ownership in doubt?
Ownership in doubt is when a vehicle owner(s) is
unable to obtain satisfactory evidence of ownership or releases of interest as
described in WAC
What options are available in an
ownership in doubt situation?
When in an ownership in doubt situation,
the owner may:
(a) Apply for three-year
registration without title; or
Apply for a bonded title described in RCW 46.12.151; or
(c) Petition any district or superior court
of any county of this state to receive a judgment awarding ownership of the
vehicle. This is required if ownership of the vehicle is contested after the
applicant makes application for ownership in doubt and before the three-year
ownership in doubt period has lapsed.
What documents are required when
applying for a bonded title or three-year registration without title?
Required documents when applying for a bonded title
or three-year registration
The originals or copies of
letters sent by registered or certified mail to the registered and legal owners
of record, including the return receipt. The letters must include information
regarding the applicant's claim to ownership and a request for the released
certificate of ownership
(title) or a notarized or certified release of
Registered and legal owner
information will be released under WAC
needing that information.
there is no Washington record, (a) of this subsection does not apply.
(iii) If the owners of record do not respond
before submitting their application, the applicant must wait fifteen days from
acknowledged receipt of the letter.
(iv) If the letter is returned unclaimed, the
applicant must submit the letter, unopened, with the application.
(b) A bonded title or a three-year
registration without title affidavit completed by the applicant and signed by
all persons to be shown as a registered owner.
Washington state patrol inspection,
unless the vehicle is specifically exempt under subsection (4) of this section.
For vehicles exempt from the Washington state patrol inspection under
subsection (4) of this section, the following documents are also required:
(i) A bonded title or three-year registration
without title affidavit for vehicles exempt from the Washington state patrol
inspection completed and signed by a person to be shown as a registered owner;
(ii) A legible etching or
photograph of the VIN as proof of the VIN.
(d) Application for certificate of ownership
(e) A bond as described in
RCW 46.12.151, if the applicant is applying for a bonded title.
(f) Other documents that may be required by
law or rule.
Are there exemptions from the Washington state patrol inspection?
Certain vehicles are exempt from the
Washington state patrol inspection if:
There is a Washington record; or
(ii) There is no Washington record, but the
vehicle owner has a title or registration certificate issued by Washington or
Vehicles exempt from the Washington state
patrol inspection include:
(ii) Trailers with a scale
weight less than two thousand pounds;
(iii) Not eligible for road use
vehicles as defined in WAC
when the model year
is ten years old or older;
Travel trailers and park model trailers when the model year is ten years old
(v) Campers when the
model year is ten years old and older;
(vi) Manufactured and mobile homes are exempt
at all times.
When is a bond required?
bond is required in ownership in doubt situations when:
(a) The applicant is a Washington state
licensed vehicle dealer; or
Washington record shows there is an existing lien.
How is a vehicle value determined
for filing a bond?
Vehicle value may be determined from one of the
(a) The department's
automated valuing system; or
published appraisal guide; or
Appraisal from a licensed vehicle dealer or appraisal company. The appraisal
must be on company letterhead and have the business card attached; or
(d) Insured amount; or
(e) Consideration or payment plus estimated
repairs by a bona fide mechanic; or
(f) Other valuing sources approved by the
May I transfer ownership on a vehicle with a bonded title or three-year
registration without title?
Owners releasing interest in a vehicle with a bonded title
registration without title
must provide a release of interest described in WAC
(b) The new owners must submit an application
for title as described in this chapter and complete the time remaining on the
current ownership in doubt period.