Change a Legal Owner (HTVR 18)
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) cannot remove the legal owner until the proper documents and fees are submitted or the legal owner releases interest electronically.
You Will Need the following documents to transfer Legal owner:
– A California Certificate of Title or an Application for Duplicate or Paperless Title (REG 227).
– A notarized Lien Satisfied/Title Holder Release (REG 166)
Transfer Legal owner Only
– A change of only the legal owner (also known as a lienholder) for a vehicle/vessel may occur when a lien (loan) has been paid off or when the legal owner has changed and the registered owner remains the same (for example, when a car is refinanced).
– To have the legal owner’s name removed, you must submit the Certificate of Title and a transfer fee to DMV. The legal owner must release the lien on the Certificate of Title by signing on line 2. DMV will issue a new Certificate of Title and registration card to the registered owner.

Source: DMV California

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