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California Motor Vehicle/Boat Bill of Sale | Form REG-135

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The California Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale Form Reg-135 is a legal document to prove the sale and transfer of ownership from seller(s) to buyer(s). This particular document may be completed for both a vehicle or boat/vessel. Download the document complete and print. Both the buyer and seller must sign the document once the sale is at the point of completion.

Registering a Vehicle in California

Should you have a need to register a vehicle in the state of California, the first thing you will need to do is contact your  and make an appointment for the purpose of registering your vehicle. You must register your vehicle within 30 days of purchase. The sooner you make your appointment for registration, the better. If you’ve purchased your vehicle from a dealership, they generally take care of all of the registration paperwork for you. If you’ve purchased from an individual, as you’re awaiting your appointment date/time, you will need  gather the following documentation:

  • The vehicle title or Application for Title or Registration (Form Reg 343)
  • A bill of sale
  • The title must also include the current odometer reading
  • If the previous owner of the vehicle has renewed the smog certificate in the last 90 days and has renewed for two years, you will not be required to provide a smog certificate – If this isn’t the case, you will need to provide a smog certificate if the vehicle is less than 10 years old. You may check the that addresses smog inspections and enter a zip code to see if you’re in an area that requires smog inspections and if so, where your is located.
  • Identification
  • Proof of Auto Insurance
  • Be prepared to pay the Title Fee, CHP Fee, Registration Fee and any applicable Taxes.
  • Safety Inspections are not usually required for newer vehicle.
  • Release of Liability (Form REG 138) – Use to let the State know that you no longer are operating the vehicle and that any accidents or damage that is conducted by the automobile is not your responsibility.

Once you have all of your documentation prepared, keep your appointment and register your vehicle with the state of California

Registering a Boat/Vessel in California

If your boat or vessel is propelled by sail and is 8 feet+ in height or is motorized in any way, you must register your boat before it may enter the water. If your boat/vessel is registered in another state, and you’re relocating to the state of California, you will have 120 days in which to register your boat. After 120 days, if you operate your boat on any bodies of water in the state, to include any private lake you will then be in violation. If you’ve purchased a motorized or sail equipped boat/vessel, in California and are registering for the first time, you will require the following:

  • You will require an Application for Registration Number, Certificate of Ownership and Certificate of Number for Undocumented Vessel (BOAT 101)
  • Proof of ownership. This could be the out-of-state title in the applicant’s name or properly endorsed for transfer and signed by the applicant. A bill of sale is acceptable in the stead of the seller’s signature on a title.
    OR
  • The original or a certified copy of a conditional contract of sale or security showing the purchaser’s name and any lien holder and which is marked “paid” and is countersigned,
    OR
  • A bond for the boat/vessel value if proof of ownership is unavailable as provision. As well, the vessel’s value if the actual value of the vehicle is in excess of $2,000.
  • It will also be necessary for your boat trailer to be registered separately.

Take all documentation, with proof of identification and preparation to pay the needed fees for registration to your local DMV

How To Write

Step 1 – Section 1 – Vehicle or Vessel Identification Information -Begin by entering the following information:

  • Vehicle or vessel identification number, for a vehicle also known as the VIN
  • Year Model
  • Make
  • License Plate or CF number
  • Motorcycle engine number

Step 2 – Basic Buyer and Seller Information – enter the following buyer/seller information required:

  • Line 1 – enter by printing the seller(s) name(s)
  • Line 2 – print the buyer(s) name(s)
  • Enter the date of the sale in mm/dd/yyyy format
  • Enter the price of the item sold
  • If this item is being gifted, enter the relationship with the person(s) the item is being gifted to.
  • Enter the value of the gift
  • Read the statement, if you agree, continue

Step 3 – Seller and Buyer Information – The seller(s) and buyer(s) are required to complete the following information on both the top and bottom sections of the document. If there are two sellers and/or buyers, both parties on either or both sides must complete the blocks provided

  • Seller(s) –
  • Print Seller(s) name(s)
  • Provide Seller(s) signature(s)
  • Enter Seller(s) Driver’s License  (DL), State Identification (ID) or Dealer Number
  • Mailing address
  • City
  • State
  • Zip Code
  • Daytime Phone Number(s)
  • Buyer(s) – 
  • Print Buyer(s) name(s)
  • Mailing address
  • City
  • State
  • Zip Code
  • Daytime Phone Number(s)

Once all of the information is entered into the top and bottom sections of the form(s), cut and retain the bottom section so that both parties have an original copy of the document. The seller(s) will provide one of the originals to the buyer(s).



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