In Indiana, a certificate of title is a legal document that shows motor vehicle ownership. Vehicles that require titling include mobile homes, recreational vehicles, trailers and any motor vehicle driven on state roads. If your vehicle has any financial liens, your title cannot be amended and cleared of the lien until your auto loan is paid in full.
According to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, or BMV, once an individual takes ownership of a motor vehicle, either through a purchase or as a gift, he must title the vehicle within 30 days from the date of purchase. If you purchased a vehicle from a BMV-authorized dealer, the dealer can provide you with a title, but otherwise you must visit your local BMV office to register your vehicle and obtain a title. For a list of all BMV offices by county and a PDF copy of all title application forms, see the Resources section of this article.
If you have purchased a vehicle from a BMV-authorized dealer, but the dealer does not have title at the time of purchase, you can request that the dealer sign a 21-day affidavit. The affidavit insures that the dealer will deliver your title within 21 days of the sale date. If you do not receive your title within this period, you must write the dealer with another request, which gives the dealer an additional 10 days to produce the title before you can legally return the vehicle for a full refund. A link to the affidavit form is included in the Resources section.
Duplicate and Amended Titles
Indiana drivers with lost or damaged titles may apply for a duplicate title online at Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicle's myBMV site, by visiting a BMV branch office, or by mailing in an application to their local BMV branch office. If you are in a rush, expedited titles can be purchased and delivered within 72 hours. To add or remove a name from a title, you must fill out Form 44049, which is available in the BMV's list of title forms, also found in the Resources section.
Salvaged Title Affidavits
Salvage title affidavits are issued if a vehicle is damaged beyond repair, which is usually determined by the vehicle owner's insurance agency. In Indiana, only vehicles that are over seven years old must be titled with a salvage title, but vehicles of any age can qualify. For a link to the salvage title affidavit form, see Resources.
Leah Waldron is the head of Traveler Services at First Abroad, a gap year travel company based in Boston and London. As a travel, research and LGBT news writer, Waldron has publication credit on magazines and newspapers including "Curve Magazine," "USA Today," "The Sun Sentinel" and the "The Houston Chronicle." Waldron has a bachelor's and master's degree in creative writing from Florida State University.