Requesting a duplicate title, what state?

My husband bought a car while he lived in California in 2003, he was then deployed and loaned the car to his mother in New York. The car has New York plates. Since then he’s lived in Texas and now in Alabama (he’s in the military). He doesn’t have a copy of his title, what state do we contact to get a duplicate copy? Could he apply for one in Alabama?

*there is no lien on the car

Most states issue a new title as part of registering the car in their state. Therefore the title should be in NYS if the car is still carrying NY plates.

Contact the AL DMV and find out their requirements. If they require the California title first in order to issue an AL title, then contact the CA DMV.

NOTE: states have special regulations that apply to military personnel in order to accomodate their moving around. Be sure to advise the DMV of this. That may affect what they say needs to be done.

Pass on my sincere thanks to your hubby for serving, and thanks also to you for the sacrifices you make in order that he may serve.

I’m somewhat confused as to how it got New York plates if it was in his name. Did his mom register have it registered there, or did he live there and register it there?

At any rate, the answer your question is New York if that’s the state the car is currently registered in. Car titles are done entirely on a state-by-state basis and so the other states have no way of getting the title information if the car wasn’t registered there.

Sorry I should have added that when his mom was using the car he was deployed and she had a power of attorney to handle his business for him.(it was before we were married) So the car remained in his name but she changed the plates to New York.

It depends on whether it was ever titled in N.Y. or not. being in the military, he (mom) was probably able to register the car in N.Y. without titling it there. Look on the N.Y. registration for a title number. If blank, it’s probably still titled in CA.

With the cars serial number in hand, you can probably apply for a duplicate title online from either state…

I’ve never heard of being able to register a car in a state other than where it is titled, but I may be wrong.

In general, active duty military can declare their state of residence as anyplace in the US, and so the car could be, and probably is, titled and registered in NY. I would contact your local DMV to find out what they need to change the title to your current state. If they need a duplicate title, call the NY DMV with the registration info and ask what you need to do to get the duplicate.

When you have a lien on a car, the finance company holds the title in whatever state they are located. If the car owner should move to a different state, he can register the car in the new state without the title being transferred. In these situations, it’s very easy for a car to be separated from its title…