What To Do If You Can’t Find The Lienholder
If your financial institution or lender merged with another lending institution, changed its name, moved, or went out of business, you might have trouble finding the lienholder. Locating and communicating with the lienholder is pivotal for the transfer of title. For help in finding an institutional lender to get a lien release in California, check the Financial Institution Listing section on the state’s DMV website.
In New York, check for a lienholder’s name and address online at the DMV website. Look for the “Registration/Check a Title or Lien Status” page. You need the Vehicle Identification Number , and the vehicle make, model, and year.
Making the final payment on your auto loan is a milestone. Knowing how to get a title after paying off a car loan enables you to complete the process of buying a motor vehicle. You can now drive with confidence knowing that your new car is all yours. Keep this process in mind if you ended up desiring to sell your vehicle once it is paid off. The same process is valid and followed by the transfer of title from your name to the new buyer’s name.
Does The Process Differ By State
The process involved in getting the title to your paid-off car varies dramatically by state, with some states taking care of it entirely and others requiring you to do some grunt work.
According to Shinn, in states that require you to do some filing to get your title, your financial institution will send you a lien release and formal documentation that the loan is paid in full. From there, youll take those documents to your state DMV to get an updated title solely in your name.
In other states, once the motor vehicles department is notified, they will automatically mail you the title to your car with nothing required on your part.
To learn the process in your state, visit your states motor vehicles website.
Transferring A Title From A Deceased Owner
In most cases, when a vehicle owner dies, the surviving spouse, or, if no spouse, the next closest kin may transfer the vehicle into their name, if the estate isnt already probated.
If the current title is in both your name and the deceased’s name with the legend “Full Rights To Survivor” printed on it, then all that is needed to transfer the vehicle into just your name is the title and a copy of the death certificate.
If the vehicle is being transferred to the surviving spouse or an immediate family member, the license plate may remain on the vehicle.
- Vehicle is probated
If the deceased owners estate is probated, the probated owner must visit a Secretary of State office and provide:
- The original vehicle title, signed by the executor or administrator of the deceaseds estate
- Letter of Authority from the executor or administrator of the deceaseds estate
- A certified copy of the death certificate for the deceased
- Proof of Michigan No-Fault insurance
- Their valid drivers license or ID
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How Do I Get A New Car Title Or Check My Current Title
We get it, you may have lost your original title or never received one after buying or paying off your car. Unfortunately its going to take a bit of paperwork and a fee, typically less than $20, to get a new title sent to you. The good news is that it can be done through standard channels with your DMV.
These forms are accurate at the time of writing, but you might want to check with your local DMV to make sure you have the most recent forms.
What Vehicles Must Be Titled Prior To Registration
Every vehicle purchased with a Garageman Lien as proof of ownership or any vehicle subject to the DMV Salvage Vehicle Program must receive first be titled before it will be allowed to be registered.
An applicant following the Garageman Lien procedure must present ownership documentation that includes a Notice of Lien and Sale and a Garageman Affirmation and Bill of Sale . An applicant in the Salvage Vehicle program must present a Salvage Certificate and an Salvage Examination/Title Application . For additional information, if needed, contact the DMV Title Services Bureau, telephone 486-4714. The telephone service is available on weekdays, except Wednesdays and state holidays, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
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What Is A Lien And How Is It Recorded On My Title
A “lien” means that someone other than the owner has a security interest in your motor vehicle, motorboat, or manufactured home. This usually is the bank or finance company that loaned you money to pay for its purchase. The lienholder is listed on the title certificate and on the DMV computer records. The lienholder or dealership will complete forms and pay a fee to have the DMV record the lien on your title. As the new owner, you probably will not be involved in filing the lien. The lender cannot charge you the recording fee.
A lien recorded on an out-of-state title will automatically be printed on a New York title certificate unless your New York title application includes proof that the loan has been paid in full.
If a lienholder unknown to you is listed on your title certificate, contact a DMV Call Center.
