How to Replace a Lost Car Title
You can replace your car title online, by mail or in person, depending on your state or county of residence. If your car title has been lost, damaged or stolen and you do not replace it, you may be unable to transfer your vehicle’s ownership rights during a sale or prove that you are the car’s owner. To obtain a replacement title, you must fill out the proper application form, submit a valid form of identification, provide documentation related to the satisfaction of a lien, if applicable, and pay for a replacement fee. Our guide contains everything you need to know to successfully replace your auto title. You will also learn about other titling procedures, such as the process of transferring vehicle ownership.
Select a state to begin:
Select a state to begin:
2. By Mail
Certain state DMVs offer a mail-in method for requesting a car title replacement. To apply by mail, you must send in a copy of your state-issued drivers license or ID card, along with a filled-out application form. Moreover, you must include copies of documents that prove that any liens on the vehicle have been satisfied. To pay for the applicable title replacement fees, make sure to mail an acceptable payment method to the DMV, such as a money order or a check. After your request is received and processed, which can take an extended period of time given the duration in transit, you will be sent a replacement title certificate via mail.
3. In Person at a DMV Office
Vehicle owners may prefer or be required to replace a car title in person by visiting a local DMV office. During this visit, applicants must complete the proper application form and identify themselves by submitting a drivers license or ID card. In addition, car owners must provide vehicle-related credentials that allow the DMV to locate their records. Note that applicants must also provide documentation proving that any liens on their cars have been satisfied. Finally, motorists will be asked to pay for the applicable car title replacement fees. Because most DMV offices experience long wait times, drivers are encouraged to fully prepare for the transaction so as to avoid potential mistakes and repeat visits.
Drivers with a lost car title are generally required to initiate a replacement procedure timely and properly, thus staying in accordance with state road rules and regulations. Ordering a duplicate car title is usually necessary if licensees have lost their title, or it has been destroyed for some reason. Motorists can finalize the process of replacing car title certificates through a local office of their state motor vehicle agency once they provide specific documentation and complete DMV-imposed criteria.
Though the requirements to obtain a car title copy and the paperwork needed to be submitted may vary from state to state, certain steps, such as submitting a replacement application, as well as arranging payment for the applicable fees, may need to be completed by drivers regardless of their state or county of residence. State DMVs generally offer several methods to apply for a car title replacement, such as in person, online and by mail. Depending on your specific state DMV, you may only be limited to certain methods. Learn more about how to replace lost car titles by reading the following sections:
- Methods to replace a vehicle title.
- Vehicle title replacement requirements.
- Vehicle title replacement fees.
Methods to Replace a Vehicle Title
You may be able to obtain a duplicate vehicle title via several methods, including in person, online or by mail. Note that the ways to apply for an auto title copy generally differ based on the DMV-imposed rules and regulations in your state of residence. Most motor vehicle agencies only allow motorists to complete their car title replacement procedure by personally visiting a local DMV office.
Prior to replacing car title at a branch, however, drivers will need to gather all the necessary documents so as to avoid any inconvenience. In addition to this, licensees may also inquire about the possibility to schedule an appointment, thus avoiding long queues in the office. Another method to replace a lost vehicle certificate of title is to mail the required documentation along with the set fee to the official address of the state DMV. Mail-in requests generally require drivers to submit payment for the applicable fees in the form of a check or money order.
Finally, certain DMVs offer the option to order a duplicate car title via the internet, provided you are eligible for the process. The New York Department of Motor Vehicles, for instance, will allow you to complete the procedure online only if you meet the following requirements:
- You are the owner of the vehicle.
- Your current residence address is on file with the DMV.
- Your motor vehicle is registered and titled in New York State.
- No other changes are made to the details listed on your title certificate.
Note: Contact a nearby DMV location for more information about the available title replacement methods.
Vehicle Title Replacement Requirements
Replacing a vehicle title which has been lost, stolen or destroyed in a timely manner is highly important, especially if you intend to sell your vehicle, as this certificate of legal ownership is usually necessary during the process of title transfer. Auto title replacement requirements will also differ depending on the rules and procedures of your state motor vehicle agency.
Motorists requesting a car title copy in Texas, for instance, must complete an Application for a Certified Copy of Title (form VTR-34), provide a valid photo ID and payment for the allotted fees among other documents. Drivers in New York will also be required to fill out a duplicate car title application form, submit proof of identity, such as a valid driving license or learner permit and pay the applicable fees.
Therefore, when applying to replace their lost vehicle title, licensees are generally obliged to submit the proper application form with payment, along with additional documents that vary based on their circumstances.
Vehicle Title Replacement Fees
Obtaining an auto title copy is a procedure that cannot be completed unless you submit payment for the applicable fees. Various factors may have an impact on determining vehicle title replacement prices, including the type of vehicle and the application methods among others.
The fee to obtain a duplicate vehicle title in New York, for example, is currently set at $20. Motorists in Texas applying for a car title copy via mail will need to arrange payment for a $2 duplicate fee. Drivers requesting a copy of their lost certificate of title in person, on the other hand, will need to pay a fee of $5.45.
Since fees to replace a car title documents differ from state to state and may be subject to change without notice, contact a local DMV branch to inquire about the exact amount pertaining to your case.