Vehicle Title with Lien

When buying a motor vehicle, many people end up making payments for it -- either to a bank, a dealership, or to an individual. Because the vehicle is not completely paid for, sometimes the seller or lender will be unsure whether to put the title in the new owner's name or not.

Georgia law requires that the vehicle be titled in the purchaser's name even if there is a lien (loan) against it. The requirement to have a vehicle titled is the same for all lenders, whether they are banks, car dealerships or individuals. How, therefore, can the lender's interest be protected? By making sure that his/her name (or company's name) is listed as the lienholder on the title application. Then, when the new title is issued, it will have the purchaser as the new owner and the lender as the lienholder. It will be sent to the lienholder, who keeps it until the vehicle is paid off. What happens then?

The lienholder signs the title in the lien release section, then sends it to the owner. At that time the owner may decide to apply for a new title that does not show the lien or to keep the title as is.