Code Section Group

Vehicle Code - VEH

DIVISION 3. REGISTRATION OF VEHICLES AND CERTIFICATES OF TITLE [4000 - 9808]

  ( Division 3 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

CHAPTER 2. Transfers of Title or Interest [5600 - 6105]

  ( Chapter 2 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

ARTICLE 1. Procedure to Transfer [5600 - 5604.5]
  ( Article 1 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

5600.
  

(a) No transfer of the title or any interest in or to a vehicle registered under this code shall pass, and any attempted transfer shall not be effective, until the parties thereto have fulfilled either of the following requirements:

(1) The transferor has made proper endorsement and delivery of the certificate of ownership to the transferee as provided in this code and the transferee has delivered to the department or has placed the certificate in the United States mail addressed to the department when and as required under this code with the proper transfer fee, together with the amount required to be paid under Part 1 (commencing with Section 6001), Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code with respect to the use by the transferee of the vehicle, and thereby makes application for a transfer of registration except as otherwise provided in Sections 5905, 5906, 5907, and 5908.

(2) The transferor has delivered to the department or has placed in the United States mail addressed to the department the appropriate documents for the registration or transfer of registration of the vehicle pursuant to the sale or transfer except as provided in Section 5602.

(b) Whenever a person transfers ownership of a vehicle and is required to disclose the mileage of the vehicle, the department may prescribe a secured form to be used for purposes of the odometer mileage disclosure requirements pursuant to subsection (a) of Section 32705 of Title 49 of the United States Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 1035, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2001.)

5600.5.
  

Ownership of title to a vehicle subject to registration may be transferred to two (or more) coowners as transferee to be held provided in Section 682 of the Civil Code, except that:

(a) A vehicle may be registered in the names of two (or more) persons as coowners in the alternative by the use of the word “or.” A vehicle so registered in the alternative shall be deemed to be held in joint tenancy. Each coowner shall be deemed to have granted to the other coowners the absolute right to dispose of the title and interest in the vehicle. Upon the death of a coowner the interest of the decedent shall pass to the survivor as though title or interest in the vehicle was held in joint tenancy unless a contrary intention is set forth in writing upon the request for transfer of registration.

(b) A vehicle may be registered in the names of two (or more) persons as coowners in the alternative by the use of the word “or” and if declared in writing upon the application for a transfer of registration by the applicants to be community property, or tenancy in common, shall grant to each coowner the absolute power to transfer the title or interest of the other coowners only during the lifetime of such coowners.

(c) A vehicle may be registered in the names of two (or more) persons as coowners in the conjunctive by the use of the word “and” and shall thereafter require the signature of each coowner or his personal representative to transfer title to the vehicle, except where title to the vehicle is set forth in joint tenancy, the signature of each coowner or his personal representative shall be required only during the lifetime of the coowners, and upon death of a coowner title shall pass to the surviving coowner.

(d) The department may adopt suitable abbreviations to appear upon the certificate of registration and certificate of ownership to designate the manner in which the interest in or title to the vehicle is held if set forth by the coowners upon the application for transfer of registration.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 891.)

5601.
  

Section 5600 does not apply to involuntary transfers, as upon the taking of possession by a secured party under a security agreement, or to transfers involving the creation of security interests subject to Chapter 3, commencing at Section 6300.

(Amended by Stats. 1963, Ch. 819.)

5602.
  

An owner who has made a bona fide sale or transfer of a vehicle and has delivered possession of the vehicle to a purchaser is not, by reason of any of the provisions of this code, the owner of the vehicle so as to be subject to civil liability or criminal liability for the parking, abandoning, or operation of the vehicle thereafter by another when the selling or transferring owner, in addition to that delivery and that bona fide sale or transfer, has fulfilled either of the following requirements:

(a) He or she has made proper endorsement and delivery of the certificate of ownership as provided in this code.

(b) He or she has delivered to the department or has placed in the United States mail, addressed to the department, either of the following documents:

(1) The notice as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 4456 or Section 5900 or 5901.

