My question involves vehicle registration or title in the state of: California
Hello, about 6 years ago my father purchased a vehicle (2002 Ford F-150) from local classified ads. Currently he wants to pass the vehicle on to me, but does not possess the title as the DMV rejected title/ownership transfer paperwork due to the seller filling out the form backwards, as the buyer, and my father as the seller (Seller did not possess a physical copy of Title as he lost it). As well, my father did not have them fill out a bill of sale at purchase. Bad idea, I know. When we went to the DMV the next day to file the paperwork, we were rejected, so the following day we drove back to the sellers house only to find out he went on a honeymoon to South America, and after two successive weeks of trying, the seller ended up moving in with family down in South America. He wasn't a shady seller he seemed like he was just a young guy who didn't understand the importance of paperwork and thought everything was A-O-K. So now we are left with no title, no bill of sale on a vehicle we purchased, and no way for the previous owner to re-sign title transfer paperwork, therefore I cannot go to the DMV to have the vehicle registered or transferred into my name. A total disaster.
After some research, it seems the only option left is to file for a bonded title. However, the issue is with no paper trail (No title, no bill of sale, cash payment, etc) would I even be able to get a surety bond for the vehicle? We checked the Vehicle against the NICB and it is not and never been reported stolen, so that doesn't seem to be an issue. As well the seller was the first and only owner of the vehicle, so he legally could sell the vehicle, so thats not an issue either.
To sum it up, all other options are exhausted. All that's left would be getting a bonded title. But with the issues and lack of paperwork/evidence concerning the Vehicle purchase, is it realistic to possibly get a surety bond?
Thanks, and I appreciate any replies.