Remove or add a lienholder from a title

How to remove a lienholder from a title certificate

When you sell a vehicle, you do not need to remove a lien from the certificate of title. You can give the original title and the original lien release to the buyer. If you want to get a lien free title, please read below for further instructions.

To remove a lien, you do not need to go to your local DMV. Just mail these items:

Click to check/uncheck the box.proof that the lien was satisfied (must be the original - photocopies are not accepted)

Click to check/uncheck the box.your current title certificate (must be the original – photocopies not accepted) 

Click to check/uncheck the box.check or money order for $20.00 payable to "Commissioner of Motor Vehicles"


Lien Release
NYS DMV Title Services
6 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY  12228-0331

The DMV will mail your certificate of title (that does not list the lien) in 60 to 90 days.  The title certificate must be mailed to you; a DMV office cannot give you the title certificate.


What are acceptable proof that a lien is satisfied?

There are two acceptable proofs. You can provide the DMV either.

  • Notice of Recorded Lien (MV-901). The lienholder can send this to you. An authorized officer of the lienholder must sign the form and indicate that the lien is satisfied.
  • A letter from the lienholder. The lienholder must print the letter on the official letterhead of the loan company, and an authorized officer must sign the letter. The letter must identify the vehicle and indicate that the lien is satisfied. If the lienholder is a person and not a loan company, the letter must be notarized.


Can I transfer a title certificate that has a lien listed?

You can transfer the title certificate and give the new owner the original proof that any lien listed on the title certificate was satisfied. Keep a copy of the proof for your records. When the new owner applies for a registration and title certificate, DMV receives the title certificate and the proof that the lien is satisfied. When the DMV processes the title certificate of the new owner, the lien is removed. If the new owner does not provide the original proof that the lien is satisfied, the lienholder is listed on the title certificate of the new owner.


What if the lienholder has my title certificate?

In many other states, the lienholder keeps the title certificate until the lien is satisfied. The lienholder sends the title certificate to the owner when the lien is satisfied. If your vehicle is registered in NYS and you receive the out-of-state title certificate from the lienholder, send the title certificate to the Title Services Bureau at the address shown above. The DMV will send you a NYS title certificate. There is no fee because you paid the title certificate fee when you registered your vehicle in New York.


My title certificate is lost and I need to remove a lien.  What can I do?

Send an Application for a Duplicate Certificate of Title (MV-902) and the original proof that indicates that the lien is satisfied to the address above, or bring them to a DMV office. The DMV processes a duplicate title certificate that does not list the lien and mails the certificate to you. The fee is $20.00. If you request that the DMV remove a lien when you apply for a duplicate title certificate, you can apply by mail or at a DMV office.


How to add (record) a lien to a title certificate

Liens can be filed with the New York State DMV for all titled vehicles, boats and manufactured homes (MFH).  The lien filing fee is $5.00 per filing, and is paid by the lender.

Vehicles sold by NYS dealers (new & used): If the dealer is arranging the financing for the purchaser, the Dealer must list the lien on the Vehicle Registration/Title Application (MV-82) or Boat Registration / Title Application (MV-82B), and in the case of vehicles, the lien box on the Retail Certificate of Sale (MV-50) must be completed appropriately.

If the purchaser is arranging their own financing their Financial Institution must file a Notice of Lien (MV-900) with the Department Of Motor Vehicles before the Title is issued.

Vehicles sold by out of State dealers(new & used): The out of State dealer must prepare a Notice of Lien (MV-900) and ensure it is submitted with the Title Application / Registration paperwork or send the MV-900 directly to the Title Bureau upon completion of the sale.

Private sales: The purchaser must arrange, with their Financial Institution, the filing of a Notice of Lien (MV-900) with the Department Of Motor Vehicles before the Title is issued.

Collateral liens: Individuals or companies that borrow from a Financial Institution using their vehicle as collateral for a loan must submit their title and a completed Notice of Lien (MV-900) to the Department of Motor Vehicles in order to file the lien. In those cases where the Financial Institution will be filing the lien, the borrower must make their title available to the lender.

Please note: The above is only a general outline of the lien filing procedure. For in-depth information about this topic refer to Vehicle, Boat and Manufactured Home Title Program (MV-909).