How to Get a Bonded Title in California in 4 Steps

How to Get a Bonded Title in California in 4 Steps

A bonded title refers to the type of title needed when the owner of a vehicle does not have access to the vehicle’s original title. Bonded titles are only required in California if the owner of a car does not have a title in their name and has no way of obtaining one. A bonded title is unnecessary if the owner of a vehicle loses their title or has their title stolen as long as the title is in their name. For lost or stolen titles, the applicant will need to fill out Form REG227 to get a new title. California requires bonded titles to protect the state against any dubious activity by the vehicle owner that could result in a financial loss.

4 steps to get a bonded title in California

Step 1: Fill out a title application and the corresponding forms

The first step in getting a bonded title in California is to fill out an application on the DMV website. Applicants must provide information about the vehicle’s owner, odometer, and cost. The owner must also complete a statement of facts form that, among other things, provides information about the price of the vehicle, its tax value, and smog standards. If the vehicle is less than 10 years old, an odometer statement will need to be submitted and if the vehicle will not be operated on any California road or freeway, a certificate of non-operation will need to be filled out as well.

Step 2: Get the vehicle inspected by a DMV representative

Next, the vehicle must undergo an inspection by an authorized DMV representative. The DMV representative will fill out this form to ensure the vehicle meets the standards set up by the state of California and has the correct VIN information.

Step 3: Get the vehicle appraised to determine the value

After filling out all of the necessary forms, the vehicle’s fair market value must be determined by either a licensed auto dealer or by using a website like Kelley Blue Book. If it is determined the vehicle has multiple appraisal amounts, the average between them will be used to determine the value of the vehicle.

Step 4: Get a surety bond for a bonded title

After determining the fair market value of the vehicle, the applicant may begin the process of getting a surety bond. makes the process of obtaining a California defective title bond seamless by allowing the bond to be purchased securely online. The bond amount is equal to the appraisal value of the vehicle.

Most California title bonds can be issued instantly for $10 per $1,000 of coverage, starting at $100. However, if the amount of the bond is $25,000 or more, the bond will be underwritten and the financial history of the applicant will be evaluated to determine the price of the bond.

After getting a surety bond, the applicant should submit it to the DMV. Once the bond is accepted, the applicant will be issued a bonded title from the DMV!

Need more information about surety bonds?

The experts at are available to answer questions Monday through Friday from 7am to 7pm CST. Give us a call at 1 (800) 308-4358 or, if you’re ready to get bonded, visit our California certificate of title page to buy your bond online in minutes.

About the Author

Jon Gottschalk
Jon Gottschalk is the Educational Outreach Director for and regularly blogs at the Surety Bond Insider to keep consumers informed on new legislation and updates in the commercial surety industry. He is also a licensed property & casualty insurance producer in Missouri.