Certificate Of Title

What is a 'Certificate Of Title'

A certificate of title is a state or municipal-issued document that identifies the owner or owners of personal or real property. A certificate of title provides documentary evidence of the right of ownership. When issued for real property (such as land or a house) by a title insurance company, the certificate of title is a statement of opinion on the status of the title, based on a thorough examination of specified public records.

BREAKING DOWN 'Certificate Of Title'

The certificate of title lists any encumbrances on the property, such as liens or easements, but does not guarantee good title. Title companies provide certificates of title to lenders that require these documents prior to approving mortgage loans.


Certificates of title are also issued for vehicles, including automobiles, buses, motorcycles, motor homes, trailers and trucks, aircraft and watercraft. These are issued by a designated state agency to identify the owner of the vehicle, aircraft or water vessel. Any liens or outstanding loans will be identified on the certificate of title. Often, a lender (such as for an automobile loan) will hold the title until the obligation has been satisfied, at which point the lien is released and the certificate of title will be sent to the owner.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Perfect Title

    A title deed for real estate that does not have any liens attached ...
  2. Clear Title

    Also known as "clean title," "just title," "good title" and "free ...
  3. Quiet Title

    A lawsuit filed to establish ownership of real estate when ownership ...
  4. Chain Of Title

    The official record of ownership of a property or asset. The ...
  5. Bad Title

    A title that does not grant ownership to its holder due to unsatisfied ...
  6. Opinion Of Title

    A legal opinion attesting to the validity of the title deed to ...
Related Articles
  1. Credit & Loans

    Car Title Loan Requirements

    Here's a list of what you need to qualify for a car title loan. Most important: having sole ownership of your car with no liens.
  2. Credit & Loans

    Getting A Car Title Loan

    This loan-of-last-resort uses your car as collateral and features very high interest rates and fees. Be extremely wary of even considering one.
  3. Credit & Loans

    States That Allow Car Title Loans

    Only some states permit car title loans – and those that do may have restrictions. Check this list to see what to expect.
  4. Retirement

    Holding Titles On Real Property

    Find out how best to claim and convey ownership on your assets.
  5. Credit & Loans

    Are Car Title Loans Ever a Good Idea?

    Most people knowledgeable about finance consider title loans predatory. What would constitute a good-quality short-term loan? Here's one idea.
  6. Home & Auto

    7 Unusual Property Ownership Rules

    Unique real estate regulations from around the world.
  7. Personal Finance

    Tips For Transferring A House Title

    Transferring a house title can be complicated at times. Here are some guidelines to help you get through the process.
  8. Investing Basics

    Investing In Property Tax Liens

    Property tax liens can be a viable investment alternative for experienced investors that are familiar with the real estate market.
  9. Home & Auto

    What's a Special Warranty Deed?

    A special warranty deed is a deed in which the seller guarantees the title only against defects that occurred during his ownership of the property.
  10. Wealth Management

    Importance of Title in Art Transactions

    A work of art can be a valuable investment, but it’s important to verify that it isn’t stolen property when you purchase it.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What real estate documents need to be recorded?

    Learn how recording documents on real estate transactions, such as deeds, mortgages, easements and taxes, help ensure proper ... Read Answer >>
  2. Can I pass on the stock certificates to my son in my will?

    I was told I could get stock certificates from the company that I retired from. Will my son get the st... Read Answer >>
  3. What type of work experience can count towards the work experience required in order ...

    CFA Institute provides a list of job titles that qualify for the work experience an individual must gain to be awarded with ... Read Answer >>
  4. Is this stock certificate worthless?

    I bought 50,000 shares of restricted common stock from a company in December 2015 and received a stock certificate. I then ... Read Answer >>
  5. When I exchange foreign currency should I deposit it into a revocable trust or a ...

  6. What do states do with unclaimed property?

    Understand what unclaimed property is and what types of property can be considered abandoned or unclaimed. Learn what states ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. MACD Technical Indicator

    Moving Average Convergence Divergence (or MACD) is a trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between ...
  2. Over-The-Counter - OTC

    Over-The-Counter (or OTC) is a security traded in some context other than on a formal exchange such as the NYSE, TSX, AMEX, ...
  3. Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

    A three-month period on a financial calendar that acts as a basis for the reporting of earnings and the paying of dividends.
  4. Weighted Average Cost Of Capital - WACC

    Weighted average cost of capital (WACC) is a calculation of a firm's cost of capital in which each category of capital is ...
  5. Basis Point (BPS)

    A unit that is equal to 1/100th of 1%, and is used to denote the change in a financial instrument. The basis point is commonly ...
  6. Sharing Economy

    An economic model in which individuals are able to borrow or rent assets owned by someone else.
Trading Center