Removing a Lien in Idaho

If you're still making payments toward your car loan, there may be a lien on your title issued by the Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles. This could potentially affect some decisions you make about your car.

Once your car loan has been satisfied, you can remove the lien from the title.

What Is a Vehicle Lien?

A lien is a legal document ensuring a property owner that he or she will receive full payment for an item they are selling.

A lien on a car title is an aspect of a car loan. It gives a lienholder the legal right to take back the car should you fail to continue making payments or default on your car loan. Another condition of some car loans allow for the lienholder to determine the level of car insurance that must be placed on the car until it has been paid off.

Who Is a Lienholder in ID?

The person or company responsible for writing your car loan is the lienholder. Usually, your lienholder is a credit union, financial firm, or bank. The lienholder will be considered, and may be referred to as, the legal car owner until the loan is satisfied.

While car loan payments continue, the lienholder's name will appear on the car title and the lienholder will most likely be in possession of the title.

Remove a Lien from an Idaho Title

Lienholder's Responsibilities

Once a lien has been satisfied, the lienholder or an authorized representative must notify the Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles within 30 days to complete the car title transfer. The lienholder must send the following to the Idaho DMV:

  • A verified copy of the title showing the lien release.
  • A separate lien release (or other statement) and a photocopy of the vehicle title.
    OR
  • A list of the vehicle titles whose liens have been satisfied AND a letter of explanation.

Your Options

Once your lien is satisfied and the Idaho DMV has record of it, you can either:

  • Keep the title certificate given to you by the lienholder.
    OR
  • Apply for a DMV title transfer into your name (without the lienholder's name).
    • You will need to pay a title transfer fee.

NOTE: If your lienholder has not released your lien on your title, and hasn't provided you with a separate lien release, other evidence of the lien release may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

DMV.org BBB Business Review