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What’s The Difference Between A Title And A Registration
For most owners, a title certificate proves ownership of a car, truck, motorcycle, motorboat, or manufactured home. The title is used to transfer it to another owner.
A registration allows a driver to operate a motor vehicle on a public road, or a motorboat on a public waterway. Manufactured homes are not registered.
A transferable registration is issued for a 1972 or older motor vehicle, or a 1986 or older motorboat. The transferable portion proves ownership, and is used to sell or give ownership to another person. The registration portion allows the vehicle to be operated on a public road, or a motorboat on a public waterway.
How Do I Transfer A Title
You cannot transfer a title certificate to a new owner if the reverse side of the title is already signed over to you. You first must obtain a title in your own name, then transfer it to the new owner.
The DMV will not accept titles with cross-outs, alterations or erasures of any kind. As seller, you must complete the “Transfer by Owner” section on the back of the title. Do not write on or mark the front. Do not fill in any information until you actually make the transfer to the new owner. If you change or correct any information, including signatures or addresses, the title will not be valid. If the title is voided, even if by error, you must obtain a duplicate title before you can transfer ownership.
For motor vehicles manufactured in or after the 2011 model year that are 20 model years old or newer, the seller must complete the odometer disclosure statement on the back of the title certificate. For vehicles manufactured in or before model year 2010 or a motor vehicle manufactured in or after the 2011 model year that is older than 20 model years, odometer disclosure is not required.
The Damage Disclosure Statement on the back of the NYS title certificate must be completed for all vehicles regardless of the vehicle’s age.
The new owner cannot legally drive the vehicle before obtaining new license plates and a new registration, or transfer them from another registered vehicle.
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Requirements To Register And Title A Car
The procedures to obtain a DMV vehicle title and registration administered by motor vehicle agencies in most U.S. states are similar and require motorists to complete an application form in addition to providing other documents. Note that DMVs generally issue a new car title, which may then be submitted to register a vehicle.
Moreover, motor vehicle departments usually require licensees to finalize the process within a set period of time. Otherwise, they may be penalized. Drivers in Arizona, for instance, are required to get car title certificates within 15 days of purchasing a vehicle. Licensees applying for a motor vehicle registration/title for a car will generally need to complete the following steps:
- Present proof of identity, such as a valid driving license,permit,ID card .
- Arrange payment for the applicable fees.
Ready For Another Car
If youre looking to trade in your car for something else, chances are you’re looking for your title. When you still owe on your auto loan and live in a title-holding state, your lender has the title. In this case, you need to contact your lender for your loan balance or request a 10-day payoff letter to see how much you need in order to sell your vehicle.
Dealerships can often help with this process as well since most of them accept trade-ins. If you trade in your car and you get an offer high enough to cover your loan balance, the amount gets sent to your lender to release the lien.
Trade-ins are a very common way for bad credit borrowers to meet down payment requirements that many auto lenders have. However, not every lender can work with less than perfect credit the ones that do are called subprime lenders. Theyre signed up with special finance dealers.
If you need bad credit lending resources, start with us at CarsDirect. Weve created a network of dealerships that covers coast to coast, and well look for one in your local area at no cost. Start by filling out our car loan request form.
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An Owners Due Diligence
The worst thing is, if there is an active title in your state, your state is not going to issue two titles, Andrews said. It never hurts to run a title check before seeking a title, if not before buying a car, he added. After five or seven years, most states purge their records of unregistered cars, so if a car has not been registered or titled in that length of time, its not likely to be in a states records. New registration or a new title will be required.
To run a title check, view all of the vehicles serial numbers and compare them throughout the car do they match each other? Since engines can easily be swapped, its best to use the numbers on the chassis. If the serial numbers are satisfactory and do not appear to have been meddled with, then ask your local police department or department of motor vehicles to verify that the serial number is not listed in a stolen vehicle database or is connected with a current title. Before sealing the deal, get every piece of available ownership history from the seller, and have the seller write up a bill of sale that includes the cars VIN, sale price, date of sale, etc.
