California Electronic Liens & Titles (ELT)

ELT in California

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) implemented the Electronic Lien and Title Program (ELT) in 1989. Beginning in 2012, all lienholders will be required to participate in the ELT Program.

In September of 2010, Decision Dynamics, Inc. received approval to begin processing California titles. Decision Dynamics, Inc. (DDI) works with the CA ELT program by providing a web application called Premier eTitleLien™. Premier eTitleLien™ allows lenders to maintain control of their vehicle collateral while enjoying the benefits of electronic processing and communication. Decision Dynamics, Inc. continues to work with the California DMV and their customers to improve title and lien management in California.


More about ELT in California

What is the Electronic Lien and Title Program?

The Electronic Lien and Title Program is a method by which the California DMV and lending institutions (lienholders) can exchange vehicle and title information electronically. The CA DMV transmits essential identifying information electronically to the lienholder which eliminates the need to print and mail paper titles. Once the loan has been satisfied, the lienholder sends an electronic message releasing the title at which point the DMV prints and mails a paper title to the vehicle owner.

This process eliminates most of the paper handling involved in the vehicle titling process. Both the lending organizations and the DMV benefit from lower costs associated with processing, mailing, filing and retrieving paper titles.

How does this work?

Very simple:

  1. For vehicles not currently titled in California, Premier eTitleLien™ supports the California Application for Title or Registration (REG 343). Vehicles with a California title have lien change information processed on the title itself. An Application for Duplicate Title (REG 227) can be used to request a replacement title if the owner does not have the title. The lender provides California DMV with one of the applications at a local DMV field office with accompanying documentation. (It's also possible for a dealer to handle the application for lien process.)
  2. CA DMV records the lien (in California, the lender becomes the "legal owner" of the vehicle) and sends DDI an electronic message with similar titling information as appears on a paper form. This information includes a description of the vehicle and the name and address of the vehicle owner.
  3. DDI receives the message from CA DMV, formats it, and makes it available to the lender in Premier eTitleLien™.
  4. The lender works with Premier eTitleLien™ to validate the lien information.
  5. Once the loan is satisfied, the lender uses Premier eTitleLien™ to release the lien.
  6. The California DMV then mails a clear title (no lien) to the vehicle's registered owner.

The California ELT program also has provisions for requesting paper titles (with lien), converting a portfolio of existing paper titles to electronic, and transferring the title to a new lienholder. Premier eTitleLien™ supports these features, making them simple and as foolproof as possible, and supplements them with additional tools including preparing the REG 343.

What are the benefits of the Electronic Lien and Title System?

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 no longer have to:

  • Retrieve a title from a conventional file when the lien has been satisfied.
  • Physically satisfy (sign off) a lien on a title.
  • Mail the title to the registered owner.
  • Apply for a duplicate title when the original title has been lost.

Other Benefits:

  • Reduction in title fraud.
  • Reduction of title paper usage.
  • Faster notification of lien satisfactions.
  • Reduction in storage of title documents.
  • Consolidated, itemized monthly billing for title services.
  • Better customer service.
  • Overall reduced costs.

Additionally, electronic lienholder customers who have satisfied their loan obligations will receive clear paper titles faster, after the lienholder has electronically notified the DMV that the lien has been released.

For more information on Premier eTitleLien™ or participating in the California ELT program, please visit

Premier eTitleLien® Decision Dynamics, Inc.