Skip to content

Auto Dealer Bonds: The Essential Guide for Dealerships

Ever wondered why the Texas Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond is a big deal? This bond is not just a legal requirement, but a lifeline for your dealership’s reputation and trustworthiness. It’s the key to safeguarding your business and your customers.

Stay tuned as we delve into the importance of this bond, and how securing one can be a game-changer for your dealership.

Buckle up, as we navigate the ins and outs of this essential bond!

Need a Texas Auto Dealer Bond? Get Yours Today!


Key takeaways about the Texas Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond

  • Legal Requirement
    • It’s mandatory for all motor vehicle dealers in Texas to secure this bond before obtaining a dealership license. For more information, visit the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV)
  • Customer Protection
    • This bond protects customers from fraudulent or unethical practices by the dealer.
  • Business Credibility
    • Having this bond enhances your dealership’s credibility and builds trust with customers.
  • Financial Security
    • The bond provides financial security by ensuring compensation for any losses incurred due to the dealer’s actions.
  • License Suspension
    • Failure to maintain or cancel your dealer bond can lead to license suspension, affecting your dealership’s operations.

What is an Auto Dealer Bond?

An Auto Dealer Bond is a legal guarantee that protects customers, ensuring that auto dealers adhere to state regulations and ethical business practices. It provides financial compensation if the dealer engages in fraudulent activities.

What Is the Purpose of Surety Bond for an Auto Dealer?

The purpose of a Surety Bond for an Auto Dealer is to ensure ethical business conduct. It serves as a:

  • Protection for Customers
    • It safeguards customers against fraudulent or unethical practices by the dealer.
  • Compliance with State Laws
    • It ensures that dealers adhere to state regulations and laws related to auto dealerships.
  • Financial Guarantee
    • It provides a financial guarantee, compensating customers for any losses due to the dealer’s misconduct.
  • Trust Builder
    • It enhances the credibility of the dealership, fostering trust among customers.

Also Read: Auto Dealer Bond vs Dealer Insurance: What’s the Difference?

Who Needs an Auto Dealer Bond?

An Auto Dealer Bond is typically required for:

  • New Car Dealers
    • Those selling new vehicles directly from manufacturers.
  • Used Car Dealers
    • Dealerships that sell pre-owned vehicles.
  • Wholesale Dealers
    • Businesses that sell vehicles to other dealers instead of the public.
  • Auto Auction Companies
    • Entities that facilitate public or dealer-only auctions for vehicles.
  • Motorcycle Dealers
    • Dealerships that specialize in selling motorcycles.
  • RV Dealers
    • Businesses that sell new or used recreational vehicles.

Types of Auto Dealer Bonds

Auto Dealer Bonds come in various types, each serving a specific segment of the auto industry.

Here’s a brief overview:

  • New Car Dealer Bonds
    • Required for dealerships selling new vehicles from manufacturers.
  • Used Car Dealer Bonds
    • Needed for businesses dealing in pre-owned vehicles.
  • Franchise Dealer Bonds
    • For dealers who sell new cars under a franchise agreement with a manufacturer.
  •  Wholesale Dealer Bonds
    • Required for businesses selling vehicles to other dealers.
  • Independent Dealer Bonds
    • For non-franchised dealers, typically dealing in used cars.
  • Motorcycle Dealer Bonds
    • Needed for dealerships specializing in motorcycles.
  • Auto Title Bonds
    • Required when there are issues with a vehicle’s title, ensuring the buyer is protected.
  • RV Dealer Bonds
    • For businesses selling new or used recreational vehicles.
  • Mobile Home Dealer Bonds
    • Required for dealerships selling mobile homes.
  • Parts Dealer Bonds
    • For businesses dealing in auto parts.
  • Auction Dealer Bonds
    • Required for entities conducting auto auctions.

How Does an Auto Dealer Bond Work?

An Auto Dealer Bond works as a three-party agreement:


This is the auto dealer who purchases the bond. The principal has a legal obligation to adhere to state laws and regulations, and to operate ethically.


