What Does a Car Title Look Like?

Woman Looking at Car Title Documents While Sitting in Her CarWoman Looking at Car Title Documents While Sitting in Her Car

In the United States, a car title is a document that identifies the legal owner of a car. Different states in the US have different rules for the car title process, so the details can vary slightly depending on which state your car title is issued in.

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of what does a car title look like and what information it includes. If you are purchasing a new car, you should familiarize yourself with what a car title looks like, to ensure that you are not tricked by a scammer with a fake car title selling motor vehicles.

Car Title Elements

While additional details may vary in different states, most states have a similar format and include the same key elements:

Color: Pink Is the Thing of the Past

Car titles were historically referred to as pink slips in the US, and sometimes people still use this term. It originates from the car titles that were issued in California prior to 1988, as they were colored pink. Since 1988, the design of vehicle titles in the US has evolved with technology and the designs are more difficult for fraudsters to create fake car titles.

The design and colors vary across the different states but in California, for example, the California certificate has vertical strips of teal, yellow and pink, with a green border. Some states have purple borders and some have blue. The title should feature a watermark and when you are purchasing a vehicle, you should check for the watermark to ensure the document is authentic.

Your Name

The car title includes the owner's name and it is important that the owner's full name is correct to avoid any issues with insurance, completing DMV activities such as renewing license plates, or selling the vehicle.

VIN: Vehicle Identification Number

The VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is unique to the vehicle and helps to prevent stolen cars from being sold. You can check the vehicle history report by using an online checker to verify that the VIN is valid for the vehicle. For example, you can use a free online VIN check from FLHSMV to verify the car title is valid in Florida.

The VIN is a 17-character combination of numbers and letters and it can be found on the lower left side of the dashboard. It may also appear in the car frame or under the spare tire.

The title will also include the make and model of the car, the year of manufacture, and the color of the vehicle.

The Total Distance a Car Has Traveled

This element of the car title shows the recorded mileage on the odometer. When registering an out-of-state car, some states require that the odometer reading needs to be verified by an approved motor vehicle center or local DMV. This helps to prevent fraud where a seller could try to get more money for a vehicle that has lower mileage.

If you are unsure as to whether the mileage on the odometer is genuine, it is a good idea to check the vehicle's history report, as this should help identify if the current odometer reading is authentic.

Car’s Weight Class

The car's weight class is important because it determines the taxation class for the vehicle, as well as providing important information for driving somewhere where there is restricted weight loads for motor vehicles.

Contact Information - If There Is a Lien on the Vehicle

If the vehicle has been purchased through a financing lender, the outstanding liens will be included on the vehicle title, with information about the lender. Where a vehicle is bought using a financial lender, the car title will usually be kept by the lender until the outstanding payments are completed. The lienholder information is important because if the vehicle is involved in an accident or theft, they are the financial owners and need to be informed.

Finalizing the Car Title Document: Assignment Section

The title must include the signatures of the buyer, seller, and representative of the state. When the car is being sold, the document must be signed by both the buyer and seller (in the seller section) to complete the legal sale of the vehicle.

How to Replace a Car Title

In the event that a car title becomes lost or damaged, it is a fairly straightforward process to obtain a duplicate title. If you misplace a title you should order a duplicate as soon as possible to avoid possible fines if you are stopped by a police officer and asked to produce your documents.

Although you will have seven days in most states to produce your documents, it may take longer to obtain a copy. You can request a duplicate vehicle title using online services such as Swift-tags.com to speed up the process.

What Does a Car Title Look Like: The Summary

A car title or pink slip as it has often been called in the US is an important legal document that establishes the owner of a vehicle and can be required by a police officer or insurance company.

It is also an important document for the selling process for a vehicle, confirming who the seller and new owner are. You should keep your car title in a safe place to avoid losing it but you can also obtain electronic titles which you can easily produce on your phone if requested by a police officer or other authority.

The appearance of your car title may differ from some of the examples you see online for other states, so it is important to check what the specific title design is for the state you are buying a vehicle in. The information included in the car title will be similar across all states, including:

  • VIN
  • Name and address of the owner
  • Odometer reading
  • Weight class
  • Lien contact information (if applicable)

When you are purchasing a used car, then the car title will need to be transferred into your name, so having an authentic title is essential for legally transferring the ownership of the vehicle.

This description covering what a car title looks like should help to ensure you have the correct documentation to transfer the title. This is even more important if you pay cash for a vehicle, as there will be no financial transaction evidence for the purchase of the vehicle to verify vehicle ownership. If you buy a vehicle through a private individual, you should also be warier about checking that the car title is genuine.

When buying a new vehicle, the car dealership should provide you with the car title, unless you use a finance company, in which case the title is usually provided to the lienholder until the driver owns the vehicle outright.

Are You Looking for Title Services? Swift-Tags Is a Reliable Online Service Provider

Whether you are looking to process a title transfer or order a duplicate title because you no longer have the original title, Swift-tags.com provides reliable and professional online services.

As well as providing a faster and more convenient method for services including registration renewal, title transfer, and title replacement, we offer expert support to help with any issues that you may have with license or vehicle documentation.

By using our simple online processes, you can avoid time-consuming visits to the DMV office and make sure that you are legally compliant with the driving document requirements in your state. We also send renewal reminders to make sure that you do not miss your renewal and risk driving without the correct legal documentation for your vehicle, avoiding fines and any additional legal issues.

