Ask the DMV: For up-to-the-minute DMV news, just give us a ‘tweet’

By: George Valverde, California Department of Motor Vehicles
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Q: I’m a young business professional and I am just starting to get into social media. Does the DMV have a Twitter account?

A: Yes, the DMV has joined Twitter to enhance its communication with customers.
To start following the DMV on Twitter go to the DMV Web site at and click the Twitter link under the category Connect With Us. The link is located on the top right hand corner of the homepage.
You can also go directly to We look forward to your “tweets.”
You can also become a fan of the DMV on the popular social networking site, Facebook. The link is also located on the top right hand corner of the DMV homepage, or you can go directly to

Q: If after the death of a married person, would the surviving spouse automatically get the vehicle(s) or does it go to probate (in case there is no will) or is there a way to include such eventuality in the title?

A: It all depends on how the vehicle/vessel is titled:
• If the registered owner names are separated by the word “or”, for example: John or Debbie Smith, this requires only one releasing signature by either party to transfer title if one of the spouses passes away.
• If the title shows a slash mark (/) between names, both registered owners must release title to transfer. For example: John/Debbie Smith. If one of the spouses passes away, it will depend upon the size of an estate, if any, for documentation to transfer title into the surviving spouse’s name. If someone wants to change to “or” between names, the title must be surrendered with appropriate signatures. There is no fee to make this change.
• Individuals may place vehicles into their trust. For example: John Jones Family Trust, John or Mary Jones, Trustees. The trustee(s) of the estate may release the title to transfer ownership. The title must be surrendered with appropriate signatures and a fee of $15. For additional information, please contact DMV at (800) 777-0133.

Q: I am thinking of selling a car I no longer use. However, I can’t find the title. Can I get a duplicate title?

A: You may apply for a duplicate title and transfer by using form REG 227. This form, as well as many others, is available on our Web site ( gov). After completing the form make sure you complete a REG 138 (Notice of Release of Liability), notifying DMV you sold the vehicle and are no longer responsible for the car. This form is also available on our Web site or you may complete the REG 138 as an online transaction.

George Valverde is the director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Do you have questions? The  DMV has answers at You can submit any DMV-related questions at