Buying or Selling a Vehicle Changing Vehicle Ownership
This page contains links to the information necessary to change ownership if you buy, sell, transfer or give a vehicle to another party.
- National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) NEW
- Instructions for How to Request a Vehicle/Vessel Use Tax Clearance from the Board of Equalization
- Requirements for Buying a Vehicle
- Requirements for Selling a Vehicle and Protecting Your Liability
- Video: Title Transfer Where Do We Sign
- Car Buyer's Bill of Rights
- Buying an Out-of-State Vehicle
- Information on Storm Damaged Vehicles
- Smog Requirements
- Family Transfers
- Vehicles as Gifts/Inheritance
- Lien Sales
- What To Do After Paying Your Loan Off
- Financial Institution Listing (e.g., bank, credit union and financial/lending institutions)
- Vehicle Registration Forms
- Lemon Law Buyback Vehicles
Unless an exemption applies, sales/use tax applies on the purchase of vehicles/vessels in California. If vehicle/vessel is purchased from someone who is engaged in business in California, (vehicle/vessel dealers) that person is responsible for reporting/paying the sales tax.
However, if the vehicle/vessel is purchased, or received as compensation, from someone who is not a California dealer, use tax is due for the use of that property.
As explained, the purchase may qualify for an exemption from use tax.