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Odometers must be in working condition at the time of sale. It is illegal to roll back, disconnect, or reset the odometer of any motor vehicle. It is unlawful for any person to disconnect, turn back, or reset the odometer of any motor vehicle.
Vehicle Odometer Replacement
An odometer may be serviced, repaired, or replaced but if it is, the repaired odometer must reflect the same mileage as before.
No additional notices or disclosures are required IF the mileage remains the same as before.
Servicing & Notification
If the odometer cannot register the same mileage as before the repair, it must be adjusted to read “0” with a notice attached to the vehicle’s left door frame (specifying the prior mileage and the date on which it was serviced, repaired, or replaced) by the person performing the service or repair.
An odometer disclosure must be completed by the current legal owner. If a vehicle has been repossessed, then the Repossessor must file a separate “Odometer Disclosure Statement of Facts”
Odometer Mileage Recording Law
The Federal Truth in Mileage Act (1986) requires the California DMV to collect and validate the odometer reading for most motor vehicles upon initial registration and registered owner transfers.
Odometer mileage readings are mandatory when the vehicle is initially registered or when transfer ownership occurs.
Reporting the odometer mileage reading is encouraged, but not mandatory if the vehicle is:
- 20* or more model years old
- a commercial vehicle with an unladen weight of more than 16,000 lbs gross vehicle weight
- sold directly by a manufacturer to any agency of the United States
*Changed from 10 model years, effective January 1, 2021 – 2010 and older vehicles will continue to be subject to the previous 10-year disclosure requirements.
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