When you’re selling a car, it might completely slip your mind that there is an entire, drastic legal process to go through for it. As someone selling property, it can start to seem intimidating when you realize there are forms and bills of sale that need to be filled out by anyone who could be identified as a seller. This process can start out confusing, but it is really self-explanatory as you get into the process.
When you sell a vehicle, the main thing you need to be concerned with is your Form DTF-802. This statement of the transaction is legally required for a purchaser to present to the BMV to obtain a new title and registration. It is important to make sure that you understand the inner workings of the form.
What Is a Form DTF-802 “Statement of Transaction”?
A DTF-802 is a form that should be submitted whenever you are purchasing a new vehicle. This form is necessary for a smooth transaction because it indicates that no taxes were paid on the vehicle. This includes any time a car or other motorized vehicle is given as a present, as well, as there will be no tax collected on the item at that time.
DTF-802 (PDF Form)
Who Needs to Submit DTF-802?
As a buyer of the car (or any other vehicle), you are really required to submit this form. As the owner or seller of the vehicle, you are responsible for filling in the essential elements of the DTF-802 form to help your customer appropriately register their new purchase.
Though you are not going to be submitting the form, it must be completed by both parties involved in the transaction. The buyer of a vehicle will then submit this form to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles when applying for a new title and registration. As a seller, your main responsibility is to make sure that the Affidavit of Sale is filled out in its entirety and accurate so that the BMV does not run into any issues processing a new title for the new owner.
How to Fill
Filling out a DTF-802 form is fairly simple. Any copy of this form is clearly marked with what information you need to have. Your responsibility is to make sure all information is filled out accurately. You will need to have the following information completed on your form:
- Vehicle Information: This includes what type of motorized vehicle you are selling, the make, model, and year as well as any VIN or identification number. When you are selling an ATV or a snowmobile, you have to specify how it will be delivered or stored.
- New Owner Information: Here, you will be required to note the full name, address, and social security number of your buyer.
- Previous Owner Information: This is where you will write your information as the seller or as someone who once owned the vehicle.
- Transaction information: Indicate date of transaction, the relationship of the buyer to seller, and whether the car (or other vehicles) was given to a family member or sold at below-recommended market value. Make sure that you are selecting the appropriate boxes.
- Purchase Information: Here, you need to state the purchase price, the amount received for payment, the balance of payments, and the value of the property. You will also need to enter the tax rate and sales tax due at the time of titling. A purchaser must certify all of this and sign the form.
- Affidavit of Sale: The seller, which, in most cases is you, must fill in this if this was given as a present, sold below market value, or given to a person other than an immediate relative. You also must indicate any payment you were given and whether there were any other conditions for this sale. In some cases, you may be giving a car to an employee for work purposes. Just make sure that you are checking the appropriate boxes
The short answer is, “yes,” you can sell your car for $1 in the state of California. You can legally do this in all states within America. However, registering your new car may become an issue. Because you are required to pay tax on whatever the sales price was for the car, it often raises red flags within the Bureau of Motor Vehicles when you go to get your registration. While they aren’t unreasonable and people do, indeed, sell their cars for $1, there may be some resistance. If you have a credible story behind why this was done, however, it is less likely to be an issue.
Gifting a car has an entirely different process, but it is actually a more recommended route to go. First and foremost, there are different forms that need to be filled out, but there is also less chance of pushback from the BMV when you go to get your car registered. While there are many reasons that people do sell their cars for $1, gifting it is a much more reasonable and legitimate route and saves you a lot of headaches.
If a car was gifted to you, you are now the legal owner of the vehicle. As such, you can sell a gifted car as long as you have an original title and bill of sale for the BMV. Having these things ensures that you have a worry-free transaction.
Selling a car takes a lot of leg work when you’re the owner. However, understand the legal systems and forms behind the sale of a car can help you to make sure that you are avoiding a lot of hassle in the future. As long you follow any guidelines carefully, you will be able to have a wonderful experience.