Removing a Lien in Hawaii

If you've financed your car and are still making payments toward it, you may have a lien on your title.

Once you've finished paying your car loan, you can have the lien removed from your Hawaii vehicle title.

What Is an Auto Lien?

A lien is a form of legal protection that guards a property owner against the chance that he or she will not receive full payment for something they are selling.

A lien on your car title will allow the lienholder to repossess the car, should you fail to continue making payments on it.

Another condition of a car loan may give the lienholder the authority to require a certain level of car insurance is placed on your vehicle until the car is completely paid off.

Who Is a Hawaii Lienholder?

A lienholder is the individual or entity that issued your car loan. A lienholder is typically a bank, credit union, or other financial institution. Throughout the period that the car loan is being paid off, the lienholder can also be referred to as the legal car owner.

Before a loan is satisfied, a lienholder will most likely be in possession of the car's title, and their name may also appear on the title.

Removing a Lien from Your Hawaii Title

Removing a lien from a car title in Hawaii means transferring the title from the lienholder to the new legal owner (you). This process may differ slightly by county.

In Honolulu and Maui counties, you must:

  • Fill out the new lienholder section on the back of the title.
    • If a vehicle is jointly registered, both parties must sign this section.
  • Ensure the lienholder has signed or stamped the company name on the title.
  • Submit the properly endorsed title and the last issued registration to your local DMV branch.
  • Pay the transfer fee.

Contact your county DMV office, for specific information about releasing a lien on your title in your county.

Hawaii Title Transfer Fees

Transfer fees vary by county:

  • Hawaii County: $5.
  • Maui County: $20.
    • Like Hawaii County, you will need to pay registration renewal fees if your registration has expired or will expire in the next 45 days.
  • Kauai County: Call (808) 241-4256 for fee information.
  • Honolulu County: You can check the Honolulu Motor Vehicle Fee Inquiry Site for fee information.
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