California Motor Vehicle Title Bond

How do I obtain a bonded title?

We recommend contacting the California Department of Motor Vehicles to ensure you meet all requirements before purchasing a bond with Self Service Surety. It is your responsibility to follow California DMV directions prior to purchasing a bond. For convenience we have summarized some critical steps here:

  1. Complete the “Application for Title or Registration” form, available from the DMV.
  2. Complete the “Statement of Facts” form, available from the DMV. This form documents how, when and from whom you acquired the vehicle.
  3. Complete the “Declaration of Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) / Combined Gross Vehicle Weight (CGW)” form available from the DMV.
  4. For vehicles under 10 years old, complete an odometer statement.
  5. Refer to Kelly Blue Book or NADA to determine the value of your vehicle. Be sure to print the report provided. The required bond amount will be equal to the value estimated by Kelly Blue Book or NADA.
  6. Return to, click the “ORDER BOND” button, and complete your purchase online. We will mail you the bond.
  7. Bring the bond and all previously collected documents to your local DMV. If all paperwork is approved, the California DMV will issue a new bonded title.

Obtaining a bonded title can be an involved and complicated process. When in doubt, contact the Department of Motor Vehicles and discuss your questions with a representative.

Who needs a California title bond?

If you purchase or otherwise receive a motor vehicle with a lost or improperly assigned title, a title bond is required to establish your ownership of the car and to register your vehicle.

Why are title bonds required?

A title bond ensures that compensation is available to individuals who subsequently come forward as rightful owner of the vehicle. A rightful owner that comes forward prior to the bond’s expiration may be entitled to compensation up to the full penalty amount of the bond. After the bond’s expiration, the title is considered clean and no further claims can be made. California Bonded Titles expire after 3 years, at which point you can apply for the “bonded” brand to be removed.

Bond Terms
Amount and Term
Starting at $1,000 for Three Years
Starting at $100 for Three Years
Issue Type
Instant Issue
Instant Issue Bolt

State of California

Department of Motor Vehicles

PO Box 942869

Sacramento, CA 94269-0001

Apply for Your Bond by Selecting from the List Below

Street Permit Bonds
Order Bond

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General Questions

What is a surety bond?

A surety bond is a three-party agreement among a principal, an obligee, and a surety.

The bond formalizes the principal's obligation to the obligee. The surety guarantees that the principal will fulfill their obligation.

Application Questions

Financial Questions