DMV developed the Electronic Lien and Titling (ELT) Program to hold lienholders’ title information in an electronic format. This system uses electronic titles in place of paper titles to reduce handling, storage, and mailing costs.
With the ELT Program, DMV keeps California Certificates of Title in an electronic format in our database (in place of paper titles). Participating lienholders must then either become an ELT service provider or contract with one of DMV’s approved ELT service providers to transmit vehicle and title data. DMV assigns each lienholder a unique ELT ID so they can access and manage their electronic records.
Electronic Titles vs. Paper Titles
Wondering how electronic titles compare to paper titles?
- Same title documents required to apply.
- Same examination of title documents and application.
- Same legal significance.
The primary difference is the way titles are issued. After an application is approved, we will send an electronic notification to the lienholder in place of a paper title certificate.
When the lien is satisfied, a lien satisfaction notification will be sent to DMV and the title will either be automatically issued to the registered owner of the vehicle, or to a new lienholder if one is being added. A lien is perfected when the registration/titling documents are submitted to DMV and processed. DMV then sends an electronic notification to the lienholder. ELT service providers do not send electronic records to DMV for lien perfection.
The Benefits of the ELT Program
Perhaps the most useful benefit to lienholders is electronic notification when liens are perfected. Lienholders will no longer need to wait for a paper title in the mail to verify their liens are perfected. Instead, they’ll receive electronic notification the next business day, with owner and vehicle information included. Other benefits to lienholders include:
- Fraud prevention and reduction.
- Savings on the cost of filing paper titles.
- Reduced 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.
- Eliminate need to manually release liens on paper titles.
Transactions Lienholders Can Process in the ELT System
- Release of paper title to a vehicle’s registered owner without a registered owner change of address.
- Release of paper title to a new legal owner with a registration certificate sent to the registered owner.
- Change lienholder branch/location only with a registration certificate sent to the registered owner.
- Release of paper title to lienholder with no changes (no registration certificate will be issued).
- Release of paper title to dealer, auction, or insurance company (no registration certificate will be issued to registered owner).
Lienholders Participating in the ELT Program
- Electronic Title Lienholders (ELT) Table-Alphabetical Listing
- Electronic Title Lienholders (ELT) Table-Numerical Listing
To enroll in the ELT Program, contact DMV at RODELTGRP@dmv.ca.gov
DMV Approved ELT Service Providers
Participating lienholders must either become an ELT service provider or contract with one of our approved ELT service providers. Here’s the list of current approved ELT service providers:
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
(916) 266-7216 (Robert Christini)
Currently, participation in the ELT Program is voluntary and we are accepting applications.
We anticipate participation in the ELT Program will become mandatory in the second half of 2021 and all required ELT participants will need to apply for enrollment between January and early March of 2022. These dates are estimates. We will update this information once actual mandatory participation dates are available.
All licensed financial institutions that hold a security interest in a California titled vehicle and lend money as their primary source of income are required to enroll in the mandatory ELT Program. There is no minimum threshold of vehicles/vessels for mandatory ELT participants.
This requirement excludes businesses licensed to engage in the sale of automobiles and/or vessels. However, dealers may become voluntary participants.
Out-of-state lienholders whose primary source of business is lending money, and who 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.
Costs will vary depending on the fees charged by each ELT service provider. DMV does not assess any fees to participate in the program. 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.
California ELT Program 2019 implementation schedule:
|Quarter||Due date for applications||Due date for contracts||Implementation|
|2nd||March 4, 2019||March 15, 2019||July 1, 2019|
|3rd||May 30, 2019||June 10, 2019||October 1, 2019|
|4th||August 26, 2019||September 6, 2019||January 2, 2020|
|1st 2020||December 3, 2019||December 13, 2019||April 1, 2020|
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Everything you need to know about California Certificates of Title, title transfers, and title changes.
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