Maine Lost Title Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
September 22, 2021
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a Maine Lost Title Bond
At a Glance:
- Average Cost: Minimum of $100 or 1.5% of the bond amount, whichever is greater
- Bond Amount: One and a half times the vehicle’s value
- Who Needs it: Vehicle title applicants in Maine who do not have adequate proof of ownership
- Purpose: To ensure the rightful vehicle owner does not suffer financial harm if the title applicant does not actually own the vehicle
- Who Regulates Lost Title Bonds In Maine: The Maine Secretary of State
Maine statute 659 requires residents who do not have adequate proof that they own their vehicle to purchase a surety bond prior to obtaining a duplicate title. The Maine legislature enacted the bonding requirement to ensure that the rightful vehicle owner will receive compensation if the title applicant does not actually own the vehicle. The bond will be active for three years from the date of issuance and must be in an amount equal to one and a half times the vehicle’s value.
What is the Purpose of the Maine Lost Title Bond?
Maine 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.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a Maine Lost Title Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a Maine Lost Title Bond easy. Simply log in to your account and use our keyword search to find the “title” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone at (800) 438-1162, email, or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
At BondExchange, our 40 years of experience, leading technology, and access to markets ensures that we have the knowledge and resources to provide your clients with fast and friendly service whether obtaining quotes or issuing bonds.
How is the Bond Amount Determined?
Maine statute 659 dictates that the bond amount must be equal to one and a half times the vehicle’s current value. The Secretary of State will determine the vehicle’s value during the title application process.
Is a Credit Check Required for the Maine Lost Title Bond?
Surety companies will not conduct a credit check for bonds that are less than $25,000. At limits over $25,000, surety companies will review the applicant’s credit standing to determine qualification for the bond. For larger bond amounts, applicants with poor credit may be subject to a higher rate. Generally, most carriers want to understand how the applicant came to have ownership of the vehicle.
How Much Does the Maine Lost Title Bond Cost?
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).
Who is Required to Purchase a Bond?
The Maine 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:
- The vehicle has never been titled
- The applicant never received the title
- The previous owner never titled the vehicle
- The applicant has the title but there is an error in the title transfer
- The applicant purchased an unclaimed/abandoned vehicle and is not a bonded agent
How do Maine Residents Apply for a Bonded Title?
To apply for a bonded title, Maine residents must complete the following steps:
Step 1 – Consult the Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Bonded title applicants in Maine should consult their local Bureau of Motor Vehicles office prior to purchasing a surety bond. Maine does not require all title applicants to obtain a bonded title, and title applicants should ensure that they actually need a bond before purchasing one.
Step 2 – Purchase a Surety Bond
After consulting with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, bonded title applicants must purchase and maintain a surety bond in an amount equal to one and a half times the vehicle’s value. Contact the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for help determining the bond amount.
Step 3 – Complete the Application
After purchasing their bond, title applicants will need to complete a title application. Applicants can obtain their application form from any BMV branch office and should submit it to their local BMV office.
How Do Maine Bonded Title Applicants File Their Bond?
In Maine, bonded title applicants should submit the completed bond form, including the power of attorney, to their local BMV office. The Maine 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:
- The legal name, city, county, and state entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Surety company’s name and state, and city of incorporation
- Bond amount
- Vehicle information
- Date the bond is signed
What Are the Insurance Requirements for Bonded Title Applicants in Maine?
Maine requires all motor vehicle owners to purchase auto insurance with the following minimum limits:
- $50,000 per person
- $100,000 per accident
- $25,000 property damage per accident
Bonded title applicants must purchase and maintain a surety bond in an amount equal to one and a half times the vehicle’s value.
How Can Maine Residents Avoid Claims Against Their Lost Title Bond?
To avoid claims against their bond, bonded title applicants in Maine must ensure that they are the rightful owners of the motor vehicle.
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Bonded Title Applicants in Maine?
Maine requires all motor vehicle owners to purchase auto insurance. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue other types of insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.