A vehicle title is a very important document which serves as a proof as to who is the legal owner of a vehicle. If there is an outstanding loan on the car, the lien holder is considered the legal owner. A title contains information about the vehicle, such as it's make, year it was manufactured, and gross vehicle weight. It will also display the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), license plate number, and information about the registered owner, such as name and address.
Taking into consideration all these factors that make a vehicle title so important, it could be a huge problem if you somehow lost it. That's why you should keep it in a safe place at home, and not in your car. If it does get lost, you must apply for a replacement title, because vehicles can't be bought, sold or donated without a valid title. The procedure for applying for a replacement title is not very complicated, but you do have to be familiar with the specific requirements in your state, since laws can vary from state to state.
You first need to complete and sign a duplicate title application, and some states require you to have it notarized, too. In case the title has a lien holder on it, a lien release form will be needed. You will have to pay the applicable fees, which vary depending on the vehicle type. Submitting a duplicate title application can be done in person or by mail, but many states allow you to do it online, too. Click your state on the map below for information specific to your state.