Legal owner on RC

I bought my car in 2016, on loan from DCU bank. After 3 years (In 2019) I paid all the load amount and DCU sent me the title.
Now, I noticed on my updated Registration Certification, it is written as “Registered Owner” as my name and “Legal Owner” as DCU bank.
I will need to sell this car after 6 months, to a private party or any agency. Will it be a problem at that time and I should fix it? Or this is common?
I was under the impression that once I paid all loans and I get the title, “legal Owner” should not be the bank.
Am I mistaken?
If correct, I contact to Licensing department?
I am in Washington state if that matters.

Whoever DCU is I dunno, but when you pay a car off, the bank or lending institution will send you a lien release. A very important document signed by their bank official. You take that release plus your old title to the DMV and pay your $10 or whatever to have a new title issued with your name only on it. A few weeks or a month later you get the new updated title. Problem solved. If you did not do this, you will need to attach the lien release to the old title when you sell it. If you don’t have the lien release you’re going to have to go back to the bank to try and get another one. I always immediately apply for a new updated title when I get the lien release since you never know when you might sell or trade.


Similar experience as @Bing . I went to trade in my 03 last year, brought in the title, I did not look at it closely. It must have been similar as the dealer called the credit union and got whatever paperwork they needed faxed over. I’ll have to look at my title for the rav and see if I need to follow the good idea of getting an updated title.

It appears that Washington State uses “Legal Owner” in the same way that other States use “Lien Holder”

And if you go to the State of Washington Vehicle Licensing website you’ll find specific instructions on how to get a new (“Clean”) title.

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Thanks for all your helpful replies. Will reach out to licensing office tomorrow and see what they say.
Appreciate your advice.

With pleasure, simple enough to do but if you decide to DIY be sure you do it exactly as they say to do it.

The little ole grey haired ladies at our local DMV instantly turn into something like Darth Vader and Godzilla if you so much as sneeze on it. Truly scary! :confused:

We have our vehicle titles updated when the vehicle is paid off . The title also reads XXXX and/or XXXX so if for some reason only one of us is able to trade or sell the vehicle there is not the problem of having both of us sign .

I have bought and sold cars in NY State with a lien listed on the title. as long as you go to the DMV here with the title and lien release the DMV had no problem issuing a new title to the new buyer with no additional charge.

You can update the registration information but what matters is what is printed on the title. In my state the registration is not valid for the buyer so there is no reason for the buyer to ask to see the registration certificate.

For myself it takes 3 months to get a DMV appointment because of Covid-19, I am not going to take the trouble to update the registration unless it can be done online.

DCU is NOT a bank. It’s a Credit Union. Digital Credit Union. I’ve been with DCU when I first moved to New England back in the early 80’s and started working for Digital Equipment Corporation. Back then you had to be an employee or relative of an employee of Digital Equipment Corporation. When Digital got bought out by Compaq and then HP…DCU opened up membership to anyone.

Call DCU. They can help you out. Or just go to the DMV and get a new title. But you’ll need the paperwork from DCU showing that the vehicle no longer has a lien.

I have bought lots of old motor cycles and scooters with messy titles, or no title at all. Because I’m a retired lawyer I know how to take the time and research the DMV rules and fees, and so far I’ve been able to avoid getting into a vehicle that has a bad record I couldn’t fix. Sometimes it takes months, and a lot of patience. When I see a messed up title the price I’ll pay for something goes down fast. People are scared of the DMV.

If you can get a new Release from the Credit Union, do it NOW, and then deal with it, NOW. Maybe it’s a nuisance, but you’ll lose a heck of a lot of money if you blow it off.