Completing a private car sale in California takes some effort. You’ve got to dress up your car, take photos and post it online. After that, you must negotiate with potential buyers and schedule appointments. Once it’s all over though, the world is brighter and more vibrant, however selling the car isn’t the whole battle, but it is most of it. When your car’s new owner drives away, signed pink slip in one hand and smog certificate in the other, there’s one small task to take care of before you’re in the clear.
There’s one last thing to do after selling a car, and if you don’t accomplish this you’ll have to answer to the DMV in the form of lots of money.
What you need to do after selling your car is to notify the DMV. Thankfully you can do this online, and it only takes a few minutes. What you need to do is go to this page and fill out the Notice of Transfer And Release of Liability. Here’s where you’ll need the new owner’s information because what you’re doing is telling the DMV who now owns your car.
It’s called a release of liability because it lets the DMV know you are no longer responsible for your car. It’s important to do this as quickly as possible as the new owner is fully capable of crashing the car on their way home. So keep all of your information in relation to the car and the new owner. You do have five days to complete this step but the sooner the better. The new owner then has 10 days to notify the DMV that they’ve bought it, but that’s not your problem. It’s a pretty simple and easy thing to do, but it’s also easy to forget. So keep it in mind when you sell your car, and you won't get any trouble.
Finally, once you've notified the DMV of the transfer of liability, be sure to cancel your insurance. After all, why would you continue to pay insurance for a car you no longer own? Give them a quick call and tell them to remove the car from your policy and then you're all done.
As soon as these two things are completed you're free from any kind of responsibility in regards to the car. It's best to do all of this as soon as your car's new owner drives it away, after all, it's possible for them to get into a crash or a random drug deal that goes bust within a couple of blocks.
Not your typical used car salesman. Our team is here to provide honest and transparent advice about car buying and selling.