What is a Title, and What Does it Do?
In the state of California, the certificate of title for a vehicle, whether car, truck, motorcycle, trailer, or off-road vehicle, is a form that states who is the legal owner of the vehicle. The owner could be an individual person or a business. This is a legal document and is usually issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The certificate of title states vehicle identification information including vehicle identification number, make, model, and year of the vehicle. It also states:
- Whether the vehicle is for private use or business use
- Owner’s (or owners’) full and legal name(s)
- Mailing address of the owner(s)
- Odometer mileage
- Date of registration
- Value of the vehicle
- Whether or not the owner is a member of the military
If there is money owed (such as a loan) on the vehicle, the lienholder’s name and information is also listed on the title.
Applying for a Duplicate Title
If your vehicle’s title has somehow been lost, stolen, or mutilated, you can replace it. If your car or truck is already titled in the state of California, you can apply to have it replaced easily. You will just need to fill out the necessary paperwork and pay the accompanying fees.
To receive a duplicate title:
- Complete the Application for Duplicate Title form (Reg 227). This includes the vehicle license plate number, your legal full name, physical address, and driver license number.
- Sign the statement of facts stating what happened to your damaged, stolen or lost title.
- Include the title if it is damaged.
- Pay the duplicate title replacement fee.
Now that you have all of the paperwork and the fee ready to request your duplicate title, you may submit it by mail, or you may deliver it in person to one of the many DMV office locations. You may make your appointment at the local DMV office or you can mail everything to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 942869
Sacramento, CA 94269-0001
If you choose to bring your request for your duplicate title to the DMV office, you will be required to show your State of California driver license.
Now that you have a replacement title for your car, truck or other vehicle, you must not attempt to use the previous title. The old title is now invalid. You will also want to put your new title in a safe location, not in your car.