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Electronic Lien and Title

You may hear Electronic Lien and Title referred to as ELT.

If you're a commercial or business lender, you must do all of the following:

  • Record liens as an Electronic Lien and Title (ELT)
  • Enroll in ELT
  • Develop a proprietary system or acquire a third party ELT system that interfaces with the SCDMV

Beginning August 15, 2017, the SCDMV will begin charging lenders for their use of the ELT service to transmit and receive information from the agency. The fee is $2.50 to record an electronic lien and $2.50 for subsequent transmittals for ELT corrections. All approved ELT service providers have received information on the payment process. If you're a lender, contact your service provider for payment instructions.

All ELT lenders must implement the web expedite lien release transaction. The SCDMV will allow a six month grace period, ending July 31, 2017, to allow lenders to enroll in the ELT program and establish an interface either through a service provider or a proprietary system.

The SCDMV will continue to notify lenders of additional significant program changes prior to implementation.

General Information

The South Carolina Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) program requires authorized lenders to electronically record and service liens on vehicles, trailers, or mobile homes. This service eliminates mailing, storing, and manually handling paper titles.>

If you're a lender, you may participate in ELT using one of the two approaches below:

  1. Service Provider – The ELT system may be supplied to the lender through an approved service provider (third party) that works with the SCDMV to provide lenders with a computer based system to electronically record liens.
  2. Proprietary - You may develop a proprietary ELT system to interface with the SCDMV.

The following electronic functions are offered:

  • Lien Notification
  • Lien Release
  • Lien Release Due to Error
  • Print Title
  • Address Change Notification by Lienholder
  • Expedited Lien Release/Print Title

ELT Requirements

  • An electronic title with lien will remain electronic until it is printed.
  • Once printed, it will remain a paper title, unless it is surrendered again to become an electronic title.
  • No more data will be exchanged than is currently printed on the title.
  • All liens processed for an Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) lienholder customer number will be electronic.
  • The title application and supporting documents are submitted as usual either by the customer, the lender, or a dealership.
  • The title application must include the ELT lienholder customer number to insure that lien is processed as an electronic lien.
  • Title applications placed in suspense will not print or result in an ELT lien transaction until the suspense cause is resolved.
  • Titles removed from suspense status will maintain the ELT status if the lienholder is an ELT lienholder.
  • ELT lienholder acknowledgements are returned in a batch with any errors identified. The acknowledgements and errors are part of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) standard transaction.
  • ELT lien errors are to be reported by the lienholder or service provider with a description of the error or discrepancy.
  • Lenders and service providers must abide by all state and federal privacy laws to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of the SCDMV customer data.
  • Lenders and service providers must sign a contract.

ELT Technical Standards

You may find more information on the transactions offered in support of perfecting and releasing liens for vehicles, trailers, and mobile homes electronically in the documents below:

Transactions will be processed according to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) standard using the message count mode. Messages will be grouped to send to the lender, which will respond by sending all of the following:

  • The number of messages received
  • The number of messages processed
  • The number of messages in error with the appropriate error messages

Lien Notification

An electronic notification will be transmitted to an Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) lienholder when the SCDMV processes a Title Application (SCDMV Form 400) that records a lien against a vehicle.

The electronic notification creates an electronic title. All applications received by the SCDMV must meet all requirements before the lien will be electronically recorded. Lenders will have a designated customer number to identify the lender as an ELT lienholder.

Change Owner's Address

Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) lenders can transmit change of address information for the vehicle's owner if the owner changes his or her address with the lender. When this data is received, the SCDMV will compare the new address to the address for the customer on file.

If the new address is on file for the owner, no action will be taken. If the owner has not changed the address with the SCDMV, a letter will be mailed to the customer saying you reported an address change and the customer must change his or her address with the SCDMV.

ELT System Certification

Lenders and Service Providers are required to pass a structured test to achieve system certification.

Before starting production, you must complete all necessary agreements and demonstrate that all transactions can be accomplished in a test environment. Once your system is certified, no additional testing is required to add other lenders to the same system. These lenders, however, must complete all necessary agreements.

Lienholder Customer Numbers for Participants

A customer number will be designated as the Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) lienholder customer number for the lender.

This number may be identified from the customer numbers on file or a new customer number may be assigned. If you, as the lienholder customer, have multiple customer numbers on SCDMV records, the SCDMV will merge all numbers that can be identified as yours with the ELT lienholder customer number. This will assist in converting paper titles to electronic titles. 

Transmission of Data

The SCDMV will transmit information to each lienholder nightly.

Transmissions will include all of the following:

  • Titles with liens created by the SCDMV during that work day
  • Confirmations of all messages received from the lienholder
  • Correction messages to data previously transmitted to the lienholder by the SCDMV

The SCDMV will retrieve lienholder transmissions daily during the regular nightly production.

Corrections of Errors

When a transaction is transmitted to an Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) lienholder and the transmittal is in error, the transaction should be rejected and an error notice should be returned to the SCDMV.

If the correct lienholder receives the notification, but there is incorrect information within the electronic title record, the lienholder should notify its service provider if additional SCDMV assistance is needed.

All title corrections are handled at SCDMV Headquarters' Title & Registration office. This team will research the error. Depending on the findings, additional documents may be required; there may be additional fees due or a refund to the lender for ELT lien recording fee.

The documentation for recording of liens will be presented to the SCDMV in the normal manner. If the first lien is held by a financial institution enrolled in Electronic Lien and Title, no hardcopy title will be printed. An electronic message will be sent to the lender with the vehicle, owner, and lien data. The lender will acknowledge and confirm the lien data. This will be handled in a batch process at night.