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Section 13

Stolen Vehicle Prevention


13.1 Report of Sale

  1. The dealer must submit the application for registration section, along with all fees and penalties due for registration or transfer of registration of the vehicle, to the DMV within 30 days of the date of sale. [V.C. §4456]
  2. Retail used motor vehicle dealers must report their sales on the Vehicle Report of Sale, “Reg. 51”, form. Wholesale used dealers must use the “Reg. 396” Report of Sale form.
  3. The Reports of Sale are the property of DMV and must be open to inspection by DMV at the dealer's established place of business. [V.C. §§4456, 11714 and 320, C.C.R. §272]
  4. Storage and security of Reports of Sale
    1. Dealer must maintain its copy of the Reports of Sale for four years. [C.C.R. §138] Keep these Reports in numerical (sequential) order so it is easy to verify none are missing. If you should ever make an error on a Report of Sale form, do not throw it out! Write “Void” across it, and keep the original in your files. Start again with the next Report of Sale in numerical order.
    2. Dealers must keep the Reports of Sale in a secured place at all times to prevent them from being stolen or misused. Under current California law, a dealer may now be held liable for privacy act violations if the buyer’s or seller’s information is obtained from the dealer’s records and misused, such as “identity theft.” In addition, the Board of Equalization will charge you sales tax on all missing Reports of Sale, (even if there never was a sale!) with the tax based on the average selling price per vehicle you sold the prior year. Make sure to guard your Reports of Sale!
  5. Re-ordering Reports of Sale

    When you need to order more Reports of Sale forms, make sure to use the re-ordering post card DMV provides you each time you receive a new stack of forms. This post card will expedite your order and you will get the forms much quicker than if you send a letter.


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