Title to lien holder

​(en español​)

What does it mean? 

When you take out a loan to purchase a vehicle, the title will be delivered to the lender rather than to you.

Starting July 30, 2012, Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) began delivering titles to lien holders consistent with recent statute changes. Any title with a lien (loan) listed on or after July 30, 2012, is sent to the lien holder. Lien holders may receive titles in a paper or electronic format. Owners of vehicles receive a Confirmation of Ownership​ and will receive the actual title when all liens are paid off.

Note that if you already have your title (even if it lists a lien holder), nothing changes. You can keep it. Titles will only be issued to lien holders on or after July 30, 2012.

What are the advantages?

  • Title is securely held by the lender
  • Fraud prevention and consumer protection
  • Wisconsin joined 40+ other states who handle titles in this manner
  • Movement toward a paperless environment
  • The title is delivered to the owner when all liens are paid

What about electronic titles?

On July 30, 2012, when a lien is listed against a vehicle, lien holders are encouraged to receive titles electronically through a service provider. If a lien holder chooses to receive electronic titles, a paper title would not be issued to the lender or owner until the lien is satisfied.

Check for current lien holder information

Free online web application, Lien search, will display all current liens for a vehicle.

More information on title to lien holder and electronic titling for:

Email Wisconsin DMV email service