Make Sure you Notify the Department of Motor Vehicles if You Sell or Give Away your Car, Motorcycle, or other Motor Vehicle or You could Los Big Time

California Pink slip and tear off change of ownership form sample
California Pink slip and tear off change of ownership form sample

A common issue that is brought to my attention over and over again to such an extent that it is almost routine is the following scenario;

A person sells a car to another person, and that person gets into a car accident, commits a crime, or incurs a massive amount of parking tickets, before the person who sold the car notifies the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of the sale or giveaway, or before the new owner registers the car in their name, and they are now getting sued, or having law or parking enforcement coming after them as though they were the responsible party.

I literally get at least 5 calls a week with this exact same scenario.

In the State of California you MUST notify the DMV within 5 days when you sale or transfer ownership of your vehicle.

I am not going to discuss what you need to do if you screwed up and are in this nightmare scenario because it is situation specific.

What I will tell you is this; in the State of California, and I assume other States as well, there is an attachment sheet that is connected to your Certificate of Vehicle Title (Pink Slip) that is to be torn off only upon selling or giving away the car, filled out, and sent to the DMV to notify them that you have sold or given away your car.

The simple act of filling out this form and sending it to the DMV can and will save you a lot of time, hassle, and potentially tens of thousands of dollars.

This is not rocket science folks. You have to assume the person that you are selling or giving the vehicle to may not change the title in their name, thus leaving you on the hook.

Another thing I recommend is creating a bill of sale, or a giveaway agreement that the new owner signs upon receiving the car and the pink slip, which will give you further proof that you sold or gave away your vehicle.

If for some reason you lost the sheet that is attached to the Pink Slip, the DMV has an online system that is available here, to notify them of the change in ownership.

Don’t be a fool, when you sale or change ownership of your vehicle, notify the DMV or it could cost you big time.

If you or your family have been the victim of a truck crash, car crash, or other motor vehicle accident anywhere in California call us for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or go to http://www.thepersonalinjury.com.

By California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, © April 25, 2012

5 Responses to Make Sure you Notify the Department of Motor Vehicles if You Sell or Give Away your Car, Motorcycle, or other Motor Vehicle or You could Los Big Time

  1. […] var AdBrite_Title_Color = '000000'; var AdBrite_Text_Color = '000000'; var AdBrite_Background_Color = 'FFFFFF'; var AdBrite_Border_Color = 'CCCCCC'; var AdBrite_URL_Color = '808080'; try{var AdBrite_Iframe=window.top!=window.self?2:1;var AdBrite_Referrer=document.referrer==''?document.location:document.referrer;AdBrite_Referrer=encodeURIComponent(AdBrite_Referrer);}catch(e){var AdBrite_Iframe='';var AdBrite_Referrer='';} document.write(String.fromCharCode(60,83,67,82,73,80,84));document.write(' src="http://ads.adbrite.com/mb/text_group.php?sid=2048448&zs=3436385f3630&ifr='+AdBrite_Iframe+'&ref='+AdBrite_Referrer+'" type="text/javascript">');document.write(String.fromCharCode(60,47,83,67,82,73,80,84,62)); A common issue that is brought to my attention over and over again to such an extent that it is almost routine is the following scenario; A person sells a car to another person, and that person gets into a car accident, commits a crime, or incurs a massive amount of parking tickets, before the… Alltop RSS […]

  2. In some states, there is nothing the seller can do – it is all up to the purchaser to alert the DMV. In the event of a lawsuit, the judge could decide that the buyer had a responsibility to visit the DMV, and they could be held liable for not doing so. You are right, though; it would not hurt to tell the DMV that you have sold the vehicle, just in case.

  3. This thing is really a big issue in California so be very careful when selling your car to a friend or anybody. I have this friend who bought a car from another friend. When the buyer asks the owner if he could use the old plate number, the owner said yes thinking that it’s okay. Unfortunately, the police spotted that old plate number and they ended in a lawsuit, the worst is, a broken friendship.

  4. I think with time people are need to be aware about that fact that there carelessness about the vehicle registration is can make create a big difficulty from them.

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