California Vehicle Title Replacement: Get a Duplicate CA Title

Looking to get a California (CA) car title replacement or duplicate? Click here to read about the California replacement title process.
California Vehicle Title Replacement: Get a Duplicate CA Title | PutInYourVIN.com

Is there a problem with your vehicle’s California title? If so, you should apply for a duplicate California title.

If you ever intend to transfer ownership of your vehicle, having the title is important. This is the legal document that proves you own the vehicle. You can’t sell it, donate it, or complete your vehicle registration or renewals without it, so keep it safe!

If your original California Certificate of Title has been lost, stolen, mutilated, or is illegible, a replacement must be obtained. If no legal owner is listed in the DMV’s records, an Application For Replacement or Transfer of Title (Form REG 227) must be completed and submitted along with the replacement fees.

How can I get a duplicate title when my vehicle was last titled in California?

You always need the following form:

You may need these forms:

You may also need the following information handy:

  • Driver License Number or ID Card Number
  • License Plate Number
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • The Vehicle’s Year, Make & Model
  • Vehicle Registration Card for Proof of Ownership (if your address has changed)
  • Lienholder Information (if you’re still paying off a vehicle loan)

To get a replacement title from the California DMV, follow these steps:

  1. Fill out an Application For Replacement or Transfer of Title (Form REG 227)
  2. Pay the replacement title fees (fees can vary)
  3. Mail in the application form or bring it to a California DMV office.

NOTE: A Verification of Vehicle (REG 31) form completed by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is required if a replacement title was issued within the last 90 days.

How to Complete Application For Replacement or Transfer of Title (Form REG 227)

Complete the identifying information at the top of the REG 227 (vehicle license plate or vessel CF number, vehicle/hull identification number [VIN/HIN], year/make of vehicle or vessel) and select one of the following:

Replacement Title: This is a replacement for a lost, stolen, mutilated, illegible, or unreceived original California Certificate of Title. If the location of the original title is known but not readily available, a replacement will not be issued. The word “REPLACEMENT” is printed at the top of a replacement California Certificate of Title, indicating that the original is no longer valid.

  • Complete Sections 1 through 3 on the front of the REG 227.
  • Check the appropriate box in Section 3.

Paperless Title Certification: This option is only used by participants in the electronic lien/titling (ELT) program (bank/finance company) who receive electronic ownership records instead of paper titles.

  • Complete Sections 1 through 3 on the front of the REG 227.
  • Check the Paperless Title box in Section 3.

Transfer of Title with Replacement or Paperless Title: Select this option when you are transferring ownership using the REG 227 in lieu of an actual title which is lost, stolen, mutilated, illegible, not received, or paperless.

  • The seller and the legal owner, if any, complete the front of the REG 227 and give the form to the new owner. The new owner completes the back of the REG 227 and submits the form to DMV.

Complete the appropriate sections of the REG 227 as follows:

Section 1: REGISTERED OWNER(S) OF RECORD – Please print name as it appears on the Title/Registration.

Section 2: LEGAL OWNER OF RECORD (LIENHOLDER/TITLE HOLDER) – Do not enter name of owners above.

  • Enter the legal owner’s name, if any, as it appears on the title/registration.

Section 3: MISSING TITLE STATEMENT – WARNING: Issuance of a replacement title cancels the original title.

  • Must be completed/signed by the person who lost the title.
  • Any remnants of a mutilated/illegible title must be surrendered to DMV.

In Section 3 of the form, check the “Lost” box to notify the CA DMV that your original title may still be floating around somewhere. It is important to note when filling out the duplicate California title application that the duplicate title will void the original.


  • The printed name/signature of each registered owner is required if names are joined by “and” (indicated by “/”).
  • A company or business must include the company/business’s printed or stamped name and authorized representative’s countersignature (Example: ABC Co. by John Smith).


  • To replace a lost title containing a release by the legal owner, the legal owner’s notarized release on the REG 227 or notarized lien satisfied is required. For vehicles 2 model years old and newer, a lien cannot be released on the REG 227 or by any form of notarized lien satisfied in conjunction with the REG 227; the legal owner must apply for a replacement title, then release interest on the actual title.

Section 6: NEW REGISTERED OWNER(S) – Print true full name as shown on Driver’s License/Identification Card.

  • The printed name/signature of each new owner is required.
  • A company or business must include the company/business’s printed or stamped name and authorized representative’s countersignature (Example:Joseph Smith for ABC Co).
  • DL/ID card number(s) of the new owner(s) is required.
  • If the vehicle was received from a parent/child, grandparent/grandchild, spouse, domestic partner, or sibling (minors related by blood or adoption), a Statement of Facts (REG 256) form Section A and H must be completed/submitted.

Section 7: NEW LEGAL OWNER (LIENHOLDER/TITLE HOLDER) – If there is a new legal owner, print the name. If none, write “None.”

Does Form REG 227 Need to Be Notarized?

Notarization is not required if the registration does not show a legal owner.

My Registration Card Reads “Nontransferable/No California Title Issued,” Can I Use a REG 227?

No, you must obtain a title from the state in which the vehicle was most recently titled.

If you are unable to obtain a title from that state, provide documentation demonstrating why. A bond for a motor vehicle may be required (contact DMV for more information).

Where Do I Submit the REG 227?

Submit your application and fees (if any) to a California DMV office or mail it to:

P.O. Box 942869
Sacramento, CA 94269.

NOTE: If you are applying for a replacement title (no ownership transfer) and the registered owner’s name or address does not match DMV records (except for obvious typographical errors), you must submit your application in person with proof of ownership (Ex. Registration Card) and acceptable photo ID (Ex. Driver’s License/ID Card). More information about changing your California address can be found here.

Can I Pick Up a California Title at the DMV?

No. All titles are mailed.

When Will I Receive My Replacement California Title?

You will receive your California title in the mail within 15 to 30 calendar days of submitting your replacement title application.

Can the Title Be Expedited?

You may request rush title processing through DMV headquarters. See the How To: Request Rush Title Processing (HTVR 23) brochure.

What is the cost to get a duplicate/replacement California certificate of title?

Depending on the application, the following fees may be due:

NOTE: Renewal fees and parking/toll violations are not required to be paid in order to obtain a replacement California Certificate of Title.

How can I get a duplicate title when my vehicle was last titled outside of California?

The vehicle’s registered owner must apply for a duplicate title through the state where the vehicle was previously titled.


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