How to Prepare a California Title for my Vehicle

The person(s) named on the front of the title must follow these steps:

  1. Sign the title on line 1a, "Signature of Registered Owner."
  2. If the vehicle is less than 20 years old, also sign below the odometer section, "Transferor/ Seller Signature(s)." (If the vehicle is older than 20 years, do not sign the odometer section.)
  3. If there's a lien listed on the title, it must be released on the title, or accompanied by a separate lien release letter.

California Car Title how to sign


  • Buyer line must remain blank
  • If there are two owners listed on the title, you must follow these rules based on how the names are printed:
    • Owner 1 OR Owner 2 - Only ONE owner must sign
    • Owner 1 AND/OR Owner 2 - BOTH owners or EITHER owner may sign
    • Owner 1 AND Owner 2 - BOTH owners must sign
    • Owner 1 Owner 2 (No conjunction) - BOTH owners must sign
  • The name used to sign the title must exactly match the name shown on the title. If your name has changed since the title was issued, do not sign with your new name. Sign with name shown on the title.
  • Use black or blue pen, only
  • Avoid using white-out
  • Avoid rips/tears in the title
  • No strikethroughs or scribbles

Still have questions? Feel free to call our helpline at (833) 326-2227 or use the form below to send us a message.

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