How to Replace a Lost Title

A certificate of title, or a car title, is a form that shows the individual or business that owns a vehicle. Titles contain information about your vehicle, usually including the vehicle indentification number (i.e., VIN), the make and model of the vehicle, and the vehicle's manufacturer. Titles will typically identify the name and addres of the person or business that purchased the vehicle, and idenitfy if there's any money owed on the vehicle and to whom it is owed.

What to Do if Your Title is Lost or Stolen

If you lose your vehicle's title, or it gets stolen or otherwise misplaced, you'll need to contact the DMV. The process for replacing a title varies from state to state, but in general, you will:

  1. Check with your local DMV to verify the title replacement process. In some cases, you'll be able to complete your application for a replacement title online.
  2. Present the documentation required by your state. In most states, you'll need to present personal identification as well as the vehicle's registration.
  3. Pay any applicable fees.
  4. When you receive your replacement title, make sure you store it in a safe place where it will not get lost again.

In most cases, the replacement title will have the word "DUPLICATE" printed on it, and the original title will become voided. If you happen to find the voided title, you may write "VOID" on the face of it, or go ahead and destroy it. You'll want to do this so that the voided title isn't used in the future to sell or transfer the vehicle's ownership.

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