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All Topics > Title Transfer > My Grandparents Gave Me a Car Without a Title or License Plates

My Grandparents Gave Me a Car Without a Title or License Plates

I received a car from my grandparents. The license plates were gone and they lost the title (pink slip). What should I do to get the car registered to my name?

You'll need to use three forms to complete this transaction and transfer the vehicle to your name; a REG 227 (Application for Duplicate Title), a REG 156 (Application for Duplicate License Plates) and a REG 256 (Statement of Facts). The REG 227 will need to signed by both yourself and your grandparent(s). The other two forms can be completed and signed by only you. Ensure you checkmark "Transfer of Title with Duplicate or Paperless Title on the top left of the REG 227. The REG 227 will be turned over to the DMV in lieu of the car's title. Since the transfer is between family members, you will not need to obtain a smog test. Simply complete and sign the REG 256 indicating the vehicle is exempt from a smog check and Use Tax (since it was given to you as opposed to having purchased it). On the REG 256 complete sections A and B, and don't forget to include your vehicle's make, year and VIN number on the top of each page. Once you've got your documents in order you may visit a local DMV branch office, complete the title transfer process online through NeedTags or have a private vehicle registration office complete the transfer for you. Download the necessary title transfer forms from our DMV Forms page.


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The VIN is a 17 digit identification number assigned to automobiles.

The VIN can also be found on your registration card or renewal notice.

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