What is a Bonded Title?

Wondering what a bonded title is? Check out our guide to title bonds, bonded car title, and ensuring ownership for vehicles.

Navigating the realm of vehicle ownership can occasionally lead you down the path of bonded titles, especially if you buy a junk car without title. This scenario often arises from purchasing a vehicle without receiving a proper title, losing the original title, or inheriting a vehicle where the title was never transferred. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into what a bonded title is, how it works, and why it may be the solution you need.

What is Bonded Title?

A bonded title, also known as a “Certificate of Title Surety,” is a crucial document for vehicle owners who lack the necessary paperwork to prove full ownership of their vehicle. A bonded title functions similarly to a standard vehicle title, with the added security of a surety bond. It ensures that if any ownership disputes arise, there will be compensation available to the buyer.

What is a Title Bond?

A title bond is the financial surety attached to a vehicle’s bonded title. This bond provides a financial guarantee to the state and potential buyers that the vehicle has proper ownership.

How Much is a Bonded Title?

The cost to get bonded title varies by state, not to mention the cost of the title bond itself varies from car to car. The title bond amount typically equals 1.5 to 2 times the vehicle’s value, ensuring adequate coverage for any claims made against the title.

How to Get a Bonded Title

Obtaining a bonded title involves several steps, which can vary slightly from state to state. Generally, the process includes:

  1. Vehicle Value Assessment: The vehicle’s value is assessed to determine the bond amount needed.
  2. Purchase a Surety Bond: You purchase a surety bond for the assessed value. This usually involves paying a premium to a bond company, which is a fraction of the bond’s total amount.
  3. Submit Application: With the surety bond secured, you submit an application for a bonded title to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), along with any supporting documentation and the bond certificate.
  4. Approval and Issuance: After reviewing your application, the DMV will issue a bonded title if everything is in order. This title will have a notation indicating that it is bonded.

What Are Bonded Titles Used For?

The necessity for a bonded title arises in various situations around the selling of junk cars, including:

  • Lack of Title: If you purchased a vehicle and did not receive a title.
  • Incomplete Documentation: In cases where the vehicle’s title is missing or incomplete.
  • Disputed Ownership: When there’s a need to establish clear ownership due to disputes or inheritance issues.

Should I Get a Bonded Title?

Yes, it is usually a good idea to get bonded title for a vehicle if no title was initially present. Opting for a bonded title comes with several advantages:

  • Legitimacy: It provides a legal pathway to establish ownership of a vehicle without a standard title.
  • Security: Offers financial protection against claims of ownership or liens against the vehicle.
  • Flexibility: Allows you to register, insure, and sell the vehicle, just like with a regular title or salvage title.


A bonded title is a valuable tool for resolving complex vehicle ownership issues. By securing a bonded title, you safeguard your investment and ensure compliance with legal ownership requirements. Whether you’re dealing with a lost title, a vehicle purchase without proper documentation, or any other title-related challenge, understanding the process and benefits of obtaining a bonded title is the first step towards securing your vehicle’s legal status. Always consult with your state’s DMV and consider seeking professional advice to navigate this process smoothly.

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