Ok, here's an experiment you can try with the next vehicle you "buy" and tell me how it works out for you. Take your Title with its lien and try to sell the vehicle to someone without paying the bank off and then find out who really owns the vehicle. A dollar says the bank will win. There's a reason there is a practice called "repossession"! The vehicle is collateral if there is a lien, which means you DO NOT OWN the vehicle whether you have the piece of paper that says Title or not, which is why Virginia (where I live) and other states don't send you the Title to a piece of collateral. They send it to the institution that holds the lien. If I sell the vehicle, I have to pay off the lien before I get the Title to sign over to the new owner. New York state, for all its good points, is STUPID to hand someone other than the lien holder the Title to a vehicle. It enables fraud. Virginia also does a lot of stupid things, but handing the Title to an unpaid-for vehicle to someone other than the lien holder is not one of them.