If you need to register, insure, or sell a vehicle, trailer, or camper and cannot get a duplicate title from your DMV, check to see if your DMV allows for bonded titles. To obtain a title bond, the asset in question usually must not be abandoned, stolen, scrapped, or the subject of any current or pending litigation. Since obtaining a bonded-T (title) requires signing legal documents, the information below will ensure that you understand the basics of bonded titles and the surety bonds behind them.
If your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has told you that you need to obtain a bonded title, you may be wondering, “What is a bonded title?”. A bonded-T, simply put, is a certificate of title, issued by a state DMV, that is sworn and guaranteed to be yours. When people ask, “What is a bonded title?”, they may get confusing answers, including that secondary title is the same thing as an indemnity bond or a security bond. It is not.
[You can keep reading to learn more about bonded titles, but if you know that you need the help of a bonding agency, please contact our office, or fill out the online application. If just takes a minute to apply/contact us online.]
What Does a Bonded Title Mean?
Indemnity bonds, security bonds, and lost title bonds are not bonded titles. When someone asks, “What does ‘bonded title’ mean?”, it means that the certificate of title issued to you by the DMV is backed by a surety bond. You must obtain a surety bond, sometimes known as a “Lost Title Bond”, before you can obtain a title.
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What Does a Surety Bond Mean?
When you first hear that you need a bonded-T backed by a surety bond, you’ll naturally want to know next, “What does a surety bond mean?”. A surety means that the company issuing the bond to you will take on your liability to another party if you fail to fulfill your legal obligations surrounding ownership of the asset.
What is a Surety Bond?
A surety bond, for the purposes of this article, is a contract established between you, the surety company, and usually the state DMV, that promises payment by the surety company should another owner step forward with evidence that the asset is theirs and not yours. The rightful owner can file a claim on the surety, and the surety company will be obliged to pay on the claim if it is found to be valid. You must then repay the surety company the full value of the bond.
Do I need a Lost Title Bond?
Before you begin the process of obtaining a 2nd hand title, you should ensure that you do actually need one. If the title was once in your name and you have simply lost it, you can get a duplicate title at the DMV. Likewise, if you have a Bill of Sale without an accompanying title, and there are no liens on the vehicle, you may be able to apply for a replacement title at the DMV.
You may need a lost title bond if any of the following apply to you:
- You have lost a title that was not yet in your name;
- Your title includes missing or incorrect information that you cannot obtain;
- You received the vehicle as a gift and never received a title; or
- Your title is severely damaged or illegible
How to get a Bonded Title?
Some states do not issue titles backed by bonds. Check with your state’s DMV before you begin the process. If your state does not issue bonded titles, your local DMV can instruct you on how to prove ownership. The Texas DMV is a great resource on getting a vehicle a title bond.
How to get a second hand title is relatively simple. If you have determined that you need a bonded title and that your DMV does issue bonded titles, you’ll need to fill out the required paperwork at your DMV. The DMV will have instructions on how to determine the value of your vehicle and what paperwork you’ll need to take with you to the surety company you choose. You will then contact a surety company to purchase your bond.
The surety company will perform a credit check, but many offer bonds even for problem credit. You will also need to sign the bond contract and pay the surety company a small percentage of the total bond amount. You will then take proof of your bond, given to you by the surety company, to the DMV.
States that offer bonded titles vary in what they require to obtain one. At a minimum though, in most states, you must apply at the DMV for the title, file an affidavit of ownership, submit your vehicle for inspection, and pay a small administrative fee (usually no more than $15.00). [We can help you get a bonded title. Contact our office today!]
If you do not have a title to provide proof of ownership for a vehicle, boat, trailer, or camper, you may need a second hand title. A bond-T is backed by a surety bond, guaranteeing the DMV that the vehicle is yours. Steps to take and specific requirements vary by state, but contacting your local DMV is always the first step you need to take if you need a new title. NFP Surety hopes this article was helpful, and look forward to servicing all your future bonding needs!