Can ELTs be released using a paper lien release document? If so, does the state send notice?
Yes with an Affidavit of Loss/Release of Interest. WA does not send a lien release notification. From the March 2008 ELT System Guide:
When a customer pays off their loan and cannot wait for the electronic title release transaction to be processed, the financial institution or their service bureau may issue a “system” produced ALOT ["Affidavit in Lieu of Title"] on their official letterhead which must be signed by a representative of the financial institution but does not need to be notarized. By signing off on an ALOT the financial institution releases all interest in the vehicle, however this will not remove their name from DOL’s database until another transfer transaction takes place. There is no cost to the financial institution for an ALOT.How can I get a vehicle title record?
The WA DOL IVIPS program offers a "Vehicle/Vessel Inquiry" service that provides title history information. An account is required. DDI includes this inquiry in Premier eTitleLien™.
Photo above is of Frager Road in Kent, Washington.