Financing a Vehicle

When a customer borrows money to purchase a vehicle, a lien on the vehicle will be held by the lending institution. A lien or security interest is the legal right to take and hold or sell the property of a person to satisfy an obligation or debt. A lienholder, the lending institution, is whoever extends the loan (e.g. a bank, a mortgage company, or an individual). Until the loan on a motor vehicle is satisfied, the lienholder will hold onto the physical Title and has the legal right to that vehicle.


The owner will not be able to sell the vehicle without paying off the loan.


Massachusetts law requires that the owner of a financed vehicle list the lienholder on the Application for Title. The lienholder's name and address will appear on the front of the Title.


This section describes:

      How to become a lienholder

      The Electronic Lien and Titles (ELT) Program

      How to add or amend the lienholders on a Title

      How to remove a lienholder on a Title

      Memorandum Titles, which are issued to out-of-state vehicles that have liens on them