Acquiring a bonded title in New York is a method of last resort for proving ownership or a vehicle. This usually applies when you purchased a vehicle and didn’t receive a title and cannot prove your ownership in any other way (for instance, with a court decision).
What is a New York Bonded Title?
A bonded title is a way to protect the State of New York against the potential of a fraudulent claim of vehicle ownership. By providing the bond, you are setting money aside as a guarantee of your claim to be taken by the State of New York in case you violate its terms. For example, if your ownership claim is proved to be fraudulent, the state will take the bond and you will be liable to pay it back to the bonding agency.
This process is handled by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If you have any questions throughout the application process, you can call at 518-486-4714 or otherwise contact the department.
Step 1: Attempt to Contact Previous Owners
First, to prove that you have no other way of proving ownership, you’ll need to send a certified letter to the last known address of the previous titled owner. If the letter is signed for by the previous owner, you’ll need to call 518-486 4714 for more instructions. If the letter is returned as undeliverable, do not open it; this means you are eligible to apply for a New York bonded vehicle title. You’ll need to submit the unopened letter along with your bonded vehicle title application.
Step 2: Complete a Title Application Form
You’ll need to complete the regular title application form (MV-82TON).
Step 3: Pay Taxes on the Vehicle
Unless you are exempt, you’ll need to pay sales tax on your vehicle at your local motor vehicle office. When you do this, you’ll receive two copies of the FS-6T form. You should keep one for your records and submit the other with your other documents for your bonded vehicle title.
Step 4: Photograph the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
You’ll need to provide a photograph of the vehicle’s VIN (a pencil tracing is also accepted). If you cannot provide either, you’ll need to obtain an official statement of the VIN on department letterhead by a law enforcement official or a NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Department Official.
Step 5: Obtain a Notarized Statement
You’ll now need to write out a statement explaining the circumstances under which you came into possession of the vehicle and are otherwise unable to prove your ownership. This statement should be signed by a New York notary.
Step 6: Fill Out an Odometer Disclosure Statement
Fill out the purchaser section of an Odometer Disclosure Statement (form MV-103), unless your vehicle is newer than 2007, in which case you may skip this step.
Step 7: Obtain Your Lost Title Bond
You’ll need to obtain a bond from a surety bond agency authorized to operate in the State of New York. The amount of the bond must be 1.5 times the appraised value of your vehicle. Contact the Title Bureau at 518-486-4714 for more information on appraising your vehicle.
Step 8: Fulfill Lienholder Requirement
If there has been a lienholder for the vehicle, you’ll need to demonstrate that the lien has been satisfied. To do this, submit a statement on the lienholder’s letterhead stating:
- The vehicle’s description and VIN
- The borrower's name
- A statement that payment was received in full and the date of the payment
- An original signature of an officer of the lending institution
When you have all of the above documents, send them, along with any other supporting documents you may have such as a bills of sale, registration of the previous owner, or canceled check to your local New York DMV Office together with a $50.00 title fee, payable to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.
Once all documents have been submitted, reviewed and accepted, you’ll receive a New York Bonded Title, which is valid for three years. After that period, if no claims against your title have been made, you’ll be eligible to apply for a regular vehicle title.