Signage at DMV- Where You Process Lost Car Titles

So you’re ready to sell your used car? Congrats! 

But do you have the car title handy? If you do, is it in your name? 

Below you’ll find all the information you need to replace a lost car title.

Read on so you’ll be able to cruise through the streets in your new car and make a profit from the old one in no time.

What is a Car Title? 

A car title shows proof of ownership for any vehicle. If you bought the car yourself, the title should show that you’re the legal owner. But, if you took out a loan to buy the car, the title might show whoever financed the loan. 

You will likely not be able to sell the car without a title in your name since this will show your ownership of the vehicle. 

So how do you replace the title if you lost it? The first way assumes the title you lost was in your name and is a much easier process. 

1. How to Replace a Car Title in Your Name

If you lost the Certificate of Title to your current car and the previous owner put the title in your name, you can apply for a replacement title. These rules vary by state, but most states allow you to apply for a replacement from the DMV or secretary of state. 

But if the title you lost was not in your name, you can still get a replacement. If you have the cooperation from the owner of the car, it’s an easy solution.

Working with a title expert, like ABS Tag and Title, can also be helpful for getting a replacement title. An expert will also be able to walk you through the process for your state. 

2. Replace a Lost Car Title Not in Your Name with Help from the Owner

If you purchased the car from a private seller, you can still get a replacement, especially if the title was lost before you transferred it to your name. 

Ask the previous owner to submit a replacement request. If there’s a fee for replacement, you can offer to pay it, which would help to get cooperation. When it arrives, the previous owner could then sign the duplicate title over to you. 

The process of replacing gets a little trickier if you cannot work with the owner. 

3. Replace a Lost Car Title Without Help from the Owner 

The process of replacing a lost car title without help from the owner also changes with each state, but some allow you to get the title with a court order. 

This means you’ll appear in court and a judge would give you ownership. This method usually works as long as you have the other vehicle information, like the car’s manufacturer and VIN). 

But if you don’t want to go to court, you could post a surety bond from an insurance or bonding company. You then need to keep the bond for three years. This is a state’s way of assessing if you are confident you are the owner of the car. 

Replacing a Car Title is a Necessary Process 

Replacing a lost automotive title might not be the most fun process, but it’s necessary to sell your car. The process not only varies whether you have the cooperation of the previous owner, but also by state. 

Be sure to read our other blog posts to learn more about how to sell your car online!