A Michigan title bond is a helpful mechanism for owners seeking clean ownership of a motor vehicle without a clear title chain or a title defect. Michigan Code Section 257.217 offers a clear definition of the this option. "A vehicle that is subject to registration may apply to the secretary of state, upon an appropriate form furnished by the secretary of state, for the registration of the vehicle and issuance of a certificate of title for the vehicle." The title bond procedure is available to owners or potential owners of automobiles, watercraft and snowmobiles using the Vehicle Uniform Surety Bond (TR-121) form. A title bond may not be required from owners of previously Michigan-titled vehicles ten years old or older and that have a value of $2,500 or less.
Per 257.217, the secretary of state may require a Michigan title bond on the form authorized by the secretary of state and executed by the applicant and a surety company holding a certificate of authority to conduct surety business in the state. The title bond must be equal to an amount of at least twice the value of the vehicle as determined by the secretary of state. The surety bond must guarantee reimbursement of the secretary of state, any prior owner, and any subsequent purchaser or lessee of the vehicle and their successors in interest against any expense, loss, or damage, including reasonable attorney's fees, by reason of the issuance of a certificate of title for the vehicle. The title bond must be valid for a minimum of three years from its date of issue. The Secretary offers direction for determining a motor vehicle's value on its website. "Without a court order, you must obtain a title bond. A surety bond is like an insurance policy, and is purchased from an insurance company or surety bonding agency. It must be for twice the fair market value of the vehicle ("fair market value" can be established by a dealer appraisal or a recognized vehicle appraisal guide)." Kelly Blue Book (KBB) or National Auto Dealers Association Guides (NADA) are excellent resources for valuing.
As part of the certificate of title bond underwriting process we must request some evidence that the applicant legally possesses the motor vehicle. Examples of "ownership evidence" can be a bill of sale, power of attorney, receipt, canceled check or money order, temporary registration/maker, affidavit of legal possession or endorsed copy of at title. Need a bill of sale format? See "What We Need From You" on this page for a template.
Michigan surety bond leader, Surety One, Inc. is a specialist in the bonding needs of motor vehicle dealers and private parties that wish to access the bonded title process. We offer same-day issue of motor vehicle title bonds in ALL states that require them. Questions about this or another surety bond? Call us at (800) 373-2804, email us at Underwriting@SuretyOne.com or click here for live chat about your Michigan certificate of title bond requirement.
Surety bond application review and quoting are free of charge. There is no obligation to purchase.