How to Get a Vehicle Lien Release In Alabama: A Step-by-Step Guide

If your vehicle title has a lienholder listed, you need to remove the lien to get a new title. Here’s how:

  1. Identify Lienholder: Find the lienholder’s name and address via DMV records.
  2. Prepare Documents: Complete the official DMV lien release form.
  3. Send Requests: Mail the form and a custom letter to up to three possible addresses (official, current, and any business addresses).
  4. Customer Service: Provide contact information for questions and include a pre-addressed, postage-paid return envelope.

Most financial institutions process requests better via mail than phone calls.

In situations where the lienholder is out of business or the loan is not fully paid off, additional steps such as lien mitigation or obtaining a court-ordered title might be necessary.

How to Contact a Previous Vehicle Owner to Obtain a Title

  1. Identify the Owner: Start by obtaining the name and identity of the previous owner.
  2. Find Their Location: Locate their current address since the address on the title record may be outdated.
  3. Contact Them Properly: Reach out with a polite and clear request. Approach the conversation carefully to avoid any misunderstandings.

Federal Law and Alternative Methods

  • DPPA Compliance: The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act restricts information release, but certain scenarios may qualify for access.
  • Search Old Documents: Check the vehicle for old receipts, purchase orders, or other papers that might provide clues about the owner's identity and location.
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