I Lost My Title... Now What?
Lost Title or Bonded Title
What To Do If You Lost Your Title
- Visit the nearest TxDMV regional service center
- Complete the Application – VTR-34 – all recorded owners must sign the form at the time of application
- Provide a photo ID
- Pay the $5.45 fee. An original release of lien letter may be required.
What About Bonded Titles?
Bonded titles are a whole other story. If a vehicle arrives in Texas with ownership questions, the owner of the vehicle is likely to be asked to obtain a bonded title. Attach a surety bond to a title and you have created a bonded title. There are options to a bonded title, such as a legal hearing, but getting a surety bond is typically much less expensive and certainly faster. The five steps to take in obtaining a bonded title are easy to follow:
- Contact the DMV via a local office and apply for a title. Applicants who do not include enough ownership evidence will be asked to obtain a bond in order to apply for a bonded title.
- The completed paperwork – usually a Statement of Fact – Application VTR-130-S0F, supporting evidence such as a bill of sale, invoice, maybe a cancelled check, etc. and a photo ID. If the car is an out-of-state vehicle, then the VIN will need to be verified by a Texas certified Safety Inspection Station. If you know upfront, you will need this form, the process is sped up by submitting the verification along with the other documents.
- Waiting … Waiting … Waiting! Once the application is approved, the DMV issues a letter including the amount of the required surety bond – generally one and one-half of the appraised value of the vehicle.
- Buy a bond – the really easy part. Call your insurance agent and, provided there are no ‘gotchas’ your bond for any vehicle valued $6,000 or less will be issued at a cost of $100. $6,001 to $25,000 has a cost of $15 per $1000 of value.
- With bond in-hand, you have 30 days to submit it along with any additional documents outlined in step two to the county tax office. They, in turn, will issue a bonded title; bonded titles are good for 3 years and then an original title will be issued.
Let’s talk a minute about some of the possible ‘gotchas’
- A lien less than 10 years old can create a challenge. Surety bonds are not readily available for vehicles with liens because of the possible claims. Most sureties require a certificate of lien release prior to issuing a bond.
- If the vehicle was previously titled in another state or imported or is a commercial vehicle, additional documents could be required in Step 2.
- If you need a bond of more than 25,000 in value, then underwriting comes into the picture. Surety underwriters evaluate the risk to be taken. Remember, bonds are not insurance, but rather promises that YOU will pay. That risk can be increased by credit ratings, another other underwriting considerations. While bonds at values of $25,000 or less have uniform prices among sureties, that is not the case with the higher risk bonds. Those costs can vary significantly from surety to surety.
- Because these bonds must be paid for in full at the time of purchase, the expense of a high-risk bond can be enough to cause a dealer to opt for a tax assessor-collector hearing. We can talk about those in another blog.
- If you do not complete the process of filing for your bonded title within 30 days, you start completely over.
Do not hesitate to contact me. I’m eager to receive your feedback, questions and comments. If you have specific subjects or insurance concerns you would like to discuss, please let me know. email@example.com or www.mulleninsurance.com.
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MULLEN INSURANCE AGENCY, INC
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