Pennsylvania Electronic Liens & Titles (ELT)

ELT in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) implemented the Electronic Liens and Titles (ELT) program in 1998 and requires participation of all lenders as of July 10, 2008. This service revolutionizes the lien and title process, as bankers, credit unions, dealers, and other lenders no longer need to store and file paper titles. Lenders can electronically secure and release liens on titles using a web application developed by Decision Dynamics, Inc. called Premier eTitleLien™.

Premier eTitleLien™ was developed and continues to be improved as a partnership with lenders and lender organizations. As a lender-designed program it allows lenders to maintain control of their vehicle collateral while incorporating the benefits of electronic processing and communication.  Decision Dynamics, Inc. began processing Pennsylvania titles in May 2009 and continues to work with PennDOT and our customers to improve title and lien management in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.


7/15/2013 Web News: Pennsylvania Mulls Eliminating Registration Stickers
4/28/2011 Updates to this site, including new FAQ entries.
11/9/2009 Web News: Signing up to be in Pennsylvania ELT
10/28/2009 Web News: Pennsylvania: You must use ELT

More about ELT in Pennsylvania

What is the Electronic Liens and Titles Program?

The Electronic Liens and Titles (ELT) Program is a method by which the Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and a lending institution (lienholder) can exchange vehicle and title information. Instead of printing a paper title and mailing it to the lienholder, PennDOT can transmit essential identifying information electronically. Once the lien has been satisfied, the lienholder sends an electronic message releasing the title. PennDOT then 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.

How does this work?

Very simple:

  1. The lender provides PennDOT a title application (PA Form MV-38L) through the mail with accompanying documentation. (Or an application for lien is handled by a dealer.)
  2. PennDOT records the lien and sends an electronic message with similar titling information as appears on a paper form. This information includes a description of the vehicle and the name and address of the vehicle owner.
  3. DDI receives the message from PennDOT, formats it, and makes it available to the lender in Premier eTitleLien™.
  4. The lender works with Premier eTitleLien™ to validate the lien information.
  5. Once the loan is satisfied, the lender uses Premier eTitleLien™ to release the lien.
  6. PennDOT mails a clear title (no lien) to the vehicle owner.

There are also provisions within the Pennsylvania ELT program for requesting paper titles (with lien), converting paper titles to electronic, changing owner address information, and releasing the lien directly to a dealer or insurance company. Premier eTitleLien™ supports these features, making them simple and as foolproof as possible, and supplements them with additional tools including preparing the MV-38L.

What are the benefits of the Electronic Lien and Title System?

The electronic lien and title system allows lienholders to reduce the handling, storage and mailing costs associated with paper titles by replacing them with electronic titles. Lienholders who join the program will enjoy not having to:

  • Retrieve a title from a conventional file when the lien has been satisfied.
  • Physically satisfy (sign off) a lien on a title.
  • Mail a title to a customer.
  • Apply for a duplicate title to replace a lost title.

Other Benefits:

  • Reduces title fraud.
  • Reduction of title paper usage.
  • Faster notification of lien satisfactions.
  • Reduction in storage of title documents.
  • Consolidated, itemized monthly billing for title services.
  • Better customer service.
  • Reduced costs.

Additionally, electronic lienholder customers who have satisfied their loan obligations will receive clear paper titles faster, after the lienholder has electronically notified PennDOT that the lien has been released.

Premier eTitleLien® Decision Dynamics, Inc.