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We plan to pay off our boat loan shortly so we can get a clean title and register it in my home country (Australia) before we leave in May. The boat is MN registered with a loan from Citizen's Bank of Detroit (branch near my marina).

The boat is worth as much as a small house, so I am wondering whether it makes sense involving a some kind of closer to ensure we get the clean title promptly.

What is the best way to go about this to ensure we get a clean title in a timely manner?

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The bank will send the state a "satisfaction of mortgage" automatically. Just like the banking system does with cars, planes or homes. Not to worry.
The state will then send you the satisfaction that goes with the title.
Is the boat coast guard documented? If so you can get a abstract of title 21-30 days after you pay it off by loogging onto the web site and entering the official number.
 

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Shane, check with MN. The lender may send you the original title with the satisfaction of mortgage, but for a nominal fee you may be able to have a new title issued that simply shows you are the owner free and clear.

I have no idea if that makes any difference to the folks in Oz, but you might want to check with them directly as sometimes documents need to be notarized or stamped by a legate before they are accepted across borders. Always easier to check ahead.
 
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