How do you remove the lien from a car title in Washington state?

I have a lien on my vehicle, but I’ve fully paid off the car and want to get my car title. What steps do I need to take to remove a lien in Washington state?

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Liz Jenson · Answered on Jan 26, 2023
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Fortunately, removing the lien on a car title in Washington state is pretty easy if you follow these steps.
First, your lienholder will send you a lien release agreement and a signed title. This will happen within a few weeks of your final payment on your car, so if you’ve recently paid off your lien, you might just need to wait for a couple more weeks.
If you’ve already received this paperwork, you’re officially released from your lien—congratulations! To make the title switch official, simply visit your local Department of Licensing (DOL) office with both documents in hand and the following:
  • Washington Application for Certificate of Title (Form TD 420 001)
  • A bill of sale
  • A payment method for any title transfer or rush fees
Once you bring these documents to your local DOL branch, you’ll be able to officially apply for your car title. The processing time will require eight to 10 weeks in total. Then, you’ll receive your certificate of title in the mail without the lien listed on it.
Finally, make sure you update your [car insurance] policy as well. Ensure that your coverage limits are in line with Washington car insurance laws, so you can get on the roads without a worry.
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