Consumer Title Resource | Since 2009!

What is a Bonded Title?

Obtaining a vehicle title when there is a serious deficiency in the ownership documentation can sometimes be done using a bonded title. In this process, a vehicle title surety bond is purchased equalling the amount of the value of the vehicle. This vehicle title bond covers any claims in the event that a valid claim to the vehicle comes forward in the future. The title bond is used to pay to remove the claim of ownership or lien. The bonded title will have “Bonded” stamp on it for a period of 3 to 5 years. In many cases, the bonded title is more expensive than other title recovery options, but it may be a last resort when other methods are not possible. Contact us to determine if a bonded title or other option is most beneficial.

State requirements for bonded titles

The requirements to obtain a bonded title vary by state. The bonded title application form can be found online on the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website. Some states also require an inspection of your vehicle before you apply for a bonded title. This can include an emissions inspection, VIN verification, or other general inspection. Inspections will vary by state but are generally completed by licensed garages or other mechanics in your area.

In some cases, residents of non-bonded title states may be able to obtain a bonded title through Vermont. Bonded titles are a valid method of title recovery only in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

What is a surety bond?

A surety bond is an agreement between you, the surety company, and the state DMV that says you are the legal owner of the vehicle. The surety bond also states that if the DMV finds out that there is a discrepancy regarding the ownership of this vehicle, they will not be held liable. In other words, if someone comes forward stating that they own this car and you falsely applied for a bonded title, you will be responsible for reimbursing the DMV for any costs incurred in correcting this situation. The surety bond amount is typically required to be 1.5 times the book value of the vehicle. Most surety bonds cost around $100-$150 to obtain for average valued vehicles. You are not required to pay 1.5x the value of your vehicle, only a small fraction to secure the surety bond.

To be successful in using this method of title recovery, ensure that you learn about all applicable laws in your jurisdiction and abide by all inspection regulations. Even if you’re missing the proper paperwork, if it’s your car, you deserve a title. For assistance with your title recovery, our title experts can help you obtain your bonded title.

Have Title Questions? Talk to a Car Title Expert.

Book a consultation with a Car Title Expert from to get personalized guidance on your title recovery journey.

Don’t let uncertainty hold you back. If it’s your car, you deserve a title.

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