How to Replace a Lost or Stolen Car Title
To legally sell or transfer a car in the U.S., you need a copy of the vehicle title. But what do you do when a title is lost or stolen? You can easily replace a car title by filling out an application and sending it to the appropriate agency in your state. In addition, you must provide the required documentation and pay any fees.
The Cost for a Replacement Title
The agency that handles replacement titles varies by state. In addition, fees can also differ widely. The following chart details what each state charges for a replacement title and which agency handles the paperwork:
|Title Replacement Cost and Responsible Agency by State|
|State||Replacement Title Cost||Responsible Agency|
|Alabama||$15||Alabama Department of Revenue|
|Alaska||$15||Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)|
|Arizona||$4||Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD)|
|Arkansas||$10||Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration|
|Colorado||$8.20||Colorado Department of Revenue|
|Illinois||$95||Illinois Secretary of State|
|Indiana||$15||Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV)|
|Kansas||$10||Kansas Division of Vehicles|
|Kentucky||$6||Kentucky County Clerk|
|Louisiana||$76.50||Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV)|
|Maryland||$20||Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA)|
|Massachusetts||$25||Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV)|
|Michigan||$15||Michigan Department of State|
|Minnesota||$17.25||Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS)|
|Mississippi||$9||Mississippi Department of Revenue|
|Missouri||$11||Missouri Department of Revenue|
|Nebraska||$14||Nebraska County Treasurer|
|New Hampshire||$25||New Hampshire DMV|
|New Jersey||$60||New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC)|
|New Mexico||$16.50||New Mexico DMV|
|New York||$20||New York DMV|
|North Carolina||$20||North Carolina DMV|
|North Dakota||$5||North Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT)|
|Rhode Island||$51.50||Rhode Island DMV|
|South Carolina||$15||South Carolina DMV|
|South Dakota||$10||South Dakota MVD|
|Tennessee||$11||Tennessee County Clerk|
|Texas||$2 by mail/$5.45 in person||Texas DMV|
|Washington||$31||Washington State Department of Licensing|
|West Virginia||$15||West Virginia DMV|
How to Apply for a Replacement Title
Step 1: Fill out the title replacement form. Obtain a replacement title application from the appropriate state organization. You can search their website or visit a local office for an application.
Step 2: Include the necessary paperwork. Most often, when submitting a replacement title application, you need to provide other information as well, which varies by state. Make photocopies of the original documents to send. Some of the more commonly needed information includes:
- Your full name
- Your driver’s license number
- Your current address
- The vehicle identification number (VIN)
- The vehicle license plate number
- The reason for needing a replacement/duplicate title
Step 3: Mail to the correct agency. If you want to mail in your form, visit the website of the appropriate agency in your state to determine where you need to mail the paperwork and the payment.
Also, make sure to send a self-addressed stamped envelope so the agency can mail you back the duplicate title.
Step 4: Visit a local office. Instead of mailing in your application, you can visit a local office for the agency responsible for replacing lost or stolen titles. Visit the agency’s website or do an online search to find the office nearest you.
In order to sell or transfer a car to someone else, you need to have a legal title. And while accidents do happen and a title gets lost or stolen, you can easily replace it by contacting the appropriate agency in your state. In addition, some insurance companies might require proof of ownership in the form of a title as a condition for insuring your car.