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Stolen Car Title: Here Is Everything You Need To Do

  • Cars Explained
  • Sara Sam
  • 5 minutes

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Have you lost your car title? Are you clueless about a stolen car title? Worry not! We got you covered. Here is a comprehensive guide on the stolen car title and what you should do to replace it.  

What is a car title? 

Yes, you know what it means to your car and you. However, to clarify, a car title is an official document certifying a vehicle’s ownership. Therefore, one has the right to panic if the car title has been stolen. Even though it can lead to forgery, and loss of the title, in addition to added expenditure to proving that you are the legal owner of the car, immediately identifying that you have lost it is the key to making the replacement process smooth.  

However, if you have taken out a loan, your car title will be in the lienholder’s name. Once you have finished paying the loan, consequently, the title will be transferred to your name.  

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How to replace a stolen car title 

Replacing a car title can be easy if you have proof of ownership and your vehicle identification number (VIN). This must be submitted at the local DMV. However, the procedure for replacing a car title varies with each state.  

For instance, in Texas, you can proceed with the process of replacement by mail or in person, whereas in New York you can replace the lost car title online. However, visiting your DMV can be the second priority. Firstly, one must file a report with the police about the stolen car title. This is because, in states like Pennsylvania, you must send a copy of the police report with the application.  

replace lost car title

Meanwhile, if you haven’t finished paying the loan, the car owner is the lienholder. In most states, in that case, the lienholder has to apply for a duplicate title. 

General steps to be followed to replace a stolen car title. 

  • Report the stolen car title to the police. 
  • Visit the nearest DMV or apply for a replacement via mail or online, according to the provisions available in your state. For example, it is Form MV-902 in New York, while it is VTR34 in Texas. Similarly, California insists on Form REG 227 to obtain a duplicate car title.  
  • Fill in the required details mandated in the forms for a duplicate title.  
  • Make the required payment. The amount, too, will vary with the state. For example, it costs $20 in California and $77 in Florida.  

How to replace a lost car title that is not yet in your name 

If you are purchasing a vehicle from a private seller and the seller cannot locate the title, you can ask the seller to submit a duplicate request on your behalf; however, the seller will be responsible for paying any associated fees. After that, the newly acquired title will be changed to reflect your name. 

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How long will it take to get a replacement car title? 

The time to receive a duplicate car title after it was stolen or lost varies with each state. In several states, the DMV offers same-day service.  

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I file for a lost title not in my name?

If you have bought a car without a title, firstly, you must run the VIN before buying it. Secondly, collect evidence for the lost title; thirdly, gather all the bills of sale.  

Consequently, fill in the details for a lost title on your state DMV’s website, and mail the documents and the fees for the duplicate title. However, it depends on the DMV on how to file for a lost title that is not in your name. 

Can someone steal your car and change it to their name?

Yes, this is the most common form of vehicle identity theft. If you ever receive calls from a car dealership for a car you did not buy, or if there are inquiries on your credit report, you can suspect vehicle identity fraud.  

However, you must act immediately if you suspect your car title is stolen or the chances of vehicle identity theft. Firstly, collect evidence and file a police report. Secondly, contact the DMV. Thirdly, initiate a credit freeze, consequently, file a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

Can you drive a car without a title?

Buying, selling, or driving a car without a title is prohibited across most of the United States. You may also find it hard to insure your car without a title; in addition, the plates on the car cannot be used as the car may not be registered in your name. 






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