How Do I Get a Title for a Car?

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Cars are equipped with a few different ways of tracking their histories: The VIN number is a number affixed to the car itself and the title is a document that every car ever purchased should have. A car's title follows the car if it changes hands as a way to prove the car's history and to prove ownership. Sometimes the title will be missing due to bad record keeping or other extenuating circumstances. However you can easily and painlessly get the title replaced. For a small fee and a bit of paperwork, you can obtain the title of a car in no time.

Things You'll Need

  • Vehicle information
  • Application for replacement title
  • Visit your local Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and obtain the application for replacement title form. Have your vehicle information (VIN number, make, model, and year) ready to fill in.

  • Fill out the form with all of the information on your vehicle and include a legitimate reason for applying for a title (such as new purchase or inheritance/lost title). Mail the form and a check or money order to the appropriate office in the DMV or simply drop it off in person.

  • Wait for your title to arrive in the mail. Your individual case will be reviewed and if awarded the new title will arrive in the mail, however you will receive a letter of declination with information on reapplying if not awarded a title.

Tips & Warnings

  • Vehicle title information is state specific, thus the fees and exact processes will vary slightly between states. A fee of around $10 to $15 is fairly normal for this procedure.

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