Consumer Title Resource | Since 2009!

Do Vehicle Titles Expire?

Does a car title expire?
A vehicle title is a legal certificate issued by a state department, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles. It proves ownership and is issued only once. While the title itself doesn’t expire, if there’s no activity on it for a certain period (usually around seven years), the record might be purged from the system. However, the title itself remains valid.

What is an MSO or CO on a car Title?
MSO stands for Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin, or CO stands for Certificate of Origin. These documents serve as birth certificates for vehicles before titles are issued. When a new vehicle is built and shipped to a dealer, the manufacturer issues an MSO, or CO. When sold to a consumer, this document is submitted to the DMV to obtain the first title.

Should you carry your vehicle Title?
It’s not necessary to carry your vehicle title in your car. Your registration serves as proof of ownership in most situations. Keeping the title in your vehicle poses a risk in case of theft, as it can be used to transfer ownership. Instead, store it securely in a fireproof and waterproof location, such as a safe or file cabinet.

Car Loans and Title Names
Car loans are typically issued using the vehicle as collateral, which means the names on the loan and the title should match. It’s usually not possible to have a loan with a different name than the title. Most banks prefer both names to be on the title to ensure collateral.

Filing for a Lost Title
Only the person listed on the title record can apply for a duplicate title. This is crucial for vehicle ownership security and is also mandated by law. Allowing anyone to file for a lost title could lead to unauthorized ownership transfers. Therefore, it’s essential that only the title owner apply for a replacement.

These are some common questions about vehicle titles. If you have more questions, feel free to leave them in the comments for future videos. Your feedback helps us address the topics that matter to you.

Watch our YouTube video:

Have Title Questions? Talk to a Car Title Expert.

Book a consultation with a Car Title Expert from to get personalized guidance on your title recovery journey.

Don’t let uncertainty hold you back. If it’s your car, you deserve a title.

Share this article!

Check Your VIN Instantly:

Powered by