CA Vehicle Registration ad Title Transfer

I’ve just completed on the lease transfer for a Lexus UX 200 F Sport and have made my first payment with Lexus Finanical Services, however I’m not able to drive the car yet as the vehicle is not registered to me.

Neither Lexus or Swapalease are able to tell me the next steps. I’ve registered on the Lexus website, made a payment and have insurance in place. It’s my understanding the Lexus have taken care of the Title Documents (it’s a lease so effectively the owner “lender” does not change), however nobody is able to tell me what I need to do with the Vehicle Registration. The current Vehicle Registration is valid until February 2022, therefore can someone please help me answer these questions:

  1. Do I need to apply for a New Vehicle Registration and pay the full amount?
  2. Can the name and the address on the Vehicle Registartion be changed (I’ve read it only costs $15, but not sure if this is possible in CA).

Many thanks in advance for any help!

Wrong. CA registration follows the vehicle, not the owner/lessee. Go drive your car.

Lexus should be sending you documentation to indicate you are the new leasee. Lexus should also be sending you the title with the previous owner on the title and TFS as the lien holder. You can then take these documents to DMV (AAA couldn’t do this) and have the registration and title updated to reflect your information and TFS as lien holder. A new title should be issued.

In my experience. I would suggest you call Lexus and talk directly to them. They were relatively reachable and helpful, and they were able to expedite the paperwork.

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Wow SwapaLease doesn’t give you any list of things to do after getting the car? Wow.

It might not have insurance on it, and that definitely means he can’t drive it.

Nothing’s stopping him from getting it insured, though. You don’t need title or reg in your name to insure a car in CA. In fact, if he doesn’t have insurance on file with the DMV already (for other cars or for his last car registered to him), they won’t issue updated registration for this car until he shows proof of liability insurance.

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Insurance doesn’t appear to be the issue.

Nor would Facebook Marketplace nor Autotrader nor Craigslist. :slight_smile:

Thanks all for responding and proving some answers, I apprecaite your help! I have all insurances in place, however as with Lexus, some people are saying different things on here some say that

  1. I can drive and the Registration follows the vehicle,
    and others
  2. I need to take title document fto DMV and get a new registration.

Would really appreciate if you could answer these questions (as Lexus aren’t very helpful, and depends on who you get on the phone, you get a different answer):

  1. Will I need to get a completely New Vehicle Registartion (i.e. pay the full amount again), the current registrattion (for the previous lease holder) expires in Feb 2022.

  2. Is it correct that I can’t drive the car until Title Documents arrive from Lexus?

Don’t know about it all but
1a. Registration follows the vehicle. when you change registration in a CA registered vehicle, you pay a small ‘licensing’ fee instead of the full ~$300 registration for that year. When they ask how much did you pay, the answer is $0 since you took over someone’s lease. Otherwise you will have to pay use tax on ‘that amount’
2a. Yes you do, AAA will let you bypass the line for a $75/yr fee. (Their offices have DMV)

1b. As long as it’s CA registered you don’t have to pay a full year fee, registration follows the vehicle.
2b. This is incorrect, you can drive the car as long as you have taken over the lease, have a license, and have some insurance. Lexus will make you get insurance of a certain value, but any insurance means you can legally drive the car.

You will need to get new registration issued by DMV. You’d pay a processing fee, but they will not double charge for registration if already been paid. In my experience, AAA could not handle registration for a lease transfer - only DMV.

Nor could AAA handle my OOS transfer, they don’t do VIN checks, apparently.

Was that an instate transfer? Because I’ve done a few things to my leased car with AAA and never had an issue, an OOS like Alphawave7’s example I could see that, you need a supervisor to handle those.

Yes. And in CA - not sure about other states.

Incorrect, my AAA office in Norcal did the VIN verification on the last OOS transfer I did.

They cannot do lease transfers because the title holder is a corporation - I had the same issue when I had company cars titled to an LLC. Had to go to DMV for those, but could use AAA for my personal cars.

Thank you all for replying and trying to resolve my queries.

One last questions…when I go onto the DMV website (or AAA), should I be selecting Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (Under Vehicle Registration) in order to change vehicle registartion from previous owner to myself?

I’ve received a letter from Lexus earlier today saying that the The Title changes will be processed by their Title Department and may take 6-8 weeks to complete, so they are taking care of that ascpect and now all that remains is the Vehicle Registration transfer.

Many thanks!

Form 227 is all you need

You are DELETING one owner (the original)
And ADDING yourself as the new owner (you)
And the Lienholder will give you some kind of permission document.

This is for when you no longer have the vehicle (e.g. sold, traded, transferred out of, turned-in, etc.). It notifies the DMV that you no longer have the vehicle that was registered to you

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