The Bonded Title Process
A bonded title is a document that proves a person's ownership of a motor vehicle. A bonded title is similar to a regular title but it is marked "bonded" simply because there is a surety bond attached to the title. A bonded title promises you own your vehicle, and is sometimes an option for people who have a vehicle with no title.
Reasons you may need a bonded title
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 and the seller's name was not on the title.
You bought a vehicle and the title is damaged or unreadable.
You bought a vehicle and then lost the title before transferring into your name.
Bonded title process
The first step is to go to a MVD or Third Party MVD to get a vehicle inspection. The inspector will hand you a packet with all the forms and information you need to start the bonded title process.
Vehicle Inspection- You will first need an inspection of the vehicle. Tell the inspector that you are applying for a Bonded Title.
Emissions Test- If you live in or commute into the Phoenix or Tucson metropolitan areas and the vehicle registration has expired, you will need an emissions test.
Bond Affidavit- Complete a Bonded Title Affidavit form # 48-1302. Must be notarized unless signed before an MVD agent.
Title and Lien Searches- Obtain a motor vehicle record search to verify the name and address of the last titled owners and lienholders (if any). The record must be searched on the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), not the plate number. For Arizona searches: Complete a Motor Vehicle Records Request form 46-4416. A $3.00 fee will be charged. For out-of-state searches, contact that state the vehicle was originally title in.
Lien Releases- Obtain a lien release for all liens appearing on any title and lien search, either Arizona or out-of-state. Each release must contain: • Vehicle Year • Make • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) For Arizona searches, the lien release must be signed, notarized, and include the date and amount of the lien.
Certified Letters- Send a certified letter (Return Receipt Requested) to each of the names and addresses shown on the record searches, and to all other persons involved in the sale of the vehicle. The letters should request that the person take one of the following actions: 1. Apply for a title in his or her name, sign it off and send it to you. 2. Provide a notarized statement refusing to apply for a title. The statement should include: • Vehicle Year • Make • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) 3.
Certified Letter Results Response to Letter
Title — If you receive a title, a bond may no longer be required. Return to MVD to transfer the title into your name.
Notarized Statement — If you receive a notarized statement, you do not have to wait for the Return Receipt card. No Response to Letter
Return Receipt — If you receive the Return Receipt card from a certified letter, you must wait 15 business days after the date the receipt card was signed (to allow time for a response), before returning to MVD.
Unclaimed Letter — If the certified letter is returned to you by the post office as unclaimed, bring the letter unopened.
Bring All Documents To The MVD- Bring the results of all the certified letters, and any documents you have related to this matter. If all is in order, the approved documents will be listed for you on an Additional Requirements form, and the bond amount will be set.
Purchase The Bond- Obtain a motor vehicle surety bond. The bond is available at most insurance companies authorized to conduct business in Arizona. The bond must contain: • Full Names of all applicants (as they appear on the title application) • Vehicle Year • Make • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Bond set by _________ (RACF) on _____________(Date) Pursuant to A.R.S. § 28-2060, the customer must apply for a title within 30 business days after acquiring the surety bond or the customer shall pay an additional title penalty fee.
Bring the Bond and All Documents Back To the MVD- Bring the bond and all documents, including the Additional Requirements form. If the vehicle inspection form indicates that an Arizona Serial Number is to be issued, bring the vehicle. The agent will review all documents. If all is in order, a new electronic title will be issued to you.