Michigan’s mandatory electronic titles

The Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) program permits financial institutions to issue an electronic version of a vehicle title and lienholder information instead of a paper certificate of title. 

All financial institutions and those entities engaged in financing vehicles/watercraft were required to enroll in ELT by October 1, 2023. 

The ELT program will help minimize the threat of fraud and help keep the interest of the credit union and its members safe.

Dealer Purchase, Refinance, or Lease Buyout 

  • Cornerstone Community Financial Credit Union (CCF) has been processing electronic titles in Ohio and other states since 2015. 
  • If you purchase a vehicle and finance with CCF, your title will be electronic in most states, including MI and OH. 
  • If you recently refinanced or will be refinancing your vehicle with CCF, your new title will be electronic. 
  • If you initially had a paper title, moving forward, all titles issued with CCF as the lienholder will be issued electronically.
  • Your vehicle registration is the document that can act as proof of vehicle ownership.
  • A vehicle registration record can be purchased from the Michigan Secretary of State Office to verify your electronically stored title is valid. 
  • CCF can request a paper title if you are moving out of Michigan and you need to register your vehicle in another state.
  • The dealer can apply for a duplicate title if you are trading in your vehicle at a dealership.
  • All titles issued on or after October 1, 2023, in Michigan with a lienholder will be electronic, regardless of what financial institution they are financed with.
  • CCF will automatically release our lien on your title 10 business days after your loan is fully paid. 
  • Paper lien releases are required for paper titles and can't be used to remove electronic liens. Electronic liens must be released electronically by the current lienholder.
  • Once all liens are cleared on an electronic title, the Michigan Department of State (MDOS) will print and mail the updated title to you.
  • If a dealership, another financial institution, or an insurance company pays off your loan, the title will be sent directly to that party.
  • MDOS will send clear titles with no lien holders to the address on your registration. 
  • Once CCF has requested a paper title, the credit union cannot order another copy. If the paper title is lost, stolen, or damaged, you can request a duplicate title from the Secretary of State online or at an SOS branch.
  • Military members and other Michigan residents residing out of state may request a duplicate title through the mail by submitting an Out-of-State Resident Duplicate Title Application. Contact the department's Special Services Branch at 517-636-5872 for assistance.

Private Purchases

  • If the title to the vehicle being purchased is electronic, you will not have a physical title at the time of sale.
  • The State of Michigan suggests that you, as the seller, draft a Bill of Sale between you and your buyer that includes the information for the vehicle and the terms of the sale.
  • Your registration is the document you will have to confirm your vehicle's ownership.
  • If you sell your current vehicle with an electronic title and have an outstanding loan with CCF, the buyer may ask for a copy of your title.
  • Once the buyer's transaction pays the loan in full, the Michigan Department of State (MDOS) will print and mail the free and clear title to you.
  • When you receive the title, you will sign as a seller and provide the paper title to your buyer. The buyer will take the signed title to the Secretary of State to transfer ownership.

Mailed physical titles take an extended time frame to be delivered. It can take 6-10 weeks to receive a paper title from the Secretary of State by mail. If you need your title sooner, instant, or on the same day, title service is available at all Secretary of State offices for a fee. CCF's lien is released on titles ten business days after receiving the payoff.


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