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I Lost My Car Title

When did you realize that you lost your car title? Was it when you were trading your car to a dealership? Or was it when you were selling your car to someone on the street? Or was it when you were trying to get a loan out on your car title? In these scenarios it is basically a deal breaker: you must have ownership documents handy to complete the task at hand. Fortunately for you, obtaining vehicle replacement titles is easy – it’s the waiting part that is hard.

If you lost your car title there are 4 easy ways to get an original title sent to you:

  1. Go directly to a Department of Motor Vehicles field office and request one in person. Click here to locate a DMV office near you.

  2. Mail in your request to the Department of Motor Vehicles (make sure you send a check or money order payable to the DMV). The address to send it to is the following:

    Vehicle Registration Operations

    • Department of Motor Vehicles

      PO Box 942869

      Sacramento, CA 94269-000

  3. Visit AAA location. AAA has a southern and a northern division. Click here for those links.

    1. Click here for AAA of Southern California.

    2. Click here for AAA of Northern California

  4. Visit an authorized business partner, like Quick Auto Tags, and process your request instantly at our office for an additional fee.

Scenarios Where You Can’t Order a Replacement Title

  • You cannot order a replacement title if there is a financial institution or individual listed as the lien holder.

  • If you’re still making payments on the vehicle or you don’t own the car outright, you are not authorized to get a duplicate title.

  • If there is a pending lien or loan on this vehicle – you cannot order a replacement vehicle title.

  • If you did not transfer the vehicle into your name, and the previous owner’s information is still on there – you cannot order a duplicate title – for this scenario click here to learn more.

THe Previous owner Is on The Title

In the scenario where you purchased a vehicle, and you lost the car title, the solution to your problem is different. There is a way to obtain ownership of the vehicle, even if you lost the car title. Depending on the exact parameters of you situation the solution may vary. Click here to learn more on how to fix your particular problem.

Instructions on filling out the REG 227 form – Application for Replacement title

Make sure that the plate and the full VIN number is completed.

Make sure that Section 1 is completed: this will have the vehicle owner information and mailing address

Make sure that Secstion 3 is signed and completed by the registered owners sign

How Long Does It Take for my Replacement title To Arrive?

When you visit the DMV, AAA, a licensed business partner or send your application off to the DMV – the moment that your order is keyed in – your title is being produced within a day of the order being submitted. The wait doesn’t come from the DMV – but it comes from the United States Postal Service, which is the company they use to deliver the title to you. So as you’re waiting for your title to arrive in the mail you must keep in mind that it is being sent by mail – for most of my customers it takes about 2 weeks to arrive, but for most states it will be around 3-4.

Quick Titles

Currently, as of 08/29/2022, the “rush title” option that was available through the DMV is no longer available. I speculate that this had to do with COVID – and the shortages in staff and demands on the current staff that it created – for now that option has been suspended.

Recommendations to Store your Title

Once you receive your lost new car title store your title in a safe place. It is advisable that you keep your vehicle title in the same place you would keep your social security number card – this is because this is an important document that you don’t want to lose.