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Old 02-27-2024, 06:22 PM   #1
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Exclamation Legal Crap No One Seems to Talk About

Greetings everyone! Calling all Texan bus lifers for "How the heck do I get a bonded title for my school bus?"

Nothing has been done to it aside from some minor engine repairs, applying insurance through Progressive, as well as passing state inspection. I bought the bus and got the Bill of Sale and a photocopy of the title. The previous owners were an adorable old couple who purchased the bus from an auction, which was where they got the jolly copy of the title. Where the actual title is is up to God, and the file void of tax offices.

i.e. the title, or copy, I have won't cut it for transferring the title officially into my name. I have every other documentation needed except for something called a Surety Bond. Since the original title is missing, I have to get a bonded title, which so far is proving to be a pain in my rear because everyone I have called thus far has no clue what the hell a surety bond is!

Any who have gone through, or know someone who has gone through this for their conversion is welcome to comment their advice!

(First post by the way, Hi! )

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Old 02-27-2024, 07:11 PM   #2
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Welcome.

https://www.txdmv.gov/motorists/buyi...-with-no-title
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Old 02-27-2024, 08:17 PM   #3
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Try this site for an explanation:
https://www.suretybonds.com/states/t...20at%20%24100.

I assume that you bought the bus in TX? If not, have you gone to your county DMV office to have the auto theft task force run a VIN check?

Bonded title is kind of a PITA...I purchased an (old) out of state motorcycle with a title that did not match the bike's actual VIN...went to the county office with the paperwork, explained to them what happened; they ran both the VIN on the title and the bike, gave me a form which I took to the vehicle registration office...explained again the dilemma (VINs don't match) thinking I was going to need a surety bond, but was told the form was all they needed...Clear title issued...

May not be the case for you, but maybe the ATTF can help??

Anyway, the above link will provide some info on surety bonds...
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Old 02-28-2024, 06:50 AM   #4
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every state is different.. ohio has becime really near impossible to receive a title unless you are a dealer or tow company or scrapyard... enlisting one of the above means get your wallet out and make sure its fat...



if the bus was purchased in a state other than where you reside you may have an easier time of gertting it there.. however some states wont issue titiles to non residents..



its gotten to the point i wont buy a vehicle without a correct and matching title..



thasnk all of the high tech auto thefts, vin swapping, and super nice printers that can replicate vehicle titles in looks ...



the only other recourse is that the sellers go to bat for you and obtain a copy of the correct title... if a vehicle was abandoned on their property then they likely have ownsership by default and can get a title..



its a royal PITA these days..
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Old 02-28-2024, 08:38 AM   #5
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in TX it is doable, and I believe not that difficult once you have everything in order. It’s an inconvenience because the bonded title sticks for 3yrs, after which you can get a clear title if no issues with vehicle. If you sell within the 3yrs it can be an issue with some buyers as the title is not clear.

I would start by asking at the county tax office what you need. Also, as to cost of a surety bond, the link I sent seems to indicate a nominal charge ($100 for a bond up to $6000 in value).
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Old 02-28-2024, 08:54 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by TheSecondChild View Post
Greetings everyone! Calling all Texan bus lifers for "How the heck do I get a bonded title for my school bus?"

Nothing has been done to it aside from some minor engine repairs, applying insurance through Progressive, as well as passing state inspection. I bought the bus and got the Bill of Sale and a photocopy of the title. The previous owners were an adorable old couple who purchased the bus from an auction, which was where they got the jolly copy of the title. Where the actual title is is up to God, and the file void of tax offices.

i.e. the title, or copy, I have won't cut it for transferring the title officially into my name. I have every other documentation needed except for something called a Surety Bond. Since the original title is missing, I have to get a bonded title, which so far is proving to be a pain in my rear because everyone I have called thus far has no clue what the hell a surety bond is!

Any who have gone through, or know someone who has gone through this for their conversion is welcome to comment their advice!



(First post by the way, Hi! )
There is another possible way of getting a title.
If you could find out who the LAST owner is on the DMV records, that person could request a
"duplicate" title and then they can transfer that title back to you. this way you would avoid the Bonded Title nightmares.

How do you find the previous owner ???
Not too difficult...
There is a private company that provides DMV information to tow companies, repossession companies, private investigators...etc...

The general public cannot access this database. there is a comprehensive vetting procedure for one to sign up with them for access.

