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Old 07-28-2021, 07:59 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Houston TX
Posts: 570
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466e
Bonded title vs regular title

Anyone no the average cost/cost difference between the two methods of getting a skoolie titled? My situation is, I purchased a bus from someone who left the title and key inside the bus for me (I was running late to meet him) but he didn't sign on the back of the title where the buyer line is and the school district he got it from, assuming HE got it from the school district, signed it and the date is 2016. I was able to get a hold of him but he won't answer back when I ask him about the title.

A person at the tax office suggested that I either get a Surety Title or I can just put my name on the buyer line but then I would end up having to pay the fees for being late or whatever. So, say I purchased it yesterday. Which method, in my case, do you guys think would be cheaper? Purchased the bus in Mississippi

Thanks

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Old 07-28-2021, 08:04 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 1,951
Year: 1974
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: "Atomic"
Engine: DD 8V71
Hi there...we've done this several times, since many of the buses we've bought had sat for years and the owners are long gone. I just got a bonded title two weeks ago, on a bus we got from a salvage yard, where it had sat for 8+ years. Granted, my experience is all in Arizona where we live. But, here, the process is fairly easy if you use a third-party MVD office.

As part of the process to get a bonded title, they need to do a title search and they may need to send certified letters to prior owners or listed lien holders. I've had some take just 3 weeks...but some take months to complete. Once the responses are back, or the search reveals no likely conflicts, you get a bond to cover the market value of the bus. Once you pay for the bond, the title is no different (here in AZ) than a regular title.
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:14 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Houston TX
Posts: 570
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466e
Thanks for the response. How much did it cost you for everything?
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:54 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 1,951
Year: 1974
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: "Atomic"
Engine: DD 8V71
Quote:
Originally Posted by adic27 View Post
Thanks for the response. How much did it cost you for everything?
Unfortunately, the cost depends upon how much research and follow-up work needs to be done...then the bond cost depends upon the market value they identify, even if that value isn't close to what you paid. But our most recent one, two weeks ago, was for a less-common variety of Crown bus. We paid $6000, not running and sitting in a salvage yard sunk up to the floor. I got it running and drove it home, with over a 1/4-inch layer of dirt throughout...but I tell you this to show you how the valuation works.

Their research showed that the bus might have a value of $12,000 so that's what the bond valuation was based on. So, on top of the initial $300 or so we paid for the first bond amount and for the initial research, we had to pay an additional almost $200 to increase the bond to cover the $12k valuation. In short, it was just a bit over $500 and really that's what I expected. I've done enough of these to have a good idea of the costs, so I'd offered the salvage yard owner an extra $500 (when we negotiated the purchase) if he could locate a title. Having a title would have expedited the process, but in this case it only took a couple of weeks...because the bus only had one owner on record...the Federal Gov't.
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Old 08-13-2021, 06:34 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Houston TX
Posts: 570
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466e
@rossvtaylor

I've been in the process of getting a bonded title and got passed the law enforcement inspection part. I went to the dmv with the document the sheriff filled out for me along with the bonded title form but the rep told me she couldn't determine the value because the body and and chassis were made by two different manufacturers. She said I would have to get an appraisal. Did you ever come across this speed bump? This is frustrating!
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Old 08-13-2021, 08:28 PM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 1,951
Year: 1974
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: "Atomic"
Engine: DD 8V71
Hi Adic27! First, I wish this forum setup would let us tag members with the @adic27 like you did...but unfortunately it doesn't work. I'm glad I saw this, though.

I've not had to do an appraisal, even with vintage/rare buses, so I can't help you with any advice there. Maybe you can send me photos and I can write up an appraisal on our business letterhead? Since the bond depends upon the value of the vehicle, I estimate your bus is worth $1000. Haha! Seriously, though, I would be happy to do something reasonable and I have a pretty good feel for valuations.
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Old 08-14-2021, 10:07 AM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Houston TX
Posts: 570
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466e
Thanks for the response!

If I'm understanding right, you do this as a profession? Exactly how would this work? It'll be just like going to an auto dealership?
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Old 08-14-2021, 10:51 AM   #8
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 1,951
Year: 1974
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: "Atomic"
Engine: DD 8V71
Quote:
Originally Posted by adic27 View Post
Thanks for the response!

If I'm understanding right, you do this as a profession? Exactly how would this work? It'll be just like going to an auto dealership?
Well...no...not exactly. Yes, my wife and I work on buses and vintage trailers full time under our Arizona LLC. But I'm not a certified appraiser. I've not had a need to pay the course fee ($550) and the other fees (another $200 or so). But depending upon how stringent the MVD requirements are, they might accept something reasonable on our letterhead. I wouldn't intentionally underestimate your vehicle's value so there's no fraud...

You might or might not have luck finding someone who knows the value of your bus...and, if you can find someone local that's a good option. But if they charge a ton for the appraisal or seem unsure, I could give it a go. Do some local searching for an appraiser, but consider us a fall-back if that fails. Sound good?
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Old 08-14-2021, 12:00 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Houston TX
Posts: 570
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466e
Quote:
Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
Well...no...not exactly. Yes, my wife and I work on buses and vintage trailers full time under our Arizona LLC. But I'm not a certified appraiser. I've not had a need to pay the course fee ($550) and the other fees (another $200 or so). But depending upon how stringent the MVD requirements are, they might accept something reasonable on our letterhead. I wouldn't intentionally underestimate your vehicle's value so there's no fraud...

You might or might not have luck finding someone who knows the value of your bus...and, if you can find someone local that's a good option. But if they charge a ton for the appraisal or seem unsure, I could give it a go. Do some local searching for an appraiser, but consider us a fall-back if that fails. Sound good?
Absolutely! Thanks for the offer. I'm curious as what they will charge and how it plays out in general so I'll reach out here in a few days after checking locally. Is a dealership the only place to go for this? Does it have to be local or could I reach out to my insurance company that's international but my agent is out of state?

Thanks again!
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Old 08-14-2021, 01:29 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 1,951
Year: 1974
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: "Atomic"
Engine: DD 8V71
Quote:
Originally Posted by adic27 View Post
Absolutely! Thanks for the offer. I'm curious as what they will charge and how it plays out in general so I'll reach out here in a few days after checking locally. Is a dealership the only place to go for this? Does it have to be local or could I reach out to my insurance company that's international but my agent is out of state?

Thanks again!
I'm also curious about what you find. I have no idea if a dealership will do this, I'm afraid...nor the other details. This is out of my realm, since our local MVD people do an internet search for auctions and sales and such to determine the values. So your experience will be a learning opportunity for us all.
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Old 08-21-2021, 04:45 PM   #11
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Houston TX
Posts: 570
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466e
Quote:
Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
Hi Adic27! First, I wish this forum setup would let us tag members with the @adic27 like you did...but unfortunately it doesn't work. I'm glad I saw this, though.

I've not had to do an appraisal, even with vintage/rare buses, so I can't help you with any advice there. Maybe you can send me photos and I can write up an appraisal on our business letterhead? Since the bond depends upon the value of the vehicle, I estimate your bus is worth $1000. Haha! Seriously, though, I would be happy to do something reasonable and I have a pretty good feel for valuations.
Hey again! Ok so, I've been looking around, maybe not hard enough, but haven't found anyone that'll appraise a school bus. How would this work if you did it? Just simply send you some photos? What would I need to do? Really want to be done with this stage of things

Thanks
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