Removing a Lien in North Dakota

If you took out a car loan to pay for your new vehicle in North Dakota and are still in the process of paying it off, there will be a lien on your car title. The car will not legally be considered your property until the loan has been paid in full and the lien is removed from the title through the North Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT).

What Is an Auto Lien?

A lien is a form of legal protection for service providers or property owners, insuring them against any financial loss they may receive when a loan or a bill goes unpaid. In North Dakota, a lien on you car title will allow the lienholder to repossess the vehicle in the event that the car you default on or cease making payments towards your auto loan.

Who Is a ND Lienholder?

The person or company putting the money up up-front in a transaction is typically the lienholder. In the case your car title in North Dakota, a lienholder is the individual or institution responsible for issuing you car loan. In many cases, a lienholder on a car title will be a bank, credit union, or other lender.

The lienholder will typically be in possession of the title and have their name on the document until the loan has been satisfied and the lien has been removed.

Removing a Lien from a North Dakota Title

In order to remove a lien from a North Dakota car title, you and/or your lienholder will have to fill out several DOT forms, including:

Bring the completed paperwork to your local North Dakota Department of Transportation office, along with $5 for the title transfer fee.

Duplicate Car Titles

If you need to order a duplicate title and also need to release the lien on that title, you will need to submit all listed above, plus an Application for Certificate of Title and Registration for a Motor Vehicle (Form SFN 2872).

There will be an additional $5 duplicate title fee.


SFN 2872
Application for Certificate of Title and Registration of a Vehicle
Apply for a new, renewal, OR duplicate ND DOT title, registration, or tabs.
SFN 2475
Purchaser's Certification and Application
After buying OR receiving a vehicle, file this form with the ND DOT within 30 days to report the transfer. Also used to apply for an excise tax exemption.
SFN 2876
Release of Lien by Legal Owner
Use this form to release a vehicle owner from a lien after transferring the title to them.
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