In the U.S., the selling of used vehicles between individuals or dealerships is one of those things much more often regulated by state law than at the federal level. While there are some laws that are common to all states, each state imposes different regulations on the buying and selling of used vehicles. And if you are selling a used car in California, you’re most likely to find yourself dealing with not only these laws, but also those specific regulations of the California DMV too. Luckily, the process is fairly simple when you know what you’re doing. Whether you want to sell a used car in Sacramento, LA or the Central Valley, the rules are broadly the same, and there are a few things you can expect to need. Luckily, professional companies like Cash for Cars in Sacramento can offer expertise and guidance to make the whole transaction go a little smoother. With the right documents and preparation, the whole transaction can be speedy, secure, and ultimately easy. Selling through a used car dealership also removes many of the hassles, risks, and extra regulation that can make selling your car privately a bit more of a headache. Here is what you need: Proof of Car Age The first thing to do when selling your used car to a dealership is to check how old the car is. Although it is perfectly possible to attain the documents to show that any car is in good working order, many dealerships will not take cars over a certain age. Some cars, by virtue of their make and model, will be automatically considered new enough if that make was not manufactured before a particular date. For older makes (especially those that have been in production for a long time) it might be worth getting a proof of purchase or some other documentation. However, so long as the car was acquired from a reputable party, this should not be a big problem. DMV Forms In the state of California, the DMV considers any change of ownership as a “vehicle transfer,” and this is something that must be documented in forms. To sell your used car in California, you will always require a Certificate of Title for your car, also known as the REG 227 form. If you have the original paper title, then you can use that without the need for any duplicate. If you don’t, simply pick up a REG 227 form from the DMV and fill it out. Beyond this form, you will also need your signature (easy enough!) and the signature of the buyer. You will also require a record of the transfer fee to submit to the DMV after the car has been sold. This is known as form FFVR 24 and should be filled out with the details of the sale. Smog Certification In California, most cars require a certification from a STAR smog testing station. There are quite a few exemptions to this though. If your car is less than four years old, you are all good; and at the other end, if your vehicle was made before 1997 (diesel) or 1975 (gas), then you don’t require one either. Weight also plays a role here, with vehicles with a GVW over 14,000 also being exempt. It is the responsibility of the seller to provide this, so it’s best to check if it’s needed early on. Beyond such documentation (which is all fairly standard), selling your car is not particularly tricky, especially with a professional dealership to make things smoother.

What Do I Need to Sell My Car in California?

In the U.S., the selling of used vehicles between individuals or dealerships is one of those things much more often regulated by state law than at the federal level. While there are some laws that are common to all states, each state imposes different regulations on the buying and selling of used vehicles. And if you are selling a used car in California, you’re most likely to find yourself dealing with not only these laws, but also those specific regulations of the California DMV too. Luckily, the process is fairly simple when you know what you’re doing. 

Whether you want to sell a used car in Sacramento, LA or the Central Valley, the rules are broadly the same, and there are a few things you can expect to need. Luckily, professional companies like Cash for Cars in Sacramento can offer expertise and guidance to make the whole transaction go a little smoother. With the right documents and preparation, the whole transaction can be speedy, secure, and ultimately easy. Selling through a used car dealership also removes many of the hassles, risks, and extra regulation that can make selling your car privately a bit more of a headache. 

Here is what you need:

Proof of Car Age

The first thing to do when selling your used car to a dealership is to check how old the car is. Although it is perfectly possible to attain the documents to show that any car is in good working order, many dealerships will not take cars over a certain age. Some cars, by virtue of their make and model, will be automatically considered new enough if that make was not manufactured before a particular date. For older makes (especially those that have been in production for a long time) it might be worth getting a proof of purchase or some other documentation. However, so long as the car was acquired from a reputable party, this should not be a big problem.  

DMV Forms

In the state of California, the DMV considers any change of ownership as a “vehicle transfer,” and this is something that must be documented in forms. To sell your used car in California, you will always require a Certificate of Title for your car, also known as the REG 227 form. If you have the original paper title, then you can use that without the need for any duplicate. If you don’t, simply pick up a REG 227 form from the DMV and fill it out. Beyond this form, you will also need your signature (easy enough!) and the signature of the buyer. 

You will also require a record of the transfer fee to submit to the DMV after the car has been sold. This is known as form FFVR 24 and should be filled out with the details of the sale. 

Smog Certification

In California, most cars require a certification from a STAR smog testing station. There are quite a few exemptions to this though. If your car is less than four years old, you are all good; and at the other end, if your vehicle was made before 1997 (diesel) or 1975 (gas), then you don’t require one either. Weight also plays a role here, with vehicles with a GVW over 14,000 also being exempt. It is the responsibility of the seller to provide this, so it’s best to check if it’s needed early on. 

Beyond such documentation (which is all fairly standard), selling your car is not particularly tricky, especially with a professional dealership to make things smoother.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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