Do you have a car in North Carolina, but no title? If you have a lost title, or if you’ve been a victim of title jumping, you might be able to get a North Carolina Bonded Title.
Short on time? Check out our Bonded Title FAQ page.
What is a North Carolina Bonded Title?
A North Carolina Bonded Title is a document that proves you own your vehicle.
A bonded title is a regular tile that has a title brand. The title brand says “bonded”. This brand implies there is a surety bond attached to the title.
You can do anything with a bonded title that you can do with a regular title: register the vehicle, insure the vehicle, and sell the vehicle.
Why You Need To Purchase a Surety Bond
Since you do not have the title to your vehicle, the DMV is not just going to magically issue you a title. They want to protect themselves should it turn out later that you shouldn’t have been granted a title. This is why they require you to purchase a surety bond first. The surety bond is in place to protect the DMV and any previous owners of the vehicle.
You can learn more about what it means to be bonded at the end of the article.
When You Need a North Carolina Bonded Title
You might be eligible for a NC Bonded Title in, but not limited to, any of these instances:
- You bought/received a car and never received the title
- You bought/received a car and only received a bill of sale
- You bought/received a car and received an improperly assigned title/damaged/unlegible title
- You bought/received a car, received the title, but lost it before transferring it into your name*
*If the title was in your name, you can simply get a Duplicate Certificate of Title and pay the replacement title fee.
Not sure if you need a NC Bonded Title? Check out this awesome infographic.
How to get a North Carolina Bonded Title
Step #1: Check to make sure you are eligible
Check with your local DMV before starting this process.
While we list some common situations that might be eligible for a bonded title, your local DMV is the only entity that can say for sure if you can get a bonded title.
Call them and explain your situation and ask “Can I get a bonded title?”
If they say yes, move on to Step #2.
Step #2: Complete all documents
Documents can found online at the DMV website of North Carolina or you can get a printed copy at your local DMV.
The following forms are needed to apply for a Bonded Title in NC:
Step #3: Get your vehicle inspected
Inspections should be done by a North Carolina DMV License & Theft Bureau Inspector.
Upon inspection, they will give you a completed inspection form. Keep this form, as you will need it to apply for your NC Bonded Title.
Step #4: Determine the value of your vehicle
Do this either by the current Value Schedule, which you can get at any license plate agency or by calling the North Carolina DMV Customer Service Contact Center at 919-715-7000.
Step #5: Determine your bond amount
Your bond amount needs to be 1.5 times the value of your vehicle, which you determined in Step #4.
Multiply your vehicle value by 1.5 to get your bond amount.
For example, if your car is appraised at $2,000 then your bond amount will need to be $3,000.
Calculate your bond amount, then move on to the next step.
Step #6: Purchase North Carolina Lost Title Bond
Purchase a bond from a surety bond company.
Make sure you apply for the correct bond amount, which you determined in Step #5.
You won’t need to pay the entire bond amount.
Most people only pay $100 for their bond.
Surety Solutions, A Gallagher Company does not issue Certificate of Lost Title Bonds
Before you purchase your title bond – learn important payment info
Once you purchase your Lost Title Bond, the surety company will mail it to you.
Step #7: Submit
Submit the paperwork listed in Step #2 plus your North Carolina Lost Title Bond to your local DMV.
If your paperwork is approved, you will be issued an NC Bonded Title.
Does my North Carolina Bonded Title Expire?
Yes. NC Bonded Titles expire 3 years after the date they are issued. This means the “bonded” brand remains on the title for 3 years.
If no one comes forward and makes a claim on your North Carolina Lost Title Bond during those 3 years, you (or whoever owns the vehicle at the time) can go apply for the brand to be removed from the title.
If the DMV approves your request, you will be issued a clear certificate of title.
What Else Do I Need To Know?
When you get a bonded title, you are promising that you are the true owner of the vehicle. The bond is in place to protect the DMV and any previous owners 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 bond.
If the claim is determined to be valid, you would be responsible for satisfying the claim. Usually, this would mean a financial compensation. The surety company would determine what is fair.
If you fail to satisfy the claim, the surety company would satisfy the claim for you. Then, they would come to you for reimbursement. Essentially, the bond holds you liable for your actions, no matter what.
If you are the true owner of your vehicle and you simply do not have a title for your car, then a bond claim should not happen. Why would someone make a claim on your bond? If the vehicle was stolen, or another similar situation.
Your local DMV can help you determine that your vehicle has not been stolen.
I live in VA, and I bought a motorcycle in NC. Neither the seller nor I can get in contact with the original owner. We have to way to get a title. Can I get a bonded NC title so I can transfer it to VA?
Great question! Typically, you must be a resident of the state to be eligible for a bonded title. We recommend you contact your local VA DMV to determine what options you have to register your vehicle. Unfortunately, the state of Virginia doesn’t offer the option to get a bonded title, but they might be able to offer another solution. Good luck with getting your motorcycle’s title.
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