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How to obtain your car title after loan payoff Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our aim is to assist you make smarter financial decisions by offering interactive tools and financial calculators as well as publishing original and impartial content. We also allow you to conduct your own research and compare information for free – so that you can make informed financial decisions. Bankrate has agreements with issuers, including but not limited to American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make money The products that are advertised on this site come from companies that compensate us. This compensation could affect how and where products appear on the site, such as such things as the order in which they appear in the listing categories and other categories, unless prohibited by law. This applies to our mortgage, home equity and other products for home loans. But this compensation does not influence the content we publish or the reviews that appear on this website. We do not include the entire universe of businesses or financial offers that may be available to you.

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3 min read Published June 23, 2022

The story was written by Holly D. Johnson Written by award-winning writer, author and author

Holly Johnson writes expert content on personal financial, credit card loyalty, insurance and other topics. In addition to writing on behalf of Bankrate and CreditCards.com, Johnson does ongoing work for clients that include CNN, Forbes Advisor, LendingTree, Time Magazine and other publications.

Edited by Chelsea Wing Edited by Student loans editor

Chelsea is with Bankrate since the beginning of 2020. She’s committed to helping students navigate the daunting costs of college and breaking down the complexities that are associated with student loans.

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Once you’ve made the final payment on an , you will need to get the title from your lender to prove you legally own the vehicle. This title is also a critical document in the event that you decide to selling your car down the line. What is An auto lien is a note showing the car is in many cases your lender. In many ways the lien on your car is like a property lien on your home. If you have a lien the lender holds the rights to the vehicle until you pay off what you borrowed, in addition to fees and interest. Once your loan is paid in full, you can remove the lien from your vehicle title is lifted, and the title will be transferred to you. The legal title to the vehicle transfers from the lender onto you. How do you get your title following the payment of the car loan When you’ve paid on your car loan, the lien holder is required to notify your state’s Department of Monitor Vehicles (DMV). They can do so electronically or by submitting specific state-required paperwork. Whatever method you choose, they’ll notify the state that you do not have an outstanding amount due on your loan and are only the owner of your vehicle. « After you’ve paid off your auto loan, you’ll have an « free and clear » title to your vehicle, which means you are now the sole owner of the car, » says Julie Shinn, vice president of lender administration at RateGenius. « Anytime there are ownership changes, you have to update on the record. » The process for changing the title process is different for each state. process of getting the title of your paid-off car depends on the laws of your state. Some states manage the whole process, while others require grunt work. According to Shinn the lender will provide you with a lien release in states which require you to file to get your title. This will include formal proof that the loan is paid in full. Then, you’ll bring those documents to the state DMV to obtain a new title solely in your name. If you live in another state, once the DMV is notified, they will automatically mail you the title to your vehicle with no effort on your part. To find out more about the process for the state you reside in, check out your state’s DMV website . What’s the length of time required to get a title after loan repayment Shinn states the states that you are required to file paperwork to get an auto title that is new under the name of your own, you could expect to receive your new title anyplace from two to six weeks after you have submitted the necessary paperwork. But since every state’s processing time is different and the process could be shorter or longer. Nishank Khanna, a CFO at Clarify Capital, suggests that states that have DMVs that issue auto titles on a regular basis may require shorter time, typically around 15 to 30 days. However, processing and mail time can drag things out, so be sure to contact them via phone to the office, an email or a visit in person in case you feel that it’s been a long time. Last thoughts about liens Although it is normal to have a lien placed on the vehicle you own, it is important to remember crucial details to be aware of. A lien on your vehicle may — or at the very least make selling it more difficult according to Brian DeChesare of Mergers and Inquisitions. This is based on the fact that you’ll be required to pay back your car loan and obtain access to the title prior to being able to sell your vehicle as well as transfer title a different person. It is possible that you don’t have the money to pay off the car prior to the sale and if you do happen to owe more than your vehicle is worth, you’ll have to pay the difference. DeChesare is also of the opinion that the opposite is true also: You can’t be granted the title to a car when you’re buying from someone who has a lien until they have paid off the car. This can be a tricky ordeal. But, certain DMVs offer a lien search option where you can find out who has the title for the vehicle and get in touch with them directly. Due to these challenges, many drivers opt to sell their cars that have the dealership’s lien to upgrade. If you visit a dealership will be given an amount to trade in your car that is hopefully more than you are owed. The dealership will then transfer the title to its name so it can transfer your vehicle to an individual and take you completely out of the equation. The conclusion If you’re hoping for your car’s title after you’ve paid back your automobile loan, you may need to just to sit and wait. But, in some states, a visit to the DMV might be in your future. Whatever the case, you’ll be proud that you completed the repayment of your auto loan. Think about your future financial plans prior to upgrading to a new vehicle with a new loan, especially if your car is in good shape. Learn more

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Written by an Author, Award-Winning Writer

Holly Johnson writes expert content on personal finance, credit cards loyalty, insurance and other topics. In addition to her work articles for Bankrate and CreditCards.com, Johnson is also a regular contributor for clients that include CNN, Forbes Advisor, LendingTree, Time Magazine and more.

Editor: Chelsea Wing Edited by Student loans editor

Chelsea has been working with Bankrate since early 2020. She is invested in helping students navigate the high costs of college and breaking down the complexities in student loans.

Student loans editor

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