Manufactured Housing is the official name for what we refer to as mobile homes. The registration, licensing and assessment of these is more complicated than licensed vehicles or for other properties assessed by the county. If installed on a legally recognized permanent foundation, they are treated (for property tax purposes) as if they are no longer mobile homes.
The State of California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) administers all mobile home registration and titling. In order to buy or sell a pre-owned unit, you should contact HCD to find out exactly what paperwork must be completed to make the transfer complete.
In addition to their paperwork, HCD also requires a Tax Clearance Certificate from the Tax Collector of the county where it is located. This Certificate proves to HCD that as of the date of issuance, all current taxes have been paid. Estimated or known taxes for the following fiscal year may also need to be collected during certain times of the year before a Tax Clearance Certificate can be issued.
If any portion of the necessary paperwork 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 notification is received is the name changed on the assessment roll and tax bill. If it does not get transferred into your name, there will be difficulties if you try to sell or transfer it in the future.