How to Proof Ownership of a Car?

What is proof of ownership of a car

Automobiles are often seen as titled properties in the United States. This implies that if a vehicle has a valid title in your name, you are the legitimate possessor of the automobile. So, to prove ownership of a car, ensure you get a valid title from the previous owner, then take it to your state’s DMV local office to apply for a new title that will be in your name. This new title will then serve as your proof of ownership of the vehicle.

In a case where there is no valid title, you are allowed to use other papers that show your legitimacy over the automobile. If there are no papers to prove your ownership, the alternative is to request a bonded title by filling out a request form and paying a bond.

There are two methods discussed in this article to prove car ownership. These methods are:

  • Using authorized documentation
  • Requesting for a bonded title

Also, the procedures that follow these methods can be done with any government agency or private bodies like Swifttags.

Using Authorized Documentation

Request for the Builder's Statement of Origin

When you acquire a new auto from an auto-dealer, it does not come with a title. Instead, you will use the builder's Statement of Origin to spot the car. The builder's statement and the bill of sale of the auto-dealer will give you rights as the legitimate owner of the automobile.

Some dealers will ask that you fill out a request for a valid title and deliver it for you to DMV Florida or private agencies like Swifttags. However, they would do it for a service charge.

Get a Valid Title from The Recent Holder When You Buy the Vehicle

When you buy an automobile possessed by a person, the previous possessor should grant you a valid title in their name. On the rear part of the title, there is a section on which they can make the title transfer to you. After the title transfer has been made, you can take it to the DMV office in your district or apply at Swifttags for a new valid title in your name. The fresh valid title will be used as proof of your holdership of the auto.

Read More: Registration Renewal Florida

Reach Out to Florida's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

In a situation where you and the recent vehicle holder do not have a valid title of the auto, Florida DMV might have information about the holdership, especially if the recent holder requested a title in Florida. The requirements to obtaining the valid title for the automobile is that you have the following information:

  • The complete legitimate name of the recent holder.
  • The year, brand, and model of the automobile.
  • The VIN and other details about the vehicle.

Note that if the previous holder lived in a different state, you would have to contact the state's DMV for every information you need.

Use the Recent Holder's Registration for Older Cars

Some regions do not ask for a valid title to prove holdership for older cars. What you need to do is to obtain a copy of the recent holder's registration and register the car in your name as its new holder. Then you will be required to obtain a written bill of sale or other papers to verify that you obtained the vehicle from the previous owner by purchase or other legal means.

Design a Written Bill of Sale for Private Purchases

Sometimes, you might not be eligible to prove the holdership of an automobile from only a bill of sale. In cases like this, you will need it to prove a change of holdership between private persons. The bill of sale should contain these details:

If you have a short stay visa and would stay for over three months, then it is advised to get an International driving permit (IDP) before leaving your home country, as the US does not issue it to short-stay visitors. It is recommended for those with residence permits to apply for a driver's license instead of an IDP. A driver's license allows you to drive across all states of America and lasts longer than the IDP.

  • The year, brand, and model of the automobile.
  • The date of the trade.
  • Yours and the seller's complete names and signatures.
  • The vehicle identification of number (VIN).
  • The exchange cost of the automobile.

Requesting for a Bonded Valid Title

Validate Your Eligibility for a Bonded Valid Title

It is paramount that you are a Florida inhabitant for you to apply for a bonded title in Florida. Also, it is not possible to obtain a bonded title if the car is not in your custody or if it was deserted or discarded by the previous holder.

Contact the Rightful Florida DMV Office in Your District

It should be noted that bonded title services are not always available in every DMV district office. You can search for the nearest bond title service available by contacting the nearest DMV office or checking the department's website.

Obtain a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Assessment

The essence of administering a VIN assessment is to confirm that the car has no report that it was deserted, stolen, or discarded. You can reach out to any enforcement office around you, like the police, to know where you will do the assessment. You can either have the assessment done at the DMV or any government-authorized private organization. If the car is from a different state, you might need a VIN assessment from that state also.

Finalize Your Affidavit for The Bonded Valid Title

You will be required to fill out a form with every necessary detail about yourself and the car. This affidavit is a sworn declaration that proves you as the legitimate owner of the vehicle.

The affidavit is not meant to be signed after you have filled it out. Rather, you should sign it before a notary. The notary will validate your identity, however, will not check the details of your affidavit.

Wait for an Estimation of The Size of Your Bond

The size of your bond is the retail price of your car. Every state has a different estimation system. Some calculate it to be twice the retail price, while others have it at 1.5 times the retail price. However, the state will send you an amount under which your bond should be accessed for Florida. This will be done about your vehicle retail price and the state requirements for the bond.

Buy Your Bond for The Valid Title

The importance of bonds is to support your claims that you are the legitimate holder of an automobile. It serves as insurance for previous holders and prospective holders that you legitimately own the car. It works like a regular insurance policy or bond where you will be required to pay a fraction of the full bond amount. The payment is usually between 0.5 percent and 2 percent of the bond's full value.

It is imperative to note that your credit score often determines the fraction of the total bond amount you will be required to pay. A high credit score means a lower percentage. Many individuals do not get to pay more than 100 US Dollars for a valid title bond. You must retain the bond while the vehicle is yours and frequently for up to three years after you have sold it.

Provide Necessary Documents to Prove Your Purchase of The Vehicle

Sometimes documents like a bill of sale are not enough to clarify your holdership of a vehicle. Nevertheless, they substantiate that you purchased the car. This validation can enhance your request for a bonded valid title. Also, you can have the seller of the car sign an affidavit to indicate that you purchased the car from them. Note that the affidavit should have the following information:

  • The year, brand, and model of the vehicle.
  • The date you received the vehicle.
  • The Vehicle Inspection Number of the vehicle.

The affidavit must be signed before a notary.

Submit Your Documents and Affidavit to The Rightful Office

After finalizing every necessary step on the affidavit and documents, submit it to the DMV or any other governmental unit that gives out bonded valid titles. If you can, submit the original documents and affidavit in person.

If you choose to mail the documents and affidavits, send them through a system that will enable you to monitor them to know when they have been received. Make sure to use authorized or registered mail if you are sending original documents. After submission, the unit will examine the data you gave and give you a valid title. Your valid title will be mailed to you in less than a month.


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