How Much Does a Title Transfer Cost in San Diego?

By zaksadmin

How Much Does a Title Transfer Cost in San Diego?

Transferring a vehicle title is a crucial step when buying or selling a car. Understanding the costs and requirements can help ensure a smooth process. This guide will explain the costs involved in a title transfer in San Diego and provide tips on how to complete the process efficiently.

Cost to Transfer a Vehicle Title

As of 2024, the fees associated with transferring a vehicle title in San Diego are as follows:

  • Title Transfer Fee: $15
  • Use Tax: Calculated based on the sale price of the vehicle and the buyer’s county of residence. In San Diego County, the use tax rate is typically around 7.75% of the purchase price.
  • Smog Transfer Fee: $8 (if applicable)
  • Duplicate Title Fee: $23 (if you need a replacement title)

Additional Costs

In some cases, there may be additional costs, such as:

  • Penalty Fees: If the title transfer is not completed within 10 days of the sale, late transfer penalties may apply.
  • Lienholder Transfer Fee: If there is a lien on the vehicle, additional fees may apply for transferring the lien.

Steps to Transfer a Vehicle Title

1. Gather Necessary Documents

Before you begin the title transfer process, make sure you have the following documents:

  • Vehicle title: The seller must sign the title and include the date of sale and the odometer reading.
  • Bill of Sale: Although not required by the DMV, it is recommended to have a Bill of Sale as proof of the transaction.
  • Smog Certification: Required if the vehicle is more than four years old and is not exempt.
  • Release of Liability: The seller must complete this form to notify the DMV of the transfer.
  • Payment for Fees: Be prepared to pay the title transfer fee, use tax, and any other applicable fees.

2. Complete the Title Transfer Form

Both the buyer and the seller must complete the title transfer form. This includes filling out the information on the back of the title and signing it.

3. Submit the Required Documents and Fees

Submit the completed title transfer form, necessary documents, and fees to the DMV. You can do this in person at a DMV office or through a registration service provider like Zaks Auto Registration.

4. Obtain a New Title

Once the DMV processes the title transfer, the buyer will receive a new title in their name.

Using Zaks Auto Registration for Title Transfers

Choosing Zaks Auto Registration Services can simplify the title transfer process and ensure everything is handled correctly:

Benefits of Using Zaks Auto Registration Services

  • Expert Guidance: Our knowledgeable staff can help you understand the title transfer process and ensure all documents are correctly completed.
  • Convenience: We handle the entire title transfer process, saving you time and avoiding long DMV lines.
  • Comprehensive Services: From title transfers to registration renewals and duplicate titles, we offer a range of services to meet all your vehicle registration needs.
  • Accurate Documentation: We ensure that all forms are filled out correctly and completely, preventing delays caused by paperwork errors.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Incomplete Forms: Ensure all required fields are filled out and signed by both the buyer and the seller.
  • Missing Smog Certification: If applicable, make sure the smog certification is included.
  • Late Submission: Complete the title transfer within 10 days to avoid penalty fees.
  • Incorrect Fees: Verify the correct fees with the DMV or Zaks Auto Registration to avoid underpayment or overpayment.


Transferring a vehicle title in San Diego involves several steps and associated costs. By understanding the fees and following the correct procedures, you can ensure a smooth and efficient title transfer. For additional assistance and a hassle-free experience, consider using Zaks Auto Registration Services. Let us handle the details so you can focus on enjoying your new vehicle.

Give us a call for a free quote today at (619) 639-5707 or visit us in person at 6499 El Cajon Blvd Unit A, San Diego CA, 92115

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