Do You Need a Wisconsin Bonded Title?

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What is a bonded title in Wisconsin?

A Wisconsin bonded title is a certificate of title with a surety bond attached. The surety bond is called a title bond. It protects parties that may have financial interests in the vehicle being bonded. If you purchased or received a car without a title or proof of ownership, you might need a bonded title.

How do WI bonded titles work?

A bonded title proves that you own your vehicle. When you sign your surety bond and apply for your bonded title, you promise the state that you’re the true owner. If someone comes forward claiming you’re not or you owe them money, they can file a claim against your bond. If the claim is legitimate, you must pay to settle it (covering all damages).

Your Wisconsin bonded title must remain active for five years from the date of issuance. During this time, other parties may come forward and file claims against your bond. If no one files a claim during this period, your bonded title will expire, and you can trade it in for a standard title.

You can sell your vehicle before the five years are up, but you will still be responsible for covering any claims that surface during the bonded term.

Get Your Wisconsin Title Bond:

Quick Takeaways

  • If you purchased or received a vehicle without a title or proof of ownership, you might need a Wisconsin bonded title.
  • When you sign your surety bond, you’re promising the Wisconsin DMV that you’re the true owner of your vehicle.
  • Before applying for your bonded title, contact the Wisconsin DMV to ensure you’re eligible.
  • Wisconsin title bonds are quickly issued, typically cost around $100, and have a 5-year bond period.

When do you need a Wisconsin bonded title?

In general, if you never received a car title, lost the title before registering your car in your name, or your title was incorrectly assigned to you, you may need a bonded title. These are the specific instances when you will need a bond in Wisconsin:

  • Lacking evidence of ownership
  • No title documentation
  • Incomplete chain of ownership
  • Title does not describe the vehicle (e.g., wrong VIN)

If you had a title in your name at one point and lost it, you should apply for a replacement title instead.

How to Apply for a Wisconsin Bonded Title

Before applying for your bonded title, contact the Wisconsin DMV to ensure you’re eligible.

1. Fill out an application for a bonded certificate of title.

Complete the “Application for Bonded Certificate of Title for a Vehicle,” carefully following the instructions on the form.

2. Complete a title and license plate application.

Also fill out the “Title & License Plate Application” form online.

3. Wait for your vehicle record search.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) will perform a record search on your vehicle to learn about previous owners. They will also determine your car’s current value so you can purchase the right surety bond.

4. Wait for your letter from the DOT.

You will receive a letter in the mail that tells you what surety bond amount you need to get your bonded title.

5. Purchase your title bond.

Buy a surety bond for the correct amount (1.5 times the value of your car), and send it to the Wisconsin DOT. Once they receive it, they will issue you a Wisconsin title with a “BOND POSTED” brand.

You must hold this title for five years. The DOT will send you a letter when the term expires. They will return the title bond to your surety provider, and you will be free to apply for a standard title.

The Wisconsin DOT created a guide covering frequently asked questions about the bonded title process. Check it out to better understand when you may need a bonded title and how it works.

How much does a bonded title in Wisconsin cost?

Wisconsin title bonds are quickly issued, typically cost around $100, and have a 5-year bond period. After the bond expires, there is no requirement for the bond. You will be eligible for a standard certificate of title.

Get Your Wisconsin Title Bond

The experts at ZipBonds can help you obtain the bond you need. To connect with one of our team members, please give us a call at 888-435-4191 or email us at We’ll walk you through the process for title bonds to help you get bonded in a flash.



Founders Ryan Swalve and Zach Mefferd formed the vision for when they realized how overly complicated it was to help clients place surety. The frustration of being unable to incorporate the technology they’d used in other insurance-focused projects left them thinking “there has to be a better way.”

Fast forward a couple of years, and that better way is the impetus of everything we do at ZipBonds. We constantly look for innovative ways to improve the bonding process for our clients and agents. Our team comprises individuals who understand all angles of surety – for companies, agencies, and individuals. Incorporating everyone’s point of view to improve the process while simultaneously integrating cutting-edge technology is what sets our business apart.