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In the event that you lose the title to your car (or if it’s stolen), a title bond guarantees your ownership of the vehicle to the state. This is particularly useful if someone else tries to claim ownership of your car after the title goes missing. Because you need your car’s title in order to register the vehicle, a title bond is beneficial to ensure that you can always prove ownership.
But what is a Title Bond exactly?
A title bond is a guarantee to the state that you can legally be the owner of the vehicle. It allows you to forgo the hearing process and obtain your title quicker. The bond protects the PUBLIC, not the person purchasing the bond. If the previous owner files a claim and the surety company finds they should be paid, the surety company will pay the previous owner the amount of the bond and require the purchaser of the bond to pay that amount back.
Title bonds also come with a variety of different names. You'll often hear them referred to as:
- lost title bond
- certificate of title bond
- insurance bond
- auto title surety bond
So who can apply for a Title Bond? And when?
- Someone who purchased a vehicle without a title.
- Someone who purchased a vehicle with a defective title.
- Previous owner did not transfer title in their name before selling the vehicle.
- Title is signed incorrectly.
- Title is illegible.
- Someone who purchased a vehicle with only a bill of sale/receipt.
How to apply for a Texas Bonded Title- Steps & Instructions
Step 1: Determine your eligibility
In order to qualify, you must be:
◾a Texas resident, or
◾Military personnel stationed in Texas, or
◾Have a vehicle that was last titled in Texas.
The vehicle must be in your possession and cannot be considered abandoned, junked, stolen, or in any other pending lawsuits. Although not required to be operational, it must be a complete vehicle including a frame, body and motor or if a motorcycle, a frame and motor.
If you meet the above eligibility requirements you may take or mail the following documents and a $15.00 administrative fee to the nearest TxDMV Regional Service Center:
◾A Statement of Fact for Bonded Title (Form VTR-130-SOF)
◾A Statement of Physical Inspection (Form VTR-270)
◾Any supporting evidence of ownership (Bill of Sale, Invoice, Cancelled Check, Auction Receipt, etc.)
◾Acceptable photo ID
Step 2: Purchase a Surety Bond
If your documents are approved, you will be issued a letter stating the amount of the bond equal to 1½ times the value of the vehicle. The department will determine the value of the vehicle using:
◾The Standard Presumptive Value (SPV) from the DMV web site www.txdmv.gov as the primary source
◾If a SPV is not available, National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) reference guide will be used.
Email or fax your letter and other documents given to you by the TxDMV Regional Service Center along with any supporting evidence of ownership (Bill of Sale, Invoice, Cancelled Check, Auction receipt, etc.) to our office.
You have one year from the date of the letter to purchase a Surety Bond in the amount shown on the letter, otherwise a new letter and bond will be required.
Note: If records indicate that the vehicle has a lien that is less than 10 years old, as the surety bonding company we are responsible for ensuring that the lien has been satisfied or released. Please provide this documentation when submitting your request.
3rd Step: Finalize your Texas Bonded Title Application
Within 30 days of purchasing your surety bond, take the original letter given to you by the Regional Service Center and the documents listed in Step 1, to your county tax office, in addition to:
◾Completed Application for Texas Certificate of Title Form 130-U
◾If previously titled out-of-state: Vehicle Identification Certificate (DPS Form VI-30), completed by an authorized Safety Inspection Station
◾If commercial vehicle or truck: weight certificate
◾If the vehicle is imported: Customs Document (US DOT HS-7), available on the US Customs website.