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Old 12-06-2011, 05:40 PM
2 posts, read 4,602 times
Reputation: 10


So I've been trying to find the most optimal solution for us with regards to the dreaded car registration and title situation.

Husband owns a clean and clear title to a 2002 Honda Civic.
Car is registered in NY with NY plates

Wife has moved to CA (Bay Area) about 2 weeks ago and is really the driver of Civic.
Civic is now in CA as well (with NY plates).

what do I do now?
I want to transfer the title to the wife and then get CA plates.
After doing this, I would like the wife to get CA license as well (her NY license is expiring in 2012).

I'm stumped as to should I transfer the title to her in NY and then she takes this title to CA and registers the car in her name and gets CA plates?

should I transfer the title (will transfer as a gift in both options) to her in CA?

should I add her name to the title in NY and once a new title arrives (may take a month or two), she takes this title and gets new CA plates and registration?

I've been looking for answers for the past few days and am completely stumped.
I wish the civic had her name on the title, everything would have been so simple.

In addition, I have my own car in NY that I own free and clear and has only my name on the title.

To be clear, I expect to stay in NY for another 3-4 months while my wife is now permanently based in CA.

any suggestions on the least obstructive and most cost effective way to get CA plates, registration and license renewal?

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by gordita; 12-06-2011 at 05:56 PM..
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:51 PM
Location: Carmichael, CA
2,106 posts, read 3,525,568 times
Reputation: 3475
You can "gift" the car to her as a family transfer using the New York Title. Just release your interest on the title (I don't know how New York does it) and she would sign on as the new owner.

She would take the title to the California DMV and they will have her fill out an application, and a Statement of Facts stating that its a family transfer.

She'll need transfer fee $15, whatever the registration fee is (based on car value) SMOG certificate and have the vehicle verified at the local DMV office.

Shouldn't be a problem.
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