Are you living in the Land of Enchantment and never received the title to your vehicle when you purchased it? Or maybe you did, but you lost the title before you transferred it over to your name. You might be thinking you won't be able to title your car, but that's not the case. You can get a New Mexico Bonded Title.
What is a New Mexico Bonded Title?
A New Mexico Bonded Title (also known as a New Mexico Certificate of Title, New Mexico Lost Title Bond or New Mexico Defective Title Bond) is a document that proves you own your vehicle.
A bonded title is just like a regular title but it is marked "bonded", meaning that you purchased a surety bond before the DMV issued you a title.
Why You Need To Purchase a Surety Bond
The purpose of a NM Bonded Title is to protect any previous owners of the vehicle and the state of New Mexico.
You can learn more about how the surety bond works and what it means to be bonded at the end of the article.
When You Might Need a New Mexico Bonded Title
You might need a bonded title in one of the following situations, though this is not a complete list:
- You bought a vehicle and didn’t receive a title
- You bought a vehicle and only received a bill of sale
- You bought a vehicle and received an improperly assigned title
- You bought a vehicle, received the the title, and lost it before transferring it into your name*
*You do not need an NM Bonded Title if you had the original title in your name at one point in time. In this instance, you can simply get a duplicate/replacement title by filling out the Application for Duplicate Certificate of Title Form.
How to get a Bonded Title In New Mexico
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.
While we list some common situations where you might be approved for a bonded title, we can not say for certain if you are eligible. Only your local DMV can say for certain.
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: Run a vehicle search on your vehicle
Your local DMV can help you with this. A vehicle search will reveal if there are any previous registered owners or any lien-holders. If your vehicle search reveals one of these individuals, you must notify them by mail via a certified letter. You might be able to get the original title, and not have to proceed any further.
Step #3: Get vehicle inspected
Get your vehicle inspected by a Motor Vehicle Division certified VIN inspector. A list of certified VIN inspectors can be found here.
The VIN inspector will complete a VIN inspection form when they are finished. Keep this form. You will need to apply for your Bonded Title.
Step #4: Get NCIC Clearance
An NCIC Clearance is a statement from a law enforcement officer declaring that your vehicle is not listed as stolen in their files.
Once you get your NCIC Clearance, it is only valid for 30 days upon issuance. You might need to obtain another NCIC Clearance if you do not apply for a New Mexico Bonded Title before the 30 days is up.
Step #5: Determine the value of your vehicle
New Mexico approves the NADA Guide as an acceptable appraisal form.
Determine the value of your vehicle using NADA Guide, or if your vehicle is not available on NADA Guide, contact the New Mexico DMV for how to determine your vehicle value.
Step #6: Calculate your bond amount
Once you've determined your vehicle value, multiply this number by 2. This is your bond amount.
For example, if your vehicle is valued at $2,000 then you must secure a $4,000 NM Lost Title Bond.
Calculate your bond amount, the move on to the next step.
Step #7: Purchase a New Mexico Lost Title Bond
Purchase a bond from a surety bond company like us, Surety Solutions.
Make sure you apply for the correct bond amount that you calculated in Step #6.
You do not need to pay the entire bond amount to get bonded. Many people only pay $100 for your bond.
To see what you'd pay for your lost title bond, get a free quote below:
Before you purchase your title bond - learn important payment info
Once you purchase your bond, it will be mailed to you in the mail.
Step #8: Complete an Odometer Disclosure Statement
Applicants must acknowledge the odometer mileage of their motor vehicle at the time of sale. If seller did not provide an odometer statement at time of sale, enter ‘NM’ on your odometer statement.
Step #9: Submit paperwork
Take all of your paperwork and proof of NM Lost Title Bond to your local DMV. You might also have to fill out a Certificate of Title application, but the DMV will be able to help you with this.
If your paperwork is approved, you'll be asked to pay a $16.50 title fee and then you will be issued a New Mexico Bonded Title. Your title will be marked "bonded".
What it Means to be Bonded
When you get a bonded title, you are promising that you are the true owner the vehicle, and that you will take responsibility for any bond claims.
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 bond.
If the claim is determined to be valid, you would be responsible for satisfying the claim. Usually, this would mean a financial compensation. The surety company would determine what is fair.
If you fail to satisfy the claim, the surety company would satisfy the claim for you. Then, they would come to you for reimbursement. Essentially, the bond holds you liable for your actions, no matter what.
Want more information about what happens if someone made a claim on your bond? Check out this resource.
Does my Bonded Title Expire?
Yes, New Mexico Bonded Titles are valid for 3 years. For those 3 years, the "bonded" brand remains on your title.
If after 3 years, no one makes a claim on your New Mexico Lost Title Bond, then you (or whoever owns the vehicle at the time) can go apply for the "bonded" brand to be removed. Upon approval, you would be issued a clear certificate of title.
If you decide to sell your vehicle before the 3 years is up, that is okay. Your name will remain on the surety bond, though, until the 3 years is up. You will be liable for any surety bond claims during those 3 years.