Surety Bond Professionals is a family-owned and operated bonding agency with over 30 years of experience. With access to a broad range of surety markets, our expert agents are ready to assist with all of your Florida title bond needs. Learn more about the Florida bonded title process, below.
What Is a Bonded Title?
Under certain circumstances, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) will issue a bonded title to a person who has purchased a vehicle but lacks a valid certificate of title. For example, the vehicle’s seller may have not provided a title, gave the buyer a title that was improperly assigned or otherwise defective, or the title was lost or stolen before the buyer could get the vehicle registered.
Without a valid title, a vehicle cannot be registered, insured, or sold. A bonded title allows a vehicle owner to do all of those things. The bond securing a bonded title indemnifies DHSMV if it turns out that no bonded title should have been issued and provides a way to compensate the rightful owner or a lienholder.
Who Is Eligible for a Bonded Title?
Florida allows bonded titles to be issued for automobiles, trucks weighing less than 4 tons, and motorcycles, only if the vehicle is between 10 and 25 years old.
You won’t know whether you are eligible to get a bonded title unless you ask. Your local DHSMV office can assess your situation and tell you whether or not you qualify for a bonded title. If the vehicle’s last registration was in another state, you won’t be approved for a bonded title.
If the vehicle in question was already registered in your name, all you need is a duplicate certificate of title from DHSMV, which is easy to obtain and doesn’t cost much.
How Do I Get a Bonded Title?
The process for getting a bonded title in Florida involves the following steps:
- Completing Part A of the application for a bonded title (DHSMV form 82042) and an affidavit (HSMV 82026) attesting to your ownership of the vehicle.
- Having the VIN and odometer reading verified by an authorized individual (licensed auto dealer, police officer, tax collector, or DHSMV employee), who will complete Part B of the application.
- Purchasing a Florida title bond in an amount equal to twice the vehicle’s appraised value as ascertained by the bonding company.
- Submitting the completed paperwork to DHSMV.
How Are Title Bond Claims Paid?
If someone shows up during the three-year term of a Florida title bond and can prove 1) an ownership interest in the vehicle, and 2) a financial loss resulting from the issuance of the bonded title, the injured party can file a claim against the bond and be compensated for that loss, up to the full amount of the Florida title bond.
The surety company will pay the claim on behalf of the individual who purchased the bond (referred to as the “principal” in the surety bond agreement). The principal is legally obligated to repay the bonding company in full.
If three years pass without a claim, the Florida bonded title can be replaced with a standard certificate of title.
How Much Does a Florida Title Bond Cost?
The annual premium for a Florida title bond in an amount that’s equal to twice the vehicle’s appraised value is only a small percentage of that amount. The surety bond company decides what that percentage, the premium rate, will be on a case-by-case basis, depending largely on the purchaser’s personal credit score. That’s the best indication of the risk the company will be taking in paying claims on behalf of the bonded individual and waiting to be reimbursed.
People with a credit score of at least 700 qualify for the standard market rate of somewhere between 1% and 2%. Those with a lower credit score may be assigned a higher premium rate.
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Our surety bond professionals will get you the Florida title bond you need at a competitive rate.