When you purchase a new or used car and you finance the purchase either through the dealership or a bank or lending agency, the company that finances your purchase will put a lien on your car.
That means that until you pay off the loan the ownership of that vehicle remains in the hands of the finance company. They do this to protect their interests in case you default on the loan. However, once the loan is paid off, you are entitled to have the lien removed. Each state has a different process to remove a lien. Almost every time you will be required to sign documents for the lender, but you will also need to file documents with the DMV so that you will be the sole owner on the title. The process is different for each state so select your state to find out the steps you will need to take.