5 Simple Steps: How To Get A Tennessee Bonded Title

Tennessee Bonded Title

Do you have a car in Tennessee, but no title? If you do not have proof of ownership or if you lost your title, you might be able to get a Tennessee Bonded Title.  

Short on time? Check out our Bonded Title FAQ Page.

What is a Tennessee Bonded Title

A Tennessee Bonded Title is a document that proves you own your vehicle.

A Tennessee Bonded Title looks just like a regular title, but in the title brand section it is marked “bonded”. This brand implies there is a  surety bond attached to the title.

Why you need to purchase a surety bond:

The purpose of a Tennessee Lost Title Bond to protect any previous owners of the vehicle and the state of Florida. Because you do not have a title for your vehicle, the DMV is not going to just magically issue one. They want some form of protection that you are the rightful owner. They seek this protection in the form of a surety bond.

You can learn more about how the surety bond works and what it means to be bonded at the end of the article.

When You Might Need a Tennessee Bonded Title

  • You bought a vehicle and didn’t receive a title
  • You bought a vehicle and only received a bill of sale
  • You bought a vehicle and received an improperly assigned title
  • You bought a vehicle, received the original title, and lost it before transferring it into your name*

Times when you do not need a bonded title:

If you had the original title registered in your name at one point in time, you can apply for a duplicate certificate of title. Duplicate titles can be applied for in person or by mail by filling out a Tennessee Duplicate/Replacement Title application and paying an $11 fee.

Also, if your car is valued at under $3,000 or is at least 30 years, you can simply fill out the Certificate of Ownership Form to get a new title. Other paperwork may be required, such as a notarized bill of sale. Contact the Department of Revenue Special Investigations Unit at (888) 871-3171 for more information.


Not sure if you need a TN Bonded Title? Check out this awesome infographic.

How to get a Tennessee Bonded Title

Step #1: Determine if you are eligible

Contact the Tennessee Department of Revenue Special Investigations Unit to determine if you are eligible for a TN Bonded Title.

While we list some common situations where you might be able to get a bonded title, we do not make the rules. Only the TN Department of Revenue can say for certain if you would be eligible.

They can be reached at (888) 871-3171. They might have you complete a Vehicle Information Request Form to find previous records on your vehicle. 

Step #2: Complete a Surety Bond Application to request your vehicle to be titled via a TN Bonded Title.

Click here to view application. 

Step #3: Submit

Send completed application to: Vehicle Services Division, 44 Vantage Way, Suite 160, Nashville TN 37243-8050.

Step #4: Wait for approval, then calculate your bond amount

When the state approves your paperwork, they will also provide you with the value of your vehicle.

Your bond amount will need to be 1.5 times the value of your vehicle. For example, if your vehicle is valued at $4,000 then your bond amount will need to be $6,000.

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

If the Department already calculated your bond amount for you in your approval letter, then you can skip this step and move to purchasing your surety bond.

Step #5: Purchase Tennessee Lost Title Bond

Purchase a Tennessee Lost Title Bond from a surety bond company.

Make sure you apply for the correct bond amount that you calculated in Step #4, or in the amount that the Department calculated for you.

You do not need to pay the entire amount of the bond. Most people only pay $100 for their bond.

To see what your Tennessee Lost Title Bond would cost you, get a free quote below:

Surety Solutions, A Gallagher Company does not issue Certificate of Lost Title Bonds

Before you purchase your title bond – learn important payment info

After you purchase your Tennessee Lost Title Bond, the surety bond company will mail it to you.

Step #6: Submit

Take all your paperwork (including your Tennessee Lost Title Bond) to your local county clerk’s office and apply for your TN Bonded Title.

Upon approval, you will be issued a Tennessee 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 of the vehicle. The bond protects the DMV and any previous owners of the vehicle.

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 Tennessee Bonded Title Expire?

Yes, TN Bonded Titles expire 3 years after the date they are issued. The “bonded” brand remains on the title for those entire 3 years.

If during those 3 years, no one comes forward and makes a claim against your TN Lost Title Bond then you (or whoever owns the vehicle at the time) can apply for the “bonded” brand to be removed from the title. If your request is approved, you will be issued a clear certificate of title.

Related links:

4 Reasons You Might Need A Bonded Title

Bonded Titles FAQ

How To Get A Surety Bond In Tennessee

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