Losing your car registration can be frustrating. If the police pull you over, they can fine you for driving without it. Also, applying for a new one could cost you time and money. But, finding the title number if you lost your registration shouldn’t be a big problem.
So, there’s no need to panic because you can find it in other documents. The registration is not the only paper that contains the title number.
Lucky for you, I’ve created this quick guide to tell you where to look for the title number.
What Is a Title Number?
If you own a car or some other vehicle, you’re probably familiar with the Certificate of Title. It’s a legal document that confirms ownership of a vehicle.
For example, if you bought your car through a car loan, the bank would hold the title until you’ve paid off the debt. So, the bank would be the owner of the car, not you.
The title plays an important role in other situations, as well. For example, if you want to register your vehicle, you’ll need to have the title. In other words, you can’t register a vehicle if you don’t own it.
The information displayed on the Certificate of Title varies from state to state. But, all titles normally include:
- The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and the engine number
- Technical details about the vehicle
- The registration number or the license plate number
- The owner’s name and address
- The title number
The 8-digit title number is unique to the Certificate of Title and your particular vehicle. So, no two titles have the same number.
Can the Title Number Change?
The answer is “Yes.” The title number is not fixed, and it can change under certain conditions.
The title number will change when the vehicle gets retitled to someone else. That happens when you sell your car to another person, for example. But, whether the title number changes after each purchase or not will depend on the state.
Is the Title Number Important?
The title number might not be as important as you think. But, the title itself is since it proves who owns the vehicle.
The title number won’t tell you anything about the title, the vehicle, or the owner. Its primary function is for record-keeping. Governments use the title number as a reference to find a particular Certificate of Title.
As long as you possess the original Certificate of Title, the title number alone won’t help you much.
Where Can I Find My Title Number?
Finding the title number shouldn’t be a difficult task if you don’t have your registration papers. Other documents might help you find what you are looking for.
The Title Itself
You can find your title number on the Certificate of Title. The title number is usually eight digits long and is sometimes printed in a larger font. But, the location of the number on the paper differs from state to state.
Some states place the number at the very top, and others have it at the bottom of the document. If the location of the number is not obvious right away, look for the place where it says “Title number.”
If You Don’t Have the Title
There are two major reasons why you might not have the Certificate of Title in your possession:
- You lost the original document.
- You are not the owner of the car.
If you lose your copy of the title, you can apply to get a new one. Simply, visit your local office of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and file a request. But, know that all states have different procedures for issuing duplicate titles.
Some states allow people to apply for a duplicate title online. In others, you have to fill out an application in person.
Most often, you’ll have to bring your driver’s license or some other form of ID. Also, you’ll have to know the Vehicle Identification Number of your car and the purchase date.
Be prepared to pay a fee, since most states charge it.
Sometimes, you might not have the title because you are not the owner of the vehicle. If that’s your situation, visit your local DMV service center and ask them to give you your title number. You’ll most likely have to provide them with the VIN.
You don’t need your registration to find out the title number of your car. You can simply find it on the Certificate of Title itself. It’s normally printed at the top or bottom of the document.
But, the title number doesn’t contain any valuable information about the vehicle or its owner. That 8-digit number is merely a record-keeping reference that the government uses to locate the original Certificate of Title.
So, make sure you have the original title and head to your local DMV and apply for new registration. In some states, you will get a fine for driving without registration documents.