This is the entity (usually a state department) that requires the bond. The obligee can make a claim on the bond if the principal fails to fulfill their obligations.


This is the insurance company that issues the bond. The surety guarantees the obligee that the principal will fulfill their obligations. If the principal fails, the surety will compensate the obligee up to the bond amount.

What Does a Dealer Bond Cover?

A Dealer Bond typically provides coverage for the following:

  • Legal Compliance
    • Ensures the dealer adheres to state laws and regulations pertaining to auto dealerships.
  • Financial Protection
    • Offers financial compensation to customers in case of fraudulent or unethical practices by the dealer.
  • Contractual Obligations
    • Guarantees the dealer will honor the terms of any contract made with the customer.
  • Title Disputes
    • This may provide protection in cases of vehicle title disputes.
  • Tax and Fee Payments
    • Ensures the dealer pays all relevant taxes and fees associated with the dealership business.

How Much Does a Texas Dealer Bond Cost?

The cost of a Texas Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond can vary based on several factors, including the applicant’s qualifications, experience, and personal credit.

Here are some key points:

  • The bond amount for Texas Motor Vehicle Dealer Bonds is $50,000.
  • The cost can range starting from 0.5% and up of the bond amount, depending on the applicant’s credit score and experience.
  • This means the bond can cost anywhere between $250 to $2,500 for a two-year term at standard rates. Non-standard credit will have a bit higher rate.

Please note that these are general estimates and the exact cost will be provided after a quick application and or an underwriting review.

Also Read: How to Lower Auto Dealer Bond Costs

How to Get Auto Dealer Bond (8 Easy Steps)

The process of obtaining an Auto Dealer Bond involves several steps and can take anywhere from instantly to a few hours, depending on various factors such as the state’s requirements, the type of dealership, and the applicant’s creditworthiness.

  1. Check Your State Requirement
    1. Each state has its own specific bond requirements for auto dealers. It’s important to confirm these requirements before proceeding.
  2. Find the Bond Needed
    1. The type of bond required depends on the type of dealership you operate. For example, a used car dealer might need a different bond than a new car dealer.
  3. Apply for Your Bond
    1. Once you’ve determined the type of bond you need, the next step is to complete an application with a surety bond provider. This usually involves providing information about your business and a review of your credit report.
  4. Submit Financial Documents
    1. The surety company will require certain financial documents. These typically include financial statements and credit reports.
  5. Undergo a Credit Check
    1. The surety company will assess your credit as part of the risk evaluation process. This is to determine the likelihood of a claim being filed on the bond.
  6. Receive Your Bond Quote
    1. After evaluating your application and credit, the surety company will provide a quote for the bond premium. This is the cost of obtaining the bond.
  7. Pay for Your Bond
    1. Once you’ve received your quote, the next step is to pay the premium. Upon receipt of payment, the surety company will issue the bond.
  8. File Your Bond
    1. The final step is to submit the issued bond to the relevant state regulatory agency. This completes the process of obtaining an Auto Dealer Bond.

Ready to secure your bond? Apply now and get approved quickly!

Renewal and Expiration of Auto Dealer Bonds

Texas Auto Dealer Bonds are a crucial part of the auto dealership licensing process in the state of Texas. They provide a form of protection to the public if the dealer fails to comply with the state dealer licensing laws.

The bond carries a 2 year term, it needs to be renewed every two years. You will receive an email from TMD 60 days in advance, notifying you of the approaching expiration.

Dealer bonds in Texas are required to have the effective date the first of the month, and the expiration date, the last day of the previous month.

Just like the bond, the Texas dealer license renewal is due every two years as well. It’s best to apply for your renewal at least 60 days before the license expiration date, this will ensure a timely renewal process.

As of September 1, 2021, the state of Texas has increased the surety bond amount to $50,000. Dealers must also post a bond notice near their dealer license.

New and renewal applications for independent dealer General Distinguishing Numbers (GDNs) submitted on or after September 1, 2021, will require evidence of a $50,000 bond.

Remember, it’s important to stay informed about these requirements to ensure your dealership operates within the law. If you have any more questions or need further clarification, feel free to ask!

