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Vehicle Has No Title: Obtain a Bonded Title!

Updated on April 1, 2018

Obtain A Bonded Title: It's Possible And Easier Than You Think!

Did you buy a car with no title?

Did you fix a car for someone and they never came back for it and now your wife (or husband) wants it out of the yard.

Maybe a relative gave you a car to fix up and it's been in the back yard so long they lost the title.

Whatever the reason you're reading this page now, be assured, a bonded title is easier to get than you think.

I will mention that there are a few reasons why you won't be able to get a bonded title.

One of them is if the car is in repossesion status.

Another is if the car is fairly new and a lot of money is still owed on it and the Lien-Holder picks it up after receiving the letter you will be required to send during the process of obtaining a bonded title.

Of course, if the car is stolen, or reported stolen.

I am sure there are other reasons, but those are the most common. As long as the vehicle isn't stolen or obtained illegally and a bunch of money isn't owed on it a bonded title is most likely only a few steps away.

If there is money owed on the car to a lien-holder, DON'T GIVE UP JUST YET....

Some times even if a bunch of money is owed, a bonded title can be obtained by following the procedures listed below.

My 'lil Red ZX
My 'lil Red ZX

I bought a car from a friend

The car sat down the street from me for 5 years. In that time it never moved. It was a cool car and I was interested in it (since my husband at the time was an awesome mechanic and I figured if they'd sell it, I could probably pick it up for cheap and have my husband fix it).

I finally made my move and went to my neighbors house to see if they wanted to get rid of it.

As it turned out, the car belonged to my neighbors grandson. He offered to contact him and promised to get back with me.

Several days later he called to tell me that the car had no title and it also had a lien on it out of another state, but his grandson was willing to sell it to me for $200 dollars if I was willing to buy it on those terms.

I was blown away at the price and really wanted it then, but my cautious side took over so I stepped outside my excitement for a moment and inquired as to why it had no title and was assured by the grandfather that it wasn't stolen. The reason it was sitting there was because the car had been given to his grandson by the grandsons father and the grandson was supposed to keep up the payments but soon after, the car started overheating while the grandson was visiting from out of town.

The grandson parked it there, promising to come back for it but instead, lost interest and there it sat for five years.

I asked for a couple days to find out if it would be possible to get it titled under those conditions and went home to do the research.

Before I explain the process

I'll let you in on a little secret. A lot of people don't believe it's possible to title a car that easy and will readily tell you it isn't possible. The truth is, it is possible. As long as the car is not stolen most likely you will be able to title it one way or another. Bonded titles are one type of legal remedy that allows good cars to be put back on the road by people who have obtained them through unconventional means that are none the less legal.

Though everyone I spoke with said it was impossible, I decided to the research and ultimately was able to get a bonded title on a car that had a $3500.00 lien on it out of California.

So what ever your situation is with your title-less car, don't listen to anyone that says it can't be done, read on and find out how.

Steps to obtain bonded title

I got my bonded title in Arizona, but I am sure the steps are the same or very similar, no matter what state you live in.

You will probably need plates in order to drive the car to the MVD to start the process. Here is the good news.

A special permit (It's a 3 day permit in AZ and costs $1.00) can be purchased first, either online or in person.

First, write down the VIN and go to the DMV or online and purchase the permit then go back to the car and put the plate on it.

Now the car can be driven to the DMV legally.

Next, take the car and visit any MVD or authorized Third Party office and explain that you would like to begin the process to obtain a bonded title.

At that point things will go something like this.....(depending on what state you live in).a

You will need to have a Level I inspection (or whatever the inspection is called in your state) done on the titleless vehicle.

A Basic inspection is done in order to match the vehicle identification number (VIN) to the vehicle ownership documents thus determining the identity of the vehicle.

At the time of the inspection, you will be provided with a list of specific actions and documentation required to complete the process. This will probably vary with each situation and from state to state but this will more than likely include:

Sending a certified letter (Return Receipt Requested) to each of the names and addresses shown on the record searches, and to all other persons involved in the sale of the vehicle.

The letters should request that the person take one of the following actions:

1. Apply for the title in his or her name, sign it off and send it to you

2. Provide a notarized statement refusing to apply for a title.

Statement should include:

Vehicle Year


Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

If a there is a lienholder, you will also need to send the lien-holder a certified letter (Return Receipt Requested) requesting a lien release.

Each release must contain:

Vehicle Year


Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

The lean release must be:

Signed and Notarized

Include Date and Amount of Lien

Here is where people give up because they think because there is money owed the lienholder won't release the vehicle, but that is not always true.

The only way to find out is to send the letters and wait up to 15 business days.

A lot of times, the vehicle has been sitting so long, the lien-holder isn't interested in it or the lien-holder is out of state and the amount owed isn't worth the cost of picking it up.

Sometimes the vehicle is in bad shape and again, the amount owed isn't worth the cost of picking it up.

In my case, the lienholder had gone out of business and didn't reply or return my letter.

The reasons vary, but it IS worth a try as long as it isn't stolen.

BE SURE NOT TO LOOSE THE CERTIFIED/RETURN RECIEPT(S) the person at the Post office gives you when you mail them. You will need these to take to the MVD.

You then wait fifteen BUSINESS days (this means weekends and holidays are not counted).

If you have to send more than one letter, wait for them all to come back or until the end of the 15 business days, whichever happens first.

If the letter or letters come back sooner than fifteen days, you can take them and the certified/return reciept(s) to the MVD before the 15 business days are up and continue the process. Be sure not to open them.

IF the letters don't come back at the end of 15 business days, you just take the certified/return reciept(s) you were given at the post office to the MVD.

At that point you will have to fill out a "Bonded title Affidavit" or something similar and if it hasn't been done already, you must have someone from the MVD inspect the vehicle to evaluate how much it's worth. You will receive a paper right then saying how much the car is worth.

Take that paper and all the other paper work you have so far acquired, to an insurance company that does Sureity Bonds (I got mine the same place where I get my auto insurance).

Purchase the bond.

In Arizona, the cost was $50.00 for anything up to $5000.00 or $50.00 plus $100.00 for every $1000.00 above $5000.00.

Remember, I paid $200.00 for the car.... the DMV paper said it was worth $3500.00 so the bond cost me $50.00.

Once you have purchased the bond, take all the paperwork you have left and the bond paperwork and go back to the DMV to finish the process.

If all is in order, you should recive a bonded title right then and there.

Again, the process will vary from state to state, but it will be similar.

That's it! It really isn't as hard as it seems and can be really worth the bit of effort it takes.

Scroll down for links related to obtaining your bonded title.

© 2012 o0TheGal0o

New Guestbook Comments

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    • o0TheGal0o profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @toni-murbach: You can set an appointment with someone from the DMV or DOT to go to where the car is to inspect it.

    • o0TheGal0o profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @toni-murbach: You can probably set an appointment for a Level 1 (in Arizona) inspector to come out to your house... and you'll have to do that twice....

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      What if the vehicle is not driveable? What do you suggest?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      thank you, nice info

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      thank you, nice info


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