A stolen car title should be dealt with immediately. Titles are gold to criminals like car thieves and title forgers. Your stolen title could be passed off to an unsuspecting person as the title to a completely different car – even a stolen car. That’s bad news for you if the stolen title is still active.
It’s a vicious cycle, but you can stop it from happening the moment you notice your title is gone.
Luckily, replacing a stolen title with a new one will automatically void the version that was stolen. This protects your interests by preventing your old title from being registered ever again. Filing for a duplicate title is a simple process that won’t involve much of your time or money.
Does paperwork drive you nuts? Don’t want to go anywhere near the DMV? We’ll take care of it. At Title Gods our streamlined title recovery services start at just $399. Just provide proof of ownership and you’ll have a new title in as little as 4 weeks. Bookmark our services now in case you ever need to replace a lost or stolen title.
Replacing a stolen car title is as easy as replacing a lost title. First notify the local authorities about the theft, then complete and submit duplicate title paperwork as found on your state’s DMV website. Do this as soon as possible.
How to Deal with a Stolen Car Title
There are several ways you could encounter a stolen title, mainly as either the person whose title was stolen or as the person buying a car. There’s another way – that is, if you’re a thief! Enjoy the Internet while you still can, because sooner or later you will get caught.
Which of these scenarios describes you?
I suspect someone is trying to sell me a car with a stolen title.
If the VIN number on the title doesn’t match the VIN on the car, one or both may be stolen. You might also notice that the name on the title doesn’t match the name of the person selling you the car.
Solution: Ask the seller to explain. If they can’t give you a provable story to explain the mismatch, walk away from the deal and consider calling the authorities.
I bought a car with a missing title, then found out the title was stolen.
You would most likely discover this upon trying to register the car in your name. The DMV would tell you that the title you have is void and has been replaced with a newer version. In my experience, they might not know that until days or even weeks later.
Solution: Run the VIN number to find out if the car has been reported stolen, then contact the seller and explain the issue. If the seller ghosts you or acts fishy, call the authorities. In the article linked above, the seller forgot they had filed for a lost title and accidentally gave the buyer the one they originally lost. Accidents happen all the time.
My title was stolen. What can I do?
As we eluded to earlier, a title scammer may try to sell your title to someone else. That victim will attempt to register your stolen title in their name, and if you haven’t replaced the title before then, they will succeed. It could take months to correct that situation in the legal system – that’s months of stress and expenses that nobody should have to deal with.
Solution: Notify the authorities about the theft, then follow the steps below to replace your stolen car title. And don’t report your car as stolen! Sounds obvious, but we wouldn’t say it if we hadn’t seen it.
Steps to Replacing a Stolen Title
Complete paperwork for a duplicate title (found on your state’s DMV website)
Mail the form(s) with all required documents and fees
Or, visit your local DMV and complete these steps onsite
Begin by searching for duplicate title forms on your state’s DMV website. It’s sometimes faster to use Google or another search engine to search for the phrase “[your state] duplicate title form”.
Of course, proof of ownership will be required.
The paperwork involves filling out your name, address, and driver’s license number, along with vehicle information like the VIN number, license plate, and year, make, and model. To skip the hassle of the DMV, submit your paperwork by mail.
Required documents may include a photocopy of your ID and insurance card, proof of paid property taxes, and a passing inspection slip. Several states require a notary public to witness the document.
Additional paperwork may be required if you have a loan on the vehicle. It’s wise to include a copy of the police report if there is one.
The cost of replacing a stolen car title is usually less than $20.
Turnaround time to receive a new title is a minimum of 4-6 weeks. The DMV cannot hand you a new title onsite!
This cannot be completed online in most states due to the security and importance of car titles.
Thinking about selling your car? Replace the stolen title first.
Posting “the title was stolen” in your Craigslist or Facebook ad is a quick way to scare off potential buyers! It’s best to hold off on selling the vehicle until after you replace the stolen title.
Act as soon as possible!
The more time passes, it’s more likely that someone could be using your stolen car title to nefarious ends. You can replace a stolen title quickly and cheaply by following the basic steps outlined in this article.
If you have any questions about stolen titles, feel free to contact us or fill out this 3-question form to have one of our helpful staff members contact you at your convenience.