There are a number of reasons why your car title is important and will come in handy especially when you want to insure your car or maybe the police have pulled you over on the highway. Failing to produce your car registration details can be a challenge and may lead to a fine.
However, you shouldn’t lose sleep over it, even if you’ve misplaced your car registration.
The registration isn’t the only piece of document that contains your car’s title number. In this article, we provide you with different options for finding your car title number when you’ve lost the registration.
What Is a Car Title?
A car title is an essential document that establishes the legal owner of a vehicle (whether one or more). Other than that, it also displays a variety of important information, including the Vehicle Identification Number, make, model, and year of manufacture.
It also contains the odometer reading as at the last date the ownership was transferred, as well as whether the car has a lienholder. Most State Motor Vehicle Departments require you to have the title whenever you want to sell, salvage, insure, or donate a vehicle. Misplacing the original will mean that you can obtain a duplicate title.
What is a Car Title Number
The title number is a unique multi-digit character sequence that is found in the information section of a car title. Some states refer to the title number as a document or control number. While the title number won’t reveal to you the model or owner of the car as such, it comes in handy when you want to locate a misplaced car title.
You will also need your title number when you want to apply for a lien or when insuring your car. Both the lienholders and insurance agencies will ask for this information to confirm that you’re the legitimate owner of the vehicle.
One thing you want to note about the car title number is that it isn’t fixed, unlike the Vehicle Identification Number. This is to say that once ownership of the car changes, the new owner can get a new title number. However, whether or not the number changes after every purchase will depend on the state you’re in.
Is the Title Number Important?
On its own, the title number is not as important as you may think. However, the car title contains the information about the legal owner of the vehicle. The title number alone won’t give you much information about the car; it is used primarily for record-keeping.
So, if you have the title number without the original Certificate of Title, it might not be of much value!
Where to Find the Title Number When You Lose the Car Registration
The key to finding your title number after losing the car registration lies in checking the title of the car. Well, I know just how confusing this statement sounds…how do you look up the title number when you can’t find your registration?
The thing is, you don’t exactly need a physical copy of the document since many Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) today keep this information online. As such, your priority should be to contact the DMV in your area or visit their online portals to try and access the information or request access.
Below we discuss ways to obtain your car title number in case you misplaced the registration:
Ask the Lienholder
If you happen to purchase your car through a lienholder, the owner of the car is the lienholder when you're still paying for the car, meaning the title also remains with the lienholder. In such a case contact your lienholder to access the title number.
However, if you’ve settled your debt with the lien and still haven’t been issued with the car title, you need to contact the lienholder. This is because ownership must transfer to you when the debt is settled and you’ll need the title to insure or register the car.
Check the Renewal Notice
Another avenue you can use to find the title number is the renewal notice. In most states, you will likely get a renewal notice from the MVA or DMV. This is a great source if you lost your car registration or cannot find it. Usually, the title number is on the same line as the model and make of the vehicle.
Look Up the Title Number
Nowadays, the DMV keeps an electronic version, in addition to the physical title. This allows you to log on to the DMV’s website and check the title number. In most cases, the eight or seven-digit title number should be at the top left corner next to the Vehicle Identification Number.
Nevertheless, in some states, you’ll find it at the bottom corner of the document. All in all, you shouldn’t have a problem locating it, especially with the words “Title Number” next to it!
Can You Get a New Car Title?
If you’ve tried searching for your original car title without success, you can apply for a new one. The easiest way would be to visit the local DMV office and file a request. However, you should note that the procedure to request a duplicate title varies from one state to the other.
While you can fill out the application online in some states, others require you to do it in person.
To apply for a new title, you’ll need to bring your driver’s license, registration forms, insurance, and other forms of ID. Once you’ve submitted your application, the DMV will probably send you the tile within 15 to 30 days after you applied for such.
Alternatively, you may also file your application via phone, email, or even online. The process is no different, and it will only cost you around 20 bucks depending on the state you’re applying from.
There are many ways you can find your vehicle’s title number, aside from the car registration. If you still have the car title, you’ll find the number printed on the bottom or top corner of the title. The article also provides you with alternative options you can use to access your title number.
However, you want to note that the tile number may not be that important if you don’t have the original car title. This is because it is merely a record-keeping reference number used by the authorities to find the original Certificate of Title.
So if you are having trouble finding the car title, use the above guide to search for your title number!