How to Get a Bonded Title in California?

At Surety Bonds Agent, we offer a full range of surety bonds nationwide through an extended carrier network. Continue below to learn more about California bonded titles. If you have additional questions or want to explore bonding solutions for your business, speak with one of our knowledgeable surety bond experts.

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FREE BONDED TITLE QUOTE

What Is a Bonded Title?

In California, bonded titles are issued to people who are in possession of a vehicle that lacks a standard title. A bonded title looks and functions like a standard title except for bearing the “BONDED” brand. It can be used to register the vehicle in question or to sell, donate, or otherwise transfer ownership of the vehicle to another party.

Who Needs Them?

There are several common reasons for not having a valid title. Most often it’s because:

  • The seller provided the buyer a bill of sale and/or receipt but no title.
  • The seller provided the buyer with a title that was fraudulently altered, improperly assigned, or damaged in a way that makes it invalid.
  • The seller provided a valid title, but it was lost or stolen before the buyer could register the vehicle in their own name.

What Are the Steps in the Bonded Titling Process?

In California, bonded titles are issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. To apply for a bonded title, you will need to:

  1. Fill out a REG 5057 application on the DMV website. 
  2. Have the vehicle inspected by an authorized DMV representative.
  3. Have the vehicle appraised by a licensed auto dealer or use Kelley Blue Book or NADA to determine the fair market value.
  4. Purchase a California title bond if the vehicle’s appraised value is $5,000 or more. The required bond amount is the same as the vehicle’s appraised value. The bond must have a duration of three years.

Upon receipt and acceptance of the bond, the DMV will issue a bonded title.

Why is a Title Bond Required?

When you purchase a title bond, you are guaranteeing that you are the rightful owner of the vehicle for which you are seeking a bonded title. The bond also serves as your guarantee to compensate a party who comes forward with proof of ownership while the bond is in force. The bond indemnifies DMV against any liability for a financial loss another party experiences due to the issuance of a bonded title in your name.

How Do They Work?

A California bonded title is legally binding on three parties: the “obligee,” the “principal,” and the “surety.”

  • The obligee is the DMV.
  • The principal is the person purchasing the bond to obtain a bonded title. 
  • The surety is the guarantor of the title bond.

During the three-year term of the bond, someone other than the bond’s principal conceivably could appear with proof of an ownership interest, perhaps in the form of a lien against the vehicle. That injured party is entitled to be compensated for loss of use of the vehicle or other damages and can file a claim against the California title bond. The surety will investigate to determine whether it is valid and may attempt to negotiate a settlement.

Ultimately, a valid claim must be paid. The principal, in purchasing the title bond, guarantees to pay all valid claims. But the surety backs that guarantee with its own guarantee to ensure that valid claims are paid, and normally will pay a claim on the principal’s behalf. The principal must subsequently reimburse the surety or risk being sued by the surety. 

What Do They Cost?

Many California title bond providers charge a flat premium for bonds in the amount of $25,000 or less—typically $10 for every $1,000 of coverage. Bonds for more than $25,000 are subject to underwriting. The main underwriting concern is the risk that the surety won’t be repaid after having paid a claim on the principal’s behalf. The best measure of that risk is the principal’s creditworthiness, specifically the principal’s personal credit score.

When underwriting is involved, the average principal will pay a premium that is in the range of one to three percent of the required bond amount. Someone with a poor credit score may be considered a big enough credit risk to warrant a higher premium rate.

At Surety Bonds Agent, we offer a full range of surety bonds nationwide through an extended carrier network. Continue below to learn more about California bonded titles. If you have additional questions or want to explore bonding solutions for your business, speak with one of our knowledgeable surety bond experts.

CONTACT US FOR A

FREE BONDED TITLE QUOTE

What Are Bonded Titles?

In California, bonded titles are issued to people who are in possession of a vehicle that lacks a standard title. A bonded title looks and functions like a standard title except for bearing the “BONDED” brand. It can be used to register the vehicle in question or to sell, donate, or otherwise transfer ownership of the vehicle to another party.

There are several common reasons for not having a valid title. Most often it’s because:

  • The seller provided the buyer a bill of sale and/or receipt but no title.
  • The seller provided the buyer with a title that was fraudulently altered, improperly assigned, or damaged in a way that makes it invalid.
  • The seller provided a valid title, but it was lost or stolen before the buyer could register the vehicle in their own name.

In California, bonded titles are issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. To apply for a bonded title, you will need to:

  1. Fill out a REG 5057 application on the DMV website. 
  2. Have the vehicle inspected by an authorized DMV representative.
  3. Have the vehicle appraised by a licensed auto dealer or use Kelley Blue Book or NADA to determine the fair market value.
  4. Purchase a California title bond if the vehicle’s appraised value is $5,000 or more. The required bond amount is the same as the vehicle’s appraised value. The bond must have a duration of three years.

Upon receipt and acceptance of the bond, the DMV will issue a bonded title.

When you purchase a title bond, you are guaranteeing that you are the rightful owner of the vehicle for which you are seeking a bonded title. The bond also serves as your guarantee to compensate a party who comes forward with proof of ownership while the bond is in force. The bond indemnifies DMV against any liability for a financial loss another party experiences due to the issuance of a bonded title in your name. 

A California bonded title is legally binding on three parties: the “obligee,” the “principal,” and the “surety.”

  • The obligee is the DMV.
  • The principal is the person purchasing the bond to obtain a bonded title. 
  • The surety is the guarantor of the title bond.

During the three-year term of the bond, someone other than the bond’s principal conceivably could appear with proof of an ownership interest, perhaps in the form of a lien against the vehicle. That injured party is entitled to be compensated for loss of use of the vehicle or other damages and can file a claim against the California title bond. The surety will investigate to determine whether it is valid and may attempt to negotiate a settlement.

Ultimately, a valid claim must be paid. The principal, in purchasing the title bond, guarantees to pay all valid claims. But the surety backs that guarantee with its own guarantee to ensure that valid claims are paid, and normally will pay a claim on the principal’s behalf. The principal must subsequently reimburse the surety or risk being sued by the surety. 

Many California title bond providers charge a flat premium for bonds in the amount of $25,000 or less—typically $10 for every $1,000 of coverage. Bonds for more than $25,000 are subject to underwriting. The main underwriting concern is the risk that the surety won’t be repaid after having paid a claim on the principal’s behalf. The best measure of that risk is the principal’s creditworthiness, specifically the principal’s personal credit score.

When underwriting is involved, the average principal will pay a premium that is in the range of one to three percent of the required bond amount. Someone with a poor credit score may be considered a big enough credit risk to warrant a higher premium rate.

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Request a quote online or call today to speak with one of our surety bond agents about getting you a good rate on the bonded title you need to do business in your state.