car titles and mail forwarding in California
September 16, 2017 9:17 AM   Subscribe

I bought a used car in California before moving to Pennsylvania, and never got the title in the mail. Help!

In early August I bought a used car in California, with cash. I went to the DMV to transfer the title and registration. Then I moved out of state, to Pennsylvania, before the title arrived in the mail. I had mail forwarding set up so I figured the title would just get forwarded to me there since it would be sent first class, but it seems mail from the DMV doesn't get forwarded for various reasons--apparently if something says 'Return Service Requested' it gets sent back to the sender, maybe with the new address, instead of forwarded.

What do I do to get the title without going back to California? Looking online I see a form for requesting a duplicate title but it seems to require being notarized (by a CA notary? it asks for the county in CA) and there's also something about needing to show up in person if you have a different address than is on file, so I'm not sure exactly how that would play out. I only need to have a different mailing address so I can get the title, and then probably transfer it to a PA title.

I am specifically hoping for advice from someone who has experienced something similar to this or works at the DMV rather than people's educated guesses.
posted by needs more cowbell to Law & Government (3 answers total)
Response by poster: Also: I know I can change my address online. They divide that into mailing address, residence, and a location the vehicle is kept. Can I be honest and change my residence/location the vehicle is kept to PA and still have them send me the title, or do I need to pretend I'm only changing my mailing address for this moment? Like, will that trigger some instant thing to push me to register the car in PA (which I can't do yet because I don't have a copy of the title!)?
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:02 AM on September 16, 2017

try calling DMV in CA
posted by patnok at 10:22 AM on September 16, 2017

I needed duplicate titles when I moved out of CA this year. Because I lose things.
First I did the change of address forms. Waited to verify that they were in the system.
Then I requested the duplicate titles and paid those fees. The titles arrived within a month
If you read the form carefully, notarization is required for some things on it but not for titles. At any rate, we didn't notarize and had no problems.
posted by SLC Mom at 10:23 AM on September 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

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