How Can I Become an Auto Title Clerk?

Research what it takes to become an auto title clerk. Learn about job duties, licensing and education requirements and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Risk Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Auto Title Clerk?

Auto title clerks process the documents required to establish or transfer ownership of a motor vehicle, such as a car or truck. This typically includes reviewing registration paperwork and tax documents for legal compliance and financial accuracy. In some cases, auto title clerks also send out warranties, bills or contracts to buyers and sellers. They may be employed by auto dealerships, auto title companies or their state's Department of Motor Vehicles.

Take a look at the following chart for an overview of how to enter this field.

Education Required High school diploma
Training Training recommended to improve job prospects
Key Responsibilities Process registrations, warranties and deposits, transfer titles and maintain title records, prepare status reports, remain current on statutes and regulations
Licensure/Certification Licensure and certification recommended to improve job prospects
Job Growth (2014-2024) 2% (for all information clerks)*
Median Salary (2017) $35,819**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com

What Are the Job Responsibilities of an Auto Title Clerk?

Among your responsibilities as a title clerk are processing registrations and transferring titles. You may also process warranties and deposits, maintain title records and prepare status reports. It will also be your responsibility to remain current on relevant statutes and regulations.

Where Might I Find Work As an Auto Title Clerk?

Auto title clerks are most often employed by new or used automobile dealerships. They can also work for auto title companies that process sales and titles, and in some states for a department or bureau of motor vehicles.

What Education and Credentials Do I Need?

Auto title clerks typically need a minimum of a high school diploma. Some community colleges or vocational schools offer training courses for auto title clerks. These classes cover motor vehicle bureau regulations for assigning and transferring titles. Such classes are generally completed within a few weeks.

Automobile dealers' associations and regional automotive associations are resources for training opportunities. For example, the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association offers training in three modules: Sales Tax, New to the Fleet and Minnesota Titles. The training leads to certification as a title clerk in Minnesota, where dealers participating in the Computerized Vehicle Registration program must have at least one certified title clerk. The New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers offers title clerk courses covering such topics as preparation of documents, temporary dealer tags, dealing with power of attorney and many other issues faced by title clerks. Although usually not a prerequisite for entry-level employment, additional training and certification can help set you apart from other job seekers.

A notary license can also be helpful in seeking work as an auto title clerk. You'll be processing legal forms for customers, and a notary license will also equip you to assist in other areas of a dealership or title department. Each state has its own licensing procedures for notaries. Consult the office or website of the Secretary of State in your state.

Are There Opportunities to Advance?

Title clerks are part of the administrative section of a dealership. You may start at a dealership as a receptionist or cashier, and train to become a title clerk. You might then advance to other administrative functions, such as accounting, office manager or comptroller.

What Other Skills, Traits and Experience Will Help Me in This Field?

In addition to customer service skills, you should have good office, organizational and computer skills. Good typing skills in particular will help with speed and accuracy, and some employers may give a typing test as part of the application and interview process. You may be required to assist with telephone work, as well as dealing with both customers and state motor vehicles staff, so good communication skills are needed. Attention to detail is important for proofreading and auditing documents.

Being proactive and having good study skills will help you to keep your knowledge current on state regulations concerning titles. In some areas, being bilingual will enable you to work with a wider variety of customers and make you more attractive to potential employers.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Instead of becoming an auto title clerk, you could find another clerking job in a finance-related area. If you are interested in work related to automobile transactions, you might consider a job as a claims and policy processing clerk at a car insurance company. Your job would be to interview clients, review their applications, make policy changes when necessary and cancel applications if requested. Alternatively, you might be interested in working as a loan clerk. They interview loan applicants for their personal and financial information when filling out loan applications, including car loan applications, and they help process the paperwork before the loan is finalized. For either of these financial clerking jobs, you need to have at least a high school diploma.

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