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Are Court Ordered Car Titles Easy?

Here we are once again with another in our series about vehicle court order titles. This is a very popular subject for our channel and for our title division. If you have a vehicle that was purchased without a title, what are your options?

Bonded Titles and Alternatives
In some states, you can get a bonded title, but there’s a downside to that. You have to purchase a surety bond, which is sometimes one and a half times the value of the vehicle. You may be able to do some other types of contacting prior owners and getting lien releases, but in most cases, a court order title is the most direct and powerful way to go.

Procedures in Different Countries
The problem is, in most counties, they don’t have a set procedure for this. They don’t have a set of forms. However, in about 15 counties in the country, there is a package of documents that are provided with instructions. Even if you’re not in one of those counties, you can see how the process works.

Example from Kansas
Here is a perfect example of a set of documents, happening to be in a county in the state of Kansas, about what they call a quiet title. That’s what they call their court order title. They call it a quiet title.

Understanding the Quiet Title Statute
The Quiet Title statute talks about determining title or interest in property, specifically title with the Department of Motor Vehicles. So, there you go, title to a motor vehicle—how does it work?

Identifying title issues
If you are a person who purchased a vehicle without a title and the last owner isn’t available, that is a reason. Often, the initial owner of the vehicle did not sign the title when handing it over, and the new owner can’t find the title to fix the problem. From time to time, it’s because the vehicle is wrecked or abandoned.

Basics of a Quiet Title Action
A quiet title action can be used to clear up ownership on any vehicle whose title is given by the state of Kansas. It can include a car, motorcycle, travel trailer, or manufactured home, so it’s important to see that it could also be a mobile home.

Ensuring the Vehicle is Not Stolen
The first step before filing any action is to make sure the vehicle is not stolen. This is very important. You want to make sure it’s not a stolen vehicle. You can check if it’s stolen on nicb. This doesn’t guarantee the car is not stolen, but it’s a good start.

Filing the action
If the vehicle is reported stolen, you won’t be able to file a quiet title action and obtain ownership. That’s obvious. If you file for a court order title in this case called Quiet Title, you’ll get a title as long as a vehicle is not stolen.

Documenting the process
Normally, they’re going to require you to provide some documentation about how you purchased the vehicle. Also, some documentation shows that you tried to contact the prior owner, such as an ad in the newspaper or an affidavit of service.

County-Specific Procedures
Most counties don’t have these pre-made documents. There are 3,611 counties in the country, and only about 15 have any kind of pre-done paperwork for a court order title. In fact, in most counties, if you walk in and say you want to do a court order title, they’re not going to know what you’re talking about.

Importance of Instructions
The instructions are important. Just having these forms by themselves isn’t enough. If you had these forms but didn’t know the instructions, you’d be out of luck.

Conclusion and Assistance
Make sure that you read through some example instructions from some counties. This particular county in Kansas has it. If you have any questions, you can reach us on our website. We’re glad to be of assistance.

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Don’t let uncertainty hold you back. If it’s your car, you deserve a title.

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