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California Department of Motor Vehicles
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Odometer Mileage Reporting

Odometer Mileage Readings

Legislation requires that the department collect and validate the odometer mileage reading for most motor vehicles upon initial registration and registered owner transfers in compliance with the Federal Truth in Mileage Act of 1986.

Reporting of the odometer mileage reading assists in the detection of odometer tampering. The collection of this information provides consumers with an accurate record of the mileage affecting the retail value of the vehicle.

When Do I Report Odometer Mileage Readings?

Odometer mileage readings are encouraged for all motor vehicles, but are mandatory when:

  • you initially register a motor vehicle or transfer ownership, and
  • the vehicle is less than 10 years old.

Are There Any Exceptions To This Requirement?

Yes. Reporting the odometer mileage reading is encouraged, but not mandatory if:

  • the vehicle is 10 years old or older,
  • the vehicle is a commercial vehicle with unladen weight of more than 8,500 lbs (more than 16,000 lbs gross vehicle weight),
  • the vehicle is sold directly by a manufacturer to any agency of the United States, or
  • the vehicle is a new vehicle transferred prior to first retail sale by a dealer.

How Do I Report the Odometer Mileage?

Enter the mileage on the Certificate of Title in the section designated for the disclosure of odometer reading (see example below), or if any of the following statements are true, complete a Vehicle/Vessel Transfer Form (REG 262).

  • The title you hold does not have a section designated for disclosure of the odometer reading.
  • The section designated for disclosure of the odometer reading has been completed by a prior seller and buyer.
  • The section designated for disclosure of the odometer reading does not have a place for the buyer to sign and the "new registered owner" section on the reverse of the title does not contain wording that the buyer "acknowledges" the odometer mileage reading disclosure made by the seller.
Certificate of Title

Certificate of Title Odometer Disclosure Section

The seller must sign the odometer disclosure, and the buyer must sign acknowledging the disclosure. This holds true regardless of whether the disclosure is made on a Certificate of Title or a REG 262 form. The buyer and the seller should each retain a photocopy of the document containing the odometer disclosure.

What Should I Do If I Don't Have the Title?

If the title has been lost or is held by a lienholder, you must use the REG 262 form to report the odometer mileage reading.

What does “actual mileage,” “exceeds mechanical limits,” and “not actual mileage,” mean?

  • Actual Mileage—the odometer reflects the actual mileage on the vehicle.
  • Exceeds Mechanical Limits—the odometer has reached the highest number mechanically available and has started renumbering at 1. (In other words, the odometer has "rolled over.")
  • Not Actual Mileage—the odometer is broken or has been replaced, or the current owner is unsure of the true mileage.

What Happens Once the Odometer Mileage Readings Are Reported?

The odometer mileage reading will be displayed on the new Certificate of Title issued by the department and stored on the vehicle record.