Surety Solutions, A Gallagher Company
By Megan Hinojosa • October 1, 2016

Lost Car Title? How To Get A Colorado Bonded Title

colorado bonded title


Do you have a vehicle in Colorado, but no title? You might be wondering what you can do. Well, you might be able to get a Colorado Bonded Title.

Short on time? Check out our Bonded Title FAQ page


What is a Colorado Bonded Title? 


A Colorado Bonded Title (sometimes known as a Colorado Lost Title Bond) is a document that proves you own your vehicle. It functions just like a regular title and allows you to drive, sell, and register your car. 

A bonded title is just like a regular title, except it is marked "bonded" in the title brand section.  This brand implies there is a surety bond attached to the title.


Why you need a surety bond:

A surety bond promises that you are the true owner of the vehicle.

When you get a bonded title, you are promising that you are the owner and you will be held accountable for any claims on the surety bond. 

Curious about what would happen if someone made a claim on your bond? Check out this resource.


When You Might Need a Colorado Bonded Title

 You might need a Colorado bonded title in one of the following situations:

  • You never received the title to your vehicle
  • You only received a bill of sale with your vehicle
  • You received an improperly assigned title
  • You received the title, but lost it before transferring it into your name*


*If you DID have the title registered in your name at one point in time, but simply lost the title, you can get a Duplicate Certificate of Title. Apply for a Duplicate Certificate of Title at your nearest county office and paying a $8.20 fee. 


Not sure if you need a bonded title? Check out this awesome infographic


How to get a Colorado Bonded Title


Step #1: Contact DMV to make sure you are eligible

Your local DMV is the only entity that can tell you if you are eligible for a bonded title or not.

While we, Surety Solutions, can provide you with common situations where you might be eligible for a bonded title, we cannot say for certain if you are eligible. Only your local DMV can tell you for certain. 

Contact your local DMV, explain your situation, and ask if you could get a bonded title.

If they say yes, move on to Step #2. 


Step #2: Get vehicle inspected

Get vehicle inspected by a Colorado law enforcement office. Once they are done they will give you a completed Certified VIN Inspection Form. There is a $20 inspection fee. 


Step #3: Request a Colorado Title Record Search

The Colorado Title Record Search requires a $2.20 fee. You have the option to mail the form (Which may take up to 30 days) or go directly to the Denver State Office.
Denver State Office
1881 Pierce Street,
Lakewood, CO 80214

Getting a record search will reveal is there are any previous records on your vehicle. If there are, you could manage to contact the original seller, and not need to get a CO Bonded Title. 

A record search will also reveal if there are any liens on your vehicle. You will want your vehicle to be free of any liens because you cannot apply for a CO Bonded Title if you have open liens on your vehicle.


Step #4: Determine the appraised value of your vehicle by one of the following forms

If you choose to have your vehicle appraised by a licensed Colorado auto dealer, the appraisal must be written on the dealer’s letterhead and signed. It must include the dealer’s license number as well.

  • Price guide books (if vehicle is 7 years old or newer)
  • Computerized valuation services (like KBB or NADA Guides)
  • Licensed Colorado auto dealer

 All value appraisals need to include the year, make, and VIN of the vehicle.


Step #5: Calculate your bond amount

Your bond must be for 2 times the value of your vehicle (that you found in Step #4). 

For example, if your vehicle is valued at $2,000 then you must get a $4,000 bond.

Calculate your bond amount, then move on to the next step.


Step #6: Purchase a Colorado Lost Title Bond

Purchase a bond from a surety bond company like us, Surety Solutions. 

Make sure you apply for the correct bond amount that you calculated in Step #5. Also have on handy the vehicle motor and manufacturer number. You will need this to apply for your bond. This information should be listed on your certified VIN inspection form.

You do not need to pay the full bond amount to get bonded. Most people only pay $100 for their bond. You only need to pay for your bond one time.

To see what your bond would cost you, get a free quote below:


Free Colorado Lost Title Bond Quotes


Before you purchase your title bond - learn important payment info


Step #7: Complete a Bond Statement Guide & In Lieu of Bond Affidavit Form


Step #8: Submit paperwork and CO Lost Title Bond

Submit paperwork to your local DMV office and pay $7.20 title fee.  If your papers are approved, you will be issued a Colorado Bonded Title. Your title will be marked "bonded".


What it Means to be Bonded


When you get a bonded title, you are promising that you are the true owner the vehicle, and that you will take responsibility for any bond claims. 

If someone comes forward later on and says that they are the owner of the vehicle and that you should not have been granted a bonded title, they can make a claim on your bond. 

If the claim is determined to be valid, you would be responsible for satisfying the claim. Usually, this would mean a financial compensation. The surety company would determine what is fair. 

If you fail to satisfy the claim, the surety company would satisfy the claim for you. Then, they would come to you for reimbursement. Essentially, the bond holds you liable for your actions, no matter what.

Want more information about what happens if someone made a claim on your bond? Check out this resource.


Does my Colorado Bonded Title Expire?


Yes, CO Bonded Titles expire 3 years after the date they are issued.  During those 3 years, the "bonded" brand remains on the title. 

If after 3 years, no one comes forward and makes a claim against your Colorado Lost Title Bond, you (or whoever owns the vehicle at the time) can go to the DMV and apply for the "bonded" brand to be removed from the title. Upon approval, the DMV would remove the brand from your title and you would be issued a clear certificate of title. 

If you decide to sell your vehicle before the 3 years is up, that is okay. Your name will remain on the surety bond, though, until the 3 years is up. You will be liable for any surety bond claims during those 3 years.


Related links:

Bonded Titles FAQ

4 Reasons You Might Need A Bonded Title