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Car Title Shortages Hitting The DMV’s Nationwide

  • 2 min read

As we head into 2023, supply chain issues continue to affect the automotive business, but in a new way. Here’s an article from the Wall Street Journal talking about a shortage of title paper for car titles. You may think, why not just print a car title with a laser printer on standard paper? However, it’s not that easy.

Car titles are printed on security documents, similar to money or other documents like checks and birth certificates. This special paper has hidden security features like watermarks, woven threads, and specific color patterns to avoid duplication and forgery. Because this type of paper is so secure and specific, car title printing is backlogged until the security paper becomes available. Some states are having drivers wait months for their titles to be printed. 

In the meantime, newer vehicles often have electric titles rather than paper titles. However, if you don’t have a newer model vehicle, you’ll run into problems if the vehicle is being transferred to another state, going to a lienholder, or if you’re planning to sell it or trade it in. 

Backlogs created by supply chain issues aren’t just for the parts, these backlogs also impact things that are invisible to most buyers. Title documents are key to owning a vehicle. If the DMV has problems printing these documents, drivers will have to wait to get the right paperwork or to get their lien released from their vehicle.