Article 3. Registration Of Foreign Vehicles of California Vehicle Code >> Division 3. >> Chapter 1. >> Article 3.

Upon application for registration of a vehicle previously registered outside this State, the application shall be certified by the applicant and shall state that the vehicle previously has been registered outside this State, the time and place of the last registration of such vehicle outside this State, the name and address of the governmental officer, agency, or authority making the registration, and such further information relative to its previous registration as may reasonably be required by the department, including the time and place of original registration, if known, and if different from the last foreign registration.
An application for registration under this chapter of a vehicle previously registered outside of this state shall be accompanied by payment of the amount required to be paid under Part 1 (commencing with Section 6001) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code with respect to the use of the vehicle by the applicant.
The applicant shall surrender to the department all unexpired license plates, seals, certificates, or other evidence of foreign registration as may be in his possession or under his control. The department may require a certification from the jurisdiction of last registry when the applicant fails to surrender the last issued unexpired license plates.
Upon application made at the time of their surrender to the department and upon payment of a fee of one dollar ($1), the department shall return the unexpired license plates to the official in charge of the registration of motor vehicles in the state of issue of the license plates.
If in the course of interstate operation of a vehicle registered in another state it is desirable to retain registration in such state, the applicant need not surrender the evidence of foreign registration, but shall deliver it to the department for purposes of inspection, and the department upon a proper showing shall register the vehicle in this State, but shall not issue a certificate of ownership for the vehicle.
Upon application for registration of a vehicle previously registered outside this State, the department shall grant full faith and credit to the currently valid certificate of title describing the vehicle, the ownership thereof, and any liens thereon, issued by the state in which the vehicle was last registered, except that the laws of the state shall provide for the notation upon the certificate of title of any and all liens and encumbrances other than those dependent upon possession.
In the absence of knowledge by the department that any certificate of title issued by another state is forged, fraudulent, or void, the acceptance thereof by the department shall be a sufficient determination of the genuineness and regularity of the certificate and of the truth of the recitals therein, and no liability shall be incurred by any officer or employee of the department by reason of so accepting a certificate of title.
In the event a certificate of title issued by another state shows any lien or encumbrance upon the vehicle therein described, then the department upon registering the vehicle in this State and upon issuing a certificate of ownership shall include therein the name of the lienholder as legal owner unless documents submitted with the foreign certificate of title establish that the lien or encumbrance has been fully satisfied.
In the event application is made in this state for registration of a vehicle and the department is not satisfied as to the ownership of the vehicle or the existence of foreign liens thereon, then the department may register the vehicle and issue a distinctive registration card and appropriate license plates but shall withhold issuance of a California certificate of ownership unless the applicant shall present documents sufficient to reasonably satisfy the department of the applicant's ownership of the vehicle and sufficient to identify any liens thereon or the applicant shall post a bond pursuant to Section 4157.
In the event the department refuses to grant an application for registration in this State of a vehicle previously registered in another state, the department shall immediately return to the applicant all documents submitted by the applicant with the application.
The department shall forthwith mail a notice of the filing of any application for registration of a vehicle previously registered outside this state upon written request of the governmental officer, agency, or authority which made the last registration of the vehicle outside this state. The notice shall contain like data as required on the application filed with the department. This section shall not apply to applications to register commercial vehicles operating in interstate transportation nor to vehicles last registered in a foreign province or country.