Did you know that you can put a hold on your car title to prevent its transfer without your knowledge? If you are concerned about the safety of your car title, placing a hold on the title may bring you peace of mind.
A vehicle title legally assigns ownership of a vehicle, making it one of the most valuable documents for that vehicle. To place a hold on a vehicle’s title, the owner must prove that there are significant risks to the security of the title.
What circumstances would cause a vehicle owner to consider placing a hold on their car title?
Reason #1: Your vehicle has been towed and you are: unable to get the vehicle back, unable to get in contact with the tow yard, or unable to pay towing or storage fees provided to you by the tow company.
Reason #2: Your vehicle is being held at an auto repair shop and you are: unable to get the vehicle back, unable to get in contact with the repair shop, unable to find the physical location of the repair shop, or unable to pay the repair invoice.
Reason #3: Your vehicle is in the care of another person who you believe may intend to transfer the title or improperly place a lien without your consent.
Reason #4: Your vehicle is missing or stolen.
Each of the 50 states has a process to place a hold on a car title. If you are a resident of California, this process is known as a Courtesy Stop Request.
How to file a Courtesy Stop Request
To file a courtesy stop request, you must first intend to sue the person or people threatening the security of your car title. For this filing, make sure to obtain good legal advice before proceeding from a lawyer or comparable legal resource.
After filing your case, complete the Courtesy Stop Request form (REG 500) and write your motion for a preliminary injunction. Once all necessary documents have been filed, all related motions, complaints, and papers must be personally served to all parties involved. The submission of the courtesy stop request form prevents the DMV from transferring your car title for 60 days. After the initial 60-day hold, if a court date has not yet been set, you can apply for an extension or simply remove the hold.
Ultimately, there is no foolproof way to ensure that your car title isn’t stolen. However, by taking the proper precautions and checking for anything suspicious, you can put yourself in a much better position if something does go wrong. By proactively addressing these issues now, you will be able to catch fraud when it happens, and keep your title safe.