State Seal New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission

Translate disclaimer

Liens


A lien is a type of property claim.  As related to the purchase of a vehicle, it means the lending institution holds the title until the vehicle is paid in full.

Requesting a lien search (mail only)

A lien search will produce current lienholder and owner information listed in the MVC database.

Complete the following steps to request a lien search:

 

  • Fill out the Application for Title/Lien Search (Form DO-22).
    • Note:  Ensure both pages 1 and 2 are completed.  You may either print the form on both sides of a single sheet or print two sheets.
    • Make a copy of your driver’s license to submit with the form (DO-22).
    • Include a check or money order for $15 payable to the NJMVC.
    • Mail all of the above required documents to:
 

    New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
    Certified Information Unit
    225 E. State Street
    PO Box 146
    Trenton, NJ08666-0146

  • A separate request must be completed for each vehicle.  Check to ensure you have completed both pages of the form (DO-22) and enclosed a copy of your driver’s license and a check or money order for $15 in order for your request to be considered.

Please call the MVC’s Certified Information Unit at (609) 292-4102 if you have any questions.

Requesting the re-issuance of a title

A request to re-issue a title can be made at a motor vehicle agency or through the mail.  In either case, the new title will be issued without the lien holder noted.

If you visit a motor vehicle agency:

  • You must provide the New Jersey title endorsed with a lien or the New Jersey title with the lien satisfaction letter attached.
  • The fee is $85.  The MVC accepts American Express® card, Visa® card, MasterCard®, checks, money orders and cash.  

If you submit through the mail:

  • Include the New Jersey title endorsed with a lien or the New Jersey title with the lien satisfaction letter attached.
  • Include a check or money order for $85 payable to the NJMVC.
  • Send the documents to:

 

New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
Database Corrections Unit
225 East State Street
PO Box 141
Trenton, NJ 08666-0141

Recording a lien (used as collateral)

New Jersey lien holders must visit a motor vehicle agency to complete this transaction; out-of-state lien holders may submit through the mail.  In both cases, the new title will be mailed to the lien holder.  If you are located outside New Jersey or are a new lien holder requiring an Entity Identification Number (EIN- formerly CorpCode), you must provide additional information.
If you visit a motor vehicle agency:

  • Complete a Financing Statement (form OS/SS-85C).
  • Provide the New Jersey title.
  • Pay the $85 fee.  The MVC accepts American Express® card, Visa® card, MasterCard®, checks, money orders and cash. 

If you submit a request through the mail:

  • Include the New Jersey title.
  • Include a check or money order for $85 payable to the NJMVC.
  • Send the documents to:

 

New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
Database Corrections/In-house Agency
225 East State Street
PO Box 141
Trenton, NJ 08666-0141

Required notification of a satisfied lien

  • Documentation required when satisfying a lien:
  • (1) A lien release letter on company official letterhead referencing the specific vehicle by year, make, model and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
  • (2) The original certificate of title stamped paid with the company stamp or signature by an authorized representative of the company.
  • If the vehicle is four years old or less and has a value of $50,000 or more according to the Official Kelley Blue Book or NADA Guides,all of the above documents are needed.  In addition, MVC staff are required to request additional documentation to show the proper payoff of the recorded lien. This proof may include, but is not limited to, a canceled check from dealership, bank, or titled owner.
  • If the vehicle is five years old or more, only one of the above documents is needed.
  • If the original certificate of title is not available, and the documents referenced above are presented, the customer does not need to make application for a duplicate title showing the active lien.  A new title, after the lien has been satisfied, can be printed for the owner/authorized representative for the owner with the appropriate fees charged.

Additional Requirements

When a lien holder is an individual or a private company, not a financial institution, the lien release must be noted on the original certificate of title AND accompanied by an original, notarized, letter from the individual/company releasing the lien.  This letter must be vehicle specific by year, make, and complete VIN.  Faxed lien releases are not acceptable in these circumstances.**

**There are no exceptions to this requirement.

All letters, whether submitted by a bank, credit union, other financial institution, or by a private individual, must be original and must include the full mailing address of the business or person, a business/company telephone number, and the signature of an authorized representative, and must reference the name of the owner(s) as well as the year, make, and complete Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the vehicle.

The lien holder must date, sign and stamp the face of the title with the endorsement "lien satisfied."

Faxed lien releases sent directly from a financial institution are acceptable.  However, faxed lien releases are not acceptable when releasing a lien held by an individual; these releases must be original, notarized, and vehicle specific.

Mail the letter to:

 

New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
Title Records Unit
PO Box 155
225 East State Street
Trenton, NJ 08666-0155