All right, let’s clear it up once and for all: what is the actual cost of getting a bond for a vehicle?
A lot of times people will go to the DMV or look to apply for a bonded title and they’ll think that you have to come up with tens of thousands of dollars to get a bond. The cost of a lost title bond represents the value of the vehicle the applicant is titling. The title bond needs to be in the amount of one and a half or two times the value of the vehicle but that’s not what you have to pay. If you have a $6,000 vehicle, one and a half times that amount is $9,000. You might think well I have to come up with $9,000, but that’s not what it means. And sometimes even the DMV employee you’re talking to doesn’t know this or is not aware of this. Really, what you need to do is you need to purchase a bond for that amount let’s say $10,000, which is the bond amount. The price you pay is a very small portion of this. Most people only need to pay about a hundred dollars for a lost title bond.
If you buy a bond that’s $10,000 it’ll cost you $100, a $15,000 bond will cost you $150. Usually, there’s a minimum amount for a bond of about a hundred dollars. So roughly, unless you have a $20-$30,000 vehicle, you’re going to spend $100-$200 for a title bond. So it’s not as big of a deal as it looks. And it’s important to know this because many times somebody will look to get a bonded title and the reason they don’t continue with it is that they think they have to come up with a lot of money. So then they looked at some other title method which might not be as good. Sometimes they’ll switch to a Vermont loophole or they’ll try to do some kind of mechanics lien and they run into all kinds of problems, more expenses, and maybe even losing the vehicle.
So here are a couple of examples of how the bonded title process works. This one happens to reference what is not acceptable for bonds. You can’t do a bond on an abandoned vehicle. We’ve talked about this before. Most vehicles that people think are abandoned really are not abandoned vehicles. Abandoned vehicles are something that somebody left on the side of the road that nobody knows where it came from and it’s to be disposed of or discarded. Most times people think abandoned is something that they bought and it’s been sitting around or somebody didn’t pay a bill for repairs or service. Bottom line is that you don’t want to call something abandoned unless you need to because guess what? Abandoned vehicles are not finders’ keepers. You don’t get to keep an abandoned vehicle. By the same token mechanic’s liens, you can’t do a bonded title. If there is an outstanding lien on the vehicle like a bank loan or, a financial institution you can not do a bonded title. If there’s litigation pending like probate, divorce, repo, or something that has a court case, you can’t do a bonded title on that either.
This one happens to do with North Carolina, meaning that unless the vehicle is in North Carolina, you can’t do it. Most states require the same thing that the vehicle has to be located where this application is occurring. And then many times if the vehicle is an insurance vehicle declared a total loss by an insurance company non-repairable junked, you can’t do bonded title there either. It’s not designed for that process. Let’s take a look at a couple of other states. Here’s what a bond looks like, this is the Michigan department of state uniform surety bond. This is what the bonding company will sign. You can fill it in with all the information but the bonding company has to sign it. Here’s the principle of the surety company authorized agent, signed and they’ll put a surety number on it so that you can submit it to DMV. Before you can title a registered motor vehicle, you must file a uniform surety bond with the application or registration. So, this is very similar to many other states.
Here’s Illinois, on a fact sheet for titles obtained by bond. When applying for a title you have to have the description of the vehicle, the current value, the statement that the vehicle is intact, and that all parts are present. You can’t bond a partial vehicle or a vehicle that’s in the process of being remodeled or restored or reconstructed. Once again if a lien holder is listed on the previous title record a lien release is required.
So bonded titles have a place. They are a very powerful way to get a title. Sometimes your scenario might not be eligible for a bonded title and in that case you want to look at a court order title and that’s also on our website. If you do need to find out the exact amount for a surety bond, check out our website ProBonds.com, it’ll give you a quote on your surety bond for your vehicle based on the value based on where you’re located and you could proceed with that process. Many times a surety bond title is a good way to go. There are about eight or nine states that do not do surety bonds so you have to make sure your state allows it. And it’s usually better than doing a Vermont loophole or some kind of mechanics lien or abandoned title because you’ll run into problems with those. If for whatever reason, the surety bond is not possible then you can elevate your case right to a court order title and that’s a lot easier than it sounds as well. Put some comments below let us know what you think.