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Saving Trees With Digital Signatures

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Sonora, CA – Californians to buy a car from anywhere with a new paperless option that will save trees as well.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMW) is now accepting digital signatures for vehicle purchases, allowing for completely paperless car buying from a computer or smartphone. Since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) updated its regulations to allow digital signatures for odometer disclosures in September 2019, the DMV has been validating a secure electronic process. Previously, these disclosures had to be on paper with handwritten names and ink signatures. Even if a vehicle was bought through an online transaction, the customers still needed to finalize the purchase with an in-person signature, typically at a dealership.

“By taking advantage of available technology and the updated federal rules, we are able to provide this new option that can significantly change the way customers buy a car,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “Buyers can now complete their purchase from anywhere – no ink or paper required.”

Currently, the option is only available for new cars through certain dealerships, websites and apps but could eventually extend to all vehicle sales. The fully electronic process will reduce time-consuming paperwork for dealerships and their customers while maintaining all the consumer protections and fraud prevention measures required by law.

“The DMV is in the midst of a major digital transformation to reduce paper and provide more services online,” Gordon said. “Enabling fully digital vehicle sales and titling securely online is the latest way we’re improving DMV customer service.”

The DMV encourages all customers to use its online services to complete transactions, including eligible driver’s license and vehicle registration renewals. Also, before heading to an office for a new REAL ID, customers should fill out the online application, upload their documents, and bring their confirmation code and documents with them to an office. Starting October 1, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will require a valid passport or other federally approved documents, like a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card, to board flights within the United States and access secure federal facilities and military bases. More information is available by clicking here.