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Old 02-17-2012, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Brisbane, Australia
309 posts, read 689,767 times
Reputation: 242

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Hi

Forgive what is going to sound like a really dumb question but I am British, only been in the US a year and currently living in Texas but relocating to OC and bringing my used vehicle I purchased on arrival in TX 1 year ago with me. I have looked at various posts and on the CA DMV website but this sentence confused me from that site:-

"Last issued out-of-state title. (Not required if there is no change of registered owner and a California title is not requested.) If the out-of-state title is not surrendered the California registration card issued will say nontransferable and a California title will not be issued"

I thought that title and registration were the same thing so I thought I would have to register my vehicle in CA within 20days of moving there and at the same time I would get a CA title. The above sentence says that I do not have to apply for a CA title when I register my vehicle?

Please can someone explain the difference to me?
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Placentia, Orange County, CA
201 posts, read 527,133 times
Reputation: 114
Very confusing; here's what I did. I brought my 13 month old Illinois registered vehicle, sales receipt and Illinois title to the DMV and let them sort it out. The vehicle had to be inspected at the DMV, smog certified and, in my case, weighed as it's a pick up. Don't fret, let them do the work, it's their job.

Do you have a Texas title for the vehicle or does a lender have the title? That may make a difference; my title was free and clear of any liens.
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Brisbane, Australia
309 posts, read 689,767 times
Reputation: 242
Thank you. Yes I guess it is their job but I would still like to understand the process better and what the difference is between title and registration and any pros or cons of not transferring the title to a CA one....
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:57 PM
 
590 posts, read 1,064,500 times
Reputation: 169
The title is one owns the car....for instance a parent owns the car but registers it in a teen child's name. They are not the same.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Brisbane, Australia
309 posts, read 689,767 times
Reputation: 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by nurserosie View Post
The title is one owns the car....for instance a parent owns the car but registers it in a teen child's name. They are not the same.
Ok, thank you. So now why does one need to change the title then to a CA title?
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Placentia, Orange County, CA
201 posts, read 527,133 times
Reputation: 114
If you are relocating from Texas to California to reside in California you will need to register your vehicle in California. You do not have to title the vehicle in California. However, if you choose to waive the California title, the vehicle will still be titled in the state of Texas making the title nontransferable in California. You wouldn't be able to sell/trade-in the vehicle since you don't have a California title. It makes good sense to title the car in California if you're living here.

There may be good reasons not to title it in California but I don't see any major benefits. Hope this helps.

Last edited by radiojunkie2006; 02-18-2012 at 07:26 AM..
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Brisbane, Australia
309 posts, read 689,767 times
Reputation: 242
Thank you radiojunkie2006 - that does help me understand why I would want to change the title to a CA one.
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,662 posts, read 26,155,372 times
Reputation: 5081
I have never had a problem buying cars with a different states title. CA will not issue a title to a automobile in a different state. But if the car is in CA and the title is clean(not disputed or stolen) there are no problems with using the car as a trade in or for sale.

I bought a Jeep CJ in Long Beach, CA for $100 that was licensed and titled in Illinois. The Jeep was not registered and was 4 years behind. I took the Illinois Title to the AAA club. I had to pay $20 to bring the Jeep current in Illinois before it could be transferred. If it had been behind with CA registration it would have cost nearly $1000 to bring current.
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:06 PM
 
1,410 posts, read 1,803,775 times
Reputation: 1156
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiojunkie2006 View Post
If you are relocating from Texas to California to reside in California you will need to register your vehicle in California. You do not have to title the vehicle in California. However, if you choose to waive the California title, the vehicle will still be titled in the state of Texas making the title nontransferable in California. You wouldn't be able to sell/trade-in the vehicle since you don't have a California title. It makes good sense to title the car in California if you're living here.

There may be good reasons not to title it in California but I don't see any major benefits. Hope this helps.
I lived in CA, paid off my car, got the CA title to it. Then moved to TX, went to register it in TX and when I did, they changed my CA title to a Texas title. Now I'm back in CA. From what I've read in this thread, I will have to re-register my car in California, but my title will still be the TX one, even though I bought and paid for it here and not it CA. I have no idea why car title gets changed state-by-state!
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,662 posts, read 26,155,372 times
Reputation: 5081
If you let the DMV have the title they will take it and re title it to collect $7. Just do not bring it in, no need to get a different title in each state.
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