What is a Bonded Title?
A bonded title is just like a regular title but it is marked “bonded”. Maybe you have heard of a salvage title or a rebuilt title. Those are titles with title brands.
A bonded title promises you own your vehicle, and is sometimes an option for people who have a vehicle with no title.
Not sure if you need a bonded title? Check out this awesome infographic.
4 Reasons You Might Need a Bonded Title
Please note: Your local DMV is the only entity that can confirm if you are eligible for a bonded title. If you meet one of the below reasons, contact your local DMV and confirm if you would be eligible for a bonded title.
Reason #1: You bought a vehicle and didn’t receive a title
If you purchased a vehicle and never received the title, you might be able to get a title.
To get a bonded title, you will need to prove that the vehicle you have in your possession is in fact yours. Valid proof includes a bill of sale or canceled check. If you do not have a bill of sale or canceled check, you may be able to use a notarized statement explaining how you got the vehicle.
Reason #2: You bought a vehicle and only received a bill of sale
If you purchased or were given a vehicle as a gift and only received a bill of sale with your purchase, you might be eligible for a bonded title. Be sure to keep your bill of sale; you will need this to prove ownership.
Reason #3: You bought a vehicle and received an improperly assigned title
If you purchased a vehicle, but the title was improperly assigned (for example, the wrong name was listed in the buyer and/or seller spot) then you might be able to get a bonded title.
Or, if the seller’s name was not on the title (known as title-jumping), then a bonded title might work for you.
Similarly, if you have a title that is damaged or unreadable (name is whited out, etc) then a bonded title might work.
Reason #4: You bought a vehicle, received, and then lost the title*
Perhaps you bought a vehicle and got the title, but lost it before transferring it into your name. You should be able to take your bill of sale, receipt, or a notarized statement and apply for a bonded title.
*If you transferred the title into your name before losing it, you can simply apply for a duplicate certificate of title at your DMV. In this case, you would not need to get a bonded title.
How to get a Bonded Title
Bonded titles are normally a last resort; your state’s DMV will want you to make every effort to obtain the original title before applying for a bonded title.
If you can’t get the original title, you might be eligible to get a bonded title. To get a bonded title, you must have bought the vehicle or received it as a gift. In other words, you can’t apply for a bonded title for an abandoned or stolen vehicle.
Specifics vary from state to state, but generally, obtaining a bonded title involves:
- purchasing a Lost Title Bond from a surety bond company
- completing title paperwork
- then taking your bond and title paperwork to the DMV.
The DMV is the one who issues you a bonded title.
View our step-by-step guides on how to get a bonded title in your state:
Purpose of the Lost Title Bond
Because you do not have a title, the DMV is not going to magically issue you a title. They want to make sure they are protected. They also have a duty to any previous title owner–to protect them and not issue a bonded title if one shouldn’t be issued.
This is why you must purchase a surety bond (Lost Title Bond) before you can get a bonded title. The bond is a form of protection for the state and any previous title owners.
When you purchase a Lost Title Bond, you are promising that you are the true owner of the vehicle.
If someone comes forward later on and says that they are the owner of the vehicle and that you should not have been granted a bonded title, they can make a claim on your Lost Title Bond. If the claim is determined to be valid, the surety company would pay the person a fair amount. It would then be your responsibility to repay the surety company.
If you are the true owner of the vehicle, you should not be concerned about any bond claims.
How Much Will My Lost Title Bond Cost?
When you apply for a title bond, make sure you apply for the correct bond amount.
You will not need to pay the full amount of the title bond to get bonded. For example, if you need a $15,000 title bond, you will not need to pay the entire $15,000. Instead, you will just pay a very small portion of that amount.
Typically, you can get a Certificate of Lost Title Bond for as little as $100.
You only need to pay one time for your bond.
Surety Solutions, A Gallagher Company does not issue Certificate of Lost Title Bonds
Still Have Questions?
- View our interactive Bonded Title Frequently Asked Questions portal.
- Read our Bonded Title FAQ blog post.
- Ask a comment in the comment section.