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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability Protections if Car Isn't Registered

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: CA

    I am selling a used car.
    On the DMV website, it says Reporting the sale or transfer of a vehicle or vessel to the DMV does not constitute a transfer of ownership. The record is not permanently transferred out of your name until the DMV receives a completed application for transfer of ownership and payment of appropriate fees from the new owner.

    Does the NRL remove my name from the vehicle record?
    No. Only the buyer's application for transfer, using the endorsed title received from you, can do that. When the information required on the NRL is received by DMV and updated to the record, you are no longer responsible for civil or criminal actions arising with the vehicle after the date of sale.
    For example, you will not be liable for:

    Parking or traffic violations resulting from operation of the vehicle after the sale or transfer date, or
    Civil litigation resulting from use of the vehicle after the date of sale.
    Registration renewal fees and penalties resulting from operation of the vehicle after the sale.

    A lot of people say once I sell the car and I go online to the DMV website and fill out the release of liability, I am no longer responsible for the car. But based on above, let's say the buyer never officially registers the car under his/her name. Does that mean I can still be held liable if he/she gets parking tickets or does criminal activities with the car? I don't see how seller can be held accountable.

    I remember selling a car late 2014. The buyer did not mention about seller having to do a smog test. Is there a new law that requires seller to do a smog test prior to selling a used car? Typically smog checks are done once every 2 years for cars older than 6 years old.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability Protections if Car Isn't Registered

    As the information you have already found explains, the filing of the notice does not transfer title, but a timely filing in proper form does cut off your liability for tickets or incidents relating to the car.

    There's not a new law that requires you to provide proof that a car has passed a smog test within 90 days of sale -- that law has been around for a long time. VC Sec. 24007.

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