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California Defective Title Bond

How much does a California defective title bond cost?

The cost of a California defective title bond is based on the amount of the surety bond required by California’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

How do I get my bond amount?

The amount of the bond must be equal to the fair market value of the vehicle as determined by a licensed motor vehicle dealer or insurance representative or the average valuation from a recognized industry source, such as Kelley Blue Book. If you have any questions regarding the amount of your surety bond, it is recommended that you contact your local DMV office.

Bond Type Bond Amount Cost*
$1-$6,000 Defective Title Bond $1-$6,000 $100 Buy Now
$6,001-$25,000 Defective Title Bond $6,001-$25,000 $100+ Buy Now
$25,001+ Defective Title Bond $25,001+ Subject to Underwriting Buy Now

Why do I need a title bond and how does it work?

A defective or lost title bond is required for the current owner of a vehicle to obtain a new certificate of title for their vehicle when they are unable to provide evidence of ownership. By getting a surety bond, the owner of the vehicle may receive a bonded title which gives them the same ownership rights as a regular title. At the end of three years, the vehicle owner is no longer obligated to have a bond and may get a regular title.

The state of California requires vehicle owners to get a bond to protect itself from any financial losses that might occur as a result of the issuance of a new certificate of motor vehicle ownership. In the event a claim is made against the bond, the surety will cover any losses up to the full amount of the bond and the principal must reimburse the surety for all money paid.

Please note this bond is only allows a vehicle title to be issued. If you plan on selling cars and other vehicles, a California auto dealer license bond is required.

What’s the fine print?

Motor vehicle ownership bonds in California can be canceled by the surety by providing the DMV with written notice of cancellation or withdrawal at least 30 days prior the effective date.

The following information must be included on the bond form to be accepted by the DMV:

  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Year, make, model, and body type of the vehicle
  • California license plate number (if available)

Additional Resources

California Department of Motor Vehicles: Vehicle Registration and Title Information

More Information on Title Bonds

13 CCR § 152.00. Motor Vehicle Bond Requirements

Motor Vehicle Ownership Surety Bond REG 5057

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