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How to Replace a Lost or Stolen Car Title in Texas

A lost car title can be a Texas-sized problem if you need to provide proof that you own your vehicle and discover it is no longer there. If you find out that your title is lost, or suspect your title has been stolen, you need to replace the document as soon as possible. A prompt replacement from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles can help alleviate any issues you may face.

Before you file for lost title replacement following a theft of your document, contact the police and report the crime. You should also get a replacement any time your document is damaged or torn. The process to replace this document is easily accomplished by mail or in person at a Texas DMV regional service center. Review the sections below to learn more about how to get a copy of car title documents in Texas after a loss or theft.

When is it necessary to replace a vehicle title?

While a Texas DMV lost title may not seem like an urgent issue, you may find yourself needing to prove ownership of your vehicle. For instance, a lost title can hinder you if you need to use your vehicle as collateral for a loan, and not having the documenton hand can delay the loan application. If you need to sell your vehicle, having to wait to obtain a copy of the title can cost you the sale.

In the event of stolen vehicle title, you should report the theft and obtain a car title replacement quickly. Applying for a replacement quickly can help avoid fraudulent use of your car title, such as a thief using it to obtain a title loan.

A TX DMV title replacement is also necessary if your title document has been seriously damaged. Get a new car title if the original is blurred, torn or faded to the point that portions of the document cannot be read.

Texas Car Title Replacement Forms and Documents

The DMV uses one type of form for Texas lost car title replacement and it is easily available when needed. The title replacement form is also brief and easy to complete. It only requires basic, easy to find information about yourself and your vehicle.

As with any government transaction, replacing a lost title requires you to show proof of identification. Acceptable forms of ID for lost car title replacement include a valid Texas driver’s license or a state-issued photo ID card. The TX Department of Motor Vehicles also accepts several other types of documents for photo ID purposes as long as they are valid and unexpired.

The Texas Car Title Replacement Process

When you replace car title documents in Texas, you have two basic options for completing this task. A replacement may be requested by mail or in person at a regional TX DMV service center. If you need help with your application form, you may prefer to apply in person to receive a clerk’s assistance.You can also obtain copies quicker in person than through the mail.

If you do not need to get your lost title quickly and you do not require assistance, it is easier and cheaper to file for a replacement through the mail. Whichever method you choose, the steps are similar:

  1. Fill out the form and sign it.
  2. Provide an acceptable form of photo identification.
  3. Pay the fee for lost vehicle title replacement, which may vary.
  4. Follow the TX Department of Motor Vehicles instructions regarding an agent or lienholder submitting the forms, if applicable.
  5. Mail or submit your paperwork in person.

If the lost vehicle title was titled in the name of a business, leasing company, lienholder or government entity, the person who applies for the title replacement must provide another document in addition to his or her personal photo ID. The purpose of this requirement is to provide proof of the connection between the applicant and the business or entity. One way the connection can be proven is by providing a written authorization on company letterhead, signed by someone other than the applicant. The TX DMV can provide other examples of documents that suffice to prove connection.

Military or Out-of-State Car Title Replacement

How do you replace a lost vehicle title if you are living out of state? Car title replacement in this situation is similar to the process used by people living in the state. Texas residents who are members of the United States Armed Forces and non-military Texas residents temporarily living in another state have two options to replace a lost or stolen car title.

Most out-of-state Texas residents who need to title documents will find it easiest to do so by mail. You can also replace a stolen or lost vehicle title by asking a friend or relative to apply for one in person on your behalf. However, you will be required to provide a limited power of attorney that grants them permission to file for the replacement for you. In addition, when getting a title replaced in person, the applicant must show his or her photo ID along with a copy of your ID.