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Lost Title Bonds: Everything You Need to Know

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09-26-2022

If you are purchasing a vehicle without a title, the state’s regulatory agency (often the DMV) may require you to obtain a Lost Title Bond, also referred to as a bonded title or certificate of title. The bond protects the public and the state from financial losses. 

Required in 36 out of the 50 states, the surety bond provides reimbursement in case of a claim against the vehicle's owner, such as if the car was stolen. 

Learn all about Lost Title Bonds and how to get one in this article.

Lost Title Bond Guide

Who Needs a Lost Title Bond?

When purchasing a vehicle, in order for it to be driven legally, it has to be registered with the state’s regulatory agency. The vehicle's title is needed in order for the transfer of ownership to occur. There may be sometimes where the title isn’t available, creating the need for a Lost Title Registration and Bond. For example, you built your own vehicle, the title was lost, or the original title was stolen.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Lost Title Bond?

The cost of the Lost Title Bond is a percentage of the total bond limit, so let’s first discuss how the bond limit is determined. The governing entity (obligee) is the one that determines the bond limit. Here are a few examples:

  1. In Arizona, the limit is 1.5 times the fair market value of the vehicle, as determined by the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division. 
  2. In Alabama, the bond limit is based on the type of vehicle and the vehicle age, ranging anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000. 
  3. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles sets the bond limit at a sum equal to twice the value of the vehicle that has been established by a current Kelly Blue Book Valuation Guide.

As for the cost, it’s only a small percentage of the bond limit. At Jet, the starting rate is $100 for the standard 3-year term. A soft credit check (which doesn’t affect your credit score) is used to establish an appropriate rate. For larger bond amounts, additional documentation such as proof of ownership and financial statements may be required.

How to Avoid a Claim on a Lost Title Bond?

When you apply for a Lost Title Bond, based on the vehicle information, your local regulatory agency will check the vehicle history to make sure it wasn't reported lost or stolen. 

Before obtaining your lost title bond, we recommend that you take care of a few tasks to help out later, to prove rightful ownership of your vehicle including acquiring a bill of sale, holding onto all registration documents, having insurance, and doing additional research on the vehicle's history. This will help the process go as smoothly as possible. 

In the event of a claim, it can be filed by the original owner of the vehicle and must be within the three-year period of the bond for it to be effective. If the claim is paid out, the amount can never exceed the bond limit. Read the Lost Title Bond Claims Guide for more information.

How to Get a Lost Title Bond

With Jet, you can apply for your bond in minutes! 

Once you fill out a bond application, there are two scenarios:

  1. You get an approved rate instantly (this happens for lower bond limits)
  2. Your information is sent to an underwriter and an approved rate will be sent to you via email shortly after

Once you’ve paid for the bond, it will need to be filed with your local regulatory agency, such as the DMV. Sometimes, Jet can do this for you, depending on the state’s requirements. As soon as your bond is active, and your bonded title paperwork is complete, you will be legally able to hit the road with your vehicle! 

Lost Title Bond Information by State

Alabama Lost Title Bond
Arizona Lost Title Bond
North Carolina Lost Title Bond
Texas Lost Title Bond
Florida Lost Title Bond
Nevada Lost Title Bond