If you do not have proof of ownership (a title) for your boat, motor vehicle, motorhome, mobile home, motorcycle or other titled property, you can provide the State of Michigan with a Certificate of Title Bond in order to replace your lost, stolen, damaged or defective title. You will be able to register your vehicle with this new title.
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Michigan Vehicle Code Section 257.217 requires individuals who don’t have proof of vehicle ownership file a surety bond. The state’s bond form is officially titled the “Vehicle Uniform Surety Bond,” but these bonds are more commonly known as “certificate of title bonds” or just ” title bonds.” The Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act enforces a similar surety bond requirement for watercraft owners. Bonds must be filed within 30 days of issuance.
These bonds specifically protect the Secretary of State, previous owners, and future owners of the vehicle against expenses, losses, or damages. If the original title is found and presented to the state, a claim can be made against the bond. The surety company would pay valid claims up to the full bond amount, which the bonded vehicle owner would be required to reimburse.
Michigan title bond costs start at $100. The exact cost will vary depending on the vehicle type as well as the surety bond amount required by the Michigan Secretary of State Vehicle Title Division.
Vehicle Title Bond Costs
Watercraft Title Bond Costs
The Maine Lost Title Bond costs either $100 or 1.5% of the bond amount, whichever is greater (rates may vary for bonds greater than $25,000).
You can purchase your Michigan certificate of title bond online 24/7. You must provide the following information for Secretary of State Vehicle Title Division approval.
Once your order has been processed, your surety bond documentation will be issued. You’ll receive your official surety bond by email.
Michigan requires residents to purchase a surety bond as part of the application process to obtain a bonded title. The bond ensures that the rightful vehicle owner will not suffer a financial loss if the title applicant is seeking to obtain the title fraudulently. If the title applicant is engaging in fraud, then the rightful vehicle owner can file a claim against the bond and receive compensation up to the full amount of the bond. In short, the bond acts as a safeguard against people attempting to obtain ownership of a vehicle through unethical means.
The Michigan Secretary of State will require a title applicant to purchase a surety bond if the applicant cannot present the department with adequate proof that the applicant does in fact own the vehicle. Typically, lost title bonds are required for the following reasons:
If the title applicant cannot locate the vehicle’s previous owner/title, they will not need to purchase a surety bond in the following scenarios:
The Michigan Department of State Vehicle Title Division enforces registration requirements and documentation for vehicles or watercrafts without titles, including the vehicle uniform surety bond form.
Vehicle or watercraft owners with insufficient proof of ownership must purchase and file a vehicle uniform surety bond as part of their registration. Vehicles less than 10 years old valued more than than $2,500 must be bonded. All watercrafts valued more than $2,500 must have bonded titles.
Please note a Michigan vehicle uniform surety bond is required if you have insufficient vehicle ownership. If you’re planning to sell vehicles, a separate Michigan vehicle dealer bond is required.
The Secretary of State Vehicle Title Division determines the required bond amount for vehicles and watercrafts, which will be 2 times the vehicle or watercraft’s value. Applicants should always verify the exact required bond amount with the SOS before purchasing their bonds.
Michigan statute 257.217 dictates that the bond amount must be equal to twice the vehicle’s fair market value. To determine the vehicle’s value, title applicants can have their vehicle appraised by any licensed Michigan auto dealer or utilize any recognized vehicle appraisal guide.
If the Michigan Secretary of State Vehicle Title Division requires your surety bond documentation to be updated for any reason, contact your surety provider.
The most common changes for these bonds include updating the:
We do not conduct a credit check for bonds that are less than $25,000. At limits over $25,000, we will review your standing to determine the qualification and rates for the bond.
Michigan vehicle uniform surety bonds expire at the end of a 3-year term and do not renew. If no claims are made against the bond, the state will return it.
To apply for a bonded title, complete the following steps:
Watercraft Bonded Title Instructions
In Michigan, bonded title applicants should submit the completed bond form, including the power of attorney, to their local Secretary of State branch office. The Michigan Lost Title Surety Bond requires signatures from both the surety company that issues the bond and the bonded title applicant. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
Michigan requires all motor vehicle owners to purchase auto insurance with the following minimum limits:
Bonded title applicants must purchase and maintain a surety bond in an amount equal to twice the vehicle’s fair market value.
To avoid claims against their bond, bonded title applicants in Michigan must ensure that they are the rightful owners of the motor vehicle.