The History of ELT in Washington
The Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) was the second state to implement an Electronic Lien and Title Program (ELT) in 1992 (after California). What follows is an excerpt from Washington's "Electronic Title System Information Manual (March 2008)."
The Department of Licensing (DOL) and First Interstate Bank of Washington (FIWA-now Wells Fargo Auto Finance) developed and implemented a pilot Electronic title system in April of 1992. The system required changes and creation of programs at DOL, and the development of a PC based Electronic title system at FIWA.... Since its implementation, the pilot system has allowed DOL to evaluate program policies, technical decisions and to implement improved processes (i.e. implementing a modem-to-modem file transfer process, replacing tape transfer). The Department of Licensing brought the pilot to closure and expanded the system to allow for additional financial institutions.
As of July 2013, in addition to Washington, 17 other states have implemented electronic lien and title programs. They are Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Each state's program is unique depending on state laws and requirements, but all ELT programs significantly improved the lien and title process. Now bankers, credit unions, dealers, and other financial institutions no longer need to store and file paper titles. Lenders can electronically secure and release liens on titles using a web application developed by Decision Dynamics, Inc. called Premier eTitleLien™.
Premier eTitleLien™ was originally developed as a result of a partnership with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles and the South Carolina Banker's Association to serve the various needs of lenders. This lender-designed program allows lenders to maintain control of their vehicle collateral while incorporating the benefits of electronic processing and communication.