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Where Is My Car Title!

My boyfriend bought his car in 2003 from a dealership in Minnesota. In Minnesota, the person who bought the car was allowed to keep the title. Then he moved to Oregon, when he went to register the car, Oregon said they [the state of Oregon] must keep the title of the vehicle until the car is paid off. So he handed it over to them. Then he moved out to Colorado. He was told the car title would follow him to the Colorado DMV. Now he has paid off the car, (about six months ago). He is still in CO. He recieved a release of lean from the bank in Minnesota, but has never recieved the title. He has called every state that he has lived in and asked where the title to his car is. NO ONE HAS AN ANSWER!!! They all say “we dont have it.” And they are trying to tell him that now he must pay $110 to get a NEW DUPLICATE title. He does not want a duplicate, he wants the original. Has any one experienced this before? If so, how do we go about getting his original title back? Please help!

I think at best you will end up with a duplicate, with the lien removed. Was the vehicle ever properly titled in Colorado, with the lien carried forward? If so, then you should be able to get the lien removed from the Colorado title. Note that some states do not issue a new title with the lien removed, but remove the lien at the next time the title changes hands, like when the car is sold.

I would send a certified letter to the Oregon or Colorado (whichever state lost it) DMV director, with documentation showing that in the transfer of title from one state to the other, the original title was surrendered and apparently lost of the government agents, at the time of titling the vehicle. Include a copy of the lien release, and request that a duplicate or new title be issued free of charge.

By the way, what state charges $110 for a duplicate title? I think Kansas’ fee is below $20.

I would start by phoning the Oregon DMV. Talk to a supervisor if you haven’t already and explain that they seem to have lost the title. If they can’t find it or a record of transfer to Colorado, Oregon lost it. It seems to me that they should pay for it since they lost it. If the first supervisor can;t help you, as to speak to her boss (and so on).

Try checking with the lender, tell them you want your title now that the lien has been paid off, they may be able to jump through a few hoops and help get a lien free title mailed to you!

Thanks for the advice. Since posting, my boyfriend has called the Oregon DMV asking what happens when a title is surrendered, transfered to another state, and then paid off. The woman on the phone mentioned she had something similar happen. When she bought her car, she went through a big loan agency. She moved and found out after paying off her vehicle, the lending agency SHREDDED the original title, thus forcing her to buy an duplicate. How is this legal?? If the lender does not want to hang on to the paperwork, how can the “reasonable” resolution be to shred a legal document?!
Is there any truth to this lady’s story?

Pay the $110 and get a title! Just write it off as “moving/credit expense”.

How long has the title been “in transit?” It might just be a matter of waiting until the Colorado DMV stumbles across the misplaced document.

Also, didn’t you say “Oregon said they [the state of Oregon] must keep the title of the vehicle until the car is paid off”? Your boyfriend hadn’t paid it off before he moved, right? Who told him car title would follow him to the Colorado DMV? Was it an official source or just what a friend thinks? Maybe Oregon meant what they said and they are going to keep the title until it is paid off.

That’s certainly worth a try.

Yeah, I’d agree, pay the $110 and move on. I don’t know why it should cost that much. I’ve gotten duplicate titles and seems to me it was less than $20 in Minnesota. In MN, you have a certificate but if there is a lien on it, it will say so and who the lien holder is. When it is paid off, the lien holder sends you the lien release. You can then have a no title certificate issued that says “no security interests” or use the old one and attach the lien release. I always like to have an up to date certificate so just get a new one. Its not a big deal. It isn’t like a marriage certificate where there is only one in existance.

So at any rate, you must have plates, and in order to get plates, you have registration information and the title number on it. Start there and with the written lien release just get the updated title certificate. I guess if it costs $110 that’s what it costs. Times are tough everywhere.

It doesn’t matter what she said - she said nothing useful at all. Call back and talk to her supervisor.