How to Change the Name on a California Car Title

Drivers may need to change name on car title in California if they find a misspelling or error on the form or if a legal name change has been made. Changing name on car title in CA is important for drivers who notice their legal names do not match the names provided on the car title, as all information on a car title needs to coincide with the car owner. A car title name change is necessary if it does not match, so the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the car registration are all congruent with the correct vehicle owner name. Learning how to change name on car title and the steps that must be taken to successfully complete a car title name change is important for drivers so they can ensure all information matches on their DMV documents. To update name on car title in California, a driver must present certain identification information and paperwork to the DMV. Updating name on car title can be a simple task to complete for a driver who is prepared with the proper paperwork, identification and DMV information. To learn more about successfully completing a car title name change in CA, including the important steps in the process that must be completed, read through the following sections.

When do you change name on car title in California?

A name change on a California car title should only occur when a car owner notices a mistake or misspelling in his or her name on the title, which can occur when transferring a car title to a new owner. Changing the name on car title in California may also be necessary when a car owner makes a legal change to his or her name with the Social Security Administration. Since the car owner’s name should match on all documents, including the Social Security card, car registration, driver’s license and car title, the owner will need to take the appropriate steps to correct all documents.

A CA car title name change may need to be initiated by a car owner if he or she has been through a life event that resulted in the changing on a name, such as a divorce or marriage. Additionally, any type of name change, including the addition of a hyphenated last name, should be changed on the car title so the car owner can easily be identified. However, before attempting to update a name on the car title, a car owner must first complete the name change with the Social Security Administration then update his or her photo identification card or license successfully with the state. These updated documents may be needed to complete the car title name change in California.

Why Name Changes on a Car Title in California Is So Important

If a change has occurred, an updated name on car title in California should be completed promptly, as the DMV uses the car title and vehicle registration to correctly identify a vehicle’s owner. If an incorrect name is still present on a car title, the owner could have issues when selling the vehicle or when attempting to prove his or her legal interest in the vehicle. Updating name on car title in California should be initiated as soon as a change is made or the vehicle owner notices a mistake on the title. While the car title may seem like an insignificant document since law enforcement does not request it at traffic stops, it is still important for it to display correct information. Taking the time to learn how to change name on car title and completing the process successfully is crucial for car owners so they can be sure the title is correct.

Car owners who do not currently possess the car title because there is a lienholder may not feel they need to update name on car title when a change has been made. However, these car owners should also change names on car titles and with their lienholders so all information can easily be verified. Contacting a lienholder to update name on car title is important so the car owner’s identity can be confirmed when it is time to issue the title to him or her.

How do I make a California car title name change?

If a name correction on car title in CA is needed, a car owner will need to follow the steps to successfully have the name changed on the document. First, a car owner should locate his or her Certificate of Title and cross out the incorrect name while writing or typing the correct spelling of the legal and true name above the incorrect one. To turn in a car title name change in California successfully, the car owner must also fill out a Statement of Facts form. The form asks for the reason the car owner needs to update the name on the car title. The car owner can respond that his or her name is misspelled or that is has been legally changed. Before an updated name change on car title can occur, the car owner must also sign the statement and mail it along with the manually corrected title to:

Department of Motor Vehicles

Vehicle Registration Operations

PO Box 942869

Sacramento, CA 94269-0001

Additionally, an updated name change on a car title can be completed by visiting a local DMV office in person with these documents in hand, along with photo identification. No fees are due to change name on car title in California, unless the car owner wants a copy of the updated title or other documents. To learn more about the process of updating name on car title in CA, review our easily downloadable and informative guide.