INSTRUCTIONS : LIABILITY RELEASE FORM (Form REG 138)
Anytime a vehicle is purchased or sold, the transferring owner must fill out a liability release form. The form acts to inform your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles or Registry of the change in ownership for the vehicle.
1. The first step is to determine if your state requires a liability release form. Most starts require some sort of notification and the form may be referred to as “notice of release”, “vehicle transfer form”, or any similar variation.
2. The form can be obtained by going to a local Motor Vehicle office or by accessing your state’s Motor Vehicles website.
In this case, we will use the California release of liability form available on the California Department of Motor Vehicles website.
You will need to gather the required information about the vehicle that is being transferred.
3. You will need to find the license plate number, the name and addresses of the old and new owner, the date of sale, the selling price, the odometer reading, and the Vehicle Identification Number.
4.The Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, is located on the dashboard of most vehicles, visible from the outside on the driver’s side.
Once you have identified this information, you will need to access the California release of liability form.
5. You can print out the form and fill in the information by hand, or you can type the information if your computer software allows.
6. Begin by filling out the new owner’s name and address in boxes A, B, and D. You will need to fill out the odometer reading and date of sale in boxes C and E.
7. Fill out the sellers name, address, and signature in boxes F, H, J, and I.
8. Finally, complete the form by writing in the selling price, license plate number, make and model, and VIN number in boxes G and K.
To complete the liability release form, you can mail it in with the attached pre-filled envelope or drop the document off at a local DMV office.
9. Ensure that your envelope is properly stamped and that you retain a copy of the information for your records.