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Licensed businesses can access many MDOS services and relevant industry information through their CARS e-Services account. View instructions for setting up a CARS account under the Forms and publications section (search “CARS”).
Electronic Lien and Title Program - ELT (Choose tab)
The Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) program permits financial institutions to issue an electronic version of a vehicle title and lienholder information in place of a paper certificate of title (Public Acts 290-292 of 2014).
Financial institutions can sign up for ELT through one of two ways:
- Online: Submit an application through CARS e-Services. Once your application has been reviewed and approved, information will be sent about how to access to your e-Services account.
- Approved service provider: Contact a third-party service provider for information and enrollment in ELT. The state has approved the following ELT service providers: DDI Technologies, Dealertrack, PDP Group, and Secure Title Administration have been approved as ELT service providers by the state. Approved service providers may charge additional fees for enrollment.
After enrolling in the ELT program, financial institutions will be assigned a designated ID number that must be provided whenever a title is issued by the lienholder. This number must be included when the following documents are submitted:
- Application for Michigan Vehicle Title
- Application for Title and Registration Statement of Vehicle Sale
- Additional documents submitted to the State of Michigan by the lienholder
Application for a Vehicle Title (TR-11)
Application for Title and Registration Statement of Vehicle Sale (RD-108)
Financial institutions participating in ELT must process and store all vehicle titles electronically.
Once the loan for the vehicle has been paid and terminated, the financial institution (lienholder) will release the electronic lien and notify the Michigan Department of State to mail a paper title to the vehicle owner. Secretary of State offices don’t have the authority to release electronic liens.
Duplicate and instant titles can’t be processed for titles held electronically. Aside from when a lien is terminated, paper titles are only produced for electronically stored titles in certain situations, such as when a vehicle owner is moving and plans to register in another state.
Like paper titles, corrections to electronic titles can be made at a Secretary of State office, including:
- Correcting a name or address
- Adding a second lien
- Correcting vehicle information (year, make, or VIN)
- Adding or releasing non-electronic liens
Michigan Electronic Filing System (MiEFS)
Some automotive-related businesses can process their vehicle transactions through the Michigan Electronic Filing System (MiEFS) program.
When a licensed Michigan dealer participates in the MiEFS program and sells a vehicle, the dealership can process the title and registration transaction for the customer without having to take the transaction to the local Secretary of State branch office. The dealer can process the title application and issue a new license plate even when the local branch office is closed.
The MiEFS program is currently working with licensed Michigan dealers, rental fleets, financial institutions, manufacturers, and title services based both in Michigan and out of state.
For more information, contact the MiEFS Help Desk at 517-636-0571 or MDOS-MIEFS-Helpdesk@Michigan.gov.
Business license regulation and compliance
The Michigan Department of State regulates and enforces business compliance with the Michigan Vehicle Code and the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act. The department investigates complaints filed against dealers, repair facilities, and mechanics that fall within these laws.
State law provides the Michigan Department of State with clear authority to deny, suspend, or revoke a business or occupational license or certification if the licensee or applicant has not complied with the provisions of the Acts or Rules. Disciplinary actions may be resolved in an alternative manner to ensure compliance and may include a written warning, probation, administrative fines, or suspension. If compliance cannot be achieved in an alternative agreement, then the department may seek formal administrative actions.
Administrative actions undertaken or scheduled against a licensee, business, or certificate holder regulated by the MDOS will be posted on the MDOS website, including:
- Formal actions against non-compliant vehicle dealers
- Formal actions against non-compliant repair facilities
- Formal actions against non-compliant mechanics
- Unlicensed dealer assessments
- Unlicensed repair facility actions
- De-certification of salvage vehicle inspectors
- Licensees who have voluntarily surrendered or withdrawn their license or application after an administrative hearing has been scheduled
- Administrative actions, which include probations and suspensions
- A list of administrative actions against business licenses is available through Online Services under the Business Services.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
How do I add additional users to our online account?
Log into your online account and select Manage Users. From there you can view a list of current users, add new users, or update and remove current users. To add users, select Add Users and fill out the new user's information. Once you submit the request and we approve the new user, they will receive an authorization code by email.
How do I pay my invoice?
Log into your online account and select Pay Account Balance. From there you can elect to pay the invoice amount, pay the account balance, or pay another specified amount.
Will CARS e-Services affect anything with CVR?
No, however, if there are any questions on the CVR application or how to process transactions through the application please contact the CVR Helpdesk. Any questions related to Michigan Department of State procedures or paperwork can be referred to the MiEFS helpdesk at 517-636-0571 or MDOS-MIEFS-Helpdesk@Michigan.gov.
How do I find the VIN or HIN?
The VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is a unique identifier of 17 characters assigned to a motor vehicle, ORV, or snowmobile by the manufacturer. Vehicles with a different VIN format (such as imported vehicles) or that are missing a VIN, may have one assigned by MDOS.
The HIN (Hull Identification Number) is a unique 12-digit number assigned to a vessel or watercraft by the manufacturer. Watercraft manufactured before 1972 weren’t issued a HIN.
The VIN or HIN may be found on the vehicle:
- Certificate of insurance
- Purchase records
- Warranty information
- Window sticker
- Your insurance company may also have a record of the VIN or HIN.
Will customers need to visit a Secretary of State office before a lienholder with an ELT account adds or removes a lien?
No office visits won’t be necessary. ELT lienholders or financial institutions are required to release electronic liens and add electronic liens (when refinancing) electronically. Once all electronic liens are released from a title, MDOS will print and mail the title to the customer.
Is the lienholder ID number necessary to add the electronic lien or can the lienholder be searched by name?
To add an electronic lien, a lienholder ID must be entered. MDOS staff and dealers won’t be searching in CARS for a lienholder ID. It is the responsibility of the lienholders to supply this number to the dealer or the customer when approving their loans. The lienholder ID can also be found on the RD-108 or TR-11.
For dealers who use CVR, will they continue to use CVR, or do they must go outside CVR?
Dealers who use CVR will continue to use CVR for most transactions. For taking assumption of a lien, dealers will need to log into e-Services to perform that transaction.