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No Title? No Problem: How to Get a New Bonded Title

How does a bonded title work? If you’re looking to get a new title for your vehicle or replace one that was not last titled in your name, a bonded title can be a powerful way to do it. In fact, it’s a method often preferred by many state DMV agencies. In this blog, we’ll discuss how bonded titles work, common misconceptions, and alternative methods to secure your vehicle’s title when lacking significant ownership documents. 

Understanding Bonded Titles

In the majority of states (38 to be exact), bonded titles offer a surety bond process that enables you to acquire a legal title for a vehicle that lacks proper documentation. However, it’s essential to note that there are 12 states where this option is not available. So, be sure to check if your state allows bonded titles before proceeding. 

To obtain a bonded title, you must demonstrate to your state DMV that you are authorized to possess the vehicle. This authorization can stem from purchasing, acquiring, or trading for the vehicle and can be proven with a bill of sale. However, if you lack a bill of sale or ownership, things may become a bit more complicated.

The next step involves submitting all of the documentation to the DMV in your state. As long as the vehicle is not stolen, burdened with significant liens, or reported as “junk” or “parts only,” and it meets any model-year restrictions in your state, you will likely be granted a title, and ownership will be legally transferred to you. It’s important to stress that falsely claiming a vehicle as abandoned is not advisable since it may result in relinquishing your claim to the vehicle.

Dispelling Misconceptions

One common misconception about bonded titles is the belief that they come with outrageous costs. The truth is, purchasing a surety bond equal to the vehicle’s value is the primary financial requirement, but that doesn’t mean you have to shell out $5K if that’s what your vehicle is worth on the books. Typically, the cost of the actual surety bond is around a hundred dollars. Once you’ve secured the surety bond, you’ll need to complete affidavits and forms, ensuring that all the necessary details are provided accurately. 

Abandoned Vehicle Filing

Picture this: You stumble upon a forgotten treasure, an abandoned car on the side of the road. Surprisingly, in certain cases, bonded titles can come to the rescue. But hold on a second! Before you jump to conclusions, don’t mistake a damaged vehicle for a potential title application. Generally, using “abandoned” as the basis for a title application won’t lead to a successful outcome.

The Pitfalls of Abandoned Vehicles

If you come across a genuinely abandoned vehicle, it’s crucial to understand that it is not yours for the taking. Instead, reach out to the authorities, as they will handle the situation. Once declared abandoned, the police will contact an authorized towing company to remove the vehicle and store it. Eventually, it will be sold at a public auction. Remember, abandoned vehicles aren’t simply a “finders-keepers” scenario.

Alternatives to Bonded Titles

Apart from bonded titles, there are a few other avenues you can explore. One such option is a court-ordered title. In this case, you would need to obtain a judgment of ownership through the court system in your county. This involves making diligent efforts to contact the vehicle’s owner and filing a claim of ownership with the appropriate court in your county of residence. Once approved, the court will issue a judgment, which can then be presented to the DMV to obtain a title. Unlike bonded titles, this method doesn’t require you to obtain a surety bond.

When it comes to acquiring a title for a vehicle, bonded titles can provide a viable solution in many states. By following the surety bond process, you can establish your legal ownership of a vehicle, even without the original title or transfer of ownership documents. Remember, however, that falsely claiming a vehicle as abandoned can have negative consequences. In addition to bonded titles, you may consider exploring court-ordered titles as an alternative route. This involves obtaining a judgment of ownership through the court system, proving your right to possess the vehicle.

Before embarking on any title recovery process, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the specific regulations and requirements in your state. Each state may have its own set of rules governing bonded titles, so thorough research and understanding are crucial to ensure you find success. So, if you find yourself in a situation where a vehicle’s title is missing, damaged, or simply non-existent, don’t lose hope; bonded titles and court-ordered titles offer potential solutions to help you establish legal ownership and enjoy your newfound wheels.

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For as little as $269 for most processes, we will save you the headache and prepare all of the car title paperwork needed to get you a new title. Simply choose the title recovery method you’d like to use and we’ll get started!

Have Title Questions? Talk to a Car Title Expert.

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

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