The Essential List of Dealer Bond Companies: Who to Trust

Getting a motor vehicle dealer bond is not just a formality. It guarantees that you adhere to the legal and ethical standards set by the California DMV. This bond protects consumers from potential fraud and ensures that dealers meet all regulatory requirements.

Keep reading to understand the bonding process and choose the best dealer bond company for your specific needs.

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Top Dealer Bond Companies

Choosing the right dealer bond company is crucial for getting your motor vehicle dealer bond quickly and efficiently. Here are some of the top features you can trust from Surety Bonds Co:

Surety Bonds Co

Surety Bonds Co stands out for its streamlined process and customer-centric approach. They offer instant online quotes and immediate approval, making it easy for dealers to get bonded without delays.

Key Features:
Instant Online Quotes: Get a quote within minutes by filling out a quick online form.
Immediate Approval: Once your application is reviewed, you can get approved almost instantly.
Download and Print Bonds: You can download and print your bond documents immediately after approval.
Coverage: Available in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

This company ensures a hassle-free experience, allowing you to focus on your dealership operations.

By understanding the different types of dealer bonds and the bonding process, you can ensure your dealership is compliant with state regulations and protected against potential risks.

How to Choose the Right Dealer Bond Company

Choosing the right dealer bond company is crucial for your business. Here’s how to evaluate your options effectively:

Evaluate Bonding Needs

First, identify the type of dealer bond you need. Whether it’s for a new or used auto dealer, motorcycle dealer, or RV dealer, each requires a specific bond. The California DMV mandates a $50,000 bond for auto dealers, but the requirements can vary by state and dealership type.

Ask yourself:
– What type of vehicles will I be dealing with?
– How many locations will I operate?
– What are the state-specific requirements for my dealership?

Compare Bond Costs

Bond premiums can vary significantly, often influenced by your credit score. For instance, in California, a $50,000 auto dealer bond can range from $400 to over $5,000 annually.

Steps to compare costs:
1. Get Quotes: Request quotes from Surety Bonds Co.
2. Check Rates: Compare the bond rates and terms.
3. Consider Credit: Understand how your credit score impacts the premium.

Pro Tip: Surety Bonds Co offers instant online quotes and immediate approval, which can save you time and money.

Check Company Reputation

A company’s reputation can tell you a lot about their reliability and service quality. Look for customer reviews, industry experience, and surety bond provider ratings.

Checklist for evaluating reputation:
Read Reviews: Look for customer testimonials on independent review sites.
Check Licenses: Ensure the company is certified and licensed to issue bonds in your state.
Industry Experience: Prefer companies with years of experience and established relationships with financial institutions.

Example: A company with high ratings and positive reviews is more likely to provide good service and handle claims efficiently.

By carefully evaluating your bonding needs, comparing bond costs, and checking the company’s reputation, you can find a dealer bond company that suits your requirements perfectly.

Understanding Dealer Bonds

What is a Dealer Bond?

A dealer bond is a type of surety bond that car dealers must have to operate legally. This bond ensures that dealers follow state laws and regulations, protecting customers, sellers, and finance agencies from fraud or other dishonest actions by the dealer. Essentially, it acts as a financial guarantee that the dealer will conduct business ethically.

Types of Dealer Bonds

Dealer bonds come in various types, depending on the kind of dealership and the volume of transactions:

  • $50,000 Auto Dealer Bond: Required for new and used vehicle dealers selling 25 or more vehicles per year.
  • $10,000 Wholesale Dealer Bond: For wholesale-only dealers selling fewer than 25 vehicles per year.
  • Motorcycle Dealer Bond: Similar to the wholesale bond but specifically for motorcycle dealers.
  • All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Dealer Bond: Required for dealers specializing in ATVs.

Each type of bond ensures compliance with specific regulations and offers protection against different risks associated with each type of dealership.

Bonding Process

Application Process

To get a dealer bond, you must submit a completed application to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This includes:

  • OL 12 Application for Original Occupational License
  • OL 25 Surety Bond of Dealer
  • OL 53 Authorization To Release Financial Information
  • DMV 8016 Request for Live Scan Service

You will also need to provide evidence of passing the Vehicle Dealer Written Examination and an Original Dealer Education Certificate of Completion.

Bond Approval

Once your application is submitted, the DMV will review it. If everything is in order, your bond application will be approved. You will then need to sign an indemnity agreement with the surety company and pay the bond premium. The cost of the bond depends on your credit score and can range from $375 per year for a $50,000 bond to $100 per year for a $10,000 bond.

Bond Issuance

After approval and payment, the bond is issued. You can usually download and print the bond immediately. The bond is then filed with the DMV, and it renews annually as long as the dealership remains in operation. The surety can cancel the bond with a 30-day written notice to the DMV.

By understanding the different types of dealer bonds and the bonding process, you can ensure your dealership is compliant with state regulations and protected against potential risks.

Next, we will answer some frequently asked questions about dealer bond companies.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dealer Bond Companies

How much is a bond for a used car dealer in California?

If you’re planning to become a used car dealer in California, you’ll need a $50,000 auto dealer bond. The cost of this bond varies based on your credit score and financial history. Typically, the bond premium ranges from $375 per year to $5,000 per year. Some companies offer monthly payment options, starting at $38 per month.

What is the surety bond for a wholesale dealer in California?

For wholesale dealers in California, the required bond amount is $10,000. The cost to secure this bond generally ranges from 1% to 3% of the bond amount, depending on your credit score and financial stability. This means you might pay as little as $100 per year or as much as $900 per year. The minimum premium often starts around $150.

How to get a surety bond in California?

Obtaining a surety bond in California involves a few straightforward steps:

  1. Contact the Obligee: The obligee is the entity requiring the bond, usually the California DMV.

  2. Submit Application: Fill out an online application with a surety bond provider. This typically includes providing financial statements and other business documentation.

  3. Pay Bond Premium: Once your application is reviewed and approved, you’ll need to pay the bond premium.

  4. Receive Bond: After payment, you can usually download and print the bond immediately.

  5. File with DMV: Submit the bond to the California DMV. Ensure it is renewed annually to keep your dealership compliant.

By securing the right bond and maintaining it, you protect your business and comply with California state regulations.


Choosing the right dealer bond companies is crucial for ensuring your dealership’s success and compliance. A good surety bond provider not only helps you get the necessary bonds but also guides you through the bonding process, from application to renewal.

Surety Bonds Co stands out as a top choice for auto dealer bond services. We offer instant online quotes, immediate approval, and the ability to download and print bonds right away. This streamlined process ensures you can focus on running your business without unnecessary delays.

When selecting a bond company, consider their reputation, customer service, and the ease of their bonding process. Look for companies that offer competitive rates and have a track record of reliability.

By partnering with a reputable surety bond provider like Surety Bonds Co, you can ensure your dealership operates smoothly and stays compliant with state regulations. Our team is dedicated to helping you every step of the way, from initial application to annual renewals.

For more information on securing a dealer bond and to get a free quote, visit our Surety Bond service page.

A good bond company is not just about the bond itself but about the support and peace of mind it provides. Choose wisely, and your dealership will thrive.

The Essential List of Dealer Bond Companies: Who to Trust

The Essential List of Dealer Bond Companies: Who to Trust

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