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The application must be completed, signed by the owner, and mailed with the appropriate fee to the Title Unit in Augusta or taken to a branch office location. The previous title or certificate of origin must accompany the application.
If an owner transfers an interest in a vehicle, other than by the creation of a security interest, the owner must have title in his name before transferring to another person. The owner must provide the transferee with a properly released lien, if one was issued to a lienholder.
Upon receiving an application, it will be examined for accuracy and a title issued. The certificate of title will be mailed to the owner unless a lienholder is named. If a lienholder is listed on the certificate, it is mailed to the first named lienholder.
The Secretary of State may refuse to issue a certificate of title or certificate of salvage if:
If the certificate of title cannot be issued, notification will be sent by mail with an explanation of the deficiency and directions for proper completion of the application.
If the vehicle is declared a total loss by an owner or insurer, an application for a certificate of salvage must abe filed with the appropriate fee. The application can be obtained by contacting the Title Unit in Augusta or at any of our branch office locations.
Any owner or insurer declaring a vehicle salvaged (by reason of its condition or circumstances) must surrender the certificate of title to the Secretary of State and apply for a certificate of salvage unless the vehicle is transferred to a recycler.
An owner who scraps or dismantles a vehicle, or a person acquiring a vehicle to be scrapped or dismantled, must immediately surrender the certificate of title. A recycler must apply for a salvage title unless surrendered per the aforementioned.
A salvage vehicle may be registered or titled for operation or offered for sale in this State only if the receipts are available for the parts used to rebuild the vehicle.
A duplicate certificate of title or certificate of salvage may be issued if the original is lost, stolen, mutilated or destroyed.
The duplicate application must be completed, signed by the owner(s) (if there are no liens) and mailed with the appropriate fee to the Title Unit in Augusta or taken to a branch office location. You may request expedited processing of a duplicate title application by submitting an additional $10 fee.
A vehicle being sold or displayed for sale at an auction must be accompanied by the certificate of title at the time of its sale or display.
At the time of transfer of a vehicle, each transferor must furnish the transferee with the required odometer information. The information must be on the reverse of any title or MCO or on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State.
Suspension of Certificate of Title:
The Secretary of State will suspend or revoke a certificate of title, certificate of salvage or certificate of registration on notice and reasonable opportunity to be heard, if the Secretary of State finds the certificate of title was fraudulently procured or erroneously issued, the vehicle was scrapped or dismantled, a person failed to furnish required information within 10 days, or a person failed to mail a certificate of title following the creation of a security interest by court order or other government action.
A certificate suspension or revocation does not effect the validity of a security interest noted on it.
Failure to allow examination of VINs or vehicle parts by a Bureau of Motor Vehicle Investigator is a violation of law. When an Investigator has reason to believe that a VIN is fictitious, removed or altered, or that a violation of law involving a vehicle or vehicle part has taken place, the Investigator may impound the vehicle or part and hold the vehicle or part until the violation is cleared.
Impounded vehicles that are unclaimed, recovered after theft or unidentifiable become the property of the State.
If an owner creates a security interest in a vehicle, the owner must complete an application stating name and address of lienholder. The owner must deliver the application to the lienholder with the certificate of title and fee. The lienholder shall immediately deliver the certificate of title, application and fee to the Secretary of State.
A lienholder may assign a security interest to a person other than the owner without affecting the interest of the owner or the validity of the security interest. A person without notice of an assignment is protected in dealing with the lienholder as the holder of the security interest.
Upon satisfaction of a security interest, the lienholder must, within 10 days, execute a release of the security interest on the certificate of title and release the certificate of title or certificate of salvage to the subordinate lienholder (if one is named) or to the owner. The lienholder must notify the Secretary of State when a lien has been satisfied.
For additional information on motor vehicle titles, please contact the Bureau of Motor Vehicles Title Examination and Information Unit at (207) 624-9000, extension 52138 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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