How do i know if my cars title is clean?
You can't sell it, you don't own it
It means different things to different people. Often it means free of liens. But you cannot tell that online. Generally, if the seller has the title in hand, it has no lien or no longer has a lien. Some people think it means not salvage or never salvage. Does not necessarily mean that. In my state and my dozen years in the car business, if the seller had the title, it was clear. When I bought from a dealer or auction, they promise to deliver a clear title at some time in the future. Often within a few days, some times within a month. Because dealers & auctions are credible, that was never a concern for me. One time, I bought a car from an old lady who did not have the title but she had a tag receipt showing no lienholder. (This was 25 years ago) I think I offered her $600 for the car with $400 in cash that day and the other $200 when she got a replacement title. (It took about 3 weeks and she had to go to the courthouse & apply) When she got it back, she called I gave her the other $200 and she signed over the title. Generally, that's not a good idea but in this case, I trusted her.
It is not a "clean title" because there is a lien holder. It's that simple. In order to sell your car, the lender must be involved. The buyer pays the lender and If you can sell it for more than you owe, the lender gives you the balance. If you sell it for less than you owe, then you pay the lender the balance. Either way the lien holder must be paid in full so the lien can be released and the buyer can legally take possession.
Uh, yeah... don't try to sell your car without paying the lien. Won't happen. Some states allow the current owner to have a COPY of the title, which is what you possess now. The lender will always have the transferable title in their possession. The buyer will get down to the DMV to transfer ownership, DMV will see the lien and stop the transaction cold. Buyer will come back to you and demand a refund... and sue you (winning easily) if you don't comply. Do the right thing and go down to the lender (if local) with the buyer, pay off the loan with the funds from the sale, and then sign over the title to the buyer once the lender gives it to you.
Under the lien part, if there is a lien AND the lien holder has signed, dated and stamped the "Release of Lien", the title is clear.
Ask the lienholder on the title. And the DMV.
If you are in possession of the title and only your name is on it, it's clear.
No, little Snowflake. Title type does not indicate a "clean" title. If there is a lienholder listed ANYWHERE on the title, it's NOT CLEAN. You'll need a release of lien letter from the bank before you can LEGALLY sell the vehicle.