Lost, stolen, or damaged car titles can be a source of great inconvenience, but luckily, they can be replaced. If you live in Massachusetts and find yourself in need of a duplicate car title, here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it.
Step 1: Understand When You Need a Duplicate Title
You need a duplicate title in Massachusetts when your original title is:
- Damaged or mutilated
In case of a change of ownership, if the title has not been transferred, you may also need a duplicate title.
Step 2: Gather the Necessary Information
Before you begin the process, you need to gather the following information:
- Your vehicle identification number (VIN)
- The year and make of the vehicle
- Current odometer reading
- Your license plate number
- Your Massachusetts driver’s license number
Step 2a: Gather Lien Information
To ensure a smooth application process, please follow these guidelines regarding liens on your vehicle:
- If there is an existing lien on your vehicle when submitting your application, it is essential to provide the lienholder’s information accurately in the designated fields on the Application for Duplicate Certificate of Title.
- If you have previously had a loan on your car and have successfully paid it off, it is advisable to reach out to your former lienholder, such as a bank or credit union. Confirm with them whether they still possess the title to your vehicle.
- In the event that the lienholder does not have possession of the title, you will need to obtain a letter on their official letterhead confirming that the loan has indeed been paid off. It is crucial that this letter includes specific details about your vehicle, such as the year, make, VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), and the names of all titled owners.
- Regardless of the age of the loan, it is mandatory to submit the original copy of the letter along with your application.
By adhering to these instructions, you will streamline the process and ensure that your Application for a Duplicate Certificate of Title proceeds smoothly.
Step 3: Fill Out the Application for Duplicate Certificate
The next step is to fill out the Application for Duplicate Certificate of Title (also known as the T20558 form). This form can be downloaded from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) website.
The form requires you to provide your personal information, including your full legal name, current address, and driver’s license number. You also need to provide details about the vehicle, such as the VIN, make and model, year and current odometer reading.
Ensure you check the box that indicates you’re requesting a duplicate title. If your original title was damaged or mutilated, you need to include it with your application.
Step 4: Pay the Duplicate Title Fee
The fee for a duplicate title in Massachusetts is $25. This fee is subject to change, so it’s recommended to verify the current fee on the RMV website or by contacting RMV directly.
You can pay the fee by check or money order payable to MassDOT. If you are applying in person, credit or debit cards are usually accepted.
Step 5: Submit Your Application
Once you have filled out the form and have the fee ready, you can submit your application. There are two ways to do this:
- In-Person: You can submit your application at any RMV Service Center. Find the one nearest to you on the RMV website. Make sure to bring a valid photo ID.
- By Mail: If you prefer, you can mail your application to the RMV’s Boston location. The address is as follows:
Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles
Attention: Title Division
P.O. Box 55885
Boston, MA 02205-5885
Step 6: Wait for Your Duplicate Title
Once your application is received and processed, your duplicate title will be mailed to the address on record. The processing time can vary but expect to receive your duplicate title within 10 business days.
While the process of obtaining a duplicate title in Massachusetts is straightforward, it’s essential to be thorough and accurate when filling out your application to prevent any delays. Always remember to keep your car title in a safe place to avoid having to go through this process.