What Are Electronic Titles and How Do They Work?
Electronic titles and ELT systems are great ways to streamline your titling process and prevent fraud, delays, or loss of vehicle titles. Keep reading to learn more about electronic titles and how they’re transforming vehicle titling.
A Modern Vehicle Titling Process
More processes are being managed completely online. This shift applies to vehicle titling, too. Many vehicle owners struggle to keep track of the paper certificate of their title, which can make it extremely difficult to sell their car when the time comes. In addition, making changes to paper titles can be time consuming, expensive, and frustrating.
As a result, many vehicle owners and lenders have opted to use electronic, paperless titles. These titles are more accessible and make the process of adjusting the title much easier. Electronic car titles contain the same title information as a paper title, but they allow for secure transmission between the seller and the state.
The bureau of motor vehicles (BMV) uses electronic titles to save on storage space, reduce the risk of loss, and facilitate lien releases and notifications. While electronic titles are only currently available in some states, the electronic titling process will likely be available in most areas of the country down the road.
What Does ELT Mean?
ELT stands for Electronic Lien and Title. The BMV uses ELT systems to create, save, alter, and transfer vehicle titles, eliminating the need for paper titles. In states where ELT programs are available, the vehicle titling process is streamlined for everyone involved. In some cases, you can even complete the title-transferring process within one business day. The ELT system allows the BMV, vehicle owners, and lenders to exchange vehicle and title information electronically via an electronic service provider.
Although ELT systems have not been implemented in every state, efforts are being made by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) to standardize the ELT process. Currently, only Arizona, Hawaii, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia utilize the AAMVA ELT specifications—other states rely on third-party providers or different standards. Depending on your state of residence, you may encounter varying electronic titling processes and requirements.
Maintaining document security is essential when working with sensitive customer information, vehicle titles, and electronic lien releases. CTMS is committed to helping dealerships remain compliant with advanced cybersecurity tools.
What’s the Difference Between an Electronic Title and Paper Title?
There are no significant differences between electronic titles and paper titles. Both types of vehicle titles prove vehicle ownership. In addition, both contain pertinent information, such as:
- The vehicle identification number (VIN)
- The mileage at the time of sale
- The make and model of the vehicle
- The date of manufacturing
- The name and address of the owner
- The issue date
Despite containing the same information, electronic and paper titles differ in one key way. The owner of a vehicle holds the paper title, but electronic titles are stored by the BMV with access being provided to vehicle owners. By storing car titles digitally, the BMV can significantly reduce the risk of loss or theft and cut down on unnecessary storage space.
How to Get an Electronic Title Transfer
Electronic titles and ELT systems are essential for a streamlined title transfer process, especially for auto dealers that provide financing. And, although the process may seem complicated, it’s not much different from transferring traditional paper titles.
First, lienholders must sign up with a registered service provider to access the ELT system. When you need to perform an electronic title transfer, you submit an application to the BMV, just as you would transfer a paper title. However, with an electronic transfer, you must also include an additional identification number, the ELT ID Number. This number indicates to the BMV which account the lien gets submitted to and stored in.
After receiving and approving the electronic application and ELT ID number, the BMV sends the lienholder an electronic notification in place of a paper title. Using the ELT system, the lienholder can view and manage the electronic lien. When the lien is satisfied, the lienholder can release it electronically through the ELT system. The DMV is notified of this, and an electronic title is automatically issued to the registered owner.
Key Benefits of ELT Programs and Electronic Titles
Although they’re not available in every state across the country, ELT programs and electronic titles have tangible benefits for vehicle owners, auto dealers, and customers. Here are some of the key benefits:
- Reduced title fraud and counterfeiting – Secure ELT systems protect sensitive title and registration information.
- Reduced paper use and more storage space – Online storage and management significantly cut back on paper usage and storage, making electronic titling more sustainable than paper titling.
- Lower administrative costs – With electronic title transferring, you don’t need to file, retrieve, or mail title certificates in person.
- Eliminate the risk of loss – With title and registration information stored electronically, it’s impossible to misplace your title. You can always log into your ELT system to access it.
- Prevent delays – Electronic titling significantly reduces the time spent waiting for lien releases. The BMV is automatically notified when the lien is satisfied, so you don’t have to wade through red tape to move to the next stage of the process.
Streamline Your Titling Process With CTMS
At Computer Technology Management Services, we understand that transferring a vehicle title can be complicated and frustrating, especially if you’re trying to do it on paper. We use EZ-ETITLE software to support digital title companies and streamline the electronic titling process.
With CTMS, you can expedite lien releases and make vehicle titling simple, reliable, and accessible. Contact us today to learn more about our advanced title management software.
Share This Post
Computer Technology Management Services (CTMS) supports organizations nationwide with high-quality, customizable business IT tools and cybersecurity strategies for dealerships and more.