A declaration of non-ownership is a form completed with the DMV asserting that the person does not own a vehicle. If approved, it can exempt a person from having to install an ignition interlock device. It can also be used to defend against a traffic or a parking ticket.
The purpose of the form will determine where it needs to be sent. In many cases, it has to be filed within 30 days. If it is not filed on time, the court will presume that you own a vehicle. You will have to pay the ticket, or risk violating the terms of your DUI probation.
What is a declaration of non-ownership?
A declaration of non-ownership is a legal document. It can be filed in court, with the DMV or with another government agency. Drivers in California use it formally to claim that they do not own a vehicle. They can make this claim on the form, under penalty of perjury.
The form is a short one. It often only takes up a single page.
How is the form filed?
Filing a declaration of non-ownership requires California drivers to:
- enter their personal information,
- check off a statement about their non-ownership of a vehicle,
- sign the form under penalty of perjury, and
- mail it to the appropriate government agency or court.
Who can use the form?
California drivers who want to claim that they do not own a vehicle can use the declaration of non-ownership. The declaration is useful for California residents who have:
- been ordered to install an IID but don’t own a vehicle,
- received a traffic ticket, or
- received a parking ticket.
For people who have received a ticket, the declaration of non-ownership can be used to fight the ticket. By filing the form, you claim that you do not own the car that is listed on the ticket. This can be an effective defense to the ticket.
Example: Michaela sells her car to Bobby. Bobby gets ticketed by a red light camera. The ticket gets sent to Michaela’s address.
It is more common for people being ordered to install an IID to use a declaration of non-ownership, though. A common penalty for DUI is a court order to install an IID in all of the vehicles that the defendant owns or can access. Courts may issue this order even though the defendant does not own a vehicle. It is up to the defendant to formally claim that they do not own one. You can do this by filing a declaration of non-ownership with the court or Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Example: Kyle is convicted for drunk driving after he causes a car accident. His car was totaled in the crash. Rather than buy a new one and install an IID, he chooses to file a declaration of non-ownership and take the bus to work.
Where do I send the form?
Where you will have to send the form depends on why you are filing it. The ticket or court order should provide the information you need. There will also be an address on the form, itself.
If you are filing a declaration of non-ownership to contest a parking ticket, you typically have to file it with the town or city that issued the ticket. Parking enforcement agencies often have their own version of the form. Examples in California include:
If you are filing the form to be exempted from installing an IID, it will go to the DMV. The California DMV has its own form – Form DL 4062. After being filled out and signed, it can be mailed to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Mandatory Actions Unit, MS J233
PO Box 942890
Sacramento, CA 94290
How long do I have to file the form?
The declaration of non-ownership usually has to be mailed within 30 days of the ticket or court order. If it is not postmarked by that time, the court or agency may disregard it.
Filing the form late to contest a ticket will mean you will be expected to pay it.
If you have been ordered to install an IID and do not file a declaration of non-ownership on time, you will have to install an interlock device. The court will expect you to comply, even though you do not have a vehicle. Failure to comply will likely be treated as a violation of your DUI probation. The terms of your probation will likely be tightened. You may also be sent to jail.