Have a car in Minnesota with no title? Perhaps you never received a title when you purchased your vehicle, or maybe you never registered the vehicle in your name and lost the title.
If this sounds like you, you aren’t stuck. You might be able to get a Minnesota Bonded Title.
What is a Minnesota Bonded Title?
A Minnesota Bonded Title is a document that proves you own your vehicle. It looks just like a regular title except in the title brand section it will say "Bonded".
The "bonded" brand implies there is a surety bond attached to the title.
You might be able to get a MN Bonded Title if you have no proof of ownership and if your vehicle is 6 model years or older.
What does the surety bond do?
When you purchase a surety bond for a bonded title, you are promising that you are the true owner the vehicle. This is a pre-caution that the DMV might require if you do not have a title.
You can learn about what it means to be bonded and how to surety bond works at the end of the article.
When You Might Need a Minnesota Bonded Title:
You might need a bonded title in any 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, then lost the title*
*If you had the title in your name, but lost it, you might be able to simply get a duplicate certificate of title.
To apply for a Minnesota Duplicate Certificate of Title, complete the Minnesota Duplicate Certificate of Title Application, mail or take the MN DVS central office location, and pay the duplicate title fee ($8.25) and filing fee ($10).
How to get a Minnesota 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.
To qualify, your vehicle must be six model years or older.
If they say you qualify, move on to Step #2.
Step #2: Visit a deputy registar office
Go to your local deputy registrar office and provide your complete vehicle description, including your VIN number.
The deputy will:
- provide you with an Affidavit Regarding Due Diligence Form. You must complete this form and get it notarized.
- provide you with a Defective Title Bond form - needed for step #3
- determine the amount of your vehicle - needed for Step #3
Step #3: Calculate your bond amount
Your bond amount will need to be 1.5x the value of your vehicle (the the deputy determined the value of your vehicle in Step #2).
For example, if your vehicle is valued at $2,000, your bond amount will need to be $3,000.
Calculate your bond amount and move on to the next step.
Step #4: Take bond form to surety bond company and purchase surety bond
You will need to purchase a surety bond from a surety bond company.
When applying for your bond, make sure you apply for the correct bond amount that you calculated in Step #3.
You do not need to pay the full bond amount to get your bond. Most people only pay $100 for their bond.
Surety Solutions, A Gallagher Company does not issue Certificate of Lost Title Bonds
The surety bond company will mail your Minnesota lost title bond to you in the mail.
Step #5: Return to deputy registrar and apply for bonded title
To receive the actual bonded title, provide the following to your local deputy registrar office:
- Minnesota lost title bond - that you purchased from the surety bond company
- Application to Title and Register a Motor Vehicle - completed and signed by you
- Five photos of your vehicle:
- Left side
- Right side
- VIN plate
Upon approval of your paperwork (and payment of any title/registration fees), the registrar will issue you a Minnesota bonded title. Your title will be marked "bonded".
For questions about the process, visit the Minnesota DPS bonded title page.
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 Minnesota Bonded Title Expire?
Yes. In Minnesota, MN Bonded Titles expire 3 years from their effective date. This means you remain liable for any bond claims during these 3 years, and the "bonded" brand remains on the title.
If no one comes forward during those 3 years and makes a claim against your Minnesota Lost Title Bond, you can go and apply for the "bonded" brand to be removed from the title. Upon approval, you would be issued a clear certificate of title.
If you wish to sell the vehicle before the 3 years are up, you can do that, but your name remains on the surety bond and you remain liable for any bond claims.