If a mobilehome was purchased new after June 30, 1980, or if the payment of annual license fee renewals on a mobilehome are delinquent more than 120 days (except delinquencies which begin after May 31, 1984), a Tax Clearance Certificate is required to be issued by the County Tax Collector prior to transfer of title through California's Housing and Community Development Department.
To issue a Tax Clearance the County Tax Collector requires that an Application for Mobile Home Tax Clearance Certificate be completed and accompanied by either:
1) a copy of the title search from Housing and Community Development;
2) a copy of the pink slip; or
3) a copy of the last registration certificate on the mobilehome.
Following receipt of this information, the Tax Collector performs a search of the tax rolls to verify that mobilehome assessments exist for each applicable tax year following the date the mobilehome was originally entered on the County's tax rolls. Should an assessment for any tax year not be on the tax roll, fees for those years may be collected, as directed by the Assessor's office.
Processing can take up to one week to complete. Upon completion, the Tax Collector will mail you a notice of the amount due and will, following receipt of payment, promptly issue the Tax Clearance Certificate.
Tax Clearance Certificates may also be completed on a walk in basis. If any portion of the necessary paperwork, including the Tax Clearance Certificate, does not get submitted to HCD, the title cannot be updated. After HCD has processed the transfer, the Assessor's Office will be notified to change the ownership record on the assessment roll. Only after such notification is received shall the Seller's name be removed from the assessment roll and the Buyer's name added.
SELLER: Your responsibility does not end until your name is removed from the assessment roll. If the title is not changed by HCD, you will continue to receive the tax billing. Thee is no way to release liability except finalizing the transfer with HCD. If the taxes do not get paid, the lien will be recorded against you as the owner of record. Just imagine a situation where ten years after you thought you sold a Mobile Home, a routine credit check discovers ten years of delinquent taxes, plus interest and penalties, all because some paperwork did not get submitted and finished completely.
BUYER: If you do not receive the annual tax bill by November each year, contact the Tax Collector for a copy. If your name is not on the bill you may want to check with HCD to determine the status of your transfer. If it does not get transferred into your name, there will be difficulties if you try to sell or transfer it in the future. Imagine trying to find the seller after a number of years to clear up some paperwork that did not get done properly.
A fee of $20.00 will be charged for any subsequent requests of a Mobilehome Tax Clearance.