How To Get A Lost Car Title Problem Solved

  • June 22, 2024
  • 7 min read

So why is it so hard to get a vehicle title? You might just think, well, it’s just a piece of paper. I need to get a title for my car, what’s the problem? Well, this piece of paper is not just ink on crushed-up trees; it is actually the legal certificate that shows the owner of the vehicle, kind of like a $100 bill isn’t just a piece of paper. And they don’t hand them out like candy; they don’t hand out titles like candy either because a vehicle title is the ownership of the vehicle. So whatever that vehicle is worth, getting a title in your name is giving you that much money.

Methods to Obtain a Title
So there’s a way to get it, and if you have a vehicle you’ve purchased, normally the last owner would have given you the title, signed it properly, and then you can get a new title with your name on it. Maybe you lost it, maybe the seller didn’t give it to you, maybe it was damaged, or maybe you just had a car that was in your name and you lost your title. Good news is there are methods to solve that problem in any case, even if you’ve gotten the runaround from the DMV. Even if you’ve already been to the motor vehicle title office and they’ve told you you can’t get a title, it may or may not be true. A lot of times the clerks at the window don’t know all the procedures.

Duplicate Title
So there’s basically three ways that you can get a title for a vehicle. Number one, if it’s a true duplicate, meaning that the last title was already issued in your name, no problem. All you need to do is go down to the DMV in person with your photo ID. They’ll look it up in the system to make sure it’s really in your name, like the title record has your name on it. They’ll match it up with your ID; they’ll give you another title. They might have to mail it to you, that’s easy.

Bonded Title
If the vehicle was not last in your name, or you’re in another state, it might be a little trickier depending on what state you’re in. You could either do what’s called a bonded title, and that’s what’s here. This is a surety bond for a motor vehicle. What that entails is, and I’m going to oversimplify it now, remember if you have more questions or you need more information, you can click our website; we have consultation that can walk you through this title process. But a bonded title is where you go to the DMV and you tell them, look, I got this car, I bought it on Craigslist, I didn’t get a title, I got a bill of sale but I didn’t get a proper document. No problem, we’ll take your word for it, but you need to get a surety bond to back you up. Surety bond is exactly what it sounds like; it’s kind of like when somebody bonds out of prison, you’re bonding your title out of jail, right? You’re bonding your title out of jail.

Obtaining a Surety Bond
So the bond might cost you 100 bucks, 150 bucks, depending on how much the vehicle is worth. You sign some affidavit, there’s a lot of paperwork you have to do, a lot of forms you have to do, and normally you can’t just walk into the door to the DMV empty-handed and say, I want to do a bonded title. You have to go in prepared. You have to have the surety bond, which you have to get from a bonding agency. You can’t get it from the DMV. One place to get it, if you go to the website,, you can get a quote, you can buy a bond, you can get it instantly right online, print it out off your computer, And you get the bond, you sign some affidavits, you get this form, boom. As long as it’s a legitimate vehicle, as long as you don’t have any stolen cars, you don’t have any salvage cars, you don’t have any liens on cars, you can get a bonded title.

Downsides of a Bonded Title
Now the downside to that is your vehicle is going to say “bonded” on the title. So if you want to sell it, trade it in, get a loan on it, it might not be the best way to go. There might be other ways to go, but look into bonded titles and click the link below for more information.

Magistrate or Court Order Title
What else can you do? Well, you can also do what’s called a magistrate title or a court order title. Here’s an example of that. It’s a process where you file with the magistrate clerk in the court where you reside to have yourself declared the owner of the vehicle by court order. And the court can do that; they have the power to do that where the DMV doesn’t have the power to do that. The court has the power to do that. They can say, you know what, this person’s story makes sense, we checked it out, we checked their ID, we checked their documents, we did some background on the vehicle, it’s not stolen, no liens, we will put our blessing on it, we will give you a judgment of ownership. And again, there’s a lot of documents for that as well. You can see you need a complaint for declaratory judgment, you need an affidavit, you need a non-interest letter, you need a bunch of stuff, diligence search and inquiry, you need all this stuff. And every county is different. Remember, there are 3,611 different counties in the country, every county is different. Again, you can get more information about it from the website.

Improper Evidence of Ownership Procedure
Option number three is, in some states, you can do what’s called an improper evidence of ownership procedure. This happens to be New Jersey. It’s another process where if you follow these 12 steps, you can get a title for a vehicle, and it walks you through the steps. But if you notice, it says don’t mail any of the steps until the entire procedure is complete. Don’t try to piecemeal it, do it all at once.

Conclusion: The Importance of Title Security
The thing to remember is titles are not supposed to be easy to get. If they were easy to get, anybody could get a title for any car at any point, and your car would not be safe. And you want your ownership of your vehicle to be secured and not the government just handing out titles left and right to anybody who asks for it. So you do have to jump through a few hoops to get a title. That’s there to protect you and the owners of the vehicle. So if you do want help with it, you can click below. We can do consultations, we can do title assistance. But either way, rest assured, if it’s your car, you deserve to have a title, and there’s a way to get there. It might be a little bit of bureaucracy. It’s not like dealing with a company that makes it easier. Government agencies are notoriously difficult to work through because there are bureaucracies. But at least you know you have some assistance and you can make the process go smoother for you.

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