Form REG 256 “Statement of Facts” – California

Whenever a vehicle exchanges ownership, the previous and new owner must fill out some forms with the local DMV for record-keeping and title registration purposes. One such document is Form REG256 “Statement of Facts” – California, otherwise called the Statement of Facts form. This document is useful to vehicle and vessel owners that wish to provide more details about themselves with regard to issues like statements of transfer, tax exemptions, smog exemptions, and changing the body of a vehicle. Below, we take a closer look at this form and how to complete it.

What Is a Form REG256 “Statement of Facts”?

Form REG 256 is also called Statement of Facts and is a formal form completed by vehicle or vessel owners that wish to provide specific official information about themselves. The information, which is usually issued as statements, could be regarding a smog exemption, tax exemption, title transfer, or changing the body of a vehicle, among other things. In California, the form is issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, and the last revision was done on August 1, 2008.

What do I Need the REG 256 for?

Form REG 256 covers a wide range of scenarios for which a vehicle owner might want to offer information about themselves. Depending on your needs, you could use this form to:

  • Apply for a tax exemption on your vessel or vehicle.
  • Transfer a vehicle that is currently unregistered
  • Apply for a smog exemption.
  • Provide details about a list or wheelchair carrier in the vehicle in case of disability.
  • Notify the DMV of changes made to the body of your vehicle.

Elements of Form REG256

A complete REG 256 is two pages long and very easy to complete because you are just providing details about your vehicle. Essentially, the form usually includes the following key elements:

  • Your full and legal name (as the vehicle or vessel owner)
  • The current date
  • The vehicle ID number, License number, year, developer, make, model, etc.
  • An indication of whether you need a tax exemption followed by the current market value of the vessel or vehicle in question.
  • An indication of whether you need a smog exemption.
  • If you wish to transfer the vehicle, you can input the required details in section C. These details include the name and contact information of the person receiving the vehicle, etc.
  • If you want a window decal installed for a wheelchair for a disabled person in the vehicle, you can complete section D with the required details.
  • Section E covers changes to the body of the vehicle.
  • Facts statements
  • Your phone number and email address.

How to Fill Out a Statement of Facts Form

Form REG256 “Statement of Facts” – California is divided into several sections, each covering a different subject of the application. The sections should be completed as follows:

  • Use Tax Exemption – Use this section to explain why a transfer should be exempt from use tax. Scenarios that fit this description include court orders, gifts, inheritances, and transfers between families.
  • Transfer Only/Title Only – You can complete this section to apply for a title only or transfer only if your vehicle has not been parked on the street or used.
  • Smog Exemption – This section explains why your vehicle does not need smog certification.
  • Vehicle Body Change – Complete this section if you have changed your vehicle’s motive power, unladen weight, number of axles, body type, etc. You will need an ownership certificate.
  • Window Decal – If you hold a Permanent Disabled Person Parking Placard, Disabled Veteran License Plate, or Disabled Person License Plate, use this section to request a window decal.
  • Name – Complete this section if you wish to correct an error in your name or apply for a name change. You will also need an ownership certificate for this section.
  • Statement of Facts – This last section must be completed by all applicants to confirm that the information provided in the form is true and accurate.

Regardless of why you are completing this form, you must fill in the first section, which covers the vehicle description, by providing details like license plate number, year, make, and model. You should also fill in the last section, which requires your full name, phone number, and date.


Where do I send my CA REG 256?

Once you complete your RED 256, you can submit it online through the official website of California’s DMV or take it down to your local DMV office.

Who needs a DMV statement form?

The Statement of Facts form is usually completed by vehicle and vessel owners during the vehicle registration process. You need it if you are looking for a tax exemption, smog exemption, vehicle transfer, wheelchair modification, or such.

Is it better to gift or sell a car to a family member in California?

Ultimately, whether you gift or sell your car will depend on your plans, but the gifting process in California is recommended because it is easier.

How do I transfer ownership of a vehicle from a family member in California?

If you wish to transfer a vehicle to your family member in California, you must:
 Pay off the car so as to obtain the title from your lender.
ᐅ Review the title and check for any outstanding liens.
ᐅ Get the liens removed by settling with the lien holders.
 Review the terms of the exchange with the recipient, even if they are a close family member. Make sure they understand that they will be liable for things like maintenance and insurance.
ᐅ Once both parties agree on the details, sign over your vehicle’s title.

What happens if you don’t transfer a title within 10 days in California?

If you don’t transfer the title of a vehicle within 10 days in California, you might face a penalty from the DMV, and the registration renewal fees could have accrued late fees.


Form REG256 “Statement of Facts” – California or a Statement of Facts form is a legal document that helps you relay factual information about yourself or your vehicle to the DMV. It is usually completed during vehicle registration but could also be filed in the event of a dispute. Generally, it is very easy to complete this form once you know why you are filing it. All you need to do is identify yourself and complete the section that best covers your situation.