Although it is not generally known, a bonded title is actually an acceptable alternative to the standard vehicle title normally required to prove ownership of some kind of motor vehicle. Sometimes referred to as a certificate of title surety, a bonded title is considered proof of ownership by the Department of Motor Vehicles, as well as by insurance companies when purchasing insurance becomes necessary. In most cases, bonded titles are issued for automobiles, although they can also be used to prove ownership of recreational vehicles, motorcycles, buses, and trucks. Vehicle title bonds are also called lost title bonds, defective title bonds, as well as, certificate of title bonds.
NFP Surety is the nations leading resource on surety bonds. If you need any type of surety bond, in any state, we will be able to get you properly bonded. Call, or visit us at NFPSurety.com today.
Reasons You Might Need a Bonded Title
There are several reasons why you might want to obtain a certificate of title bond, including the purchase of insurance, or to register the vehicle with the DMV, as mentioned above. It can also be used to protect you against any claim of misrepresentation, if you decide to sell your vehicle. Since the government prohibits fraudulent or negligent misrepresentation about a vehicle’s condition or ownership, the bonded title covers your liability when selling. Bonded titles can also be used as legal proof of ownership in any kind of legal dispute where ownership comes into question.
Who Needs a Bonded Title
The single most common need for a bonded vehicle title is by a person who, for whatever reason, cannot obtain the original vehicle title. It may have been lost, or the original owners may be unreachable, or the title may have been destroyed. Since proof of vehicle ownership is always required by all states in the country, a bonded (replacement) title can fulfill the requirement.
Once the bonded title has been obtained however, it is not considered irrefutable proof of ownership immediately. For a period of three years, it could be overturned if evidence arises which points to another legal owner. After that three year period, the bonded title can be formally converted into a standard vehicle title, assuming that no contrary ownership information has surfaced.
How to Get a Bonded Title for a Vehicle
To obtain a title, it is necessary to apply at the Department of Motor Vehicles, and this is true in all states, although the requirements from state to state may differ somewhat. The first requirement is that all all attempts must be exhausted to obtain the original vehicle title by contacting the previous owners and local authorities. All these attempts should be conducted via certified mail, so that proof of effort can be clearly demonstrated.
Next, it will be necessary to obtain all official forms required for application in your particular state. These must be accurately filled out and submitted to the DMV for consideration. In some states, the specific forms required are associated with the value of the vehicle. In order to apply in any given state, you must either be a resident of that state, or you must be a member of the Military who is currently stationed in that state. You can be an out-of-state resident if the vehicle itself was last titled in the state where you’re applying.
Vehicles purchased new are not eligible for application of a lost title. since the standard vehicle title will always be issued by the selling company. Vehicles which have been abandoned or stolen are also not eligible for a secondary title, except in some unusual cases. To successfully apply for bonded a title, the vehicle in question must have been either purchased or given as a gift by another party. In most cases, vehicles valued at less than $4,000 will also not be considered for application of a replacement title.
Along with your application for bonded titles, a fee must be paid to the DMV to cover processing costs, and a tax will generally be levied against the vehicle which is equal to, or somewhat greater than the car’s present value. Successful applicants would then receive a letter for a bond amount which is calculated at 1.5 times the vehicle’s value at that time. Value is determined either by using its Standard Presumptive Value, the reference from the National Auto Dealers Association, or from an appraisal by a licensed motor vehicle dealer.
Cost of a Bonded (or Lost) Title Bond
There is a wide range of cost among states for the obtaining of a bond title, and even within states the companies which will assist you in your efforts to obtain bonding title can charge very different amounts. The reason for this is that it is sometimes necessary to conduct fairly exhaustive research into finding the original owners and documents, and this usually takes a significant amount of time.
The filing fee for a lost title is generally somewhere between $15 and $25, and this will be in addition to the fee charged by a surety company which you might engage for the process. Costs to retain a surety company can vary between $100 and $300 or more, depending on the degree of difficulty in tracking down vehicle owners and information.
NFP Surety hopes this was a helpful article. Let us know if we can assist you with all your surety title bonding needs. Simply call us at (800) 863-3210 or simply fill out our online application form today. Its quick and the easiest way to get properly bonded! Whether you need a construction bond, auto dealer bond, or tax bond, we can bond you in no time!