How To Register ATV Without Title in California

How To Register Atv Without Title In California

Buying your first ATV is always a very exciting process. Testing the ATV makes you think about the future trail expeditions you will pursue.

Among all the thrilling prospects, riders often buy an ATV without a Title. Sometimes the non-title ATVs are sold with a really low price tag, and often ATV enthusiasts buy them after checking their condition.

The title of an ATV is essential documentation that you would need for many purposes. So when you find out that your ATV doesn’t have any title, it needs to be treated urgently.

Buying an ATV that has no title is a risky affair. Many times these non-title atvs turn out to be stolen vehicles.

These stolen vehicles are sold on a third-party website with attractive advertisements to catch your attention.

If you show interest, they will try to sell you the atv without actually handing in the title papers, making strange excuses of being lost or misplaced.

They will also try to convince you that getting title papers is an easy process and that you will be able to get them after you make the purchase.

But this is a false statement, as getting title papers is a long process and requires verification of ownership from state authorities.

Stolen ATV Reselling Advertisements

The advertisement they provide on the third-party websites is quite shady, which can be identified.

If you check that the seller is using demo or model pictures from the manufacturer instead of actual pictures of the ATV with the license number, then it is good to stay away from this advertisement.

The fake owners would, most of the time, request you to meet in some other place than a homely environment.

Most of the time, the legal owners would prefer you to come to their place as the ATV would be parked in their garage.

So this is another stolen atv reselling feature you should watch out for. The advertisement would often come along with a selling urgency.

The excuse would be that they must sell it within two days because they would leave the city immediately after that.

They would also keep the price lower than it should be, making the deal more complicated and fishy.

Finding and verifying the ATV owner

The details of any ATV owner can be found by using the VIN. This number must be entered among any of the different VIN research websites from where the actual owner’s name and other details can be obtained.

You will have the registration information regarding the last owner of the vehicle and also provide details of the owners before the last person.

The original purchase location can also be found just with the VIN. Along with the help of a local dealer in your region, contacting the actual owner can also be possible.

The websites which you can use to find the details about the ATVs are:

  • VinAudit
  • VinCario
  • CarFax
  • DecodeThis
  • KBB

The Documents Required For Registering An ATV in California

All Terrain Vehicles in the US come under the category of Off-Highway Vehicle registration category. The other members of the OHV category are dirt bikes, dune buggies, snowmobiles, and racing motorcycles.

These OHV categories do not need the same format vehicle registration as a car but, at minimum, need a placard or Identification plate with the ATV. The prime documents which are needed as proof of ownership are:

  • A certified or original copy of the factory invoice to the non-California licensed dealer.
  • Title documents of outside state.
  • The statement of origination or the certificate of the manufacturer.
  • Selling bills that can be used to link the ownership to the new owner.

The other important documents include a filled-up REG 343 form as the application of registration or title.

A REG31 or verification of vehicle form by an authorized DMV employee.

The other less important documents you still might need are a certificate of non-operation, an application for transfer of title, and an application for replacement plates or stickers.

After checking the VIN and verifying the owner, you should always visit the local DMV office in California to understand the process and documentation more clearly. 

Experts suggest that the buyer and seller go to the registration office together, as this simplifies things.

The seller’s signature will be required to release the ownership or handover before starting the new title issuing process.

The Loan Issues and Other Document Details

In many cases, a bank’s name is present in the title. Then the seller will be required to contact the bank and learn the details about how the sale can be handled.

If the loan remains for the ATV, it will then get transferred to the new buyer. If there is more than one person’s name in the title, it will be in ‘either or’ format or ‘and’ format.

This means if ‘and’ is present between two names, both legal owners need to sign on the release papers.

If ‘either or’ is in the title, then any person will be legal to release the vehicles, and both the owner’s signatures won’t be needed. The complete selling bill should have the following details:

  • Date and location of sale.
  • VIN of vehicle.
  • Full name and address of both seller and buyer.
  • Valid signature of both buyer and seller.
  • The purchasing price.
  • Description of the vehicle with manufacturing year and model number.

The consumer taxation branch gift of vehicle form is also required. The tax form details are also vital for the registration of non-title ATVs. So use the information about non-title vehicles and don’t get caught up in a scam of stolen atv selling.


In California, registering non-title Terrain Vehicles is a complicated process. A lot of documentation and forms are needed to be present and legal owners’ presence might even be required sometimes.

The non-title atvs are often stolen and sold to innocent buyers with false information and a lot of convincing.

The super-low price also attracts many people to these thieves who try to sell the atvs through third-party websites. But if you can verify the owner and be assured that the ATV is not stolen, then you can approach a non-title atv.

Read Related Posts ⁄

Leave a Reply