Are you looking to replace a lost title? If you were the last titled owner of the vehicle, a duplicate car title process is likely the best way to recover your lost title.
What is a duplicate car title?
A duplicate car title is a very common method of title recovery. A duplicate car title is simply an identical copy of a car title that can be issued by the DMV when the original car title has been lost, damaged, or stolen. Just like for traditional title transfers and other methods of title recovery, the DMV or equivalent in your state will issue your duplicate car title. Every state in the US provides some form of duplicate car title process.
Tips for your duplicate car title process
Tip #1: Duplicate car titles are only issued from the last state in which they were titled.
If you recently moved out of state and need to obtain a duplicate title, you won’t be able to get one from your current state. Duplicate titles are only issued in the state where they were last titled. To obtain a duplicate title from your previous state, either visit the state to apply in person if you can or apply by mail to the state DMV or equivalent.
Tip #2: Carefully complete your application and make sure all owners’ names are correct.
The DMV takes the condition of the application seriously. If there are rips, spills, tears, stray markings, erasures, or any other visible damage to the application, it will become void and you will have to resubmit. Additionally, make sure all names are listed and suffixes are provided if applicable. Your duplicate car title application contents must identically match what is shown on the title. If there are two or more owners, they all must be listed and sign the application.
Tip #3: Get a lien release if applicable.
In order for a duplicate car title to be issued, it must be free of liens and security interest. If you have a lien on your title, you must obtain a lien release letter or letter of non-interest from the lienholder and include this with your application.
Tip #4: Make a photocopy of your duplicate car title application before submitting it.
This may sound counterproductive because the DMV doesn’t accept photocopies of documents, but the photocopy should be kept for you and for your reference. In the event that there are questions about the application during processing, you will have a copy of the application to refer back to if needed.
Tip #5: Submit your duplicate car title application to the DMV in person if you can.
Depending on the DMV location, if you are able to submit your application in person, sometimes this yields quicker results. When applying in person, you submit your application directly to the DMV agent who processes it usually in real-time. In these cases, sometimes it’s possible to get your duplicate car title back on the same day. If you cannot go in person, or do not wish to, submitting a duplicate car title application via mail is perfectly acceptable. The only downside to submitting via mail is it may take a bit longer or get lost in the mail.
If you were the last titled owner of your vehicle and you are looking to replace your car title, the duplicate car title process is a straightforward option for title recovery. If you were not the last titled owner of your vehicle, but are looking to replace your car title, consider other methods of title recovery. If it’s your car, you deserve a title in your name.