car title

Lost Your Car Title?: Here’s Exactly What You Need to Do

There are 281 million vehicles registered in the United States, each with its own individual car title.

Also known as pink slips, a car title proves ownership of a vehicle. It has a car’s VIN, weight class, and the full name and information of its owner. A car title is required when selling a vehicle to a new owner.

If you’ve misplaced or lost the title to your car, it’s essential that you replace it. Read on and we’ll walk you through exactly what steps you need to take if you’ve lost the title to your car.

Obtain a DMV Application

A responsible automobile owner will never be without their car title. A car title can prove legal security, aid in sales, and even offers the option of car title loans.

The exact steps you will need to take to replace a car title will vary slightly state by state. But in almost all cases, it’ll start with a trip in person or online to the DMV.

Most states allow you to download a copy of their car title application form straight from their website. Make sure that you’re downloading the application for a replacement title and not for a brand new one.

Most states will require a number of personal identification materials to be submitted with your application. Your car insurance and registration will likely be requested. And on top of this information, you will be required to pay a fee, which varies in amount from state to state.

Pennsylvania has a fee as high as $53, while Texas has one as low as $2. The fee for your state likely resides somewhere in the middle.

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Your current address will already need to be on file with the DMV.

Submit Your Application

Before handing over your application to a DMV representative, make sure to go through and double check everything. A car title is the one piece of paperwork that demonstrates ownership of your car, and even the smallest of mistakes on your paperwork can seriously complicate the process.

You will also need to mention why you need a new title and whether your original was lost, damaged, or stolen.

In some states, your signature on a car title application will need to be witnessed by a public notary. If you are unsure if this applies in your state, call the DMV office to inquire.

Once the DMV receives your application and fee payment, they’ll begin to process your request. Most states won’t send out new titles earlier than 30 days following the submission of an application, so there will be some amount of wait time.

Replacing Your Car Title

Thankfully, the process of replacing a car title is a relatively easy and affordable one. Though going through the red tape of the DMV may take a little time, a simple application and small fee are all that’s needed to get you back on track.

Have a problem with your vehicle? Check out our database of automobile manuals and see if we can help.