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Duplicate Vehicle Title Application Instructions

If you find yourself in a situation where your vehicle’s original title is missing or damaged, filing for a duplicate title is crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process using an example from the state of Pennsylvania (PA). Keep in mind that each state has its own specific form, but the general process remains similar.

Form MV 380: Duplicate Title Form

1. Department Use Only Section:

  • Do not enter any information in this section. It’s for DMV use only.

2. Ensure Correct State:

  • Apply for a duplicate title in the state where the last title was issued, not necessarily your current location.

3. Verify the Fee:

  • Be aware of the fee for duplicate titles; it varies by state. PA, for example, charges $58.

4. Applicant and Vehicle Information:

  • Title number is not required. Enter the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) accurately.
  • Type the form to reduce errors and expedite processing through the DMV’s scanning systems.

5. Owner’s Name:

  • Only the person whose name is on the official title records can apply for a duplicate title. Do not attempt if you are not the listed owner.

6. Address Change:

  • If you’ve moved, update your address on the form. This prevents issues with the title being sent to the wrong address.

7. Reason for Duplicate Title:

  • Choose the appropriate reason (lost, defaced, never received, stolen, etc.).
  • For stolen titles, expect additional security measures and potential delays.

8. Defaced Title:

  • If the title is defaced, attach the defaced title to speed up the process.

9. Vehicle Owner Certification:

  • Sign the form under penalty of perjury, confirming the accuracy of the information provided.

10. Submitting the Form:

  • If the previous title is available, attaching it can expedite the process.
  • Understand that the old title becomes void once the application is processed.

11. Payment:

  • Check accepted payment methods. Most DMVs do not accept cash.
  • Confirm the correct fee and include payment with the application.

12. Where to Mail:

  • Follow the specific mailing instructions. In PA, it’s PennDOT in Harrisburg.

13. Avoiding In-Person Branches:

  • Mailing often results in faster processing compared to going to a local branch.
  • Centralized processing at headquarters can expedite the issuance of a new title.

Additional Tips:

  • If the last state of title issuance differs from your current state, file for a duplicate title in the state of the last title issuance.
  • Track the process; if a new title doesn’t arrive within a reasonable time frame, follow up promptly.
  • Be cautious when dealing with stolen titles; additional scrutiny is applied to prevent fraudulent activity.

Filing for a duplicate vehicle title might seem complex, but by carefully following the instructions on the form, ensuring accuracy, and submitting via mail, you increase the likelihood of a smooth process. Remember, patience and adherence to procedures are key. If you have questions, utilize resources like help desks provided by car title services to navigate any uncertainties.

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.

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