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How to deal with registration and titling issues
There are a lot of issues regarding registration and titling that can take a lot of time and effort to be resolved. Here is a list of some of the most common issues and answers that will help you deal with them in the fastest and stress-free way possible. For more detailed and state specific information, click on your state on the map above. For info on custom vehicle registration, go here.
Name and/or address change
If you make a name and/or address change, you need to register the change which can be done either in person or online. If you do it in person, you need to submit a Change of Address form and bring the documentation needed to prove the name change, for example, a marriage certificate. Changing a name or an address online is done by filling an online form and submitting your new name or address and applying for a duplicate driver's license which you will be charged a small fee for.
Replacing a lost title and obtaining a duplicate
If your title got lost or stolen, you can replace it but there are some slightly different procedures depending on whether there is a lien holder for the vehicle or not. In any case, you first need to provide an identification documentation, such as a driver's license and then, if there is a lien holder on the title, the duplicate title request has to be made by the lien holder and the title will be sent to him/her. If there is no lien holder, you will be only required to complete a form containing information such as vehicle make and year and owner's name. There are also various issues that come up if you have to replace or renew a vehicle registration.
When transferring a vehicle title, due to buying or selling, inheriting or gifting, you must pay attention to various details because there is a different procedure for every situation. If you are selling a vehicle, and there is a lien holder on the title, you must provide a proof that the lien has been removed. You must remove the license plate, which you can then transfer to another vehicle or turn it in to the DMV. If you receive a vehicle through a divorce, you have to submit the original copy of the divorce papers along with a vehicle identification number (VIN) and an odometer reading. When giving a vehicle as a gift, you first have to make sure you are the sole owner of the vehicle and there are no liens on it, submit your signature, driver's license information and odometer information. Also, the person receiving the vehicle must have car insurance. For cross-state title transfers go here.
Different states have different requirements concerning emissions testing. Vehicles in some states need to be tested before they can be registered, while other states comply with all air pollution standards and vehicles there are exempt from this requirement. Emissions testing is usually conducted during the ownership transfer or, in some states, after the first registration. Some vehicles such as motorcycles and mopeds, diesel-powered vehicles and electric vehicles are exempt from emissions testing in almost every state. Hybrid vehicles, on the other hand, must go through emissions testing.