Electronic lien and title

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Electronic lien and title, also known as ELT, is a program offered by various US States allowing state Department of Motor Vehicles to electronically exchange lien and title information with lienholders in lieu of a paper title.


  • American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) created a 'standard' that many states have adopted in ELT design. States that use the AAMVA standard include: Arizona, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia.
  • States that have chosen not to use the AAMVA standard have developed their own proprietary system.

Implementation in the United States[edit]

States offering an ELT program include Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Several states have or will require lenders to participate.

  • Pennsylvania: July 1, 2008
  • Louisiana: January 1, 2010 [1]
  • Arizona: May 31, 2010 [2]
  • Wisconsin: July 1, 2010 [3]
  • Nebraska: January 1, 2011 [4]
  • California: January 1, 2013 [5]
  • Nebraska: January 1, 2011 [5]
  • South Dakota: July 1, 2012
  • Florida: January 1, 2013 [6]
  • Georgia: January 1, 2013 [7]
  • Texas: January 1, 2013 [8]
  • North Carolina: July 1, 2016 [9]
  • Nevada: October 1, 2016 [10]

Benefits of ELT for jurisdictions[edit]

  • Improved data accuracy resulting from the electronic exchange of data (reduction in typographical errors).
  • Improved timeliness of data exchange (no more waiting for the mail & faster lien releases).
  • Reduction in the use and control of secure forms (paper costs).
  • Reduction in mailing and printing costs.
  • Improved data and forms security.

Benefits of ELT for lienholder[edit]

  • Potential staff reduction in areas associated with filing, retrieval and mailing of paper titles.
  • Reduction of storage space needed for filing and storing paper titles.
  • Ease of processing for dealer transactions.
  • Reduction in title-related fraud.


  • Cannot have a lien released and sell a car with a paper title on the same day
  • For example, in Ohio, a vehicle owner who wishes to sell their car that has an ELT must

first have the lien released by paying the lienholder the remaining amount owed on the lien. The lienholder then has two business days to mail the release letter to the owner. The owner can then request a paper title at their local DMV. Once a paper title has been issued, ownership can be transferred to the buyer.[11]

  • Some states have a lag time of up to 3 months for a paper title to be produced after an electronic lien release