After you sell or transfer ownership of a vehicle or vessel to another party, complete a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (NRL) to let DMV know that ownership of the vehicle/vessel has changed.
When you sell or transfer your vehicle or vessel to another party, you are required to submit a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (NRL). This notifies DMV that ownership of the vehicle has changed and protects you from liability for parking violations, traffic violations, and civil litigation involving the vehicle.
The NRL is only used when ownership of the vehicle or vessel has changed. Legal owner transfers (transfers between lenders or removal of a lienholder from the title) do not require an NRL.
Frequently Asked Questions
After you properly complete the NRL and DMV receives the notice of transfer information, any liability for parking violations, traffic violations, or civil litigation after the date of sale becomes the responsibility of the subsequent purchaser. California Vehicle Code (CVC) §5602
Additionally, after we receive the NRL information and the vehicle record is marked, no further vehicle registration renewal notices will be mailed to you for the reported vehicle.
In the case of a suit or complaint, the court is responsible for determining if you have complied with the law and are exempt from civil and/or criminal liability.
You are required by law to notify DMV within five calendar days from the date you sell or transfer the title or interest in your vehicle, and deliver possession of the vehicle to another owner. CVC §5900
No. Only the buyer’s application for transfer, using the endorsed title received from you, can remove your name from the vehicle record.
We are required to collect the following information per CVC §5900:
- Description of the vehicle or vessel, including the:
- Vehicle license plate or vessel CF number (don’t key or print any symbols in the license plate configuration, e.g. ).
- Vehicle identification number (VIN) or vessel hull identification number (HIN).
- Vehicle make or vessel builder*.
- Model year*.
- New owner’s name and address.
- Vehicle odometer reading as of the sale or transfer date.
- Date of sale.
- Seller’s or lessee’s name and address.
If any of this information is missing, we may be unable to update the vehicle record, which may disqualify your liability exemption.
* This information is automatically provided when using the online application.
You will receive a confirmation when the NRL is sent to DMV. Print a copy of the confirmation and keep it in your records.
No. However, submitting the NRL yourself is the best way to ensure that DMV gets all the information in a timely manner. You may have someone else submit the NRL on your behalf, but you are still responsible if any information is missing.
You may put “unknown” in the new buyer’s name and address fields.
However, if any of this information is missing, we may be unable to update the vehicle record. This may disqualify your liability exemption.
Check to make sure that you entered the correct information. If it is correct and you continue to receive an error message indicating that there is no match, you will need to contact us at 1-800-777-0133.
No. Once you file an electronic NRL, the vehicle record will be updated within one business day.
Yes. You can complete a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (REG 138) and mail it to the address on the form.
For your protection, you should make a photocopy of the completed REG 138 for your file.
If any of the information is missing or illegible, DMV may be unable to update the vehicle record, which may disqualify your liability exemption.
You can complete a Request for Record Information (INF 70) and mail it, along with the required fee, to the address on the form.
- Actual mileage: The odometer reflects the actual mileage on the vehicle.
- Exceeds mechanical limits: The odometer has reached the highest number mechanically available and has started renumbering at 1(in other words, the odometer has “rolled over”).
- Not actual mileage: The odometer is broken or has been replaced, or the current owner is unsure of the true mileage.
If you receive a registration renewal notice for a vehicle that you no longer own, either:
- DMV didn’t receive your NRL.
- The NRL was incomplete or illegible.
In either case, you must submit another NRL for the record to be updated.
Registration renewal notices are computer generated more than 60 days prior to the expiration date. Occasionally, the renewal notice and the NRL cross in the mail. If this occurs, you may submit another NRL to ensure that the record is updated.
If the original NRL was submitted online, do not send the renewal notice or the confirmation page to DMV again. Your confirmation page is proof that the NRL was submitted.
Yes. Enter the business name in the last name field, and continue into the first name field if necessary.
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