So if you can find a company of the ones I described above, they could technically pull the data and provide you with the info you need.

I would even try reaching out to a private Texas "title bond" processor to see if they have access to it..

The access company I speak about is add123 dot com.

I personally used to have access when I had my tow company open but no longer do, I shut it down last year. The service is really quite inexpensive!

I found these guys by doing a Google search, I have no idea if they are good or bad, but try giving them a call to see if they have ideas ?

https://affordableautotitle.com/losttitles.html
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Old 02-28-2024, 11:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSecondChild View Post
Greetings everyone! Calling all Texan bus lifers for "How the heck do I get a bonded title for my school bus?"

Nothing has been done to it aside from some minor engine repairs, applying insurance through Progressive, as well as passing state inspection. I bought the bus and got the Bill of Sale and a photocopy of the title. The previous owners were an adorable old couple who purchased the bus from an auction, which was where they got the jolly copy of the title. Where the actual title is is up to God, and the file void of tax offices.

i.e. the title, or copy, I have won't cut it for transferring the title officially into my name. I have every other documentation needed except for something called a Surety Bond. Since the original title is missing, I have to get a bonded title, which so far is proving to be a pain in my rear because everyone I have called thus far has no clue what the hell a surety bond is!

Any who have gone through, or know someone who has gone through this for their conversion is welcome to comment their advice!

(First post by the way, Hi! )

This is most likely because the registration has lapsed long enough that TX lost record of it. Texas has also been changing the way that it handles all of that nonsense as well to keep up the "you will own nothing and be happy" agendas. You should look up "registration" in a legal dictionary, and it will show you that you already do not own it.


But to correct the issue the way you would like to, you can take out a post in a Newspaper-Of-Record (generally the local county news, or the one that publishes the legal notices that is probably already delivered to you free-of-cost), and tell them that you need to take out an advert asking for any and all interested parties in your bus (and list the VIN) to come forward and announce themselves, and then you can go to your country magistrate (judge) and ask them for an in rem judgement, in which you show the judge the legal notice you took out and explain that no other parties have come forward to make any claims on the bus, with or without proof. Running the legal notice for three weeks used to be standard, but running it for a month is probably better. Assuming that the magistrate is competent in the Common Law, he should be able to adjudicate that the bus is, in-fact yours, and can issue what is essentially a summary judgement for a small fee that places sole liability for the property in your hands.


Doing this actually makes the bus yours more than anything else, and then you should be free to give it back to the state in lieu of a title of usufruct--where it actually belongs to the state, but they allow for you to pretend like it is yours.


Otherwise, you should probably just call Fidelity Bonds or USAA, or one of the companies on this list:
https://fiscal.treasury.gov/surety-b...companies.html
Tell them that you need a bond on the vehicle to get a title, and they should be able to help you out.


Doing it the latter way takes longer to complete, as I think TX requires a bonded title for 3 years before they will 'clear' the title for you. Doing it the first way is generally more of a PITA, but it completes quicker, and you can get a clear title in about a month or three.
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Old 03-19-2024, 08:51 AM   #8
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Thank you for the suggestion! Unfortunately, we did go through the process of getting a "duplicate" or copy of the missing title, and we went to two different offices, and each one said that we'd need an appraisal done on the bus for the surety bond.

So for Texas residents, as far as my understanding goes, we needed the standard title transfer documents and application, but we also need to go to either the auction house itself or the district it retired from to ask for the title or copy thereof.

The bonded title is still an option, but because of the taxable amount required on the bond forms, we have no other option but to get the bus appraised and pray that it's not too valuable. I bought my bus (now named 'Molly' after Molly Weasely from HP!) for $4600 at a great value, but with this legal goose chase, we have determined the reason the previous owners sold the bus was because of the title trouble. We waited four hours in a DMV office an hour and thirty minutes from our location only to be told that we did everything right except for that appraisal and they couldn't get anything else for us because it was after hours...we were early, and had to wait so they could help us along, but because we wait "after hours" they couldn't do jack-mmm...(I will not last in jail, I will not last in jail).. needless to say, it was a little frustrating!

But the trip was not a total waste because we got the info we needed to move forward. The txdmv.gov website was helpful in setting up the appointments but it did not provide the information we needed to progress so we spent the better part of a week consolidating storage units and removing the seats in the bus! I am happy the demo doesn't cost much of anything aside from safety equipment and sustenance.

Thank you so much for your suggestions and stories!
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