How to Get a Texas Bonded Title

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To scrap or sell a vehicle in the State of Texas, you must have proof of ownership. In cases where you cannot prove ownership of a vehicle, whether because you have incomplete information, a lost title, cannot contact the previous owner, or some other reason, a Texas Bonded Title may be supplemented.

What is a Texas Bonded Title?

A Texas Bonded Title is a document that proves vehicle ownership when the original vehicle title or ownership documents aren't available. The surety bond required to get a Texas Bonded Title helps safeguard against fraudulent vehicle claims. It is commonly called a Lost Title Bond, Texas Title Bond, Title Surety Bond, or Certificate of Title Bond. 

Every Lost Title Bond involves three parties:

  1. Principal - the person who needs to get the bond (the vehicle owner)
  2. Obligee - the one asking for the bond (Texas Department of Motor Vehicles)
  3. Surety - the bond company that backs/issues the bond (Ex. JW Surety)

How Does a Texas Bonded Title Work?

A Texas Bonded Title acts as proof of ownership for a vehicle. In addition, it is a financial guarantee/binding contract. It allows the Texas DMV to issue proof of ownership for vehicles while financially protecting the general public in the case of fraudulent vehicle claims. 

Example. Someone steals a vehicle. They don't have the original title, so they apply for a Texas Title Bond. A month later, the rightful owner of the vehicle makes a claim against the bond, stating that the vehicle is theirs. After an investigation, the claim is found to be true. The surety company that issues the Lost Title Bond pays the rightful owner for damages. However, the bond holder/thief is then on the hook to pay back the surety in full, plus any legal fees. 

In cases where a Texas Bonded Title is active for 3 years without any legitimate claims, it permanently replaces the vehicle's original title. 

See What It Means to Be Bonded for more information.

Who Needs a Texas Bonded Title?

A Texas Bond Title is required for anyone who cannot show evidence of ownership of a vehicle that requires a title. This may be due to:

  • the original vehicle title being lost 
  • missing information
  • inability to contact the original owner of the vehicle

See the Texas Administration Code for more information.

How to Get a Texas Bonded Title

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility

All applicants must be:

  • a resident of Texas; or
  • military personnel stationed in Texas.

In addition, your vehicle must be in your possession and cannot be abandoned, stolen, junked, or subject to a lawsuit. It also cannot be missing any major components (a body, frame, or motor). However, it does not necessarily have to be running at the time.


Step 2: Gather the Required Documents and Information

If you meet the above requirements, you will need the following: 


Step 3: Get Your Vehicle Inspected (For Out of State Vehicles)

If you are a Texas resident, or a member of the US military stationed there, and your vehicle is from out of state, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) must be verified. To do so, your vehicle will undergo verification by an auto theft investigator at a certified Safety Inspection Station. 

Contact your local police department or sheriff's office to determine when and where your local law enforcement offers these inspections. Once complete, they will issue you a vehicle inspection report (Form VTR-68-A) to include with your application.


Step 4: Fill out and Submit the Necessary Documents to the DMV

Mail your application, supporting documents, and a $15 administration fee to your local DMV. 

You can find your nearest DMV on the Texas DMV website


Step 5: Wait for Approval / Your Vehicle Appraisal

Successful applicants will receive a Notice of Determination for a Bonded Title or Tax Assessor-Collector Hearing (Form VTR-130-ND). On this form, you will find an appraisal of your vehicle and the amount for the surety bond you need to purchase (1.5x the value of the vehicle).

Therefore, if your vehicle is worth $20,000, your bond will need to be $30,000. If your vehicle is worth $14,000, then your bond will need to be for $21,000.

It is important to note that a lost title bond costs a small percentage of the total bond amount required (generally 1% - 5% for those with good credit).

How Does the TxDMV Appraise my Vehicle? 

Important: Once you've received the letter stating your application has been accepted, you have one year to obtain your bond. 


Step 6: Obtain Your Lost Title Bond  

The Texas Surety Bond you need is known as a Lost Title Bond or Texas Title Bond. To get this bond:

1. File a Bond Application

You can apply for a Texas Lost Title Bond online or by calling us at (888) 592-6631. In both instances, we will need basic information such as:

  • The bond type you need (Lost Title Bond)
  • The amount of the bond
  • Your name and contact information.

Once your bond goes through the underwriting process, a quote will be sent your way. Note that our online application is the best way to get bonded quickly as it is available 24/7 and provides an instant quote. 

2. Sign the Indemnity Agreement & Pay

To secure your bond, sign the contract we email and send it back to us via email or fax. Your invoice will also be emailed to you.

3. Get Your Bond

A copy of your bond will be emailed to you. Double-check that all the information is correct (your name, the obligee's name, the amount, etc.). The original bond will be sent by mail. 


Can you get a Texas Title Bond with Bad Credit?

Yes, in many cases, you can get bonded with bad credit. At JW Surety, the large volume of bonds we underwrite not only allows us to offer bonds to those with lower credit scores but also at an affordable rate. 

For example, we have a client, June*, who needed a Title Bond after losing her original. She reached out to us after speaking with three other surety providers (Bonding companies A & B denied her due to her poor credit, while company C offered her the bond for a 15% premium). With her required bond amount being $22,500, the 15% bond premium would have cost her $3,375. We were not only able to get her bonded at a lower rate (10% / $2,250—saving her over $1,000), but we were also able to offer her a payment plan to spread out the expense. 

*name has been changed for privacy

Get a free bond quote today to see what premium you qualify for. 


Step 7. Apply for a Texas Bonded Title

Within 30 days of issuance of your surety bond, you must take the following documents to your nearest County Tax Office.

  • Statement of Fact for Bonded Title
  • Statement of Physical Inspection
  • A copy of your photo ID
  • Any supporting evidence you may have for your title claim.
  • The letter informing you your application has been accepted
  • A Completed Application for Texas Certificate of Title (Form 130-U)

Situational documents:

If your vehicle is from out of state, include the vehicle inspection report from Step 3.

If the vehicle is a commercial vehicle, you must also include a weight certificate.

If the vehicle was imported, you must also include the customs declaration (US DOT HS-7).


Once the County Tax Office officials have processed your documents, you will receive your new bonded vehicle title.

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