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The Court Ordered Title Process Explained

The court ordered title process is commonly overlooked as a method for vehicle title recovery, but if you’re missing key ownership documents you may want to consider it. The court ordered title process is for vehicle owners who are not eligible for typical title recovery methods due to missing paperwork, damaged or mutilated title documents, or other circumstances that render them ineligible according to their county. When all else fails, you can apply for a court ordered title.

There are more than 3,600 different counties in the United States, each of which has its own court ordered title process. While many processes are determined at the state level, court ordered titles are always determined at the county level. The county for the court ordered title process is typically identified as the county where the vehicle is located. Despite the differences in geographic location, most court ordered title processes share similar requirements. What does a typical court ordered title process look like?

How to apply for a court ordered title:

Example from Fairfield County, Ohio:

Before applying for a court ordered title, you must attempt to obtain a vehicle title at the DMV even if you know you don’t have all of the proper documents. If you’re denied a vehicle title due to insufficient evidence of ownership, then you may apply for a court ordered title.

  • Step 1: Search for a lienholder using the official DMV title records
  • Step 2: Search for the prior owner using the official DMV title records
  • Step 3: Send letters via certified mail to the lienholder(s) and the prior owner(s), informing them of your intent to apply for a court ordered title. Allow for 15 days for the lienholder(s) or prior owner(s) to respond before proceeding.
  • Step 4: Pay inspection fees and obtain a receipt
  • Step 5: Schedule and complete the inspection
  • Step 6: File your petition with the County Court of Common Pleas
  • Step 7: Appear before a judge and make your case for vehicle ownership
  • Step 8: If approved, file your judgment with the Clerk of Courts and receive the court order
  • Step 9: Take the court order to the DMV to obtain a vehicle title

The court ordered title process is not simple, but it is an available process if all other methods of title recovery are unavailable for your situation. Before proceeding with a court ordered title, consider if another title recovery method is available such as bonded title, Vermont title loophole, lien release, prior owner search, or deceased owner transfer. If the best option for title recovery is a court ordered title, make sure to check the requirements of your county before proceeding. If it’s your vehicle, you deserve your name on the title.

Want a professional to do it for you?

For as little as $159 for most processes, we will save you the headache and prepare all of the car title paperwork needed to get you a new title. Simply choose the title recovery method you’d like to use and we’ll get started!

Select your title recovery method:

Order Vermont Title LoopholeOrder Deceased Owner Title TransferOrder Bonded Title ProcessOrder Abandoned Vehicle ProcessOrder Prior Owner ContactOrder Lien Release Request Letter

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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