California Replacement Title

All you need to apply for a California replacement title is your driver’s license, VIN, plate numbers, and an application form.
Written by R.E. Fulton
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
To replace a lost or damaged title in California, you’ll need to fill out a replacement title application and submit it to the DMV along with a $23 fee. 
A certificate of title is the form that legally certifies your ownership of your car. If you move to a new state or sell your car, you’ll need to transfer the title—but if you can’t find it, or it’s too damaged to use, you can apply for a replacement title. 
Getting a duplicate title is a fairly simple process, but every state follows a different set of rules, so it’s important to understand your state’s replacement title procedure. That’s why the
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has compiled a guide to replacing your car’s title in California. 

What you’ll need to get a replacement title in California 

To apply for a replacement title in California, start by gathering all the information and documents you’ll need to complete the application. Make sure you have all of the following: 
If there is a lien on your vehicle, you’ll also need a notarized lien satisfied letter or a notarized
Lien Satisfied/Legal Owner/Title Holder Release (REG 166) form
If you’ve moved since the original title was issued, you’ll need to file your application in person and bring your registration card or registration renewal notice. 

How to apply for a replacement title in California 

You can apply for a replacement title in person, by mail, or online via the DMV Virtual Field Office. 
To apply for a replacement California title, you must download an Application for Replacement or Transfer of Title (REG 227) and complete the following steps: 
  • Print the vehicle owner’s name and address as it appears on the registration
  • Print the name and address of the lienholder, if applicable
  • Complete and sign the Missing Title Statement
  • Attach the damaged or illegible title, if applicable
Once you’ve filled out the application, you must get it notarized before you can submit it. You can submit your application online, take it in person to your local DMV office, or mail it to: 
Department of Motor Vehicles
Vehicle Registration Operations
P.O. Box 942869
Sacramento, CA 94269
The duplicate title fee in California is $23. Depending on the size and type of vehicle, you may have to pay additional fees. 
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How long does it take to get a replacement title in California?

Once you’ve completed your application, you will receive a replacement title by mail. In general, you can expect to receive your new title 15 to 30 days after the date the application was completed. 
If you need your replacement title sooner, you can apply by mail only for rush title processing. For a rush title, complete your replacement title application and send it to the following address with the $15 rush title processing fee and a note indicating “Rush Title Processing.” 
Department of Motor Vehicles
Rush Title Processing – MS D825
2415 1st Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95818

When do you need a replacement title? 

Your car’s title is the document that certifies ownership of the vehicle. It contains basic information about the vehicle and its owner, such as the vehicle identification number (VIN) and your name and address. 
You need the title to prove or transfer ownership of the car, so it’s one of the most important documents associated with your car. If you move to a new state or sell your car, you’ll need the title to complete the transfer of ownership to a new jurisdiction or owner—but if you can’t find the title or it’s damaged in any way, you will need to apply for a replacement. 
You need to apply for a replacement or duplicate title if your title is: 
  • Lost
  • Stolen
  • Illegible
  • Mutilated or damaged
  • Altered
  • Never received from the DMV
You cannot apply for a replacement title if you know where the original is. It’s important to keep your car’s title in a secure place that’s easy for you to access when you need it. 

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In most cases, California allows drivers to apply for a replacement title by mail, in person at a local DMV office, or online through the DMV Virtual Field Office. However, if your address has changed since the original title was issued, you’ll need to apply for a replacement title in person.
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