How to Replace a Car Title in Pennsylvania

A lost Pennsylvania car title is an unpleasant event, and can happen to even the most organized of record keepers. Car titles may even become damaged or made impossible to read over the course of time or due to events like fires, water damage, or even moving to a new residence. Whether you have a stolen car title, a lost one or merely a damaged one, you must follow the steps to replace titling documents. If you wish to sell or trade your car, or even use it to secure a personal loan, you will require a duplicate car title. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) makes the process of acquiring a replacement fairly easy, and not too inconvenient. The PA DOT processes all replacement vehicles titles in the state. Below, you will find out more about the various instances in which you will require a car replacement title in Pennsylvania, and how to go about securing a vehicle title replacement document.

When do you need a car title replacement in Pennsylvania?

A lost car title is only one instance in which you may need to seek out a duplicate title in PA. Should your certificate of title get stolen, you will also have to apply for a replacement PA vehicle title. More common, still, is the event that your title becomes damaged somehow, whether via simply aging, or some other sort of damage related to the elements or moving. A car title copy is required, should your certificate become illegible, due to any damage or aging, or because it was exposed to water or the elements making it impossible to read. Learn more about Pennsylvania car titles by downloading our free and informative guide.

Replacing Car Title Documents in Pennsylvania

If you must replace lost car title documents, the PA DOT makes it a fairly simple process. To apply for the duplicate certificate of title, you must complete an Application for Duplicate Certificate of Title by Owner (Form MV-380). You must supply the original title number on the application form, along with the vehicle identification number (VIN) and your Pennsylvania drivers license number. To replace car title documents, you must also include any relevant lien information, should you have a car that is financed with a lending institution that holds a lien. There is a payment required by the state for your duplicate car title documents. You must submit that payment with your application in order for the DOT to complete the process and mail you your duplicate car title. Once you have collected all the necessary information and filled out the application on Form MV-380 completely, you have to mail these application documents to the PA DOT with your payment.

If you happen to be applying for a replacement car title so that you may register your car in another state while you are out-of-state, you must provide a few things. To complete the application for a duplicate auto title, you must provide a copy of your drivers license from whatever state it is that you intend to title your car in, as well as provide a copy of a utility bill, a bank statement or tax records proving your new residency.

In the case of a stolen car title, you need to report the theft to the local authorities and then furnish a copy of the police report with your application for a replacement car title.

Should you be submitting an application for a duplicate car title because your current title is defaced or illegible, you will need to attach your damaged or illegible car title with your application. Learn more about car title replacements requirements in our complimentary guide.

Replacing Car Titles That Have Liens in Pennsylvania

Those vehicles that need duplicate car title documents, which happen to have liens associated, will not have new certificates of title issued for their owners. A copy of the car title is only issued to the lienholder in these instances. If you finish paying off the loan on your vehicle, you may use section D of the Application for a Duplicate Certificate of Title by Owner, also known as Form MV-380. This application document certifies that the lien has been removed, and you may be issued a car title copy.

Why is a duplicate car title important in Pennsylvania?

It is imperative to file an application to replace a lost car title, no matter the reason you are missing the certificate of title. No vehicle in Pennsylvania may be purchased or sold without a vehicle title. It does not matter whether it was lost, stolen or was damaged or defaced and is illegible. You must procure a replacement certificate of title in order to allow your vehicle to change hands with another potential car owner.

The Pennsylvania DOT handles all matters related to duplicate car titles. Whether you need replacement documents for a stolen, lost or defaced title document, you must route all applications through the DOT. To acquire a duplicate car title, be sure to have the proper application forms and supporting documents to complete the steps of the application process.