In Massachusetts, as in most other states, if a customer has a lien on his/her vehicle, the lienholder holds the Title until the lien is satisfied. If a customer applies to convert his/her out-of-state Title to a Massachusetts Title while there is still a lien, and the lienholder is in possession of the Title, Massachusetts will issue him/her a Memorandum Title.
A Memorandum Title is a non-negotiable Title issued by the Registry when all the following circumstances are met:
1. A customer brings a vehicle into Massachusetts from out-of-state
2. The vehicle is currently titled in the customer's name
3. There is a lien on the vehicle
4. The lienholder has possession of the out-of-state Title
A Memorandum Title alone is NOT valid for transferring ownership of a vehicle. If a vehicle owner wants to sell a vehicle for which a Memorandum Title has been issued, the seller must give the buyer the out-of-state Title and the Massachusetts Memorandum Title, if available. A lien release from the lienholder is NOT sufficient; the out-of-state Title is required.