Missouri Lost Title Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a Missouri Lost Title Bond
At a Glance:
- Lowest Cost: $100 per year
- Bond Amount: Twice the vehicle’s value
- Who Needs it: Vehicle title applicants in Missouri 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 Missouri: The Missouri Department of Revenue
Missouri statute 301.192 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 Missouri 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 twice the vehicle’s value.
What is the Purpose of the Missouri Lost Title Bond?
Missouri 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 Missouri Lost Title Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a Missouri 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? Gain access 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.
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How is the Bond Amount Determined?
Missouri statute 301.192 dictates that the bond amount must be equal to twice the vehicle’s value. To determine the vehicle’s value, bonded title applicants may utilize the Kelly Blue Book, NADA, or have their vehicle appraised by two licensed auto dealers.
Is a Credit Check Required for the Missouri 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 Missouri Lost Title Bond Cost?
The Missouri 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 Missouri Department of Revenue requires title applicants to purchase a surety bond if the applicant cannot present the department with tangible proof that they own the vehicle and are unable to contact the vehicle’s previous owner. To be eligible for a bonded title, the vehicle must:
- Be at least 7 years old or older
- The value of the vehicle does not exceed $3,000
- No record of any prior title application exists or the records do exist but contain conflicting ownership documentation
Lost title bonds are typically 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
The bond amount must be a minimum of $100
BondExchange now offers monthly pay-as-you-go subscriptions for surety bonds. Your customers are able to purchase their bonds on a monthly basis and cancel them anytime. Learn more here.
How do Missouri Residents Apply for a Bonded Title?
To apply for a bonded title, Missouri residents must complete the following steps:
Step 1 – Consult the DOR
Bonded title applicants in Missouri should consult the Department of Revenue prior to purchasing a surety bond. Missouri does not require all title applicants to obtain a bonded title, and usually only does so as an absolute last resort. Title applicants should ensure that they actually need a bond before purchasing one.
Step 2 – Purchase a Surety Bond
After receiving confirmation from the Department of Revenue, bonded title applicants must purchase and maintain a surety bond in an amount equal to twice the vehicle’s value
Step 3 – Have the Vehicle Inspected
Bonded title applicants must have their vehicle inspected by the Missouri State Highway Patrol or the applicant’s county auto theft unit. The inspecting officer must complete an examination certificate and return it to the applicant.
Step 4 – Complete the Application
All Missouri bonded title applications can be submitted to the applicant’s local license office. Bonded title applicants must complete the application in its entirety, and submit the following items:
- Statement detailing how the bonded title was acquired and why a valid ownership certificate cannot be obtained
- Proof of ownership (bill of sale, invoices, etc.)
- Title verification of the state the vehicle was previously titled in (if applicable)
- Notarized lien release(s) (if applicable)
- Vehicle examination certificate
- Odometer disclosure statement
- Surety bond
How Do Missouri Bonded Title Applicants File Their Bond?
In Missouri, bonded title applicants should submit the completed bond form, including the power of attorney, to their local license office. The Missouri 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 of entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Surety company’s name and address
- Bond term
- Date the bond is signed
What Are the Insurance Requirements for Bonded Title Applicants in Missouri?
Missouri requires all motor vehicle owners to purchase auto insurance with the following minimum limits:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 per accident
- $25,000 property damage per accident
Bonded title applicants must purchase and maintain a surety bond in an amount equal to twice the vehicle’s value.
How Can Missouri Residents Avoid Claims Against Their Lost Title Bond?
To avoid claims against their bond, bonded title applicants in Missouri must ensure that they are the rightful owners of the motor vehicle.
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Bonded Title Applicants in Missouri?
Missouri 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.