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Vehicle Lien Release: What You Need to Know

If you’re wondering if it’s really necessary to remove your vehicle title lien, the answer is yes. Even if you’ve already paid off your loan balance, your vehicle title will still show a lien until you’ve released the lien from the lienholder. Without a vehicle lien release, the DMV in your state will prohibit you from selling or transferring your vehicle until all liens are cleared from the title. 

Removing a vehicle title lien can be tricky. In most cases, there are three general steps to release a title lien:

Step 1: Identify the lienholder

Step 2: Complete a lien release letter

Step 3: Send your lien release letter to the lienholder

Identify the Lienholder

Identifying your lienholder may be the easy part, but unfortunately, not all lienholders will still be in business. If your lienholder is no longer in business, you may have to do conduct research to locate the current registered agent authorized to release the lien. After identifying your lienholder, look for at least three addresses: principal address, mailing address, and registered agent address. 

Most lenders don’t have a lien release department standing by ready to release your lien. It’s important to identify all of the possible addresses of your lienholder to ensure the right party will receive your paperwork.

Complete a Lien Release Letter

After identifying your lienholder, you’ll need to complete a request for a lien release letter or non-interest letter to the lienholder agent. In most states, this form needs to be notarized by a certified public notary. Most lenders will have a public notary on staff, but it’s important to check with your lender prior to sending your request for lien release. This form must be sent to the lienholder by certified mail and cannot be sent electronically or requested via phone. 

In this letter, you must certify that the lien against the vehicle has been satisfied and provide the following information: VIN, year, make, model, owner name, and lienholder information. If you submit a request for lien release with missing information, your request for lien release will not be approved.

Sending your Request for Lien Release

Once you’ve identified your lienholder and have the proper documents completed and notarized, you’re ready to send off your request for lien release for your lienholder’s signature. Compile all of your documents and send them to at least three addresses via certified mail. Your lienholder will review your documents, ensure that the balance has been paid, then will release the lien or contact you if the proper documentation is missing. 

The best practice for vehicle lien releases is to complete the paperwork for your lienholder. If you send incomplete documents, you won’t get your lien release or it could take months to get resolved. Need assistance with your vehicle lien release documents? Order your professionally prepared vehicle lien release documents here.

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

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