Car-Buying Process in CA

Oppo-friends! I’d like some feedback from those of you in the know (such as those of you who live in or have bought a car from California) about the process, as a buyer, for buying a car in CA.

I’m no stranger to buying a car out of state, but I haven’t done one from California yet - but I will be next month. I’ve done some research - can someone confirm that it really is as easy as the following (again, I’m the buyer)?

  • Agree to buy car
  • Seller signs over title
  • We fill out a bill of sale, both seller and I get a copy
  • The car is now mine! Plates stay on it unless vanity plates.
  • Call to put it on my insurance, drive home, do normal out-of-state title-in-Ohio stuff.

No DMV or notary required? Nothing special other than filling out the title and doing the bill of sale (the latter not even being mandatory, but a good idea nonetheless)? No transit tags/temp registration? I’m hoping so, since this is very easy, but I’m a bit skeptical.

Lancia for your time:

Illustration for article titled Car-Buying Process in CA

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