How to Find Who Your Lienholder Is

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Why Do I Need to Know My Car’s Lienholder?

A lienholder is an individual, business, or other entity to whom a borrower has pledged collateral to secure repayment of a debt.

If you take out a loan to purchase your vehicle, the lienholder is generally whoever you used for financing. An auto loan with a lien will have certain restrictions and requirements that are important to understand as a car buyer.

Once your car loan is established and you’re making regular payments, it’s not likely that you’ll be in frequent contact with your lienholder until it comes time to pay off the vehicle. This could be during a final payment for you to obtain outright ownership of the vehicle and a lien release or if you try to sell the vehicle.

However, it’s still important to know who your lienholder is and more importantly any requirements they have when you purchase the vehicle.

Lienholders can impose requirements for insurance coverage as well as your state. They may also have specific processes for you to follow to make selling a car with a lien held with them possible.

Lienholder Information on Car Title

Figuring out the lienholder information on a car title can seem tricky, but it isn’t as complicated as it seems. In fact, the lienholder — typically a bank or credit union — is listed right on the title alongside other identifying details like make and model.

Some states are title-holding states, which means that the lienholder themselves will retain the official title until the loan is paid off. However, in most cases you will at least be provided a copy to reference.

Request Lienholder Information from the DMV

If you are unable to find the lienholder information you’re looking for on the car’s title, you may need to contact your DMV (department of motor vehicles).

To request this information, you’ll need to contact your local DMV office directly or submit an online form, depending on where you live.

You’ll need to provide verification details such as your name, address, vehicle identification number (VIN), and contact information in order to complete the request. Try to prepare these documents and information ahead of meeting with or talking to a representative from the DMV. It can be frustrating to go back and forth piecing together documents to be able to obtain your title and lienholder information.