According to PennDOT’s fact sheet on defaced titles, any one or a combination of the following items will require the vehicle owner or lienholder to apply for a duplicate certificate of title:
- The purchaser’s or seller’s names or addresses are listed in the wrong assignment spaces on the back of the title. It is acceptable to draw a single line through the misplaced information and write “completed/signed in error” along with the notary’s initials near the changes. You must attach a notarized affidavit explaining the error. (Remember: A notary cannot notarize his or her own affidavit!) If the crossed out information is different from the correct information or the line is drawn in a manner that makes the information unreadable, the title is defaced and must be replaced.
- Any other alteration of information listed on the reverse side of a certificate of title.
- Any lien satisfaction alterations.
- Any correction of mileage disclosure information. DO NOT attempt to change the numbers written in the spaces for the odometer reading. DO NOT write over the numbers to make them darker or more readable.
- Any erasures.
- Any use of correction fluid (for example, Wite-Out™ or Liquid Paper™) or correction tape.
- Folds, creases, tears, staple holes and other type of mutilations that have made the certificate of title’s vehicle description or assignment information including odometer information unreadable.
Forms MV-38 O, MV-38L and MV-38D allow vehicle owners, lienholders or dealers to apply for duplicate certificates of title; in addition, the lienholder form allows for the addition, deletion or correction of lien information. The letter in the form’s number indicates the applicant in each case: “O” for owner, “L” for lienholder, and “D” for dealer.
View the Fact Sheet on PennDOT’s Web site, www.dot3.state.pa.us/pdotforms/fact_sheets/fs-defa.pdf.