Pennsylvania Electronic Liens & Titles (ELT)

Frequently Asked Questions about ELT in Pennsylvania:

PennDOT says I need to have an ELT number. What is that?

The Department of Transportation is now requiring all parties who normally engage in the business of lending money for vehicles to participate in their Electronic Liens and Titles program. When you sign up for the program, PennDOT sets you up as an ELT participant in their system and assigns you a number that you then use on all title applications (in the "Financial Institution Number" (FIN) spot on the MV-38L).

What is an FIN?

The Financial Institution Number (FIN) is a unique ID assigned by PennDOT and used on the MV-38L. It is required for all lenders participating in the mandatory ELT program. This is not the same as an FEIN number assigned by the IRS.

Who is required to participate?

From the PA ELT Fact Sheet:

All Lienholders in the business of financing vehicles are required to participate in the ELT Program and must be under contract with a PennDOT-approved ELT service provider.
How do I sign up for the ELT program?

You need to complete a form MV-37 "Application for Enrollment/Change in Electronic Lien and Title System". PennDOT does not require a contract or agreement (as most other ELT states do). They do however require that you work with a "Service Provider" from the list of those on the form. DDI is a service provider for Pennsylvania. Use the link in the menu bar (above, left) to get a copy of our application and an MV-37. PA estimates 2 weeks from receipt to issuing an ELT account number (FIN number) but our experience has been that they issue an account number within a few days. A start date should be requested on the MV-37.

How do I switch service providers?

In Pennsylvania, the same form (MV-37) is used to switch providers as to sign up initially. Just indicate on the form a change of providers rather than initial enrollment. Pre-filled forms are available at eTitleLien.com.

Can I just do whatever PennDOT requires and then ask for paper titles?

You can request paper titles as required to do business with Pennsylvania or other states. Pennsylvania still requires paper titles for various activities including vehicle sale, applying for a lien, and repossessing a vehicle. You must have a paper title to title the vehicle in another state. However, PennDOT is requiring that you change your business patterns. They do not want to have ELT titles converted to paper until actually needed. Their goal is to change the way lenders store titles (in other words don't store paper titles at all).

Is there an expedited title print process? How does it work?

Only through a manual process. From the PA Lienholder Guide:

If existing lien is ELT, but lien is properly released on application (MV-38L), a paper title will be issued to owner if title fee is submitted with application. If no fee is submitted, the application will be rejected. Generally this transaction is done at the PennDOT counter when a vehicle owner needs a title immediately. The title fee is required for the convenience of issuing a title at the counter.
Where is the PennDOT counter?

PennDOT's Riverfront Office Center: 1101 S Front St, Harrisburg, PA

How does the repossession process work? Is a paper title required?

From the PA Lienholder Guide

Complete the Form MV-217A (Application for Certificate of Title by a Financial Institution or Dealer After Default by Owner). A paper title is required to accompany the form. Instructions are on the form. The form submission/title application can accompany a sale to new owner.

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