Have you recently purchased a vehicle, but never received the title? Or did you lose the title to your vehicle before transferring it over to your name? Maybe you tried applying for a duplicate certificate of title but didn’t have sufficient evidence.
Since Ohio doesn’t have the option for applying for a bonded title, you might be thinking there is no solution. Well, there is. In Ohio, you are able to file a court-ordered title.
How to get an Ohio Court Ordered Title
Title issuance is performed by the County Title of Clerks. Every county in Ohio has their own process to filing a court-ordered title, so check with your county’s Clerk of Courts Auto Title office to get specific information on how to file.
Most counties will follow a general process, though, and we’ve mapped that out for you below.
Step #1: Determine if you are eligible for an Ohio court-ordered title
Ohio BMV form 3753 explains when a court-ordered title is and is not applicable. If your situation allows for a simple duplicate certificate of title, an authorization letter will be issued to you from the Clerk of Courts office and you can take that letter to the Ohio BMV to get your title.
If a duplicate title cannot be issued to you, then you will have to pursue an Ohio court-ordered title.
Step #2: Visit your local Clerk of Courts office
They will give you an information packet and/or necessary forms to fill out to file for a court-ordered title. They will also help you request a lien holder record search.
A lien holder record search will reveal if there are any liens on your vehicle. If a lien holder turns up in the search, a certified letter will need to be sent to the lien holder to release the vehicle (see 4th step).
Step #3: Request the last known address of the vehicle owner
Complete Ohio BMV Form 1173 and submit to the Ohio BMV. Allow 15 days for processing. Results will be mailed to you on an Ohio BMV form 2433.
Be sure to keep this form because it will be necessary to exhibit this form with your petition in court.
Step #4: Mail a certified letter to the current owner and lien holder
Certified letters must be mailed to the current owner of the vehicle and any lien holders, if applicable. Allow 15 days for parties to respond. If parties do not respond, you will receive a salvage inspection receipt from the deputy registrar.
If parties do respond, you will most likely be able to work with them to obtain the original certificate of title. Make sure to keep copies of your letters and return mail receipts to include with your petition in court.
Step #5: Visit a BMV Deputy Registrar’s office
Purchase an Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) Inspection Receipt (BMV form 105). A list of BMV Deputy Registrar’s office locations can be found on the Ohio BMV website.
Step #6: Schedule your OSHP inspection
You can schedule your OHSP inspection by calling the Ohio State Highway Patrol at 614-644-1667. Once they complete the inspection, they will give you a form (HP106) which you must submit with your petition to the court.
Step #7: File your petition to the Court of Common Pleas
Every county has their own Court of Common Pleas. Take your petition to the court of the county that you live in. After filing your petition, you will be directed to a judge.
Step #8: Appear before the judge
You will have to appear before your county’s Court of Common Pleas judge. The judge will evaluate your petition, look over all the necessary documents, and either grant or dismiss your petition. Not all petitions will be granted.
If your petition is not granted, you should seek legal advice or counsel on how to move forward. If your petition is granted, the judge will sign a Judgement Entry and direct you to the General Division.
Step #9: File your Judgement Entry with the General Division
Every county will have a Clerk of Courts General Division. File the Judgement Entry that the judge granted you and pay any necessary fees.
Step #10: Apply for a certificate of title
You will now be able to apply for a certificate of title at the Clerk of Courts Auto Title office. Make sure to take your Judgement Entry and a valid photo identification to the office when you apply.
Clerk of County Office Locations
For Clerk of County office locations and information, visit the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Branch Office Location page on the Ohio BMV website.