California Title Bond (California Vehicle Ownership Surety Bond)

Bond Penalty: Equal to no less than fair market value (FMV) of the motor vehicle

California residents that seek to title a motor vehicle where they may lack regular evidence of ownership may use a California vehicle ownership bond to accomplish the titling. Pursuant to 13 CCR §152.00, "A motor vehicle owner applying for a California certificate of title without the required supporting evidence of ownership may submit a California title bond as authorized under Vehicle Code section 4157. The surety bond must be issued by an admitted surety insurer on a Calfornia Motor Vehicle Ownership Surety Bond, form REG 5057 (REV. 12/2004)."

The surety bond penalty (bond amount) must be equal to no less than the fair market value of the motor vehicle. An applicant may arrive at this figure by using two methods:

  • A written appraisal provided by a California licensed or other state licensed motor vehicle dealer or motor vehicle insurance representative; or
  • Identification of the motor vehicle and its price variations based on information provided in a recognized industry motor vehicle valuation and pricing handbook, such as the Kelly Blue Book. The highest and lowest price variations shall be added together and then divided by two; the result is the average price of the vehicle. The average price shall be the fair market value.

As stated previously the California vehicle ownership surety bond bond form (REG 5057) is the approved format for this obligation. Although this is a vehicle indemnity bond, uniquely it is a cancelable obligation should the surety wish to avail itself of the option.

As part of the certificate of title bond underwriting process we must request some evidence that the applicant legally possesses the motor vehicle. Examples of "ownership evidence" can be a bill of sale, power of attorney, receipt, canceled check or money order, temporary registration/maker, affidavit of legal possession or endorsed copy of at title. Need a bill of sale format? See "What We Need From You" on this page for a template.

California surety bond leader, Surety One, Inc. is a specialist in the bonding needs of the motor vehicle industry. We offer same-day quoting and issue of vehicle title bonds. Questions about this surety bond? Call us at (800) 373-2804, email us at Underwriting@SuretyOne.com or click here for live chat about your California title bond need.

Surety bond application review and quoting are free of charge. There is no obligation to purchase.