Massachusetts Lost Title Bond: A Comprehensive Guide

September 21, 2021

Massachusetts Lost Title Bond

This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a Massachusetts 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 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) clean trade-in value of the vehicle
  • Who Needs it: Vehicle title applicants in Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles

Background

Massachusetts statute 14-90D-12 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 Massachusetts 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 NADA clean trade-in value.

What is the Purpose of the Massachusetts Lost Title Bond?

Massachusetts 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.

Massachusetts Lost Title Bond Form

Massachusetts Lost Title Bond Form

How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a Massachusetts Lost Title Bond?

BondExchange makes obtaining a Massachusetts 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?

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles dictates that the bond amount must be equal to one and a half times the vehicle’s National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) clean trade-in value.

Is a Credit Check Required for the Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts Lost Title Bond Cost?

The Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles 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

Passenger vehicles with a model year of 1980 or older and trailers weighing less than 3,000 pounds are exempt from all title and bonding requirements.

How do Massachusetts Residents Apply for a Bonded Title?

To apply for a bonded title, Massachusetts residents must complete the following steps:

Step 1 – Consult the Registry of Motor Vehicles

Bonded title applicants in Massachusetts should consult their local RMV office prior to purchasing a surety bond. Massachusetts 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

Bonded title applicants must purchase and maintain a surety bond in an amount equal to one and a half times the vehicle’s NADA clean trade-in value.

Step 3 – Have the Vehicle Inspected

Massachusetts requires bonded title applicants to have their vehicle inspected prior to issuing a bonded title. Applicants can have their vehicle inspected at any state police barracks or a local police station. Applicants must submit a proof of visual inspection form with their application.

Step 4 – Complete the Application

After purchasing their bond and having their vehicle inspected, bonded title applicants in Massachusetts must complete the title application and mail it to the following address:

RMV
Attention: Title Department
PO BOX 55885
Boston, MA 02205-5889

Title applicants must complete the application in its entirety, and submit the following items:

    • Proof of visual inspection form
    • Notarized affidavit attesting to the vehicle’s history (contact the Registry of Motor Vehicles to obtain the form)
    • Documentation pertaining to the sale of the vehicle such as a bill of sale or canceled check

Bonded title applicants must pay a $75 fee when submitting their application.

How Do Massachusetts Bonded Title Applicants File Their Bond?

In Massachusetts, bonded title applicants should mail the completed bond form, including the power of attorney, to the following address:

RMV
Attention: Title Department
PO BOX 55885
Boston, MA 02205-5889

The Massachusetts 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 and address of entity/individual(s) buying the bond
  • Surety company’s name, city, and state
  • Bond amount
  • Vehicle information
  • Date the bond is signed
  • Witness signatures for the principal and surety company

What Are the Insurance Requirements for Bonded Title Applicants in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts requires all motor vehicle owners to purchase auto insurance with the following minimum limits:

  • $20,000 per person
  • $40,000 per accident
  • $5,000 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 NADA clean trade-in value.

How Can Massachusetts Residents Avoid Claims Against Their Lost Title Bond?

To avoid claims against their bond, bonded title applicants in Massachusetts must ensure that they are the rightful owners of the motor vehicle.

What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Bonded Title Applicants in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts 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.

2021-12-01T19:37:38+00:00

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