(2) The appropriate documents and fees for registration of the vehicle to the new owner pursuant to the sale or transfer.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 180, Sec. 6. Effective July 11, 1994.)

5603.
  

A legal owner may assign his title or interest in or to a vehicle registered under this code to a person other than the owner without the consent of and without affecting the interest of the owner.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

5604.
  

Every dealer who, upon transferring by sale, lease, or otherwise, any new or used vehicle of a type subject to registration, requires the transferee to insure the vehicle, and every lending agency which, as the holder of any security interest in the vehicle, requires its obligor to insure the vehicle, shall, if the required insurance policy is obtained by the dealer or lending agency and the policy does not insure the transferee or obligor against damages resulting from ownership or operation of the vehicle arising by reason of personal injury or death of any person, or from injury to property, notify the transferee or obligor of that fact in writing on a document other than the insurance policy. The document shall be in duplicate and signed by the transferee or obligor.

If the required insurance policy is obtained by the dealer or lending agency because of the failure or refusal of the transferee or obligor to furnish or renew insurance in accordance with the terms of the contract of sale or the security agreement, and the policy does not insure the transferee or obligor against damages resulting from ownership or operation of the vehicle arising by reason of personal injury or death of any person, or from injury to property, the dealer or lending agency shall notify the transferee or obligor that the policy obtained does not insure the transferee or obligor for liability from any claims. The notice shall be made in writing on a document other than the insurance policy, or the declaration page attached to the policy, and shall be mailed, with postage paid and properly addressed, to the transferee or obligor within 30 days of obtaining the policy.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1407, Sec. 1.)

5604.5.
  

(a) Every dealer who, upon transferring by sale, lease, or otherwise, any new or used vehicle of a type subject to registration, requires the transferee to insure the motor vehicle shall, if the required insurance policy is sold by that dealer at the time of the transfer and the policy does not insure the transferee against damages resulting from ownership or operation of the vehicle arising by reason of personal injury or death of any person, or from damage to property, notify the transferee of that fact in writing on a document other than the insurance policy. The document shall be signed by the transferee and an exact copy shall be furnished to the transferee by the dealer at the time of signature.

(b) The document required under subdivision (a) shall contain a notice in English and Spanish in at least 10-point type that reads as follows:

“INSURANCE WARNING

The motor vehicle physical damage insurance policy you are buying does not allow you to legally drive on the streets of California. Generally, in order to legally drive on the streets of California, you must either purchase a type of insurance called “liability insurance” or deposit a bond with the Department of Motor Vehicles. If you drive this or any other motor vehicle without liability insurance or a bond, a police officer may request evidence of liability insurance or a bond at the time of a traffic stop. If you do not have evidence of liability insurance or a bond during a traffic stop, the fines can be from several hundreds of dollars to an amount that exceeds $1,000. If you get into an accident and do not have liability insurance or a bond, you will lose your driver’s license for one year. If you cause the accident and do not have liability insurance or a bond, you may have to pay the injured person yourself and these costs may be substantial.

Liability insurance as well as the insurance needed to obtain a loan for your motor vehicle may be purchased through a licensed insurance agent or broker. The price for both types of insurance may be more or less than the price for the insurance you are being offered by the dealer. The State of California advises you to shop for insurance because prices may vary substantially.

I have read this notice and understand that I am about to buy a type of insurance that is available elsewhere and that does not allow me to drive the motor vehicle legally on the streets of California.

I also understand that if I drive on the streets of California without liability insurance or a bond, then I may be subject to severe financial penalties, including fines and personal payment for any damage to others that I may cause while driving.

(Spanish translation of the above text to be
developed by the Department of Motor
Vehicles and to be inserted below the above
English version text)

Dated:

Signed: ”

(c) The department shall also make available a translation of the Insurance Warning notice set forth in subdivision (b) in any of the languages used in the most recent statewide voter pamphlet.

(Added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 455, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2001.)

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