Car Title Number - What is it & where can you find it?

Very few people care much about the title number for their vehicle because it’s not something that is needed often. It is important to know how to locate the title number for a vehicle when it is required.

This guide will show you where to find your title number. The reasons you might need this number are explained, as well as the types of car titles.

Índice de Contenido
  1. What does a vehicle title number mean?
  2. How to find the Car's Title Number
    1. 1. Refer to the title
    2. 2. The Vehicle Registration/Renewal
    3. 3. Local DMV
    4. 4. Insurance Company
    5. 5. Financing Company
  3. Different Car Titles
    1. 1. Keep it clean
    2. 2. Clear
    3. 3. Purchase Back Lemon/Factory
    4. 4. Salvage
    5. 5. Rebuilt
  4. For what purpose is a title number needed?
  5. What should you do if your title is lost??
  6. What if a vehicle is sold without a title?
  7. What is the best way to get an online copy of my vehicle title?

What does a vehicle title number mean?

A car title number is a 7 or 8-digit number that identifies your car’s title, and it’s found on your car’s certificate of title and your registration. The car’s title number is issued when the car gets a new owner and will change when the car changes ownership.

A title number won’t tell us anything about the owner of a car, make and model, or other vehicle-specific information. However, it’s useful when you need to get a new title or find a missing title.

How to find the Car's Title Number

There are many places where you can locate the title number. It can be found on your vehicle registration or the title. If you don’t have these documents, it’s possible to get the information from your local DMV or insurance company as well. The number may also be available from the financer.

1. Refer to the title

You can find your vehicle's title number on the vehicle itself. Every title includes the number, so you don’t have to look far. 

In general, it’s listed above the VIN, but it could be different based on the state you are in. The title number usually has eight digits.

2. The Vehicle Registration/Renewal

Some states include the title number in the vehicle registration. You should always keep this document with you so that the title number is easily accessible. 

The number should be located near the make/model of your vehicle. It may be found on renewal documents. 

3. Local DMV

If there’s no documentation available with the title number, you can talk to your local DMV. A copy of the vehicle title and the number is available from your local DMV. 

Before they will give you information, however, you'll need to show proof of your identity. This inquiry can be made in person, or by phone. Before you contact the DMV about your title, it is a good idea to order a duplicate. 

4. Insurance Company

Some insurance companies require the title number, although it’s not as common. Normally, the insurance provider only needs the VIN, but it’s worth asking.

You can quickly contact your insurance company to find out the answer. To ensure that you have what you want, you might be able to check your insurance policy on the telephone. 

5. Financing Company

If you don’t own your vehicle, you might not even have the title in hand. While you pay the loan, some financing companies may keep the title on file. 

Call the financer to get the title number. Talking to them can help you find out more details, such as how long you have to pay to get your title. After the loan has been paid in full, the title should be mailed to you. 

RELATED : How to Buy a Car in the US Without a Title

Different Car Titles

1. Keep it clean

It is important to check that your vehicle's title has not been damaged before purchasing it. The vehicle is not considered a total loss by the insurer. 

The provider never took the car apart. A clean title is the best way to make sure you get a quality vehicle.

2. Clear

Clear title is essential. All this designation shows is that there’s no financing for the vehicle.

When a financing company owns the vehicle, the title isn’t clear. After the lien has been paid, the title is made clear. When you buy a vehicle used, it is important to have a clean, clear title.

3. Purchase Back Lemon/Factory

When a car seems to have problems right from the factory, it’s known as a lemon. Customers can get their money back if they purchase lemon cars. However, these laws vary between states, so you would need to check your local laws to see what’s involved.

If the car has been determined to be a lemon the manufacturer will return it. It will be reflected on the car's title, so customers are aware that this car was purchased back. 

4. Salvage

According to the salvage title, the car was declared totaled by the insurer. It doesn't matter if the vehicle was destroyed by floodwaters or other causes, it would still have to be repaired. 

You should avoid vehicles with salvage titles unless the goal is to restore it, which could be a costly undertaking. They will sell for a lower price than cars with clean titles. 

5. Rebuilt

Rebuilt titles show that it passed all inspections, indicating that the vehicle was completely restored. The salvage vehicle was destroyed and rebuilt according to the industry standard. 

The cars must pass a rigorous inspection to ensure they can be used again on the road. However, you still shouldn’t pay full price for one of these vehicles as anything could go wrong down the road. 

RELATED : Is it a rebuilt title and should I buy a car with one?

For what purpose is a title number needed?

The title number doesn’t have a lot of purposes. It’s not nearly as important as the VIN (vehicle identification number) that acts as a serial number for the car. This number serves as an identification for the title.

When ownership is transferred, the title number must be used. After the vehicle is sold, its title number can be changed. Whether the financing company is turning the vehicle over to you or you are selling the car, the title number doesn’t serve much purpose. 

What should you do if your title is lost??

If you no longer have the vehicle title, it’s best to get a duplicate from your state’s DMV. This request can be downloaded online and sent in. It’s also possible to go to some DMV offices in-person to complete the request. The duplicate title will cost you money, regardless of how it is done.

While the amount paid will vary, there’s one thing that remains the same. To get a duplicate of your vehicle's title, you will need to prove ownership. When you ask for a duplicate, make sure that you have your identification. Also, you will need to wait for the mail to arrive before your new title. The state can verify your information and reduce fraud by waiting.

What if a vehicle is sold without a title?

You can sell your vehicle without a title, but you don’t want to. To ensure that the vehicle is sold, you will have to prepare a bill and sign an affidavit. 

A bonded title can be more expensive and will need to be applied for by the new buyer. It’s also a pain in some states to accomplish, so you may have to knock the asking price down to compensate the purchaser. Instead of going this route, it’s best to apply for your duplicate title before you plan to put the vehicle up for sale.

What is the best way to get an online copy of my vehicle title?

You can obtain a digital copy of your vehicle title online. To do this, you will need your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The easiest way to obtain a copy of your car title is to visit the website of your state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV).

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