What is a car title?

The title of a car is a document that proves the ownership of a vehicle. Without it, you have no proof that you own your vehicle.

The title information for a car varies slightly depending on the state in which the title is obtained, but will always include the 17-character VIN.

The VIN is usually found on the driver’s side door, visible when the door is open, or on the dash when looking inside the car while stopped outside.

The title will also generally include:

  • Year, make and model or type of vehicle body
  • Vehicle color
  • Odometer reading
  • Date the odometer reading was taken
  • Vehicle owner (s)
  • Owner’s address
  • Date the title was issued

The title can also include a title number, the weight of the vehicle, the number of cylinders in the engine, the engine number, the type of fuel used in it, and the license plate number.

Some states require that salvage or flood damage information be included in the car’s title, but others do not.

A car title must be signed by one or more state officials in charge of motor vehicles or revenue collection.

Alternative name: Certificate of title, car title

If you lose your title, contact your state motor vehicle agency for a duplicate. You may be able to start the process online, or you may have to go in person to a state or county office.

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