Man Changing the Address With the Florida DMV

Florida DMV Change of Address

Car Pulled Over by the Police for Reckless Driving in Texas

Reckless Driving Texas

Maryland Driving Record

Maryland Driving Record

Register Out of State Vehicle in Texas

Register Out of State Vehicle in Texas

Texas Vehicle Registration Grace Period

Texas Vehicle Registration Grace Period

Man Pulled Over for Driving Without a License in Maryland

Driving Without a License in Maryland

Two Young Man Shaking Hands After Co-Signing a Car Title

Joint Ownership of Car Title

Man Examining the Bill of Sale to Avoid Title Jumping

Title Jumping

Woman Looking at Car Title Documents While Sitting in Her Car

What Does a Car Title Look Like?

Traffic light showing red light

Can You Turn Right on Red in Maryland?

Autoinsurance Policy With A Toy Car A Magnifying Glass And A Dollar Bill On It

What Is Considered Full Coverage Auto Insurance in Florida?

Car Pulled Over by A Female Police Officer Who Is checking its documentation

Maryland Expired Tags Fine

Man in a Car Texting While Driving

Maryland Driving Laws

Man Filling Out A Bill Of Safe In Florida

Do You Need a Bill of Sale to Transfer Title in Florida?

Women Texting While Driving a Car

Texas Traffic Tickets

Car Pulled Over By the Road in the Forrest

What Are Maryland MVA Flags and How to Remove Them?

How Do I Change Car Registration Georgia

Change Car Registration in Georgia

How To Return License Plates In Maryland

Return Vehicle Tags in Maryland

Register Car Maryland Out Of State

Out-of-State Maryland Car Registration

Texas Driving Test Requirements

What Are the Driving Test Requirements for Texas?

Expired Vehicle Registration in Texas

Driving with Expired Registration in Texas

Driving in Texas as a Tourist

Can I Drive as a Tourist in Texas?

All Information About Driving Laws in Texas

Everything You Should Know About Texas Driving Laws

How to Register a Car Online in Texas

Can I Register a Car Online in Texas?

Texas Driving License Restrictions

Driver License Endorsements and Restrictions in Texas

Expired Registration in Pennsylvania

What Happens If You Drive with Expired Registration In PA?

Registration Violation in Pennsylvania

Is Expired Registration a Moving Violation In PA?

Late Registration Penalty in Pennsylvania

How Much Is the Penalty for Late Registration of Vehicles in PA?

Renew Expired Registration Pennsylvania

How Do I Renew My Expired Registration in PA?

Vehicle Registration Status Pennsylvania

How Do I Check the Status of My Vehicle Registration In PA?

Online Vehicle Registration Pennsylvania

Can I Register My Car Online In PA?

Driving History Records Florida

How to Request Driving History Records Online in Florida?

Enhanced Driving License

Enhanced Driver's License to Fly

Snowbirds Vehicle Registration Florida

Can Snowbirds Register a Car in Florida?

Online Driving License Florida

Can I Get a Florida Driver's License Online?

Late fee for license plate renewal

What is the penalty for late car license renewal?

Pulled Over Expired Tags

What Is a Vehicle Logbook?

All Information About Vehicle Logbook

What Happens if you Get Ticketed or Pulled Over with Expired Tags?

What If Car Insurance Expire

What Happens If a Car Insurance Is Expired?

What is the grace period for expired tags NC

Is there a grace period for expired tags in North Carolina?

Is Car Driving Easy in USA

Is Driving in America Difficult?

What is proof of ownership of a car

How to Proof Ownership of a Car?

Driving with Foreign License in US

How Long to Drive with a Foreign License in the US?

US Driving Tips for Foreigners

Helpful Driving Tips for Foreign Visitors

How To Remove A Lien From A Florida Vehicle Title?

How to Remove a Lien from a Florida Vehicle Title?

How to Replace a Lost Title in Florida

How to Replace a Lost Title in Florida?

How to Quickly Get a Duplicate Title in Florida

How to Quickly Get a Duplicate Title in Florida?

Florida best and worst driving cities

Moving to Florida? Best and worst cities for driving

Florida license plates, temporary tags, specialty and disposal

Requirements for Florida license plates, temporary tags, specialty and disposal

Florida expired tags penalty

Florida expired tags penalty

Get a Florida drivers license as a non resident

Get a Florida driver’s license as a non-resident

Find my title number without my registration

How to insure your vehicle without registration number?

Where is my vehicle registration Florida

How to find my vehicle registration?

Find a vehicle title Florida

What if you can’t find your vehicle title number?

Required documents to drive in Florida

Required documents to drive in Florida

Florida driving test

Florida driving test

Florida traffic laws

Florida traffic laws

Is it safe to drive in Florida

How safe is Florida for driving?

Expired tag and registration Florida

Is a criminal offense driving with expired tag and registration in Florida?

Insurance to register a car in Florida

Car registration insurance in Florida

Driving test moving to Florida

Retake driving test moving to Florida?

Tourist driving license Florida

Driver license in Florida as tourist

Florida marijuana traffic car laws

Marijuana traffic car laws in Florida

Driving tips to survive Florida heat

Tips for driving in the Florida heat

Vehicle registration during the pandemic

Vehicle registration in Florida during COVID-19

Grace period expired tags Florida

When does the grace period begin for expired tags in Florida?

Auto insurance rates

Affecting your auto insurance rates

Verify car title Florida

Check if car title is valid in Florida before you buy

Reckless driving Florida

Reckless driving - worst offense in Florida

Get a jeep title in Florida

Get a title easily for a Jeep in Florida

Drivers license Florida

What’s the minimum age to get a learner’s permit in Florida?

Bill of sale title transfer Florida

What is bill of sale title in Florida?

Car title transfer of a deceased person in Florida

Transfer a car title when someone passes away

Transfer drivers license to Florida

What’s the process to transfer driver’s license to Florida?

Florida DMV forms

Florida DMV forms – What is required?

How to renew your car registration in Florida

How to Renew Your Car Registration in Florida?

First time vehicle registration Florida

Florida State: First-time Vehicle Registration Requirements

Related Articles