Also Read: How to Renew an Auto Dealer Bond in Texas 

Tips to Avoid Claims on an Auto Dealer Bond

Here are some best practices to avoid claims on an Auto Dealer Bond:

  1. Understand and Follow Rules
    1. Know your state and federal rules and regulations regarding the car dealership industry. Make sure to meet all terms of any contracts you enter to avoid issues.
  2. Honesty
    1. Being honest with your customers is in your best interest. Claims can occur with any misrepresentation.
  3. Financial Transparency
    1. Strive to deliver financial transparency to your customers.
  4. Avoid Verbal Warranties
    1. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to avoid making verbal warranties that can be misunderstood.
  5. Proper Documentation
    1. Proper documentation is crucial if a claim is filed against you. Document everything – correspondence, statements, and agreements. This can be crucial if a claim is filed against you.
  6. Resolve Disputes
    1. Work out any disputes with customers. Many bond claims can be misunderstandings.
  7. Proper Title Transfer
    1. Transfer all vehicle titles when sold. Not supplying titles with a vehicle purchase is a common reason for claims.
      Meet Warranty
  8. Obligations
    1. Ensure you meet all warranty obligations. Failure to do so can lead to claims.
  9. Legal Training for Staff
    1. Train your staff on the legalities of the auto dealership business.
  10. Avoid Fraud
    1. Do not engage, or allow representatives of your business to engage, in any acts of fraud.

Remember, maintaining compliance with these practices can help you avoid claims on your Auto Dealer Bond.

If you have any more questions or need further clarification, feel free to ask!

Also Read: How to Avoid Auto Dealer Bond Claims in Texas

Secure Your Auto Dealer Bond with TMD (Hassel-Free)

As we’ve explored, the Texas Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond is essential for legal compliance, customer protection, business credibility, financial security, and avoiding license suspension.

These bonds are not just about meeting legal requirements; they are crucial for building and maintaining trust with your customers and ensuring the smooth operation of your dealership.

At TMD Surety Bonds, we understand the importance of these bonds for your business. We specialize in providing hassle-free and efficient solutions tailored to meet your specific needs. With TMD, securing your auto dealer bond is simple and straightforward.

Here’s why you should choose us:

Expertise and Experience 

  • With years of experience in the surety bond industry, TMD offers expert guidance to help you navigate the process with ease.

Quick and Easy Application 

  • Our streamlined application process ensures you can get your bond quickly without unnecessary delays.

Competitive Rates 

  • We offer competitive rates to ensure you get the best value for your bond.

Dedicated Support

  • Our team is here to support you every step of the way, from application to renewal.

Don’t let the complexities of securing an auto dealer bond slow you down.

Trust TMD to provide you with a seamless experience and the peace of mind you need to focus on what you do best—running your dealership.

Get your dealer bond effortlessly. Apply today!


Apply Now or Contact Us for more information.

Auto Dealer Bond FAQs

Auto dealers are regulated by state motor vehicle departments or licensing authorities, which enforce specific laws and regulations to ensure ethical business practices and consumer protection.

Most states in the U.S. require auto dealers to obtain dealer bonds. Requirements vary by state, so it’s essential to check specific regulations where you plan to operate.

TMD Surety Bonds, of course! We offer hassle-free and efficient solutions tailored to meet your specific needs.

Typical requirements include:

  • Completed bond application
  • Proof of business registration and dealer license
  • Credit score report
  • Background check results
  • Proof of business location and zoning compliance
  • Proof of state-specific education or training requirements

Yes, a credit check is usually required as part of the bond application process to assess the applicant’s creditworthiness and determine the bond premium.

Yes, it’s possible to obtain a dealer bond with bad credit. However, the premium might be higher. At TMD, we work with applicants to find the best possible rates.

No, many surety bond providers, including TMD, do not offer financing options.

After obtaining the bond, the dealer must file it with the relevant state regulatory agency, often as part of the dealership licensing or renewal process. The bond must be submitted according to state-specific procedures.