What is a Bonded Title?
A bonded title (also known as a lost title bond) is a certificate verifying a person’s ownership of a motor vehicle. A bonded title serves as proof of ownership that allows the owner to proceed with transactions like:
- Buying insurance
- Registering the vehicle
- Applying for a title
Reason #1: You bought a vehicle and didn’t receive a title or bill of sale
If you purchased a vehicle, or were given a vehicle as a gift, and don’t have a title, you will need to get a bonded 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 may include a receipt of the sale, bill of sale or a registration receipt. If you do not have a receipt or bill of sale, 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 will need to get a bonded title. Be sure to keep your bill of sale; you will need to 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 will need to get a bonded title. In this case, you may be able to use your bill of sale or receipt to show ownership and apply for a title bond.
Reason #4: You bought a vehicle, received, and then lost the title*
Perhaps you bought a vehicle and were handed the title, but lost it before applying for a title in 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 the DMV. You do not need to get a bonded title.
How to get a Bonded Title?
Bonded titles are normally a last resort; the DMV wants 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 will need 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.
Generally, obtaining a bonded title involves filling out forms from the State’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and submitting them along with supporting evidence (like a bill of sale or invoice) and your photo ID to a Alabama DMV service center. If your documents are approved, the DMV will issue you a letter stating the amount of the surety bond that you need to purchase. The amount of your surety bond is based on the value of your vehicle. After everything is finalize, you will take all the Surety Bond and Bill of Sale to our local tag office and purchase a tag and apply for a title.
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