How to Put Lien on Car Title | A Full Step by Step Guide

How to Put Lien on Car Title

Most amateur car users take loans to purchase a vehicle. In such a situation, the money-lender party will also have rights to the car. Though the lender is not the legal owner, he’ll have the right to seize your four-wheeler if you fail to meet the debt repayment deadline. Let’s learn how to put lien on car title.

This is a lien method of purchasing a car where the lender has legal protection in the form of his right on the vehicle. Despite not being the default owner, you can’t resell your vehicle without signing an agreement with him. The car lien will be there along with the title until you clear all the debt. 

Different states have set different terms and conditions for financing via a lien system. Besides the lenders, the dealer may also finance the vehicle on your behalf. In this case, you’ll have to file a lien with the car title.

You can use this method for a new car only, but if you have the one with the title but want a lien on it, you can do so according to the state’s rules and regulations. This article will discuss all the facts about putting a lien on the car title. So, let’s move on to explore this beneficial guide. 

How to Put Lien on Existing Car Title? 

How to Put Lien on Car Title

If you have a car title and want to put a lien on it, you can do so easily. Having an understanding of the procedure, you’ll find it simple. Here is how to do this. 

Visit Your Relevant DMV Office 

First of all, you’ll have to trace your relevant Department of Motor Vehicles. To put a lien on your car’s title, you need the aid of this department. So, locate the DMV office that has the authority to issue the vehicle’s titles. You can do so online if you know how to search the offices from your home. 

The ‘ ‘ will help you to do this. You’ll need your state’s city name, state, or zip code to find the nearby offices. After putting in the essential information, this portal will show you all the nearby offices, their complete addresses, and even their contact information. 

Get Title Application Form 

From the relevant DMV office, you can get a title application. You can put a lien on your car’s title through this form only. 

Fill Up the Application

Different states have different requirements to fill the title application. However, most states need common information, i.e., vehicle information, lien holder’s address, and lien code.

The lending institution will provide you with the lien code. If you don’t have one, call your relevant lending company. After filling up the form, sign the form. After filling out and signing the form, you’ll accept the terms and conditions. 

Submit Application and Fee to the clerk

After filling out the title application, submit it to the office’s clerk along with the essential fee. This fee is necessary to add a lien-holder to your title. The fee is not the same all-state. 

Get the Title Application Verified

When you pay the title application fee to the clerk, he’ll ask for the lien documents. These documents are necessary for verification. The clerk will verify the application based on the lien documents, and your application will be filed. You’ll receive a new title from the DMV office. 

New Title Notice 

A few days after applying to put a lien on your vehicle’s title, the DMV office will issue a new title with a lien. The relevant office will send you a confirmation mail. The lender organization will also receive a lien notice. 

After this step, you have successfully put a lien on the title of your car. The lender also has a right to your vehicle, and you can’t resell it without consulting with your lien partner. 

How to Sell a Car with a Lien? 

How to Put Lien on Car Title

Selling a car with a lien on its title is not the same as selling a normal one. Here are different ways to sell a car with a lien on its title. 

By Payoff Method

It’s good to get clear from the lender before selling the car. You can do so by starting to pay all money before you sell the vehicle. Try to pay them regularly so that you may get the car title as early as possible. You can also consider paying off in a single go. After you have paid the entire lien to the lender, you’ll get your car’s title back. You can now shift the title to the next purchaser. 

Sell Via a Dealer 

If you involve a dealer while selling your car with a lien title, he can instantly help you pay off the lent amount. Moreover, you can get the remaining amount from the dealer to get a new car for you. If your car is not compensating the lender’s amount, you may have to pay it every month with high interest. So, it’s good not to take heavy amounts on a car’s title. 

Sell to the Lender Company

If you are not comfortable with both methods mentioned above to meet the debt repayment requirements, you can consider selling your car to the relevant lender. He will get the car and will pay you the additional money if any.

After the lien clearance, you can sign the title transfer papers as per the state’s rule. If you have a private purchaser who is ready to buy your vehicle, you can also consider this option. He’ll help you compensate for your lien amount. Moreover, he’ll get a clear title as you can pay off your debt via the car price. 


Putting the lien on your car’s title in different states is different. Some states offer a straightforward procedure, while others may have a complicated method. Whatever the method, you can’t proceed without applying to the DMV office. Without the help and permission of the DMV office, you can’t proceed to put a lien on your car’s title.

We have discussed a precise method to do so in the above section. Follow this method to put a lien on your vehicle’s title.