The title to your car is the only thing that proves ownership. If it’s lost, you’ll find that there are many things you cannot do. For instance, if you’ve just moved to Georgia, you can’t register your car, which means you can’t drive legally. If you’re moving out of Georgia, you won’t be able to register in your new home state. You also can’t sell or trade in your car. Titles are surprisingly vulnerable for such important documents, and they can be damaged to the point of illegibility, lost or even stolen.
If you find yourself in such a situation, you can get a duplicate title from the State of Georgia. You can do this by mail, or in person at your local DMV office. In both instances, there are several things you’ll need to know. Whether you’re going the in person or by mail route, follow these steps:
- Complete Form MV-1 (Title/Tag Application).
- Submit Form T-4 for each satisfied lien holder (one per lienholder). A lienholder is anyone with a claim on the vehicle, such as the bank that issued the original loan to purchase the car. If you’ve never requested a clear title after paying the car off, then the GA DMV will still have it listed as having a lien.
- You must provide proof of identity (your state driver’s license will work).
- You must pay the fee for the duplicate title ($8).
- If you have the damaged title, it must be handed over for destruction.
Note: All owners on the title will need to appear in person at the DMV. If any original owner cannot be present, a limited power of attorney form will need to be signed.
Take all of this information to the DMV office with you.
To apply by mail
- Take all the paperwork mentioned above and mail it (with a copy of your ID) to your local DMV office.
If your duplicate title is lost in the mail
If you had a duplicate title mailed to you and it never arrived, you’ll need to follow these steps (note that you will not be charged again):
- Complete Form T-216 (Affidavit of a Georgia Certificate of Title Lost in the Mail).
- Complete Form MV-1 and attach it to Form T-216.
- Submit both forms within 60 days of your initial request for a duplicate title
- Show proof of insurance, proof of odometer accuracy and a valid driver’s license to the DMV office.
For more information, see the state’s official DMV website.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Replace a Lost or Stolen Car Title in Georgia and was authored by Valerie Johnston.