State of California California Department of Consumer Affairs

Automobile (Sales)

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The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has jurisdiction over any business selling vehicles and requires licensure of that business. They also have forms and information on buying a vehicle from or selling to a private party. A smog check may be needed. The DMV's Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability will protect consumers from liability when buying or selling a car.

DMV does not regulate sales between private parties. Disputes arising from private party sales are a civil matter.

Department of Motor Vehicles
(800) 777-0133

Investigations office locations, a web site of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, covers crash tests, five-star safety ratings, safety features, and recalls. The agency also maintains a toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline to receive complaints and provide information on vehicle safety recalls.
(888) 327-4236
(800) 424-9153 TTY

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