If you are unable to provide a vehicle title in Washington State, this guide will take you through all of the steps required to prove ownership. If the state requires a bonded title, you will need to pay a premium to obtain a bond in order to ensure the vehicle is yours.
The Washington Lost Title Application Process
This process is handled through the Washington State Department of Licensing. You can find your local department office here. You can find a phone number where you can address any questions on the local department sites. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] or call 360-902-3770.
Step 1: Determine If You Are Eligible for a Bonded Title
There are three potential courses of action if you are not able to prove ownership of a vehicle with a title:
- You can apply for a three-year registration without a title.
- You can petition a district or superior court for a judgment, awarding you ownership of the vehicle.
- You can apply for a bonded title.
This guide walks you through the process of applying for a Washington bonded title.
Step 2: Obtain an Official Vehicle Inspection
You’ll need your vehicle inspected by an authorized inspector to determine the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), make, and year.
Step 3: Determine Your Vehicle’s Value
You’ll need to contact the Vehicle Licensing Office to determine their estimate of your vehicle’s value, using their automated valuation system. You can also use an authorized appraisal company, but must attach their business card to your application. This assessment will determine the value of your bonded title.
Step 4: Obtain Your Surety Bond
You’ll need to work with a bonding agency to obtain a bond worth 1.5 times the value of your vehicle. The agency will work with you to complete the bond and the Washington Vehicle Ownership Bond form.
Once you have all of these required documents, you can submit them to your local Washington State Department of Licensing office. Your bonded title will be valid for three years, at which time you can apply to receive an unbonded title.