So, you have a buyer for your vehicle and are eager to make the sale, but you can’t find the title. What should you do?
You could order a duplicate title, but that would take time and maybe your buyer isn’t willing to wait. Then what?
Transfer the vehicle using the REG-227.
The Application for Duplicate or Transfer of Title REG-227 is a DMV form that serves two purposes. If you have lost the title, it may be used to request a duplicate. It may also be used to apply for a duplicate title in conjunction with a transfer of a vehicle.
When requesting a Duplicate Title, the owner completes sections 1-3.
If a transfer in addition to a Duplicate Title request is occurring, the owner completes Section 1-4 and the Buyer completes Section 6-7.
Section 5 is only used when there is a Legal Owner on the record that needs to release interest in the vehicle; i.e. a bank or financial institution that has a lien on the vehicle. In this situation, the Legal Owner must be notarized when they sign the form.
If the vehicle is less than 10 years old, an odometer disclosure is also required. The REG-227 does not contain one. The odometer can be reported using a Vehicle/Vessel Transfer and Reassignment Form REG-262. The REG-262 is an industry form that is not available online. It can be obtained from the DMV or a DMV business partner like Totally Notary, a Registration Service licensed and contracted to perform title services.
The Bill of Sale REG-135 is always recommended when transferring a vehicle. It offers advantages for the both the Seller and Buyer. For the Seller, it documents the sale and gives proof of release of liability. It includes the buyer’s name and address which can be used to file the Release of Liability online. If the buyer gets a ticket or in an accident before registering it, the seller has some protection. For the Buyer, it documents the sale and defines the car’s condition at the time of purchase. It is important in establishing the chain of ownership.
I am sometimes asked if a vehicle can be transferred with just a Bill of Sale. Generally, no, but there are some circumstances where a vehicle bond may allow a bonded title to be issued. The DMV can advise whether the vehicle in question qualifies for a bonded title transfer.
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