Its best for to get everything they can, Andrews said. If a car is from a non-title state, get the guy to register it in their state. Get a notarized bill of sale and a registration. I am not going to take your money if you can get it for free.
Choosing The Best Way To Get The Title
Selecting the best way to obtain the title to your vehicle will depend on your proximity to the office of the lender and to the nearest office of your state’s department of motor vehicles. Other factors may include whether you need to get the certificate of title as quickly as possible to facilitate a sale of the vehicle or are just staying on top of your record keeping and can wait a short while before getting it in the mail.
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What Is A Car Title Lien
An auto lien is a note showing that your vehicle is legally owned by another party, in many cases your auto loan lender. In a lot of ways, a lien on your car is similar to a property lien on your home. With a lien in place, the lender has rights to the home until you satisfy your loan in its entirety by paying off every dollar you borrowed, plus taxes and fees.
Once your loan is fully paid, the lien on your car title is lifted, and the title can be released to you. At this point, the legal ownership of the car transfers to you from your lender.
What Is The Difference Between Vehicle Ownership Permit And Registration
Vehicle ownership is the process of purchasing a car. The permit is the green piece of paper provided to you by the seller. Vehicle registration is the process of registering your vehicle with the province of Ontario.
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Beware These Pitfalls When Getting A Car Title
Check to make sure all the information shown on the certificate of title is accurate when you get a title for a new vehicle. The year, make and model should match that of the vehicle youre actually getting.
If your car title is coming from a private-party seller, make sure the seller has completed the titles transfer of ownership section .
Pro tip: In some states, using correction fluid or an eraser on the transfer of ownership section automatically voids the document, so make sure to keep it clean when taking possession of the document.
Transferring A Title And Registration
To transfer a title and registration, you must have these items:
- A signed and notarized vehicle title
- A lien release, if applicable
- All applicable title and registration fees
- Any other documents that apply
If there is a lien on the vehicle that has not been paid off, written permission from the lienholder/lender will be required to add or delete a name.
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What Youre Entitled To Know Before Taking Out A Title Loan
When you get a title loan, you have the right to receive specific information in your contract documents.
The lender must provide the following:
- the total cost of your loan
- the amount and timing of payments
- the annual percentage rate
- the option to pay, in part or full, before the due date of your loan, without paying any additional fees
- a description of your car
In some provinces and territories the lender may include more information in the title loan contract.
What Should I Do If I Cant Find My Car Title
There are a few ways to find your car title:
- Contact any existing lien holders. This could be a bank or credit lender.
- Get in touch with your states Department of Motor Vehicles . Depending on your location, the DMV will either send the title by mail or require you to pick it up at a local branch.
- Apply for a duplicate title with your states DMV. If you know basic details about your car, such as your VIN and license plate number, you can request a duplicate title for a fee. Most states can expedite this process, and some states like California allow you to apply online.
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Ways Of Obtaining A Lien Release
States use different processes for obtaining lien releases, so check with your lending institution and DMV for your state’s requirements. Nevada, California, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio are some of the states in which lien release procedures depend on whether a lender uses the Electronic Lien and Title system or a traditional paper title.
Lenders that participate in the ELT program have electronic titles and records. With many ELTs, a lien release triggers an automatic process for you to get a title after paying off the car loan. In Nevada, lenders using ELT notify the DMV when you have made your last payment on your auto loan so make sure your lender has your current address. Nevada’s DMV prints and mails you a new paper title without a fee. You don’t have to do anything except wait for about eight weeks to receive your new title.
California has a similar ELT process. Before making the last payment on your car loan, check the accuracy of your registration, mailing address, and your lender’s information. After you make your final auto loan payment, the lender sends an electronic release to California’s DMV. Once the DMV receives the electronic release, it issues a new certificate of title and registration card showing you as the sole owner.