Electronic Lien and Title Program
- Pursuant to CVC 4450.5, the DMV has developed an electronic lien and title program which requires that Financial Institution's title information be held in electronic format.
- See FAQs for more information.
Mandatory Electronic Lien and Titling (ELT) Program Frequently Asked Questions.
1 Q. What is the ELT System?
A. The electronic lien and title system allows lienholders to reduce the handling, storage and mailing costs associated with paper titles by replacing them with electronic titles. Lienholders who join the program will no longer need to:
- retrieve a title from a conventional file when the lien has been satisfied.
- physically satisfy (sign off) a lien on a title.
- mail a title to a registered owner, or new lienholder.
- apply for a duplicate title to replace a lost title.
2 Q. What is an Electronic Title?
A. An electronic title is a title that exists only in electronic form on our database. An electronic title is just as legal as a paper title. Each participant is provided with a unique ELT Lienholder ID number on the electronic record.
With electronic titles, lien notifications and releases are transmitted electronically between the Department and the lienholder. No paper title certificate exists, thus it is referred to as an "electronic title."
3 Q. How do lienholders connect electronically with California DMV?
A. The lienholder must become an ELT Service Provider or contract with one of California DMV's approved ELT service providers for transmission of vehicle and title data. California DMV will complete the electronic programming and add the lienholder information to the necessary databases and its list of ELT participants.
4 Q. What is an ELT ID Number?
A. A unique ELT ID number is assigned once the ELT participant is approved to be added into the program. There is a 3-position identification number assigned to each participant and/or for each location.
The ELT ID number will need to be used on each transaction to identify your participation in the program, including any new or used vehicle sales. Technicians will also use this number to ensure the lienholder's name and address is keyed correctly so an electronic title record is generated.
5 Q. How does the Electronic Lien and Title System Work?
A. The same title documents required to apply for a paper title are also required for an electronic title. Title documents will be entered into the Department's computer system and are handled and examined the same as if paper titles were to be issued. The change will occur when the title is ready to be issued. Instead of issuing a paper title certificate, an electronic notification will be sent to the lienholder.
When an electronic lien is satisfied, a lien satisfaction will be sent electronically to the Department. The title will either be automatically issued to the registered owner of record or to a new lienholder, if being added.
When perfecting liens, the ELT service provider will send electronic records to DMV for handling and DMV will send electronic records back to the ELT service provider.
6 Q. How do lienholders benefit under the ELT Program?
A. Perhaps the most useful benefit to lienholders is electronic notification when liens are perfected. Lienholders do not need to wait for a paper title in the mail to verify their liens are perfected -- they receive next business day notification electronically, with owner and vehicle information included. Other benefits to lienholders include:
- Fraud prevention and reduction
- Savings on the cost of filing paper titles
- Eliminate staff time spent filing or looking for paper titles
- Savings on the cost of replacing lost titles
- Savings on postage needed to mail paper titles
- Quick identification of inaccurate information
- No need to manually release liens on paper titles
7 Q. When will the mandatory ELT requirement take effect?
A. We anticipate that the ELT program will begin mandatory participation in the second half of 2019. It is also anticipated that all mandatory ELT participants will be required to apply to be enrolled in the program between January and early March of 2020.
Please note: These dates are estimated and this website will be updated with actual mandatory participation dates once they are available. In the meantime, DMV is currently accepting voluntary participation applications.
8 Q. Who is required to enroll in the mandatory ELT Program as a lender?
A. All licensed financial institutions that hold a security interest in a California titled vehicle are required to enroll in the mandatory ELT Program. This requirement excludes businesses licensed to engage in the sale of automobiles and/or vessels. Lending money must be the primary source of income for companies required to enroll in the ELT Program.
Please note: there is no mandatory threshold of vehicles/vessels required for mandatory ELT participants.
9 Q. How do lienholders enroll in the ELT Program?
A. Contact DMV at RODELTGRP@dmv.ca.gov
10 Q. Do vehicle dealers need to be enrolled in the mandatory ELT Program?
A. No. However, dealers may become a voluntary participant.
11 Q. Can Financial Institutions (i.e., banks or credit unions) be exempt from the mandatory ELT Program if they finance only a few vehicles a year?
A. No. Financial Institutions are not exempt from participation in the mandatory ELT Program regardless of the number of vehicles financed within a given time period. If lending money is their primary source of business, the lender must enroll in the mandatory ELT Program in order to be recorded as a lienholder on California title records.
12 Q. Are out-of-state lienholders required to participate in the mandatory ELT Program?
A. Out-of-state lienholders whose primary source of business is lending money, and are engaged in the business or practice of financing vehicles purchased by California residents, to be titled in California, must participate in the mandatory ELT Program. Out-of-state lienholders who finance vehicles to be titled only in other states by non-California residents are not required to participate. California will record existing lienholder information appearing on non-California titles when a new California resident applies to transfer a vehicle title. Those lienholders will be issued paper titles if they are not enrolled in the ELT program.
13 Q. What transactions can lienholders process in the ELT Program?
A. The transactions include:
b) Release of paper title to a new legal owner with a registration certificate sent to the registered owner.
c) Change lienholder branch/location only with a registration certificate sent to the registered owner.
d) Release of paper title to lienholder with no changes and no registration certificate will be issued.
e) Release of paper title to dealer, auction, or insurance company, no registration certificate will be issued to registered owner.
f) **Release of paper title to registered owner with a registered owner change of address.
(*This is a voluntary process, service providers/lienholders are not required to provide this type of transaction)
14 Q. What is the cost for a lienholder to enroll and take part in the ELT Program?
A. Costs will vary depending on the fees charged by each ELT service provider. California DMV does not assess any fees unless the lienholder wishes to convert their existing paper titles to ELT records. Lienholders pay the ELT service providers' fees for electronic title transactions, and costs for required hardware and software. Lienholders must contact the service providers directly for actual costs.
15 Q. Who are the current ELT service providers?
A. The current ELT service providers are listed here.
ELT Quarterly Implementation Schedule
California ELT Program 2018 Implementation Schedule
|Quarter||Due date for applications||Due date for contracts||Implementation|
|2nd||March 1, 2018||March 12, 2018||July 1, 2018|
|3rd||May 31, 2018||June 11, 2018||October 1, 2018|
|4th||August 27, 2018||September 10, 2018||January 2, 2019|
|1st 2019||December 3, 2018||December 13, 2018||April 1, 2019|
2018 ELT Holiday Schedule
- January 1, New Year's Day
- January 15, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- February 19, Presidents Day
- March 31, Cesar Chavez Day
- May 28, Memorial Day
- July 4, Independence Day
- September 3, Labor Day
- November 12, Veterans Day (Observed)
- November 22, Thanksgiving Day
- November 23, Day after Thanksgiving
- December 25, Christmas Day
ELT Service Providers
NOTE: The following companies are authorized to conduct ELT transactions with the California DMV. For ease of display, the companies have been listed in alphabetical order.
DealerTrack Collateral Management Services
9750 Goethe Road, Sacramento, California, 95827
(916) 368-5300 Option 7 - Sales
PDP Group Inc.
10909 McCormick Road, Hunt Valley, MD 21031
Secure Title Administration
2975 Breckinridge Blvd., Duluth, GA 30096
6151 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Suite 104, Carmichael, CA 95608
ELT DMV Contact Information
For general registration questions (i.e. - I've paid off my loan, what are my next steps; I have not received my title; transfer and/or renewal inquiries; or ELT status on the department's record) please contact DMV Customer Service at 1-800-777-0133.
Current/Potential ELT Program participants (lenders) and service providers can contact the ELT Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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