Consumer Title Resource | Since 2009!

DIY Duplicate Lost Car Title

Getting a Duplicate Title for a Vehicle
So how do you get a duplicate title for a vehicle? If you have a vehicle that was previously registered or titled in your name, you can do what’s called a true duplicate. You don’t have to do a title recovery or often a bonded title. It was legally titled in your name, you can get a duplicate title from the DMV in your name where it was issued.

Ensuring Correct Name on Title
Make sure, however, that it was in your name, not in your seller’s name, and you’re also going to the same state where it was last issued. For example, if you have the title in Minnesota but you’ve since moved to Texas, you actually have to request that title from Minnesota.

State Requirements and Notary Forms
Some states require you to go in person. If they’re requesting an in-person title application, you can ask them to send you an affidavit notary form where you sign it in front of a notary. They just don’t want to be sending titles to the wrong people that don’t actually own the car. They’re protecting your interest, but you go back to the state where it was last titled to request the document to get a duplicate title.

Handling Liens and Fees
If there was a lien on the vehicle, even if it’s paid off, you might need to get a lien release. Your bank will issue that to you free of charge, and you can send it in to the DMV or bring it in person. They’ll issue that duplicate title for a very small fee—five bucks, ten bucks—usually a very nominal fee. They normally will not do it on the spot; they won’t hand you the title across the desk. They have to print it in an off-site location and then maybe mail it to you later, but it’s usually pretty quick.

Additional Steps and Resources
Make sure you go back to the state where it was last registered and make sure you have a lien release even if that lien was paid off. The DMV may not know it was paid off, so you have to get that duplicate lien release letter from the bank where the loan was. That’s an easy way to get a true duplicate. If it wasn’t in your name and you have to go another route, look for other videos, and we’ll give you do-it-yourself step-by-step process on those as well.

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