Can You Use a Car Title to Bail Someone Out of Jail?

A depiction of bail

Everyone deserves a second chance in life.

If a loved one or friend has been arrested and you’re wondering how to bail someone out of jail when you have no money, it’s true that there are other ways to bail someone out of jail without immediate access to funds. In fact, you probably already own and have access to quite a few things that can help you meet the demands of that bail.

Generally, it’s best to pay the bail bond outright with cash. That’ll mean the least amount of headaches and a condensed timeline for you and your loved one. But what if the banks are closed or you don’t have that kind of money on hand? Bail bond collateral can help you meet the need by putting up a valuable asset of yours, such as your car.

Let’s take a further look at how you can use a car title to bail someone out of jail.

Can You Put Your Car up for a Bail Bond?

While you can’t always put up a car for a bail bond, you can use a car for bail bonds financing if you fit the following requirements:

  1. First, you must be the owner of the car and you must have the title to the car in hand. (That means you can’t still owe money on a loan for the vehicle or be making payments on the vehicle.)
  2. The car itself must run and be in good shape, and it must also be registered and insured.
  3. Finally, the value of the car must exceed the amount needed for the bail bond.

If any of those factors are not true, you won’t be able to use your car to obtain a loan or to pay off the bail bond. In most instances, classic cars, high-end cars, or late-model cars that have recently been paid off are the best options for paying off a bail bond, though any car that meets the criteria can be considered.

Paying With a Pink Slip

For those that want to pay a bail bond with a “pink slip” (otherwise known as a deed), keep in mind that a pink slip isn’t all you’ll need when it comes to bailing someone out of jail. It’s great in a pinch if banks are closed or as a temporary form of collateral, but bail bondsmen don’t typically want to store cars on their lots so that pink slip is more like a stopgap until you can obtain a real loan to cover that bond. The pink slip buys you time to get your affairs in order and to get your loved one out of jail, but it’s better to obtain an actual loan than to put your car up for bail. After all, if a court appearance is missed, you could end up forfeiting your vehicle itself.

While you can use a car title to bail someone out of jail, bail bond companies aren’t really built to hold your property for the entirety of the bail term. A bank, pawnshop, or other short-term lender may be a better option, though if you don’t have access to a line of credit or other collateral you may be left with no choice but to put up your vehicle as collateral – in which case, carefully consider your available options. If your car is a higher value than the bond itself, it may be worth selling for cash – which you can use to pay off the bond in its entirety. Remember, if you put your car up for a bond and the court appearances aren’t fulfilled, you will lose the vehicle and will be unable to regain the difference in value.

Other ways to pay that bail bond include:

  • cash in full (legally known as a cash bond)
  • credit cards – though double-check your interest rates
  • real estate deeds
  • other valuable assets such as jewelry and pawnable items 

If you’re in a rush, remember that cash sales are bound to take a long time so strongly consider working directly with a bail company. When in doubt, simply reach out to your local bail bondsman for options tailored to your needs. They’ll help walk you through each step so that you can bring your loved one back home… sooner, rather than later. 

Here at My Bail Hotline, we’re here for you and your family during this trying time. Get professional help from our many locations in California or contact us to get started on your case.

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