Monday, May 16, 2011

California Mandatory ELT: Living Without Paper Titles

With California requiring participation in their Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) program beginning in January 2012, I thought I would cover some common questions about not having paper titles:

"Our customers are used to getting titles when they pay off a loan" or "I have a customer coming in who wants to meet the vehicle buyer so they can get a title. What do I do?"
First, everyone will be getting used to a new process - the situation with titles is changing in California by legislative order. You are required to participate in ELT and that means you no longer store titles on site.
Second, when you process a release electronically your lien is actually released. Customers will get a clean title from the CA DMV and do not need to contact you even if they later lose the title.
Third, if your customer informs you ahead of time that they are coming in to get a title, you can request a paper copy of the title with your lien still on it and have it ready for the customer. That requires advance notice from your customer as California estimates eight days for printing and mailing the title to you.

What if my customer doesn't receive a title?
When you release a lien, the DMV assumes the responsibility to mail the title to the owner. If they do not receive it, they can request a duplicate copy of the title from the CA DMV at any time since there is no longer a lien recorded on the title.

What do I do for situations that require paper titles like floorplan financing, audits, or repossessions?
DDI's experience is that auditors, finance companies, and insurance companies are pleased with the ELT program and accept printed reports authenticating the validity of the lien on the electronic title. In cases where this is not acceptable, a printed copy of the title can be requested. You will still need a paper copy of the title for repossession purposes.

Is there any way to get a printed title faster?
Over the counter titles are available. The Application for Duplicate Title (REG 227) form can be used either as a lien release or as a duplicate title request and submitted to a DMV office for an immediate title.

Image above is "truckin' past the democrat" by bunæn. "A log truck hauling from a burn sale idles past what is now the Union Democrat (newspaper) Building."