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Title Bonds for a Boat or Watercraft — Guidance for Getting You on the Water

Serving Dallas, Fort Worth, Carrollton, Arlington, Austin, El Paso, Houston, San Antonio, Irving, Plano, Grand Prairie and throughout Texas.


Texas has 196 major reservoirs and 15 major rivers, plus more than 360 miles of Gulf coastline. The great state cries out for boats.

To operate legally on Texas waters, you have to register your boat with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (PWD), at either its headquarters in Austin or one of 27 field offices.

To register, you must have an official certificate of title as proof of ownership for the following boats:

  • All motorboats and all outboard motors
  • Sailboats 14 feet and longer

However, official certificates of title are not always available for boats that have had previous owners, particularly in a market where boats can be older and may have changed hands several times.

If you don’t have a certificate of title, you can go through a hearing process with your local Tax Assessor-Collector office to petition for proof of ownership. Or, to make your life easier, you can also apply for a bonded title—a guarantee that you are the legitimate owner of the boat.

Who Needs a Bonded Title?

You’ll need a bonded title in the following cases:

  • You purchased a boat or received a boat as a gift without a title or a bill of sale.
  • You purchased a boat and have the bill of sale but not the certificate of title.
  • You purchased a boat or received a boat as a gift, but the title you received has been filled out improperly, is illegible, or hasn’t been signed.
  • You purchased a boat and had clear title but then lost that title.

What Are Typical Issues TMD Surety Bonds Can Resolve?

The absence of a clear certificate of title could mean other questions need to be answered before or after you get a bonded title, such as:

  • Does a lien exist against the boat you want to own?
  • Has the boat previously been stolen and is ownership contestable?
  • Is the boat operable or does it need restoration first?
  • Can you sell the boat after you get a bonded title for it?
  • Can you get a bonded title to an abandoned or junk motorcraft?
  • Can you apply for a bonded title as an out-of-state resident?

TMD Surety Bonds will resolve all of these issues to get you closer to outright ownership of your craft:

What Is the Process for Getting a Bonded Title?

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (PWD) has several forms that you may have to complete before actually applying for the bonded title. They’re not difficult to complete, but you have to make sure you’re using the appropriate form for your situation. TMD Surety Bonds will get you the right forms and let you know what other documents you’ll need, like IDs or sales receipts.

If you’re reading this on the TMD Surety Bonds website, you’re on the right path. Either start the application process online or call one of our experienced agents to get straightforward, simple answers to any questions you may have about the process. Our agents not only know the laws and regulations of the state, but they’re also committed to providing superior customer service.

What Are the Next Steps?

After your PWD documents are approved, you’ll receive a letter specifying how much a surety bond will cost. The cost is based on a set of value schedules for boats in Texas or nationally.

The surety bond is the title bond. It gives you, the principal, title to the boat, providing proof to the PWD, the obligee, that you own the boat and can register it legally.

The third party to the surety bond is TMD, the agent.

As your agent, TMD Surety Bonds will get you from boat purchase to boat navigation quickly and efficiently, keeping you informed and headed in the right direction along the way.

TMD Surety Bonds also knows Texas—from Dallas, Fort Worth, Carrollton, Arlington, Plano, Irving, and Grand Prairie to Austin, San Antonio, Houston, El Paso, and beyond. Whatever title bonds are required in any municipality, TMD has you covered.

Title bonding can be tricky without the right agent. So contact us now and speak with one of our courteous, educated agents for more advice or to get your boat afloat. They’ve already helped thousands of legitimate boat owners like you, who had some titling glitches but were able to get on the water quickly.

Click on the link and start your application process online.

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