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Titling & Registering Out-of-State Vehicles with Liens


This page provides information about titling and registering out-of-state vehicles with liens (i.e., a security interest holder has the current title due to a vehicle loan or lease program).
Use the links below to go directly to any section:
General Information
Only vehicles titled in Oregon can be registered in Oregon, so you will need to title your out of state vehicle before you can register it and get Oregon license plates.
If you took out a loan to buy your vehicle and you are still making payments or you are leasing it, the security interest holder (i.e., the financial institution to which you are making payments) is most likely holding the title (in the state where you acquired the vehicle or last resided). DMV will not be able to title or register your vehicle in Oregon without a Certificate of Title from the security interest holder. As a result, both you and your security interest holder will need to follow the steps defined in the sections below. 
Important: Before applying, please determine if you are legally qualified for Oregon vehicle registration.
Important: Start the process defined below as soon as possible. Depending upon how quickly the security interest holder processes your paperwork and submits it to DMV, it can take several weeks to get your plates and stickers. If your out-of-state license plates expire, you are limited to two 21-day trip permits which allow you to drive your vehicle on a temporary basis. If the vehicle does not currently have license plates, you may submit your paperwork for title and registration and pay the required fees in person at an Oregon DMV office and obtain temporary registration.
Note: If you have purchased, or are looking to purchase, a used vehicle from out of state, be wary of flood damage. Be especially cautious of vehicles that may have been damaged by the Hurricane floods.

Note: If a vehicle has had certain kinds of damage, an Oregon title cannot be issued.

How to Apply
To apply for a title and registration in Oregon, complete all of the steps below:
  • Print the application procedures and Security Interest Holder Letter:
  • Fill out an Application for Title and Registration (Form 735-226):
  • Pass an emissions test at DEQ if you live in the Portland Metro Area or the Rogue Valley (Medford area) and are required to do so;
  • Prove your compliance with or exemption from the Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) requirement if applicable:
    • Vehicles subject to LEV include 2009 model year or newer passenger vehicles with 7,500 or less mileage,
    • The LEV requirement does not apply to electric, hybrid, or government-owned passenger vehicles;
  • Take your vehicle to a DMV office once you establish Oregon residency and get a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) inspection:
    • You will be charged a $7 fee for this service,
    • You may also be able to get a VIN inspection at DEQ,
    • You may be able to get a VIN inspection at another state's DMV office or from law enforcement if you are currently located out of state but domiciled in Oregon,
    • The completed VIN inspection form must be included in the application materials sent to your security interest holder;
  • Choose license plates for your vehicle from the options available:
    • If you choose a specialty plate, write the name of that plate in the “Remarks” section of your application,
    • You may also transfer Oregon plates you already own to this vehicle:
      • The plates must be a type that DMV still issues, or have a specialty background,
      • The plates must be in good condition and readable, and
      • The plates can only be transferred to the same type of vehicle;
    • If you transfer plates:
      • The expiration date of the registration will remain the same,
      • Expired plates cannot be transferred, unless registration fees are paid at the time of plate transfer,
      • You must pay a plate transfer fee of $6;
  • Get a trip permit from a DMV office if your current out-of-state license plates are expired and you wish to continue driving your vehicle on Oregon roadways; 
  • Calculate and prepare payment for all applicable fees:
  • Communicate with your security interest holder to explain to them what you are trying to do and to verify how and where to send them your application materials (they may have their own procedures you will need to follow and fees you must pay for their services); 
  • Send your security interest holder the Security Interest Holder Letter (you printed earlier) with the completed Application for Title & Registration, Vin Inspection Form, total fee payment (check or money order payable to "Oregon DMV"), a stamped envelope addressed to DMV and any other supporting materials. As the current title holder, they must add the Certificate of Title and submit the application materials to DMV on your behalf (See next section).
    Note: Although not required, it is a good idea to include a stamped envelope addressed to DMV with the documents sent to the security interest holder in order to expedite the process.
    Note: By submitting an application for registration, you are certifying that you have the insurance required by Oregon law and that you will comply with Oregon's motor vehicle insurance requirements as long as the vehicle is registered in your name.

    How to Submit Your Application
    After you have sent the Security Interest Holder Letter with your completed Application for Title & Registration, Vin Inspection Form, correct payment (check or money order payable to "Oregon DMV"), stamped envelope addressed to DMV (see below) and any other supporting materials to the security interest holder, they must add the current vehicle title (i.e., Certificate of Tile) to the above documents and mail all of the application materials to the following address:
    Oregon DMV
    1905 Lana Ave NE
    Salem, OR 97314
    Important: DMV must receive a Certificate of Title from the security interest holder. An informational or non-negotiable copy of the title will not suffice.

    How Long Will It Take?
    We cannot speak to the amount of time required by security interest holders, but if the application paperwork is accurate and complete when received by DMV, and your payment is correct, your registration and license plates will be mailed within 5-10 business days. 
    Titles are generally mailed about three to five weeks after DMV receives the necessary paperwork. However, delays may occur during peak processing months.

    Related Information
    Additional information that may be relevant includes: