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Removing a Lien in Massachusetts

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If you've financed your car and are still paying off your loan, you may have a lien on your car title. Legally, your car does not belong to you.

Once you've satisfied your car loan, you can have the lien removed from your title through the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV).

What Is a Vehicle Lien?

A lien is a type of protection for a property owner or service provider. It ensures that he or she will be compensated in some way should they not receive full payment for their property or service.

In the case of your car title, the lien gives the lienholder the legal right to repossess the vehicle if you making payments on your car loan.

Who Is a Lienholder in Massachusetts?

A lienholder is the person or company at risk of losing money on an unpaid loan or bill. A lienholder on your car title is the entity or individual responsible for issuing your car loan.

Until the lien is released, the lienholder will likely be in possession of the vehicle title, and their name will also appear on the document. The lienholder may also be referred to as the legal car owner until the auto loan is satisfied.

Remove a Lien from Your MA Title

In Massachusetts, lien and title information is handled electronically unless certain actions occur. Your title will remain in the electronic system until:

  • You have paid off the car loan.
    • Your lienholder should send you a release of lien letter at this time. Once the lien is released, no further action is required from you.
    • However, if you require a title with the lienholder's name removed, you may do so by visiting your local MA RMV and:
    • For more on this process, check out Massachusetts' removing a lien guidelines.
  • The loan is satisfied by a car dealer through a trade-in transaction.
    • The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles will contact the dealer directly about obtaining a clear title.
  • The lienholder asks for a paper copy to be mailed to them due to:
    • Repossession of the vehicle.
    • You moving out of state and requiring a paper title to re-register the car.

Once one of these events has occurred, the MA RMV will print the title and mail it to the appropriate party.

If you are the car buyer and have finished paying your car loan, your lien-free title will be mailed to you within 1 business day of the RMV receiving this information.


Forms

Amending a Title or Adding a Lien - T20065

Submit this form to the RMV to correct OR add a lien to your Massachusetts vehicle title.

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