How to Get a Duplicate Title: What Steps Do I Take When Replacing Lost Titles

January 8, 2020

 

Get a Duplicate Title in a Few Easy Steps

From time to time, a title can get lost and needs to be replaced. Here’s how to get a duplicate title with our help in just a few simple steps.

Do you know where the title to your car is right now? If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t thought much about it. After all, it’s not something we need every day.

However, you will need your car title if you ever want to sell it or trade it in or you plan to apply for a title loan. This document proves that you’re the legal owner and includes a lot of other important information about the vehicle.  

If you can’t find your car title, don’t panic! Here’s everything you need to know about how to get a duplicate title.

5 Easy Steps to a Duplicate Title

Vehicle titles are handled by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in the state where you reside. For this reason, the process of replacing your title might vary slightly depending on where you live. However, the steps for getting a replacement title are generally the same. Here are the five simple steps you’ll need to take.

1. Confirm It’s Really Missing

First things first. If you can’t find your title, there could be a good reason. When you owe money on your vehicle, most lenders hold onto the title. This protects them in case you don’t pay back what you owe. Once you’ve paid your loan in full, the lender should remove itself from your title and send a new copy to you.

So, if you can’t locate your title and you have an outstanding loan, there’s a good chance that you never had it in the first place.

2. Get an Application for Title Replacement

Once you’ve confirmed that you should have your title (but don’t), you’ll need to apply for a new one. There are several ways to obtain the application.

  1. Call your state DMV and request that they mail an application to you. Make sure you specify that you’re trying to replace a lost title, not get a new one. The paperwork is different, so this is important.
  2. Go to the DMV and get the application in person. This is convenient because you can just fill it out while you’re there and get the process going right away. Just make sure you bring all of the required information with you when you go (see next step).
  3. Go online and print your application. Most DMV offices have copies of important applications online, so you can print it out and complete it in the comfort of your own home. Some states allow you to mail in the application along with the requirements while others require you to come to the DMV and apply in person.
3. Gather the Required Documents

The requirements for title replacement will vary from state to state. In most cases, you’ll need to provide a copy of your driver’s license, your registration, and proof of insurance. There will also be a fee for the replacement service. This varies widely from state to state. For example, in Texas, the fee is $5.45 while in Florida the same request will cost you $75.25.

Check the DMV website to confirm exactly what you need to complete your request. This is an important step because if you get everything right the first time, the process will go much faster.

4.  Complete the Application

The application for title replacement is usually fairly simple. You’ll need to provide your name, address, and contact info. It will usually also ask for identifying information about your vehicle including:

  • Make, model, and body-color
  • License plate number
  • VIN (vehicle identification number)
  • Current odometer reading
  • Your original vehicle title number (if you have it)

The application may also ask you to provide a reason why you’re requesting a new title. Depending on your answer, there may be other requirements. For example, if you state that the title was damaged, then the state might require to you give back the damaged title.

If there’s a lien holder on the vehicle, you’ll need to disclose that as well. In many cases, the state will only provide a duplicate title to the lien holder. If you get stuck or have questions, you might consider hiring a professional title service to handle things for you.

5. Submit Your Application and Wait for Your Title

Once you have everything ready, you’ll need to submit it all to the DMV either in person or by mail (assuming your state allows this). To help protect against fraud, most states wait 15 to 30 days before they mail out a replacement title. Once you receive your title, make sure you keep it in a safe place! You may also consider scanning a digital copy and storing it on your computer or in a secure cloud storage application. This way, you’ll be able to access it whenever you need it.

Other Reasons for Title Replacement

Note that a lost or stolen title isn’t the only reason you might need a replacement. If you inherited a vehicle from a deceased friend or relative and it didn’t come with a title, you’ll need to go through a similar process. You’ll also need to update your title if you change your name (for example due to marriage or divorce).

In these cases, the requirements could get a bit more complicated. This is a prime example of a time when it’s a good idea to hire a professional to handle your title replacement for you. 

Let ABS Tag and Title Help!

Now that you know how to get a duplicate title, you might be thinking that you don’t want to deal with the hassle on your own. No worries, ABS Tag and Title can help!

Have a few more questions? Take a look at our FAQ section, then give us a call at 877-914-7973 to get started!

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