California DMV Vehicle Transfer | Vehicle Donations

California Vehicle Transfer Notification Support Page

A Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (NRL) is REQUIRED for the Donor to Complete within FIVE Calendar Days of the Pick-up Date of the Vehicle Donation

HOW TO HANDLE THE LICENSE PLATES WHEN YOU DONATE A CAR, TRUCK, SUV OR OTHER STANDARD VEHICLE IN CALIFORNIA


License plates MUST STAY WITH THE VEHICLE (unless a vanity/personal plate) when you donate. Do not remove. Please also be sure to cancel your vehicle/plate from any Toll Accounts: FasTrak, Toll Roads, 91 Express Lanes, etc.



Please See the Steps Below for How to Complete the Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability:


There are three ways in California to notify the DMV that you have donated your car: online, by mail or in person. You can find more information and forms for each notification method below:


1. TO COMPLETE THE NOTICE OF TRANSFER AND LIABILITY FORM ONLINE:

PREFERRED METHOD* If possible, we highly recommend completing forms online instead of by mail, so you may easily save and print out a copy for your records that includes a date/timestamp. Also, when completed online, a receipt can be printed ensuring it's been received.

Click the button to go to dmv.ca.gov and follow the instructions on the first page.

DMV.CA.GOV


2. TO COMPLETE THE NOTICE OF TRANSFER AND LIABILITY FORM IN PERSON:

  • Please print and complete the Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (REG 183) Form.
  • Submit to your local field office. Click HERE to locate your local field office.

Access Form


3. TO COMPLETE THE NOTICE OF TRANSFER AND LIABILITY FORM BY MAIL:

  • Please print and complete the Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (REG 138) Form.
  • Mail the completed Notice of Transfer & Release of Liability Form (REG 138) to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability
Motor Vehicle Division Unit
P.O. Box 942859
Sacramento, CA 94259-0001

Access Form



Frequently Asked Questions


Q: When do I cancel my insurance? A. Only cancel your vehicle's insurance AFTER your vehicle has been picked up and you have notified the state that you’ve donated your vehicle. If your state requires notification, please be aware that you should never cancel your insurance prior to reporting to the state you are no longer in possession of the vehicle. This is a general rule for States/Motor Vehicle Departments that require Notification be submitted or license plates returned.

Q: Who is considerd the purchaser of my vehicle donation? Is it the nonprofit or charity? A. The purchaser of your donated vehicle is NOT the nonprofit or charity. It will either be the vendor or Charitable Adult Rides & Services, the vehicle donation program provider and partner of your nonprofit of choice.

Q. What is State Notification? A. State notification releases the vehicle donor from liability over the vehicle, including registration fees and from having to keep the vehicle insured, after the vehicle is picked up. State notification is a way for the state to create a record that the owner is no longer in possession of the vehicle. The steps needed to release your liability of a donated vehicle vary by state.

Q. Who is supposed to take care of the state notification process? A. If state notification is required, only the donor and/or owner of the vehicle can complete this process. Please do not rely on the pick-up driver or vendor to report to the State/Motor Vehicle Department that you are no longer in possession of the vehicle. If you need support, please contact the vehicle donation support team at donorsupport@careasy.org or call 855-500-7433. We would be happy to assist you.

For more information on vehicle transfers, please contact your local Motor Vehicle Division:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability
Division of Headquarters Operations
PO Box 942859
Sacramento, CA 94269-0001

Phone: 800.777.0133 or 916.229.0370
Fax: 916-657-8743
DMV Website