Removing a Lien in Wisconsin

When you take a loan out on your car, there will be a lien placed on your title. The vehicle won't legally be considered your property until the lien is released. Once you've satisfied your car loan, you can have the lien removed by the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

What Is a Car Lien?

A lien is a type of collateral, usually employed by a lender, property owner, or service provider. It gives them the opportunity to seek legal recourse in the even that they do not receive full payment on a loan or a bill.

Your lienholder will be able to repossess your vehicle if you are unable to complete payments on your car loan, due to the lien on your WI vehicle title.

Who Is a Wisconsin Lienholder?

A lienholder is the individual or business providing the money or services up-front in a transaction. Most of the time, a lienholder will be a bank, credit union, or other lender.

The lienholder on your Wisconsin title is the person or company responsible for issuing your car loan. While you are paying off your loan, they will be considered by the WI DMV as the legal owner of your vehicle.

Removing a Lien on a WI Title

Because of a law change in 2012, the WI DMV process for removing a lien differ depending on when you received your car loan.

WI Liens Issued Before July 30, 2012

If the lien was issued to your title before July 30, 2012, you should already be in possession of your title certificate. If you have lost your title, you can obtain a replacement title.

Once you receive notice from your lien holder that the lien has been electronically removed,you do not have to take any further steps. Keep the notice from your lien holder and give it to the new owner along with the title, if you ever sell or gift the car.

If your lender did not electronically release the lien, submit your title and one of the following to the Division of Motor Vehicles:

  • A Confirmation of Security Interest (Lien) Perfection (Form T084 or Form MV2076), which your lender will send to you.
  • An original letter (not copied or faxed) from your lender on their letterhead, which includes the following information:
    • Make of vehicle.
    • Vehicle identification number (VIN).
    • Signature along with the position of the person signing.
    • Date of lien release.

You can submit all of the above:

  • In person at your local Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles office.
    • An additional $5 processing fee will apply if done at in person at DMV center.
  • By mail to:
    • Wisconsin Department of Transportation
    • P.O. Box 7949
    • Madison, WI 53707

If you choose the mail-in option, expect to wait around 6 weeks for your title.

WI Liens Issued On or After July 30, 2012

If the lien on your title was issued on July 30, 2012, or anytime thereafter, the DMV will send you the title when the lender has electronically notified the WI DMV that you have paid off your loan.

If your lien holder has not electronically removed your lien hold, you can take the same steps listed above for liens placed before July 30, 2012. Note that you will not be required to submit a title certificate.

Contact your lender if any issues arise concerning your lien hold.

Forms

T084
Confirmation of Security
The WI Division of Motor Vehicles will send this form to all secondary lienholders when you apply for a paper vehicle title. Not available online.

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