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 Montana 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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Montana Code Annotated 61-3-208 requires individuals to file a vehicle ownership bond if they do not have a certificate of title to prove they own a motor vehicle, trailer, pole trailer, camper, motorboat, personal watercraft, sailboat, or snowmobile they’re trying to register. Montana title bonds protect previous owners, lien holders, and future vehicle owners from expenses, losses, or damages resulting from certificate of title issuance.
If the original vehicle title is found, the harmed party can file a claim against the bond. The surety company will pay valid claims up to the full bond amount, which the bonded vehicle owner would be required to reimburse.
Montana certificate of title bond costs start at $100. The exact cost will vary depending on the surety bond amount required by the Montana Vehicle Services Bureau.
The Montana 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 Montana title bonds online 24/7. Simply provide your name and the vehicle identification number (VIN) for Vehicle Services Bureau approval. Once your payment is processed, your official bond documents will be delivered to your email instantly.
Montana 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 Montana Department of Justice Vehicle Services Bureau enforces replacement title registration requirements. The VSB manages all forms associated with vehicle ownership registration, including the vehicle ownership surety bond form.
If you do not have a certificate of title to prove you own your motor vehicle, trailer, pole trailer, camper, motorboat, personal watercraft, sailboat, or snowmobile valued at more than $500, Montana state law requires you to file a surety bond as part of the vehicle registration process. Your title surety bond must be filed within 30 days.
Vehicles with open liens are not eligible for a bonded title.
Montana title bonds are required for vehicle registration. If you plan to sell vehicles, a separate Montana motor vehicle dealer bond is required.
Typically, lost title bonds are required for the following reasons:
Montana statute 61-3-208 dictates that the bond amount must be equal to the vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer. To determine the vehicle’s value, title applicants must use the National Automobile Dealers Association’s (NADA) appraisal guide. The appraisal must be conducted as of January 1 for the year the title application is submitted. If the vehicle’s value cannot be calculated through NADA, title applicants can complete a Statement of Fact form to determine the bond amount. If you need help determining your required bond amount, contact the Vehicle Services Bureau before purchasing your bond.
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.
If the Montana Vehicle Services Bureau requires your surety bond documentation to be updated for any reason, contact your surety provider.
The most common changes for these bonds include the owner’s name or the vehicle identification number (VIN).
Montana lost title bonds do not renew after their initial 3-year term. Your bond will be returned 3 years from the certificate of title issuance date or before if the valid certificate of title is provided to the department.
To apply for a bonded title, complete the following steps:
If the Vehicle Services Bureau approves your application as submitted, they will issue a bonded title for your vehicle.
In Montana, bonded title applicants should submit the completed bond form, including the power of attorney, to the vehicle services bureau, but only if they are also applying for license plates. If no license plates are being applied for, the bond should be submitted to the applicant’s county treasurer’s office. The Montana 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:
Montana 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 the vehicle’s value.
To avoid claims against their bond, bonded title applicants in Montana must ensure that they are the rightful owners of the motor vehicle.