California Duplicate Title is the way to go when your title is lost.
Whenever you sell a vehicle you need to hand over the title to the new owner. If you are selling your car or applying for a car title loan you have to have the title in your possession. If you lose your title you can always apply for a duplicate title. The form is called an REG 262. Basically you download the form off the internet or you can acquire one at your local DMV.
After you fill out the form and complete sections 1,3, and 4 this form will act as the title and will allow the buyer to transfer ownership into their name at the DMV.
You can only use the REG 227 if you are the registered owner of the vehicle. You can’t fill it out if the car has been yours for five years and is registered in your Grandpa’s name.
If you are the buyer and the seller presents you with a duplicate title be weary. The car could have a lien on it you are not aware of. The car could be branding salvage, have inconsistent odometer readings, or it could have been deemed a lemon. DON’T EXCEPT THE DUPLICATE TITLE UNTIL YOU HAVE DONE YOUR RESEARCH.
You don’t want to go to the DMV and find out their is still a lien on it or it’s salvage do you? The best thing to do is go with the seller to the DMV and transfer ownership there. That way you wont run into future problems and have a car that you can’t register.