Removing a Lien in Florida

If you financed your car and are still making payments towards it, there may be a lien on your car title. A lien will remain on your car title until you've satisfied your car loan, and it may have an affect on some decisions you make regarding your vehicle.

Once your car loan has been paid in full, it is possible to remove the lien from your title with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).

What Is a Lien?

A lien is a way for a property owner to legally ensure that he or she will receive full payment for the item they are selling.

If a car buyer either ceases to make payments or defaults on his or her car loan, a lien on the car title will give the lienholder the right to repossess the vehicle.

A lienholder may also be entitled to determining the amount of car insurance to be taken out on the car in question. Frequently, mandating a buyer to purchase collision and comprehensive car insurance will be an aspect of a car loan.

Who Is a FL Lienholder?

A lienholder is the entity or individual responsible for issuing the car loan. Typically, a Florida lienholder is a credit union, bank, or other financial firm. A lienholder can also be referred to as the legal car owner before the time that a buyer satisfies his or her loan.

A lienholder will usually have possession of the car title until you finish paying for the car, and the lienholder's name may also appear on the car title until full payment is received.

Removing a Lien from a Florida Title

As of 2013, Florida's vehicle title system is completely electronic based.

Once you've completed your car payments, your lienholder will electronically notify the Florida DMV that the lien on your title has been released.

The title will remain electronic unless you request a paper copy from your local DHSMV office. To convert an e-title, enter the proper information on the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles' website. Once you complete the process, you can have the paper title:

  • Mailed from Tallahassee.
    • Print fee: $2.50.
  • Printed directly at your local tax collector office.
    • Fee: $10.

Lost Paper Titles

If you lose your paper title after you have removed the lien, visit your local Florida tax collector's office with:

Visit our page on Replacing a Lost Title for more information.

NOTE: If you are unsure of the status of a lien on your vehicle, you can verify with the FL DHSMV's vehicle information check.

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