Virginia Electronic Liens & Titles (ELT)

ELT in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) was one of the first states to implement an Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) program. Their program, called the Electronic Lien Program (ELP), is a voluntary participation program. In 2012 Virginia passed SB 686 allowing the DMV to require participation in the ELT program for lenders financing new vehicles, which will take effect October 1, 2015, making the program mandatory for lenders financing new vehicles.

In 2009, Decision Dynamics, Inc. received approval to begin processing Virginia titles. Decision Dynamics, Inc. (DDI) works with the VA ELT program by providing a web application called Premier eTitleLien®. Premier eTitleLien® allows lenders to maintain control of their vehicle collateral while enjoying the benefits of electronic processing and communication. Decision Dynamics, Inc. continues to work with the Virginia DMV and their customers to improve title and lien management in Virginia.


More about ELT in Virginia

What is the Electronic Lien and Title Program?

The Electronic Lien and Title Program (known as the Electronic Lien Program or ELP in Virginia) is a method by which the Virginia DMV and lending institutions (lienholders) can exchange vehicle and title information electronically. The VA DMV transmits essential identifying information electronically to the lienholder which eliminates the need to print and mail paper titles. Once the loan has been satisfied, the lienholder sends an electronic message releasing the title at which point the DMV prints and mails a paper title to the vehicle owner.

This process eliminates most of the paper handling involved in the vehicle titling process. Both the lending organizations and the DMV benefit from lower costs associated with processing, mailing, filing and retrieving paper titles.

How does this work?

Very simple:

  1. For vehicles not currently titled in Virginia, Premier eTitleLien® supports the Virginia Application for Certificate of Title and Registration (VSA 17A). An Application for Substitute and Transfer Liens or Replacement and Substitute Titles (VSA 66) should be used to request a replacement title if the owner does not have the title or to add a lien to an existing title with no ownership change. The lender provides Virginia DMV with one of the applications to any DMV Customer Service Center with accompanying documentation. (It's also possible for a dealer to handle the application for lien process.)
  2. VA DMV records the lien and sends DDI 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 VA DMV, 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. The Virginia DMV then mails a clear title (no lien) to the vehicle's registered owner.

The Virginia ELT program also has provisions for requesting paper titles (with lien), converting a portfolio of existing paper titles to electronic, and expediting the lien release process for same-day pickup from a DMV Customer Service Center. Premier eTitleLien® supports these features, making them simple and as foolproof as possible, and supplements them with additional tools including preparing the VSA 17A and VSA 66 forms.

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 no longer have to:

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

Other Benefits:

  • Reduction in 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.
  • Overall reduced costs.

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

For more information on Premier eTitleLien® or participating in the Virginia ELT program, please visit

Premier eTitleLien® Decision Dynamics, Inc.