What Is A Clear Title?

What Is A Clear Title?

Are you thinking about getting a car title loan but heard that you need a clear title in order to do so? Maybe you’re wondering whether your title is clear or what you need to do if it’s not. Not only is a clear title what’s required to get a vehicle title loan, it’s also usually required to sell your vehicle if you’re looking to do that. Having a clear title means there are no liens, which are payments you owe either to lenders who helped you buy the vehicle, or to other parties such as a mechanic, towing company or even the government.

Checking On Your Vehicle Title’s Status

There are several ways you’ll know if your vehicle has liens on it or not as listed by this car buying tips website. The first way is that you won’t get a paper copy until you’ve made your payments to the lender who in this case would be the lienholder. The other is that you’ll have a paper copy that will have one or two lienholders listed on it. In either case, once you’ve finished your car payments you’ll then get a copy with a stamp saying “lien satisfied” on it, and you’ll need to take that copy to the DMV and pay a small fee to get a brand new title sent to you.

There are some precautions you should take to make sure any vehicle you currently have is not under lien, because sometimes statutory liens (IRS, mechanics, etc.) are not listed on the title. You should also make sure that the current title is present whenever you buy a vehicle. Most big name and reputable dealerships follow the law to the letter on this, but there are some smaller independent dealers, private sellers and auctions that don’t, so always check with them to make sure the title is there. Also, go online to the state’s DMV database which will show you information about the title and whether it’s active or has any liens currently on it. Usually you cannot register a vehicle if you don’t have a copy of the title or have liens preventing you from doing so.

A “Clear” Title Is Not The Same As A “Clean” Title

You might come across the term “clean title” and wonder if this also means the title is clear. No, a clean title simply means that the vehicle has not been involved in any accidents that would make it undrivable or hasn’t been rebuilt. New vehicles and most regular used vehicles found at dealerships are given clean titles. Salvage titles are the opposite of clean titles and if the vehicle has one of those, though if the vehicle becomes repaired and passes an inspection stating it’s drivable again, the salvage title may have the word “clear” printed on it indicating it’s now legal.

Applying For Your Title Loan

Once you’ve performed all the checks on your vehicle’s title and confirmed it’s clear, it should now be eligible for a vehicle title loan provided your vehicle’s wholesale value is high enough. Your title loan will also involve placing a lien on the title, but it will be cleared promptly upon paying it off. There may be a few other stipulations that need to be met before you can be approved for a title loan, but a clear title is usually the biggest key to getting one.