How to Change the Name on a California Car Registration

A car owner may need a name change on car registration in California for one of several different reasons. The driver may need to change name on car registration because he or she recently went through a marriage or divorce. Additionally, the car owner may need to look into changing name on car registration because he or she has noticed a spelling error or has decided to legally change his or her name with the Social Security Administration (SSA) for a different reason. A car owner’s full, true and legal name must appear on all vehicle documentation, including the car’s title and registration. It is important to change name on registration in CA as soon as the change has been legally made, so all state documents match and can easily be verified if needed. To answer the question “How do I change my name on my car registration?” and learn about the steps in the process and methods for making a name change, read through the following sections.

How to Change Name on Car Registration in California

Before a car owner can request a name change car registration in California with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), he or she must contact the SSA to change the name on his or her Social Security card. Before a CA car registration name change can be completed, the name must match on all government and state documents, including the Social Security card. To change a name with the SSA, the requestor is required to bring or mail in an application along with documentation that displays his or her current name and the document that defines the reason for the name change, such as a marriage license or divorce certificate. A name change with the SSA can be conducted in person at an SSA office or by mail.

After the SSA update, changing names on a car registration can be attempted. Before issuing a name change for California car registration, the DMV verifies the requestor’s name, date of birth and Social Security Number with the SSA. The date of birth and Social Security Number must match, and the new car registration name change request is compared with what is on file with the SSA before it can be changed.

The CA car registration name change statement needs to be completed before a request is made. While this form can be found online, it should be mailed to the DMV or taken in person to a local DMV office to initiate the name change on registration process. Fees to complete the name change on California car registration may be required, so all mail-in requestors should check with the local DMV to ensure they enclose the proper payment along with the completed statement. To learn more about specific forms and required procedures for a vehicle registration name change, download our informative guide.

When a Name Change on Car Registration in CA is Needed

A car owner may need to request a name change on car registration in California when he or she has:

  • Recently been married.
  • Recently received a divorced.
  • Found a mistake on his or her Social Security card or car registration.
  • Performed a legal name change with the SSA.
  • Realized the name on the registration is not his or her true legal name.

Changing the name on a car registration promptly is important when one of the above-mentioned events occurs, so that the car owner has corrected legal documentation for his or her vehicle. All steps in the name change process with the SSA must be completed before the name change on vehicle registration process can be started. If a name misspelling is found on the car registration, the car owner should use his or her Social Security card as proof of the mistake when requesting the name change.

Information Needed to Change Name on Car Registration in California

Before changing name on car registration in California, a car owner first needs to present the DMV with certain information to prove the request is valid. Before a name change can be made on car registration, the requestor must be sure the change has been made successfully with the SSA and a new Social Security card with the full name is processed and in his or her possession. If a name correction on car registration needs to be made, the car owner should visit the DMV with his or her California car title showing the correction that needs to be made. A fee and state-issued photo identification may also be required when visiting the DMV for a name change on vehicle registration in CA. To learn about additional information that the DMV may request for a vehicle registration name change, download our comprehensive guide.

The DMV also requires a Statement of Facts form to be submitted with the Name section completed before a name correction can be made. When researching how to change name on car registration in CA, potential requestors will find the Statement of Facts worksheet to be a crucial document that needs to be submitted to the DMV before a change can be made. Legal documents and a fee to make the name change car registration may also be requested by the DMV before completing the change. Commercial drivers in California may have additional steps in the card registration name change process they must complete before vehicle registration can be updated with the DMV.