About Changing the Name on Your California Registration
You must change name on a car registration in California if your legal name changes and no longer matches the information on your vehicle’s original certificate of title or registration card. If your legal name changes due to marriage, divorce, court order, adoption or any other reason, it is important for you to update your vehicle registration credentials as soon as possible.
To change car registration credentials and title documents after your legal name changes, you must submit your request in person or by mail. You cannot submit your request online, as you will need to provide the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) with supporting documents that prove your identity and vehicle ownership. To learn more about how to correct or change your name on your registration, review the sections below.
California DMV Name Change Requirements
You must apply for a name change on car registration and titling credentials if you change your name due to marriage, divorce, adoption or court order. You may also need to update the name on your vehicle’s registration and titling materials if your name is spelled incorrectly or you notice another type of error.
Your vehicle’s registration card must always display your full legal name. It should also display your current address, so if you have moved, you will need to complete the address change process as well.
When changing name on car registration and titling credentials, you may submit your application in person at a local DMV office or by mail, depending on your preferred method. As part of the application process, you must also provide the California DMV with:
- The vehicle’s original certificate of title (if available).
- A completed Statement of Facts.
- A state-issued photo identification card (such as a California driver’s license).
When completing a Statement of Facts, you must refer to the section titled “Name Statement.” Here, you will apply for a DMV change of name by providing your new and former name. You must also provide a written signature at the bottom of the application.
To change name on car registration and titling credentials without providing your vehicle’s original certificate of title, you must submit a completed Application for a Duplicate Certificate of Title, and you must also pay a fee to purchase a replacement credential.
If you can provide your vehicle’s current title certificate when changing your name with the DMV, you must first write your new legal name on the original certificate of title. Then, you must submit the corrected title certificate to the DMV along with your other application materials.
Your California Name Change Checklist
If you need to change your name on your vehicle registration, you must first notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) of your new name and obtain a corrected Social Security card. Once you update your driver’s license or permit, you may correct the information on your vehicle’s registration card and title certificate as well.
Once you are ready to change your car registration information, you may visit a local DMV office to submit your request in person, or you may mail your completed application materials to the Vehicle Registration Operations division in Sacramento.
Typically, there is no fee to change the name on your registration card or title record unless you need to obtain a duplicate certificate of title or wish to purchase a replacement registration card that displays your new legal name.