California Vehicle Bill of Sale Form

A California motor vehicle bill of sale form is an essential document that displays particulars of a vehicle sale agreement between a buyer and seller in California. It’s a legal tool that contains all the necessary transaction details such as the buyer’s and seller’s name, purchase price, date of the sale, inspection date, and other relevant details.

The bill of sale document assists individuals in purchasing a genuine car without falling into the hands of fraudsters. After filling out the bill of sale template, the buyer and seller must sign it to complete the agreement. The parties can also use Form REG 135 to finalize vehicle sales in California. This official bill of sale form is provided by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

California bill of sale forms – see other bills of sale common in California.


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Document Details

Document Name California Vehicle Bill of Sale Form
Other Names California Car Bill of Sale, California Automobile Bill of Sale
DMV California Department of Motor Vehicles
Vehicle Registration Fee Varies depending on vehicle type, purchase price, city/county, dates etc.
Bill of Sale Required? No
Avg. Time to Fill Out 7 minutes
# of Fillable Fields 28

How to Write a CA Vehicle Bill of Sale

In California, for any vehicle transactions, you can use the official form of a bill of sale, known as Form REG 135. Scroll down to see a detailed explanatory guide on the parts this bill of sale consists of and how to fill them out correctly.

Step 1: Describe the vehicle

In the vehicle description section, you need to type in the factual information regarding the vehicle being sold. The required details are:

  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Year of the model
  • Vehicle make
  • License plate (CF #)
  • Motorcycle engine

The vehicle's description section of California car bill of sale

Step 2: Specify all the transaction details

In the next section, you need to write down the information regarding the transaction, including:

  • Purchaser’s name
  • Seller’s name
  • Date of the transfer
  • Selling price

If the vehicle is transferred as a gift, you need to clarify the relationship between the parties (e.g., parents, spouse, child, etc.) and enter the gift value.
Part for descriptive details of transaction of California motor vehicle bill of sale

Step 3: Add the seller’s certification

The seller must certify that the written information is correct and sign the document. Be sure to write a print name (all caps), and provide a dealer ID number. And the date of signing the agreement.

Part for the seller's certification of California motor vehicle bill of sale

Step 4: Fill out the seller’s details

The seller needs to provide their contact details, including:

  • Mailing address
  • City
  • State
  • Zip code
  • Daytime phone number

Make sure all the information is listed without errors and is valid.
Part for descriptive details of the seller of California motor vehicle bill of sale

Step 5: Specify contact details of the purchaser

First, type in the buyer’s name in all capital letters. Then, the form requires you to provide the viable mailing address, city, state, zip code, and phone number.

Part for descriptive details of the buyer of California motor vehicle bill of sale

You need to make two identical copies of each party’s bill of sale form to have the original document. Make sure that the seller signs both copies.

As notarization is not required for this form, you are free to print the form and call it a day. Use the bill of sale for title transfer or registration of your car at local authorities.

Form REG 135
Form REG 343
Form REG 227
Form REG 156

Form REG 135 is the official bill of sale form provided by the California Department of Motor Vehicles to record the sale of vehicles or vessels.

Form REG 135

Form REG 343 or Application for Title or Registration/Verification of Vehicle is a legal document allowing a person to register the newly purchased vehicle.

Form REG 343

Application for Duplicate or Transfer of Title (Form REG 227) is designed for everyone who needs to replace the title if the original one is lost, stolen, or illegible.

Form REG 227

Form REG 156, known as Application for Replacement Plates, Stickers, Documents, is used to apply for new documents or plates, for example, if your vehicle has been stolen.

Form REG 156
Template Preview
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Registering a Motor Vehicle in California

After completing the sale, the buyer must proceed to the registration process. You will need to contact the Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV) office to book an appointment to register your vehicle. Note that you have to conclude the process before the lapse of 30 days after the purchase. Ensure that you start the paperwork in time to avoid last-minute inconveniences. If you buy your car from a local dealer, the owner will have to process the registration papers for you. However, if you buy it from a private party, you will have to collect documents yourself  for presentation at the DMV.

First, you will need to complete a vehicle  bill of sale to prove the transfer of ownership and obtain the original title for the car with an odometer reading. If you do not have the title, you must file an Application for Title or Registration (Form REG 343).

In California, a smog certificate is crucial when you want to register your car. It is typically a requirement if the car is below ten years old. However, if the seller has a smog certificate with two-year renewal validity within the last ninety days, you can still present it at the DMV. If you need more information about the smog inspection certificate, you can visit the website. Here, you can search the information with your zip code to find out your local station and if the county you reside in conducts smog inspections.

You will have to also produce proof of identification and the insurance agency. It is vital to ensure that you are the legitimate purchaser of the vehicle. As a buyer, you need to foot the costs of the title, CHP, registration, plus any other valid taxes that arise from the process.

It is imperative to note that all of these safety inspections mentioned above are not necessary if you are registering a new vehicle.

The buyer, on the other hand, must get a copy of the Release of Liability (Form REG 138) and fill out all of the information. It is a legit document informing the State of California that the buyer is no longer liable for the vehicle after the sale.

Another vital document for new California residents is an approved residency document from the website. You must submit proof of residency among the other documents.

Once you gather all of the above paperwork, please submit it to the DMV office and register your car.

seal of california state

Other Vehicle Bill of Sale Forms by State

Published: May 8, 2022