anyway. We just wanted to mention it in case.
So, obviously she will need to obtain California registration in order to drive the vehicle legally here. The process will be similar to that of a California title transfer except an out of state vehicle will need to have its vehicle identification number (VIN) verified by the CHP or certified VIN verification facility, and a VIN Verification Form (REG 31) completed. A VIN verification can be obtained at a California DMV office, California Highway Patrol Station or certified VIN verification facility, with appointment. She will also be required to surrender the current out of state title and submit a California Application for Title or Registration Form (REG 343). The REG 343 must be signed by you (your business) and all registered owners shown on the out-of-state registration or title.
Finally, she'll need to get a smog inspection. One can obtain at any smog check station in California. The results of the inspection are sent to the DMV electronically within 24 hours of passing the smog inspection. The smog station will also give her a print out of the car's smog check results.
So basically, the process will entail rather than the vehicle being transferred to her in Texas and then her obtaining California title here, much simply, her buying the vehicle or being gifted the vehicle, as an out of state title transfer from the current out-of-state owner. Note: If you're giving the vehicle to her as a gift, the process may only be handled at an DMV office, as opposed to a private DMV services provider or AAA office, and she'll need a REG 256 (Statement of Facts Form) attesting the vehicle has been acquired as a gift and no use tax due; which ranges between 9% and 10% depending on the county in which she's registering in. If you want to use our online car title transfer fee calculator, it'll give you the amount of DMV title transfer fees which will be due when she applies for the registration. You'll need to use a purchase date of today or a date in the past (make sure it's not later than 30 days of the date you use the calculator so it does not add late fees). The calculator will not work with any date in the future.
All the forms you'll be needing can be downloaded from our DMV forms download page.