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November 23, 2010 12:21 PM   Subscribe

CA-DMV: What's the process for re-titling an out-of-state car that's already registered in California? The DMV site doesn't seem to cover this case and I'd rather find out before spending a day in line.

I moved to CA a while back, and like a good boy, registered with the DMV immediately and got California plates. I bought the car out of state. Having paid off the loan last week, the bank just mailed the original out-of-state title.

According to the DMV's website, the same form is used for both title and registration applications, so technically I already filled it out years ago. Do I have to do it again? It sort of scares me that I would have to go through the on-site inspection again, since that's part of the form.

Or, did the state generate a title and just never mail it to me or the bank when I applied the first time?

And, last question, does the DMV have a number I can call or an e-mail address for general questions? From their site, it appears that questions have to be mailed in via USPS.
posted by hwyengr to Law & Government (7 answers total)
Best answer: Telephone: 1-800-777-0133 Hearing Impaired: TTY 1-800-368-4327
posted by circular at 12:40 PM on November 23, 2010

Response by poster: Heh. Right at the top. Thought that was for office closure info.
posted by hwyengr at 12:46 PM on November 23, 2010

IIRC, they're pretty helpful on the phone.
posted by circular at 12:55 PM on November 23, 2010

I haven't lived in CA for several years, and I might be wrong about this, but do you even need to transfer the title to CA if it's already in your name? When I moved from CA to TX, I had the option of creating a TX title but chose not to. No one cared.
posted by puritycontrol at 12:56 PM on November 23, 2010

Response by poster: I probably wouldn't care about the new title, except I would like to get the leinholder's name off of there.
posted by hwyengr at 1:29 PM on November 23, 2010

Response by poster: For the record, according to the guy on the phone, since it's already registered in California, all it needs is a duplicate title.

My registration card says "No title issued", so we'll see if that actually works.
posted by hwyengr at 1:48 PM on November 23, 2010

Best answer: I think the magic words you're looking for may be "convert from nontransferable registration".
posted by equalpants at 1:50 PM on November 23, 2010

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