Did you recently purchase a vehicle, but never received the title? Or maybe you received the title, but lost it before transferring it into your name? You might be thinking you are stuck. Well, you aren't. You can get an Alaska Bonded Title.
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What is an Alaska Bonded Title?
An Alaska Bonded Title is a document that proves you own your vehicle.
An Alaska Bonded Title looks just like a regular title, except the title is marked with a "bonded" brand. This brand implies there is a surety bond attached to the title.
Why You Need to Purchase a Surety Bond
Because you have no title, Alaska laws allow you to get a title by submitting a three year non-cancelable title surety bond or deposit a cash bond with the Division of Motor Vehicles in the amount of one and half times the appraised value of the vehicle.
The surety bond protects the State and any previous owners of the vehicle in case there is a legal dispute involve the vehicle.
You can learn more about what it means to be bonded at the end of the article.
When You Might Need an Alaska Bonded Title
All vehicles and any trailers weighing over 501 pounds without a title will be required to get a surety bond, barring they meet the DMV's eligibility beyond that. (See Step #1 in the step-by-step guide below) Small trailers weighing less than 500 pounds may not require a surety bond. Contact the DMV for more information.
You might need a bonded title in any of the following situations, though this is not a complete list:
- You bought a car and never received the title
- You bought a car and only received a bill of sale
- You bought a car and received an improperly assigned title
- You bought a car, received, and lost the title before transferring it into your name*
About Duplicate Titles
If you had a title in your name at one point in time, you are eligible to apply for a duplicate certificate of title. This is a much easier, less expensive process. To get a duplicate certificate of title, complete the following and take to your local DMV:
- Affidavit of Lost, Stolen or Destroyed Title
- A lien release from any lienholder of record
- $15.00 fee
How to get an Alaska Bonded Title
Step #1: Contact DMV to make sure you are eligible
Your local DMV is the only entity that can tell you if you are eligible for a bonded title or not.
Contact your local DMV, explain your situation, and ask if you could get a bonded title.
If they say yes, move on to Step #2.
Step #2: Get an appraisal of your vehicle
Do this by contacting a licensed motor vehicle dealer. Make sure they give you a signed appraisal. You will need this appraisal to apply for an AK Bonded Title.
Other appraisal requirements include (which are taken directly from the AK DMV website):
- Appraisal of the retail value (not wholesale or trade-in value) must be submitted on company letterhead.
- The appraisal must be signed by the person performing the appraisal.
- The vehicle must be physically inspected by the appraiser (not use photos).
- The vehicle must be a complete vehicle.
- Appraisals must not be over 90 days old.
- Appraisals may be obtained from a licensed motor vehicle dealer, insurance appraiser or Bank.
- The applicant and appraiser must not be the same individual or company.
- The seller and appraiser must not be the same individual or company.
- The appraisal must contain:
- Plate Number and State, if available
- Body Style
- Name and address of applicant
- Name, phone number and address of appraiser
- Description of the interior and exterior of the vehicle such as body damage, missing or damaged components, torn upholstery and/or seats, safety glass damaged and not replaced, etc.
Step #3: Calculate Your Bond Amount
Your bond will need to be in the amount of one and half times the appraised value of your vehicle (that you determined in Step #2).
For example, if the appraised value of your vehicle is $2,000, your bond amount will need to be $3,000.
Calculate your bond amount and move on to the next step.
Step #4: Purchase an Alaska Lost Title Bond
Purchase a title bond from a surety bond company. Make sure you apply for the correct bond amount (that you determined in Step #3).
You will not need to pay the full bond amount to get bonded. You will just pay a portion of it.
Surety Solutions, A Gallagher Company does not issue Certificate of Lost Title Bonds
Before you purchase your Alaska Title Bond - learn important payment info
Step #5: Complete Affidavit of Ownership Form
Step #6: Complete and sign an Application for Title and Registration Form
Step #7: Get your vehicle inspected
Get your vehicle inspected by an authorized DMV vehicle inspector and have them complete and sign a Certificate of Vehicle Inspection
Step #8: Submit paperwork to your local DMV
Submit your title bond, title application, and certificate of vehicle inspection to your local DMV. If your papers are approved, upon payment, you will be issued an Alaska Bonded Title.
Your bonded title will be marked "bonded" for 3 years.
Does My Alaska Bonded Title Expire?
Yes, Alaska Bonded Titles expire 3 years after they are issued. If after 3 years no one comes forward and makes a claim on your Alaska Lost Title Bond, you (or whoever owns the vehicle at the time) can go to the DMV and apply for the "bonded" brand to be removed.
If approved for the removal, you will be issued a clear certificate of title.
If you wish to sell the vehicle before the three year surety bond period is up, you are free to do so. Your name remains attached to the surety bond, though, and you remain liable for any surety bond claims that might occur during the three year time period.
What It Means To Be Bonded
When you get a bonded title, you are promising that you are the true owner the vehicle. If someone comes forward later on and says that they are the owner of the vehicle and that you should not have been granted a bonded title, they can make a claim on your surety bond.
If the claim is determined to be valid and the surety company had to step in to financially compensate the claimant, you would be responsible for repaying the surety company. In short, the bond holds you liable for your actions.