How to Get the Title for a Car in Michigan After It Is Paid Off

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Your car title not only shows ownership but also designates who receives the insurance payment if the vehicle is totaled in an accident. Because of this, it is imperative that you receive the title quickly after you pay off the lien. In Michigan, the lender must notify the secretary of state within 15 days of receiving your final payment. Typically, you should receive your title within 30 days without any effort on your part, but if you do not, you must take steps to ensure that you receive the title from the lender.

Inspect your loan documentation; write down the name and contact number for the lender. Make a note of the make, model, year and vehicle identification number of your car. Write down your loan number for future reference.

Write the number and amount of the check you used to pay the balance of your loan. Note the transaction confirmation number if you paid the loan off online.

Call your lender. Explain that you have not received the title after sending the final payment. Give the lender your loan number and the information about your payment method.

Call the Michigan Secretary of State at 888-767-6424 if the lender will not send the title. Provide the office with your lender's contact information, loan information and the vehicle's information. The office will take steps to provide you with the title if you have satisfied your obligation.

Tips & Warnings

  • File your title in a safe place after you receive it. You need the title if you plan to transfer ownership of the car to someone else.
  • Some loan contracts contain a provision called a cross-collateral clause. This clause allows the lender to retain the title until you satisfy all of your debts with the institution. If you signed a contract with this clause, you cannot receive your title until you pay any credit card, signature loan or line of credit you have with the lender.

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