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Title Not Received Until Paid Off?

I am just wondering, I have not received the title for my vehicle which I purchased about 6 months ago. I am just wondering, because this is financed, if I am not going to receive the title until it is fully paid off, or if I have to call the dealer to figure out why I haven’t received the title yet

You get the title when you pay for the vehicle, not before. It’s hard to believe; but, if some people got the title first, they wouldn’t pay for the vehicle! I know! I know! I’m shocked, and surprised, that some people would do that!

Where I’m at, if you have a loan against the vehicle, the people who gave the loan are listed as the first secured parties on the title. And you are listed as the second secured party on the title. So until you pay the loan off, and satisfy the first secured parties interest, you don’t get the title.


Yep, in Minnesota, you have title to the vehicle when you buy it not pay for it. The title will list the one you owe the money to as a lien holder. You can’t transfer the title until you get a lien release which is given when it is paid off. The DMV though will issue the title not the dealer so it may be caught up in a back log.

The bank that financed your car has the title. Usually, you have to request that they release it to you after the car is paid off. They won’t do it automatically; they keep it for your convenience. You never have to worry about misplacing it.

Probably varies by state. In OK you receive the title very quickly but if the vehicle is financed there will be a lien showing on the title and will not be removed until the lien is satisfied.

Just last night on the local news they did a story about a lady who bought a car from an individual and this car still had a lien on it.
She had great difficulty getting the title in her name and when she did the lien was added to the new title because the buyer gave the seller the money and the seller never paid the lien off.

This means now the new title is in the buyer’s name BUT the lien holder can still repossess the vehicle if they can find it and if they choose to.
Big mistake by the buyer to hand over cash to a seller with a lien showing on the title.
The seller “promises they will clear the lien up” but the buyer should not hold their breath on this one.

What state are you in?

Here in Florida, my finance company held the title until the car was paid off. Then after it was paid for, American Honda Finance Corp. sent me the title automatically.

In pennsylvania you will only get your title after the loan is paid.once the car is paid off the bank/lender will automatically send you your title

In NH also the financing organization holds the title until you lay the loan off.

In NY State you receive the title within a few weeks of purchasing your vehicle and, if it is financed, the bank is shown as a lien holder. You cannot get a “clean title” until the loan is paid and a lien release letter is sent to you by the finance company. A new title can then be issued by taking the lien release and the old title to the DMV. The new title will be “clean” with no lien holder.

The sad part about the lady that was mentioned in my prior post is that she now has a title and tag but she chose to go on TV with this story and the name of the lien holder is mentioned.

I doubt she’s given any consideration to the fact that now she’s known to the world, this will no doubt get back to the lien holder who will do a skip trace on her, and she will wake up some morning to find her car legally gone forever, along with her money, after the repo guy gets it in the middle of the night.

You don’t “own” the car until it’s paid for. At the moment, someone else owns it and someone else has the title. Someone else usually has a set of keys for it too…

Here in GA, and in TN, the finance company also holds title until they are paid in full. Last financed car I had, the title was sent with lien signed off after the loan was paid.

In Michigan you get the title when you buy the car. If you finance it, you will have a first leinholder, second leinholder, etc. listed. When you pay it off you take it to the leinholder and get them to sign the title that it’s paid, releasing the title so you can sell the vehicle later.

OK, thanks everyone. This is actually the first time we did a finance transaction on a car. My previous car I bought used with my investment fund. So far I have no complaints about the car I have now. It’s a 2008 Hyundai Elantra GLS automatic, with the popular equipment package.