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The Clerk of the Common Pleas Court in each Ohio County has principal responsibility for issuing motor vehicle certificates of title on behalf of, and in cooperation with, the External linkBureau of Motor Vehicles, Ohio Department of Public Safety (BMV). A properly issued motor vehicle certificate of title is the primary evidence of ownership of the motor vehicle described in the certificate.

In a limited number of circumstances a judge of the Common Pleas Court can order the Clerk of Courts Auto Title Division (title office) to issue you a motor vehicle certificate of title. These circumstances include:

  • When the original certificate of title issued by the State of Ohio or any other state has been lost, destroyed or stolen and a duplicate of that certificate as provided by External link§4505.12 of the Ohio Revised Code is not available from the Clerk or BMV due to a lack of historical title records;
  • When you have purchased a vehicle but the previous owner has failed, refused or otherwise been unable to furnish you with a properly assigned certificate of title;
  • When you have been given a vehicle or it has been left in your possession and ownership, but the previous owner has failed, refused or otherwise been unable to complete the transaction by supplying required documents; or
  • When you are owner of a repair garage or vehicle storage facility who is in possession of a vehicle valued at more than $3,500.00 after deduction of repairs, which vehicle has remained unclaimed by the owner more than fifteen days after notice to reclaim the vehicle.

The Ohio Revised Code sets forth specific procedures to follow in instances other than the four listed above. Here are some examples of circumstances with respect to which External link§4505.10 of the Ohio Revised Code does not apply:

  • When you are owner of a repair garage or storage facility in possession of a vehicle valued at less than $3,500.00 after deduction of repairs, which vehicle has remained unclaimed by the owner more than fifteen days after notice to reclaim the vehicle (External linkSee, ORC §4505.101);
  • When you are the operator of a manufactured home park attempting to remove a tenant’s manufactured home from the home park property (External linkORC §3733.091 and External linkORC §1923.12);
  • When you are a pawnbroker seeking forfeiture and title to a motor vehicle that has not been redeemed by the owner after expiration or breach of the loan secured by that motor vehicle (External linkSee, ORC §4505.102); or
  • When a motor vehicle, whether a “junk motor vehicle” or not, has been abandoned on private property owned by you; and you do not want title to the motor vehicle, but rather simply want it moved or disposed of (External linkSee, ORC §4513.60 through §4513.65, inclusive).

If you believe that External link§4505.10 of the Ohio Revised Code does apply to your situation, there are certain steps you will need to take before the Court can consider your petition for an Order directing the title office to issue a motor vehicle certificate of title to you.

Opens in new windowCourt Order Instructions (PDF)

Opens in new windowCourt Order Process for Motor Vehicles (PDF)