When you sell or buy a motor vehicle in the State of California you need a state-approved Bill of Sale Form. This serves as a record of a sale and provides details of that sale and it’s not mandatory but it is recommended.
The Bill of Sale Form is designed so that both the seller and the buyer can keep a copy and they have to complete the top and bottom of the form.
The following information should appear on the California Bill of Sale Form:
- Name of the seller.
- Address of the seller.
- Name of the buyer.
- Address of the buyer.
- Vehicle information, including Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), make, model, year.
- Date of sale.
- The price paid.
- Signature of the seller or of the authorized representative.
California Bill of Sale Form
The California DMV requires several forms during a sale of a vehicle. To enumerate it requires the following forms:
– a properly completed title, the Odometer Disclosure Form REG 262 (required for vehicles 10 years old and under; contact your local DMV for a copy, not available online because it is printed on security paper);
– a smog certification if the vehicle is more than 4 model years old (unless you obtained one within the last 90 days);
– the Release of liability form REG 138 (required for all sellers).
Also the California DMV provides a Power of Attorney Form REG 260.
The Vehicle/Vessel Transfer and Reassignment Form REG 262 is a single document. Particularly the Form REG 262 provides space for a general Bill of Sale information, Odometer disclosure (you must provide an odometer disclosure if the vehicle is model year 2011 or newer) and Power of attorney. However because the Form REG 262 is printed on security paper that means it’s not available online. Accordingly this fact makes it compliant with federal odometer disclosure regulations.
Tips for Vehicle Sellers
As a seller completely fill in the title and give it to the buyer, whether or not you complete a Bill of Sale. A Bill of Sale is beneficial but not required.
Provide the odometer reading if the vehicle is model year 2011 or newer. Also obtain and provide to the buyer a smog certification if the vehicle is more than 4 model years old.
The seller should also download and complete the Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (Form REG 138). In the same way the seller may complete this step online using the NRL System within 5 calendar days of the motor vehicle transaction.
The seller should let the license plates go with the vehicle to the new owner. Otherwise it should keep the license plates if they’re personalized or special interest plates.
Junk vehicles are vehicles that have been dismantled or other events that have left them too damaged to operate. In some cases, junk vehicles are repaired and rebuilt.
So if you repair and rebuild a junk vehicle and want to sell it, you must provide the buyer with either a Bill of Sale with your dismantler’s acquisition number or a junk receipt. A junk receipt is an ownership document. The California DMV issues this document when you request “junk” status for your vehicle. It’s comparable to a car title and notes that the vehicle is a junk vehicle.
Tips for Vehicle Buyers
As a buyer you shouldn’t leave from a motor vehicle transaction without the title. The title is the proof of ownership, not the Bill of Sale, which in the State of California is not required.
You should check that the title includes accurate motor vehicle information including the make, model, year, odometer reading, and vehicle identification number (VIN). Look for words like “Original Taxi”, “Junked” and “Warranty Returned”.
Make sure everyone who should sign the title does so. Multiple names separated by “OR” means either party can sign the title but the word “AND” or a forward slash (“/”) means both parties must sign the title!
If you want to re-register a junk vehicle, you’ll need either the junk receipt or the Bill of Sale. Make sure the dismantler included his or her acquisition number. Altogether any other Bills of Sale that establish a chain of ownership from the person whose name is on the junk receipt or a Bill of Sale to you.
As a buyer you are required to report the ownership change to the California DMV within 10 days from the purchase date.
How to complete the California of Sale Form
The California Bill of Sale Form REG 135 is composed of three sections and two parts – the first part for the buyer and the second one (the copy) for the seller. Below you’ll learn how to fill out this form:
The first section contains the vehicle description. Here you’ll need to fill out the VIN or Vehicle Identification Number, Year, Make, and License plate number. After this you need to fill out the full name of the seller. Specifically the name must be PRINTED. This means to use only Capital Letters to write SELLER’S NAME. Further fill out the full name of the buyer. Accordingly the buyer’s name must be PRINTED. Again this means to use only Capital Letters to write BUYER’S NAME. After that enter the date of sale, the sum of the transfer price of the vehicle or the word GIFT. If it is a gift check the corresponding box. Please indicate also the relationship with the buyer (e.g. parent, spouse, friend) and the gift value:
The second section is a certification of the seller under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California. Accordingly you have to fill out the Seller information. This means the full name of the seller (the name must be PRINTED – this means to use only Capital Letters to write SELLER’S NAME). Then complete seller’s signature and date. Lastly seller’s street address, seller’s city, state, ZIP code and phone number:
In the third section you will need to fill out the Buyer information – the full name of the buyer. The buyer’s name must be PRINTED – this means to use only Capital Letters to write BUYER’S NAME. Additionally fill out buyer’s street address, buyer’s city, state and ZIP code:
Please note that you can fill out this Bill of Sale form by hand. However don’t forget to use a pen and not a pencil. If you are filling out this form on your device (phone, tablet, computer) this form is a fillable PDF that works best with Adobe Acrobat Reader.
The copy for the seller
The second part of the California Bill of Sale Form REG 135 represents the copy for the seller. Cut on line and keep it for your records. If you fill out the form on your device the second part is automatically completed:
More about the California Department of Motor Vehicles
For more information go to California Department of Motor Vehicles
The California Department of Motor Vehicle’s vision is to be a recognized leader in public service. To accomplish this vision our mission is to serve the public by providing quality licensing and motor vehicle-related services.
The two functions of the DMV that most people are familiar with are registering vehicles and licensing their drivers. There are approximately 33 million registered vehicles in California with 23 million licensed drivers. However, the DMV maintains and oversees many other functions.