Friday, July 19, 2013

What is ELT?

An ELT program (Electronic Liens and Titles) allows messages related to titles with liens to be exchanged electronically, reducing filing and mailing costs. For instance, instead of mailing a paper title to a lender with lien information, the state sends an electronic message - the electronic title or ELT - with the vehicle, title, owner, and lien information. Once a loan is repaid, the lender sends an electronic message to the state indicating they are releasing the lien.

There is an immediate appeal to a state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), who no longer have to print and mail as many paper titles.  Handling the current "status" of a title also becomes easier, since there are fewer pieces of paper that now must be considered obsolete.

Both large and small lenders benefit from reduced filing and handling of titles. Receiving an electronic title from a DMV allows lenders to compare the title data with their lien application to ensure accuracy.

Perfected titles arrive much quicker and mailing clean titles to customers after a lien is released is handled by most DMVs automatically.

Currently, DDI works with 18 state ELT programs: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. We are also actively working with a number of other states who will begin offering ELT in 2013 and 2014.

Each state implements their ELT program differently depending on state laws. Several states, including FL, OH, and VA no longer automatically print paper titles for vehicle owners, preferring to leave titles in "electronic" format until a paper title is needed.

Updated from our inaugural blog post What is ELT?

Image above is Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S. by Nam June Paik.