Chapter 23: Bonds and Certifications
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may accept an applicant’s Statement of Facts (REG 256) form, a motor vehicle or vessel bond, or a bond alternative to support the issuance of a California title when regular evidence of ownership for the vehicle or vessel is not obtainable. (CVC §§4157, 9923, and 9924)
The value of the vehicle or vessel and type of application determines which document is required.
When a bond is required for registration of a vehicle or vessel, the:
- Bond must be for an amount equal to the market value of the vehicle/vessel. The market value is determined by taking the midpoint value between the wholesale and retail values shown in a recognized industry motor vehicle valuation and pricing handbook.
- Application must include a REG 256 completed by the applicant stating the reason for submitting a bond.
- Bond may be submitted by the applicant or another person.
A bond with the preprinted signature and notary acknowledgment of the surety is acceptable. However, the signature and acknowledgment of the principal must be original.
Vehicles—Accept a motor vehicle bond for any vehicle, including one from another state or country, when regular evidence of ownership is not obtainable. This includes an application to convert a nontransferable (goldenrod) registration. A foreign vehicle ownership bond is not mandatory for vehicles from another state or country, but is acceptable.
Vessels—Accept a vessel bond or a motor vehicle bond with a rider attached covering the vessel.
The REG 256 and the vehicle or vessel bond or bond alternative must be conditioned to protect DMV, the applicant, and any future owner against loss resulting from any defect in, or undisclosed claim upon, ownership of the vehicle or vessel.