Fastest Way to Get a Title for a Car

How to Quickly Get a Replacement Car Title

Your car title shows that you own your vehicle. It is a document from your state that proves who owns the vehicle and if anyone else has a claim (often called a lien in the automotive/financial world) on your car. But how often do you really think about your car title? Do you even know where to find yours right at this moment, or would you need to think about it or even search around for it?

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Replacing a car title can often prove a hassle if you either can’t find it or it has been damaged in some way. You generally can’t legally sell a car without a physical title, particularly in the case of a private sale between two individuals. Generally, a dealer can get a replacement title or just use an electronic one until the vehicle is sold again, though some may require the actual physical copy. And if you want a title loan, you almost certainly will require the physical title to give to the lender.

What Steps Do You Need to Follow to Receive a New Title

You’ll have to go to your state’s respective Department of Motor Vehicles website to find out what exactly you’ll have to do to get a duplicate title. You can also call your local office, although going to the website will most likely be faster. Then find what documents they require in order to get a new title. You will most likely need your driver’s license, the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the odometer reading of the vehicle in question, though the requirements vary by state.

Once you have all the information and documents required, then you should go to the actual DMV or complete whatever steps you need to on their website. Make sure you bring everything with you and fill out everything carefully. If you enter something incorrectly, it can make the process take even longer, or you may have to start over completely. Measure twice and cut once when dealing with any paperwork for the government.

The DMV has gotten much faster in recent years, but some states say that you may have to wait up to three months before you receive your replacement title. Some states do offer an expedited service though the cost and timeframe vary from state to state, so check what your state motor vehicle department says.

Listing Owners On the Title

If more than one person owns a vehicle, like a spouse or partner, how you list the owners makes a big difference in who must sign to sell the vehicle. Write the word “and” between the two owners means both must sign the title for the sale to transfer ownership properly. If you write “or” between the two owners instead, in most states, either party can sign to sell the vehicle.

Putting “or” between the owners makes it easier for either party to legally sell the vehicle. But that means that either can sell without the knowledge or consent of the other party. So putting “and” makes it more secure, meaning both have to agree and sign for any sale. But that also might become something of a hassle if both parties can’t get there at the same time or have busy schedules.

Both parties signing the title in case of sale becomes far more difficult if your state requires a notary to witness any bill of sale. Something to consider when deciding how you want to list the owners on the title. Either way of listing has both pros and cons. You just need to decide what has more value to you, convenience or security, in how you list the owners.

Bonus Topic: Why Some Refer to Car Titles as “Pink Slips”

You have probably heard the common term “pink slip” when referring to a car title. The answer turns out to be very simple, at least on the surface. In California, they printed official car titles on pink paper until 1988, most likely so that it would be distinguishable from other papers and not be thrown away. But you may wonder, why would that matter? Well, California has the largest population and also some of the highest rates of car ownership. Not to mention the fact that it remains a center of entertainment, putting out popular music and movies for decades. 

Characters “race for pinks” in the movie Grease. R references dating back to the 1950s in both movies and songs show the same concept of illegal street racing to decide the ownership of a car. Now you know why “pink slips” as a name for car titles became popular.

Whether you need cash quickly or to refinance an existing title loan, we can help you find a lender today!

Categorized as Car Title

By Jordan Radcliff

Jordan is a writer for Max Cash who covers a wide range of topics, including personal loans, credit scores, and side hustles.