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Bonded Title in Texas

Getting A Bonded Title in Texas

If you’ve purchased a car in Texas but didn’t receive a proper title, or if you have a title that’s been damaged or lost, you might need a bonded title.

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What is a Bonded Title in the Stats of Texas?

In Texas, when you dont have the original title for a car (for reasons I list below), a bonded title is the document you get to prove ownership of a vehicle.

It’s a certificate of title with a surety bond attached that guarantees you are the rightful owner of the vehicle.

However, the bond doesn’t establish permanent legal ownership because it still provides another potential rightful owner a period of time to claim that they are, in fact, the rightful owner.

Reasons You Might Need a Bonded Title

Before moving on, let’s take a look at the reasons you might need a bonded title in texas so you don’t end up potentially wasting your time:

Reason for Needing a Bonded TitleDescription
Missing, lost, or stolen original titleIf you purchased a vehicle but never received the title from the seller, or if you lost the title before transferring it into your name, you may need a bonded title.
Improperly assigned or erroneous original titleIf the title was not transferred correctly during a sale or has inaccurate information, a bonded title may be required to establish legal ownership.
Insufficient proof of ownershipIf you cannot provide adequate documentation proving you are the rightful owner, such as a bill of sale or receipt, the DMV may require you to get a bonded title.
Abandoned vehicle or uncontactable previous ownerIf you have possession of a vehicle that was abandoned on your property or you are unable to contact the previous owner to get the title signed over, a bonded title allows you to claim ownership.
Vehicle gifted without proper title transferIf you received the vehicle as a gift but the title was never put in your name, you may need a bonded title to legally transfer ownership.
Vehicle not considered roadworthyVehicles that are incomplete, junked, or deemed non-repairable are not eligible for a regular title, so a bonded title is the only option to establish ownership in those cases.
why you might need a bonded title

How Much is a Bonded Title in Texas?

The cost of a bonded title in Texas depends on the value of your vehicle:

  • For vehicles valued at $6,666 or less, the bond costs a flat fee of $100 for the 3-year term[2][4][5].
  • For vehicles valued between $6,667 and $25,000, the bond premium starts at $101 and is calculated at $15 per $1,000 of vehicle value[2][4].
  • For vehicles over $25,000 in value, bond premiums start at $225 and are subject to underwriting[4].

The bond amount itself must be equal to 1.5 times your vehicle’s value as determined by the Texas DMV[1][2][8]. For example, if your vehicle is worth $10,000, you would need a $15,000 bond, but you only pay a small percentage of that amount for the actual bond premium.

Note: All sources for this information are cited below

How Long Does it Take to Get a Bonded Title in Texas?

The process to get a bonded title in Texas typically takes 2-4 weeks in total[3]:

  1. Submit required documents to your local DMV office and pay $15 fee (1-2 weeks for approval)
  2. Upon approval, purchase the surety bond in the amount specified by the DMV (1 day)
  3. Submit the bond and title application to your county tax office within 30 days (1-2 weeks processing)

You will receive your official bonded title in the mail once the county tax office processes and approves your final application[3].

How Hard is it to Get a Bonded Title in Texas?

Getting a bonded title in Texas is a relatively straightforward process as long as you meet the eligibility requirements[1][8]:

  • You are a Texas resident or military member stationed in Texas
  • The vehicle is in your possession and was last titled in Texas
  • The vehicle is not considered abandoned, junked, or stolen
  • The vehicle has a body, frame, and motor (or frame and motor for a motorcycle)

If you meet the criteria, you simply need to submit the required documents, have the vehicle inspected if it’s from out of state, purchase the bond, and submit your final application.

How To Get a Bonded Title in Texas (Step by Step)

Based on the information I found on the state websites, here are the key requirements for you to get a bonded title in Texas:

1. Required Documents

  • Bonded Title Application (Form VTR-130-SOF)
  • Statement of Fact explaining why you need a bonded title
  • Supporting evidence of ownership (bill of sale, invoice, canceled check, etc.)
  • Valid government-issued photo ID
  • Vehicle Inspection Report or VIN Certification (Form VTR-270) if applicable
  • Proof of liability insurance if applying for registration

2. Vehicle Inspection

  • If the vehicle is from out of state, it must be inspected at a Texas vehicle inspection station
  • If never titled/registered in Texas, it needs a Law Enforcement Identification Number Inspection (Form VTR-68-A)

3. Bond Amount

  • The DMV will determine the required bond amount, typically 1.5 times the vehicle value
  • The bond guarantees you are the rightful owner and protects against other ownership claims

4. Purchasing the Bond

  • After DMV approval, purchase a surety bond from an authorized provider in the amount set by the DMV
  • Bond premiums start around $100 for bonds under $6,666, then are calculated based on the bond amount

5. Submitting the Application

  • Within 30 days of getting the bond, submit the bond, application, and all required documents to your county tax office
  • Pay the $15 application fee and any applicable registration fees

My Summary of The Article

In summary, a Texas bonded title is a way to claim ownership of a vehicle when the original title is missing or defective. It lasts for 3 years before becoming a regular title.

The bond premium costs anywhere from $100 to 1.5% of the bond amount, depending on vehicle value. The process takes around 2-4 weeks total and involves submitting documents, buying the bond, and applying for the title.

As long as you meet the basic requirements, getting a bonded title in Texas is a manageable process.

How Long Does a Bonded Title Last in Texas?

In Texas, a bonded title remains in effect for 3 years from the date it is issued.

During this time, the bond allows anyone to make a claim against the title if they believe they are the vehicle’s true legal owner.

After the 3-year period ends, the bonded title automatically converts to a regular title in your name[1][2].

Sources and Citations:


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Picture of Steve Momot - Author

Steve Momot - Author

Steve, a seasoned expert in the automotive industry, formerly held a car dealer license in Florida. With extensive experience spanning across car trading and mechanical work, he founded Autohitch. His mission? To guide both buyers and sellers through the intricate maze of car purchasing, ensuring a seamless and informed experience. Outside of the automotive world, Steve has a passion for fishing and capturing the beauty of nature through photography.


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