JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use DMVNow in standard view. However, it seems JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser. To use standard view, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options, then try again. To get the best experience, you'll need to upgrade to a modern browser.
Skip to Content
Agencies | Governor
Search Virginia.Gov

Email this pagePrint this page  

Electronic Lien Program Frequently Asked Questions

What is the E-lien program?
The Electronic Lien Program (ELP) is a paperless method by which the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and a lending institution (lienholder) can exchange vehicle and title information. Instead of printing a paper title and mailing it to the lienholder, DMV Headquarters can transmit essential identifying information electronically.
Once the lien has been satisfied, the lienholder releases the lien and DMV receives an electronic message to release the title. DMV Headquarters prints and mails the title to the vehicle owner. This process eliminates much of the paper handling involved in the vehicle titling process. Both parties benefit from lower costs of processing, mailing, filing, and retrieving paper.
When does the mandate take effect?
Effective October 1, 2015, all banking and financial institutions in the state of Virginia that record 50 or more auto liens per calendar year will be required to electronically transmit lien information to the Virginia (DMV) through an approved service provider.
Who is mandated to participate in the E-Lien program?
Banking and financial institutions that record 50 or more Virginia motor vehicle liens per calendar year will be required to electronically transmit lien information to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) through an approved service provider.
Who may voluntarily participate in the E-Lien program?
Banks and financial institutions that do not meet the minimum volume (50) are not required to participate at this time, but may enroll voluntarily in the program.
Consumer finance companies licensed under Chapter 15 (§ 6.2-1500 et seq.) of Title 6.2 of the Code of Virginia are allowed to participate in the E-lien program, but are not required by mandate at this time.
Motor vehicle title lenders that are not subject to Chapter 22 of Title 6.2 may participate as long as the laws of the jurisdiction under which they are making loans allow for a paperless titling process, and they agree to not use the ELP for any affiliated company that is ineligible (e.g., a motor vehicle title lender subject to Chapter 22 of Title 6.2).
Who is not eligible to participate in the E-Lien program?
Motor vehicle title lenders making loans pursuant to the laws of Virginia or any other jurisdiction that requires lenders to hold paper titles may not participate in the program.
The Electronic Lien Program is not available for use by motor vehicle title lenders regulated under Chapter 22 (§ 6.2-2200 et seq.) of Title 6.2 of the Code of Virginia or similar laws in another jurisdiction that require the lender to hold paper titles.
How do I join the E-Lien program?
To join the Electronic Lien Program, the lienholder must complete a contract with one of the approved vendors of AAMVA and meet the necessary hardware and software requirements. AAMVA contact information and a list of approved vendors can be found at http://www.dmvnow.com/commercial/#lien/who_contact.html.
What are the benefits of the E-Lien program?
  • Paperless processing
  • Reduction in storage space needed for title documents
  • Reduced costs associated with handling, storage and mailing
  • Quick identification of inaccurate information
  • Faster notification of lien satisfactions
  • Improved customer service with timely release and printing of clear titles without customer intervention.
Are there recording fees involved in the E-Lien program?
Yes. Recording fees are charged by the approved vendor selected by the lienholder as the Electronic Lien Program vendor.
How long does it take to receive a title once the lien has been released electronically?
Once the “LO, Release Lien Interest” or “LG” Request Paper Title” message has been received by DMV, the request is run against the DMV files overnight, and the title is printed and mailed the next morning.
What if a borrower wants something in their hand immediately after paying off a loan? 3
If the customer must have the title document within 24 hours, the lienholder may send an "LO, Release Lien Interest" message, to DMV’s "Emergency" mailbox. DMV will process the messages in the "Emergency" mailbox on an hourly basis between the hours of 7:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. EST or EDST, Monday through Friday, excluding Saturdays and state holidays. The paper title will be available for pick up at a Virginia DMV Customer Service Center or DMV Select within an hour of processing by DMV.
*Persons picking up the title must bring proper identification.
What if the title release request sent electronically does not match the information on file at the DMV?
The request will be rejected and the lienholder will receive an error message. The lienholder will contact DMV’s E-Lien Department at (804) 367-0901 for resolution.
What if a dealer pays off the loan for any of the following reasons: (1) the vehicle is being traded in or sold to the dealer, (2) the insurance pays off the loan because the vehicle has been deemed a total loss; (3) the lender pays off the loan due to a refinancing and requires a paper title withing 24 hours?
The lienholder may send an "LO, Release Lien Interest" message along with third party information to DMV’s "Emergency" mailbox. DMV will process the message in the "Emergency" mailbox on an hourly basis between the hours of 7:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. EST or EDST, Monday through Friday, excluding Saturdays and state holidays. The paper title will be available for pick up at any Virginia DMV Customer Service Center or DMV Select within an hour of processing the lien release request.
* The representative of the specified dealer, insurance company, or lender must bring proper identification, along with a letter on the specified dealer’s, insurance companies, or financial institution’s letterhead, identifying the representative as authorized to pick up the title.
What happens if an "LC, lien establishment" message is received that identifies the wrong division within the lien holder’s organization, where that division also has electronic liens?
The lien holder’s designated representative should contact DMV at (804) 367-0901 to request that the lien be corrected to the proper division.
What indicator does a dealership place on the title application to indicate that the lien is electronic?
The dealership will place the lienholder’s code on the application.
Do we have to use a vendor or can we process them directly to the DMV?
All financial institutions (lenders) participating in the ELP (see above for exceptions to the mandate) must contract with an approved third party vendor from the List of Vendors. The financial institution may contact the vendors to discuss requirements and costs. 5
Can we keep our existing paper titles and just use electronic liens going forward? We don’t have to convert existing paper titles to e-lien titles?
Yes. Financial institutions may keep existing paper titles. Once enrolled in the ELP, financial institutions may begin electronic transmission of liens. Effective October 1st, all financial institutions who process 50 or more liens must submit liens through the Electronic Lien Program, with the exception of motor vehicle title lenders and consumer finance companies as noted above.
The customer signs the regular application and sends that along with $10 to record the supplemental lien. How do we receive notification that the E-lien is recorded?
Once DMV receives notification of the lien via the third party vendor, DMV will transmit notification of the lien recorded to the third party vendor. The third party vendor transmits the notification to the lienholder notifying the lienholder that the lien has been electronically recorded.
Currently, only an authorized representative other than the president or CEO can sign the VSA 150, if they are able to obtain authorization from the president or CEO. Will this continue to be a requirement under the new process or do you envision expanding those capabilities to other folks within the lending organization?
DMV will continue its current process with regard to who is able to sign the VSA 150. Only an authorize representative other than the president or CEO can sign the VSA 150.