Bought a Vehicle Without a Title?

Bought a Vehicle Without A Title?

If you receive incomplete or incorrect evidence of ownership or have lost the evidence of ownership and cannot contact the seller for the necessary documentation, you may have the option of using the bonded title procedure to transfer ownership. Here are the steps to do so.

In order to qualify, you must be:

  • A Texas resident, or
  • Military personnel stationed in Texas.

The vehicle must be in your possession and cannot be considered junked, nonrepairable, or otherwise ineligible for a title. Although not required to be operational, it must be a complete vehicle including a frame, body and motor or if a motorcycle, a frame and motor.

If you meet the above eligibility requirements you may take or mail the following documents and a $15.00 administrative fee (TxDMV accepts cash, checks, and money orders as payment) to the TxDMV Regional Service Center that serves your county:


You may make same-day or next-day Regional Service Center appointments online.

Out of State Vehicles

If the applicant is a Texas resident, but the evidence indicates that the vehicle is an out of state vehicle, the vehicle identification number must be verified by a Texas certified Safety Inspection Station (Vehicle Inspection Report).

Additionally, if the vehicle has never been titled or registered in Texas then a vehicle identification number inspection is required from an auto theft investigator on the Law Enforcement Identification Number Inspection (Form VTR-68-A). Inquire with local law enforcement agencies such as the police department or sheriff’s office to determine when and where your local law enforcement offers these inspections. These inspections are not offered by the TxDMV. Upon completion of the inspection, the inspecting officer will provide you with a Form VTR-68-A.

Upon Approval

If your documents are approved, you will be issued a Notice of Determination for a Bonded Title or Tax Assessor-Collector Hearing (Form VTR-130-ND) stating the amount of the bond you must purchase. The amount is equal to 1 ½ times the value of the vehicle. The department will determine the value of the vehicle using:

  • The Standard Presumptive Value (SPV) from our web site as the primary source
  • If an SPV is not available, the National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) reference guide will be used, or
  • If a value is not available either through SPV or NADA, a licensed motor vehicle dealer or insurance adjuster may appraise the vehicle on form Motor Vehicle Appraisal for Tax Collector Hearing / Bonded Title (Form VTR-125) provided by TxDMV.

Note: For appraisals under $4,000 on vehicles 25 years old or older, the value will be set at $4,000.

Take the Notice of Determination for a Bonded Title or Tax Assessor-Collector Hearing (Form VTR-130-ND) and other documents given to you by the TxDMV Regional Service Center to an auto insurance agency or any agency that is licensed to sell vehicle Surety Bonds in Texas.

You have one year from the date of the notice to purchase a Surety Bond in the amount shown on the notice, otherwise a new notice and bond will be required.

Note: If records indicate that the vehicle has a lien that is less than 10 years old, the surety bonding company is responsible for ensuring that the lien has been satisfied or released.

3- Apply for a Bonded Title

Within 30 days of purchasing the surety bond, take the original Notice of Determination for a Bonded Title or Tax Assessor-Collector Hearing (Form VTR-130-ND) given to you by the Regional Service Center and the documents listed in Step 1, to your county tax office, in addition to:

  • Completed Application for Texas Title and/or Registration (Form 130-U)
  • If no Texas record: Law Enforcement Identification Number Inspection (Form VTR-68-A), completed by an auto theft investigator
  • If previously titled out-of-state: Vehicle Identification Report (VIR), completed by an authorized Safety Inspection Station
  • If commercial vehicle or truck: weight certificate
  • If the vehicle is imported: Customs documents indicating that the vehicle was properly imported and is compliant or exempt from all Federal safety regulations