Have a car with no title? You might be able to get a Massachusetts Bonded Title.
What is a Massachusetts Bonded Title?
Massachusetts Bonded Titles are sometimes called Undocumented Bonded Titles.
This "bonded" title brand can be removed from the title after 3 years as long as no one has made any claims against the surety bond.
Why you need a surety bond:
Because you do not have a title, the DMV requires you to purchase a surety bond before they will issue you a title.
When you get a surety bond, 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 bond. If the claim is determined to be valid, the surety company would pay the person a fair amount. It would then be your responsibility to repay the surety.
Curious about what would happen if someone made a claim on your bond? Check out this resource.
When You Might Need a Massachusetts Bonded Title
You might need a bonded title in any of these situations, but 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 and improperly assigned title
- You bought a vehicle, received, and lost the title before transferring it into your name*
*If you had a title in your name at one point in time, you might be able to simply get a duplicate title for your vehicle. Information on how to get a duplicate registration.
How to get a Massachusetts Bonded Title
Step #1: Contact Title Division to make sure you are eligible
The Massachusetts Title Division is the only entity that can tell you if you are eligible for a bonded title or not.
Contact the Title Division, explain your situation, and ask if you could get a bonded title. Massachusetts sometimes calls these titles "undocumented bonded vehicle titles".
If they say you are eligible, move on to Step #2.
More information here.
Step #2: Submit Paperwork
Submit the following information to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles:
- Notarized Affidavit attesting to the complete history of the vehicle as known. Affidavit must include vehicle's model year, make, and Vehicle Identification Number
- Completed Visual Inspection of VIN
- Any other documentation pertaining to the transfer of ownership of the vehicle, including bills of sales or cancelled checks
The vehicle inspection form must be completed by a state police barracks or local police station.
Submit all the information via fax or mail to the Title Division, to the attention of the Title Review Officer.
Step #3: Wait for approval
A Title Review Officer will review your paperwork in Step #2 and based on the information, they will either approve you for a bond or require more information.
If you are approved for a bond, move on to Step #4.
Step #4: Determine your vehicle value
Determine the value of your vehicle by calling the Massachusetts Title Division.
Once you have your vehicle value, move on to the next step.
Step #5: Calculate your bond amount
Your bond amount must be for 1.5 times the value of your vehicle.
For example, if your vehicle value is $2,000 then your title bond amount must be $3,000.
Calculate your bond amount and move on to the next step.
Step #6: Purchase Massachusetts Lost Title Bond
Purchase a bond from a surety bond company by providing them with a bond form from the Title Division. Make sure you apply for the correct bond amount that you calculated in Step #5.
You will not need to pay the full bond amount to get bonded.
Most people will only need to pay around $100 for their bond. This is a one-time payment (not monthly).
The surety bond company will mail you the bond in the mail.
Step #7: Complete the Application for a MA Bonded Title
Once you get your MA Lost Title Bond from the surety bond company, you'll need to submit it to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. Also include an Application for Title.
If you are approved for a bonded title, you will receive your title from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Your title will have a "bonded" brand on the title. This brand can be removed after 3 years, as long as no one comes forward and makes a claim against your bond.
Does My Bonded Title Expire?
Yes, Massachusetts bonded titles expire after 3 years. The "bonded" brand remains on the title for the entire 3 year period.
If no one comes forward and makes a claim against your title bond during those 3 years, you (or whoever owns the vehicle at the time) can apply for a clean title.