When we bought the Beemer (used) we followed the owner to his bank. Paid him. They wrote out a lien release, he signed the title away and we were done. We took the car, title, and release home. The next day I went to the smog station, the DMV and had my plates, I think new title, and was driving the car that day. Not sure I see why this is so difficult. But it is what it is. Talked to the previous owner and he is going to the DMV today to discuss it and see what all has to happen. He ships out in March so it has to be resolved before he leaves. We'll get there at some point. We're just lucky that we don't need to drive the car.