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I realize this isn't a classifieds message but I wanted those to understand the pain I went through during a recent transfer.

TL;DR - took over 10 months.

I'm in California. California for some reason needs a paper title to perform a transfer. Started the process in January.

Owner started process, which sent me an email to fill out a credit app.

Credit app was approved in minutes.

Process then started.

Months 1-8 - The response from Tesla finance (email only) was always "we're waiting on the DMV to send us the paper title". I asked the owner to call the DMV to see if and when the title request was sent, and it didn't seem to be until month 7 that it was requested.

When the title finally showed up, had to start the process all over again since it was so long ago. I moved as well since.

I re-did the app, and gave my new address. Was approved again almost instantly. Of course these are hits on the credit report.

Now tesla finance has the title in hand, and are giving me a target date to "swap the car" with the owner. I gave them a date. On that date, I swapped the car with the owner.

The car shows in my app and website (I own another tesla fwiw). I now have the car in my possession, and able to get insurance on it.

However - car is not registered in my name yet. That requires a trip to DMV / AAA. I've done this before with a BMW, which took a while (due to California title process) but certainly not 10 months.

Then, after asking 4 times I was finally given a tracking # for the registration paperwork which includes the actual title, so it's important.

Ends up, tesla finance sent the paperwork via UPS 2 day to my OLD address, even though they had my new address for a few months. Luckily I have a UPS.com account so it notifies me of incoming shipments as soon as a label is made to my name. I opt to pay UPS $15 to redirect. This process was bumpy and delayed the paperwork by almost a week.

BMW, for example, wouldn't allow me to exchange the car with the owner until the paperwork was sitting on my doorstep.

So, another 3 weeks it took to get the registration paperwork. So i'm driving a car that I have insurance on, and a lease contract on, but not registered in my name. The owner didn't really like that. I did fill out a release of liability for him at least.

Tesla Finance refused to actually call me. They only apologized in an e-mail but never tried to "make it right". Guess business is amazing? Also - I had to pay a transfer fee of ~$600. I thought the original owner had to do that. But it ended up on my account.

Hope this helps those that may do a lease swap, in California from California. I won't do that again.
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Reactions: buckets0fun
The saga continues. Finally got the paperwork in the mail (late), went to DMV to do the registration / title transfer and they denied it. Why? Because the paperwork was filled out wrong by Tesla AND they used White-out on the DMV forms for power of attorney. What a clown world these guys live in. They also provided a phone number to call just in case things get stuck - i'm assuming in real time while @ the DMV, but nope, if you call the #, it only allows you to leave a VM or advises you to send an e-mail. Left a VM. Heard back a few hours later, from an actual human (gasp, first time in 10 months) where they were a bit robotic and said they'd get me new forms ASAP. That was a few days ago, no follow up e-mail or call to tell me they're en route.
Called on Friday. Left a voicemail (only option). Got a call back 4 hours later. Asking me to send back ALL paperwork and gave me a shipping label. Refused as I know this would just get lost, plus it's not necessary. Asked for a manager. Was told a manager would call me back in a few hours. Refused and asked again. Got a manager. Nice guy. Apologized. Said he would just have the incorrect paperwork sent to me instead. He even asked if he could call me on the weekend and offer to pay for the $15 UPS fee. Never heard back from him. Today, he e-mailed me and said here is your new tracking # for the paperwork. Of course, i'm skeptical and do a UPS track on the #. Guess what, going to the WRONG ADDRESS AGAIN. This is after he asked me to confirm my address a few times on the call we had on Friday. Replied back that it was wrong, waiting to hear back. lol.
Never heard back via email. Got a call today from the manager. "did you receive my e-mail with tracking number?" I think he was expecting me to be happy about that, but I then told him I replied back (twice) stating that it was being sent to the wrong address (again). He sounded very confused and said he was personally making sure they sent it correctly. So now he's looking into it, again.
Never heard back via email. Got a call today from the manager. "did you receive my e-mail with tracking number?" I think he was expecting me to be happy about that, but I then told him I replied back (twice) stating that it was being sent to the wrong address (again). He sounded very confused and said he was personally making sure they sent it correctly. So now he's looking into it, again.
Going through something eerily similar in Maryland now. I’ve now made a couple trips to the DMV and there’s always something new they need that Tesla did not provide. Right now, they’re saying they can’t transfer the lease without a new lease in my name. Tesla only provided the original lease with the original lessee’s name. I don’t know what to do. I have another voicemail into Tesla and email but god knows when I’ll hear back.
Thanks for the information, I posted my M3P up for a lease transfer, it would avoid the early termination costs, but this sounds ridiculous (not the first time I've heard this either).

@narkotic let me ask you this, when did you take possession of the car? I would be the "seller" in my case, but I'm not sure what happens if the transfer takes months to complete. I guess I keep the car? Mileage may go up? Still needs to be insured? The new owner has to wait for months before they get their vehicle?

Anything over about 30 days sounds insane.
I moved from NV to KS in July 2022. I'm going on 6 months waiting on Tesla to send me the original title. I've emailed them daily (they say they are escalating it every time) and have tried countless phone numbers to reach someone to no avail. Either the VM boxes are full or they actually hang up on you! Amazing customer service! I've consulted with an attorney and he said due to the arbitration clause in the lease there probably wouldn't be much I could do legally, but I am at my wits end with this. I have a car sitting in my garage that I've been unable to drive for month, yet I'm still making on-time lease payments.

I'm going to the DMV today to beg for another 60 day temporary permit, then I'm driving it to the nearest Tesla dealership (3 hours away BTW) and demanding the title or I'm leaving the car in their lot. Anyone else having this egregious situation happen with state-to-state lease transfers AND does anyone else have any ideas on a better resolution? This is absolutely crazy!

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