Releasing a Lien/Removing a Lienholder on a Paper Title

Once a vehicle loan has been paid, the lienholder must release their lien and deliver the Title to the owner, a new lienholder, or any person to which the owner authorizes the Title to be sent.

 

Massachusetts Titles and Titles from most states provide a section on the front of the Title for lienholders to release their lien. An authorized agent of the lienholder must fill out and sign the lien release section. For states that mail the Title to the owner and not the lienholder, the lienholder may issue a separate lien release document. A lien release is a statement from the lienholder declaring that the lien on a particular vehicle has been satisfied. The lien release must be on the lienholder's letterhead and provide the vehicle owner’s name(s), a complete description of the vehicle, and the date the loan was satisfied. A lien release must be an original document. No faxes or photocopies will be accepted.

 

When a customer receives his/her Title with the lien release from the lienholder, he/she is not required to take any further action. The lienholder's name will still appear on the front of the Title, but his/her lien will be released. If the customer would like the lienholder's name removed from a paper Title and a new Title issued, he/she should submit the following:

      Title Amendment Form

      Original Title

      Title Amendment fee. Please see the Title Fees section for the applicable fee.

 

Timely Release of a Title

Massachusetts law requires that lienholders release a lien and forward the Title to the vehicle owner in a timely manner once the lien has been satisfied. If the customer requests the release of the Title at the time of payoff, the lienholder must release the Title within three business days. Otherwise, the lienholder must release it within ten days.

 

If a customer feels that a lienholder is not complying with these laws, he/she can complete a Lienholder Complaint Form. Completed Lienholder Complaint Forms should be mailed to the Title Division.

 

Lienholders that fail to deliver the Title within the guidelines prescribed by law are subject to penalties under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90D Section 24A.

 

Note: A payment in satisfaction of the security interest is deemed cleared immediately upon receipt by a lienholder if the amount owed is tendered in any of the following:

      Cash

      Certified check

      Cashier’s check

      Teller’s check

      Intra-bank or inter-bank transfer of funds

      Electronic transfer of funds