Through the Electronic Lien and Titling Program (ELT), the California Department of Motor Vehicles holds lienholders’ title info in an electronic format, so there’s no paper title. These digital titles include the same vehicle details and work just like paper titles.
When vehicle is paid off to original lienholder, a lien satisfaction notice is sent to DMV and car title is either issued to the registered owner or a new lienholder will be added if there is one. Digital titles reduce fraud, mailing costs, and storage.
If you have an electronic title that got lost or damaged, just ask eTags to print it out and mail it to you should you need to transfer ownership of your vehicle. If you have a paper title, just complete the REG 227 form.
You must get a title replacement if the original title got lost, stolen, damaged, destroyed, or became illegible. When a duplicate title is issued, the original vehicle title is automatically voided. If you find the original vehicle title again, destroy it to ensure it’s never used in the sale or transfer of ownership of the vehicle.
If your vehicle was financed, you probably have a lien on it, which stops you from selling the vehicle before its paid off. Your auto loan company can take back the vehicle if payments aren’t regularly made. If the California car title was lost or stolen in this case, only the lienholder could request and receive the title replacement.
If you paid off the auto loan, eTags will need proof that you satisfied the lien before sending you a duplicate title. You could submit a notarized lien satisfied letter or complete the Lien Satisfied/Legal Owner/Title Holder Release REG 166 form. REG 166 can’t be used for an electronic title or for a vehicle that’s two model years old or newer.
If your California registration card says Nontranserable/No California Title Issued on it, you have to get the vehicle title from the state it was last titled in. For a CA title replacement under this scenario, you can’t use the Application for Duplicate Title or Paperless Title REG 227 form
If you can’t get a title from that state for any reason– perhaps you can’t find the seller, or the local DMV can’t locate the title– you have to provide documentation that proves that state can’t provide the paperwork. You may have to get a vehicle bond, depending on the value of the vehicle, which the CA DMV could help you with.
For close to a decade, we’ve been offering a more personalized experience to DMV paperwork, thanks to registration and title specialists that understand the complexities and laws typical of motor vehicle forms and processes.
Our team could assist you in completing forms online, answer questions over the phone, as well as help you resolve related issues such as parking tickets, driver’s license or insurance suspension, and more. Once you complete your title replacement order with us, you’ll automatically have an eTags account from which you could manage all your motor vehicle services and even have registration renewal reminders.