Last Updated on August 21, 2021 by Joe Regan
Howdy, SaneDriver? Did you know that if you know how to get a bonded title in Texas, you can claim any vehicle without a title?
In TX, when you receive or find a barn find car without complete proof of ownership, you can request a Texas bonded title to legally own the car. The difference between an original title or pink slip and a bonded title is that a surety bond is attached to a bonded title.
How to Get a Bonded Title in Texas
To get a bonded title for a car is easy. Below are the steps to get a bonded title in Texas:
Check Your Eligibility
To be eligible for Texas bonded title, you must reside in Texas or military personnel stationed in Texas.
Secondly, the car you want to get a bonded title for must be in your possession. Ensure that the car is not fit for a junkyard or in a non-repairable condition. Nevertheless, you can follow our guide to rebuild your salvage car to clean if it was totaled or won’t drive.
A stolen car does not also qualify for a bonded title in TX. However, some crooks can make a stolen car become road legal for registration. Typically, they switch the VIN of the car or wash the title.
Complete Your Paperwork
If you are eligible for TX during surety bond title, the next step is to fill out your Texas Bonded Title Application. You also need additional documents, including a bill of sale and a valid photo ID (national ID, driver’s license, etc.). If you have no bill of sale, Texas DMV accepts canceled checks, invoices, or any supporting evidence of ownership.
What if the vehicle is a barn find or an old car that does not have registration papers? Read this guide on how you can get a title for a classic car with no title.
With your completed paperwork in place, visit TxDMV with an administrative fee of $15. You can pay in cash, money orders, or checks.
Out of State Car
If your car is an out-of-state car, you need additional documents, including Texas Vehicle Inspection Report and paperwork showing that your car has been inspected for theft by the local police.
- Safety inspection. You must have your car’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) inspected for a safety report. It should tell whether your car is road-worthy etc. You will receive the Vehicle Inspection Report if you pass the test.
- Theft investigation. If your car is out of state or has never been titled in TX, your VIN will be inspected for theft. TxDMV requires your vehicle inspection from an auto theft investigator on the Law Enforcement Identification Number Inspection Inquire. You can have your out of state car inspected by the sheriff’s office or local police department. You will be certified after the inspection, and the document is part of what you’ll submit at TxDMV.
Submit Your Paperwork for Bond Consideration
At this point, you would have submitted your paperwork, including bonded title application, bill of sale, photo ID, and theft and safety inspection forms (if your car is out-of-state).
When your application is approved, you will receive a Notice of Determination for a Bonded Title or Tax Assessor-Collector Hearing, also known as Form VTR-130-ND, which shows the amount of bond you are going to buy. The bond amount is the equivalent of ‘one and a half’ times the value of the vehicle you are getting a bonded title for.
Typically, TxDMV determines the value of your car using the following:
- The Standard Presumptive Value (SPV) from Texas DMV’s website.
- If there is no SPV for your car, TxDMV will use the National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) reference guide.
- However, an insurance adjuster (using Tax Collector Hearing / Bonded Title issued by Texas) or licensed car dealer will appraise your car if there is no value through TxDMV or NADA’s reference guide.
Note: If your car is older than 25 years, Texas DMV is responsible for the vehicle appraisal.
Texas does not accept vehicle appraisals less than $4,000.
Buy Surety Bond
You will take the Notice of Determination for a Bonded Title or Tax Assessor-Collector Hearing and other documents the TxDMV Regional Service Center issue to you to an auto insurance company or any licensed agency that sells surety bond for cars in Texas.
You will have only a year from the date on your notice of surety bond to buy a bond in the stated amount. Otherwise, you have to apply for a new bond.
Apply for Your TX Bonded Title
After purchasing the surety bond, you have 30 days to contact your county tax office to submit the original Notice of Determination for a Bonded Title or Tax Assessor-Collector Hearing given to you by the Regional Service Center. You also need the following documents:
- Completed Application for Texas Title or Registration, also known as Form 130-U.
- Law Enforcement Identification Number Inspection, also known as VTR-68-A (if you have no Texas tax record). This form is issued by an auto theft investigator.
- If your car is an out-of-state car with a title, you’ll need the Vehicle Identify Report (VIR), which you collected after completing the safety inspection.
Note: If the car is imported, Texas requires the Customs documents stating that the car was properly imported and complies with or is exempt from all Federal safety regulations
Can You Get a Bonded Title for a Car with a Lien in Texas?
Yes, you can get a bonded title for a car with a lien in Texas. However, the lien should be more than 10 years in the record. The surety bonding agency will also be responsible for making sure that the lien is released and satisfied.