20-76. Title lost or unlawfully detained; bond as condition to issuance of new certificate.

(a) Whenever the applicant for the registration of a vehicle or a new certificate of title thereto is unable to present a certificate of title thereto by reason of the same being lost or unlawfully detained by one in possession, or the same is otherwise not available, the Division is hereby authorized to receive such application and to examine into the circumstances of the case, and may require the filing of affidavits or other information; and when the Division is satisfied that the applicant is entitled thereto and that G.S. 20-72 has been complied with, it is hereby authorized to register such vehicle and issue a new registration card, registration plate or plates and certificates of title to the person entitled thereto, upon payment of proper fees.

(b) Whenever the applicant for a new certificate of title is unable to satisfy the Division that he is entitled thereto as provided in subsection (a) of this section, the applicant may nevertheless obtain issuance of a new certificate of title by filing a bond with the Division as a condition to the issuance thereof. The bond shall be in the form prescribed by the Division and shall be executed by the applicant. It shall be accompanied by the deposit of cash with the Division, be executed as surety by a person, firm or corporation authorized to conduct a surety business in this State or be in the nature of a real estate bond as described in G.S. 20-279.24(a). The bond shall be in an amount equal to one and one-half times the value of the vehicle as determined by the Division and conditioned to indemnify any prior owner or lienholder, any subsequent purchaser of the vehicle or person acquiring any security interest therein, and their respective successors in interest, against any expense, loss or damage, reason of the issuance of the certificate of title to the vehicle or on account of any defect in or undisclosed security interest in the right, title and interest of the applicant in and to the vehicle. Any person damaged by issuance of the certificate of title shall have a right of action to recover on the bond for any breach of its conditions, but the aggregate liability of the surety to all persons shall not exceed the amount of the bond. The bond, and any deposit accompanying it, shall be returned at the end of three years or prior thereto if the vehicle is no longer registered in this State and the currently valid certificate of title is surrendered to the Division, unless the Division has been notified of the pendency of an action to recover on the bond.

(c) Whenever an applicant for the registration of a moped is unable to present a manufacturer's certificate of origin for the moped, the applicant must submit an affidavit stating why the applicant does not have the manufacturer's certificate of origin and attesting that the applicant is entitled to registration. Upon receipt of the application and accompanying affidavit, the Division shall issue the applicant a registration card and plate. The Division may not require the applicant to post a bond as required under subsection (b) of this section. A person damaged by issuance of the registration card does not have a right of action against the Division. (1937, c. 407, s. 40; 1947, c. 219, s. 7; 1961, c. 360, s. 11; c. 835, s. 10; 1975, c. 716, s. 5; 2014-114, s. 3.)