How to Fill Out a Title in California Just Follow The Simple Diagram

Learn how to fill out a title by looking at the diagram below.

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If you are selling the vehicle privately you sign in two different places. The middle signature is where you sign when releasing interest in a vehicle while the bottom left one is where the seller signs to disclose the mileage. Some people make a common mistake of signing at the way bottom where the lien holder is supposed to sign when releasing interest in the vehicle. If you lost your title and need to get a duplicate download a REG227.

How to Fill Out a Title
How to Fill Out a Title


We realize the back of a California title can be at first confusing. Please watch this short video on how to fill out the back.


The dealer registers the vehicle for you when you buy from a used car dealership. The used car dealer provides you with a temporary registration that is valid for ninety days. Some exceptions to this rule apply if the buyer is going to register the vehicle out of the country or out of state. When that is the case the dealer gives the title to the buyer so that they can register the vehicle. When the vehicle is being registered in the same state the used car dealer takes care of the registration and mails the new registration to the buyer. The State send the new title of ownership to the new owner shortly after.

In the state of California it is the sellers responsibility to smog the vehicle before selling it. Every time ownership of the vehicle is transferred the smog check needs to be completed.

Make sure to check the vehicle history report before you buy the vehicle.

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  1. If I have the pink slip. Certif. Of Title
    Do I sign and date At the bottom of the title where it says 2. Signature releases interest in vehicle?

    1. chosenberg says:

      Make sure you sign on line 1a. Also, sign on the bottom left right under where it says “I certify (or declare) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.” Date it and print your name underneath. Have the buyer fill out the bottom right portion.

      1. Jonathan Palmquist says:

        You didn’t answer his question. I’m pretty sure the answer is no, “2.” is only for lienholders.

        1. chosenberg says:

          No. 2 Is only for Lien holders.

    2. No.. only if your’re a leanholder.

  2. If I want to add a lien holder only where does the owner sign?

    1. To add a lean holder you fill out the back section

  3. you didn’t answer Chris’ question –

  4. No offense chosenberg but you kind of gave every answer BUT the one Chris wanted to know. So is that a Yes or a No to what Chris asked because Im wondering the same thing? I understand all of that other stuff. The only line I am wondering about is Line 2 where its says “signature releases interest in the vehicle” Thanks

    1. chosenberg says:

      If you are selling a car privately and you have the title don’t worry about Line 2. That portion is only for when Lien Holders release interest in the vehicle.

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