A title to a car can be corrected or another lienholder added fairly easily in most states. Usually, the owner of the vehicle does not add the additional lienholder; instead the person who holds the lien will file it with the state. However, if a lienholder was omitted from the original title, the vehicle owner may have to file the amendment. It's important to get the correct forms for adding a new lienholder on your vehicle's title and to make sure the new title is clear about ownership.
Contact your state's department of motor vehicles and ask for the appropriate form for amending a title. Alternatively, you can visit the department's website and download the appropriate form.
Fill out the form completely. In Massachusetts, a Title Amendment Form is required and must include the registration number of the vehicle as well as the year, make and vehicle identification number. Include the original title number and the contact information for the vehicle owner.
Add the name of the additional lienholder, their code, if applicable in your state, the date of the lien and the address of the lienholder.
Provide the address to which a new copy of the title must be sent.
Fill out another title application if your state requires it, as in Texas.
Attach the original title to the form and either mail them into the motor vehicle department at the address indicated on the form or bring it into a branch in person.
Pay the appropriate fee to add the lien holder. In Massachusetts, this is $25 and in Texas it's $33. Check with your state to find the correct fee amount.
- Massachusetts Department of Transportation: Adding a Lienholder to a Title
- Massachusetts Department of Transportation: Amending a Title or Adding a Lien
- Texas Department of Motor Vehicles: Add/Remove a Lien
- Dealertrack. "Electronic Lean & Title." Accessed Sept. 8, 2020.
- Direct Auto Insurance. "Car Titles." Accessed Sept. 8, 2020.
Michelle Hogan is a writer and the author of 13 books including the 2005 bestselling memoir, "Without a Net: Middle Class and Homeless (With Kids) in America." Hogan studied English at American University and has been writing professionally since 1998. Her work has appeared in "The New York Times," "Redbook," "Family Circle" and many other publications.