How do you get rid of a car if you cannot contact the lienholder and you have had it sitting for five years?

Normally when the loan on a vehicle is paid off, a form is sent to you from the bank releasing the lien from the vehicle stating basically that you have paid off the loan. This is taken to or sent into DMV where the title is changed removing the lien from the title.

Some people never update the title and the "lien" language remains on the title.

I once purchased a motorcycle that the forms had not been sent into DMV to adjust the language on the title. I had no problem registering the vehicle and with my new title, lien was on the title. The bank never contacted me as they had been paid off long ago.

If this sounds like a similar situation, just sell the vehicle explaining this to the potential buyer.