A digital image of an Illinois vehicle title. On the right an Illinois road sign.

Illinois Certificate of Title Bond

Illinois is one of many states that allow for a bonded title by obtaining an Illinois Certificate of Title Bond. These bonds can be purchased online in minutes without a credit check. Learn more about what these bonds guarantee and how to easily obtain one. 

This is a quick summary of an Illinois certificate of title bond including the cost, duration, and guarantee. There is a digital image of an Illinois vehicle title in the background and an image of the state of Illinois on the upper right.

What is an Illinois Certificate of Title Bond?

An Illinois Certificate of Title Bond is a surety bond that protects the prior owners, lienholders and future buyers of a motor vehicle against damages caused by issuing a certificate of title when the original title cannot be determined or located. These replacement titles are often referred to as “bonded titles”. A replacement title and certificate of title bond can apply to both automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, trailers, ATVs and mobile homes. However, a bond cannot be used to obtain titles on abandoned vehicles, repossessions, mechanics liens or estates, or to remove a lienholder.

What Does an Illinois Certificate of Title Bond Guarantee?

An Illinois Certificate of Title Bond guarantees that the person seeking a new title (the principal) and the surety bond company (the surety) will pay expenses or damages to those harmed by the State’s (the obligee) issuing of a duplicate title. This includes interest and reasonable attorney’s fees. The bond wording says:

“The condition of this obligations is such that if the Principal or Surety shall indemnify any prior owner and lienholder and any subsequent purchaser of the vehicle or person acquiring any security interest in it, and their respective successors in interest, against any expense, loss or damage, including reasonable attorney's fees, by reason of the issuance of the certificate of title of the vehicle or on account of any defect in or undisclosed security interest upon the right, title and interest of the applicant in and to the vehicle, then this obligation to be void, otherwise remain in full force and effect.”

Required Amount of an Illinois Certificate of Title Bond

An Illinois Certificate of Title Bond needs to be in an amount of one and one half times the vehicle’s value. For example,  a vehicle with a value of $10,000, would need a bond in the amount of $15,000. The vehicle’s value is the wholesale value of the vehicle. This is the trade-in value of a vehicle, or the value of a vehicle sold between licensed dealers. A wholesale value is not the retail value of the vehicle.

This shows the required amount of an Illinois Certificate of Title Bond. There are blue checkered racing flags in the background and an Illinois vehicle title on the right.

Determining a Vehicle’s Wholesale Value

A written appraisal must be obtained for the vehicle’s wholesale value. A written appraisal of the current wholesale value of the vehicle from a licensed new or used vehicle dealer. The appraisal also may be obtained from a used vehicle price guide, supported by copies of the front cover and pertinent pages of the guide, or printed from an online source. A licensed rebuilder may be used for salvage or junk vehicles and a licensed real estate agent may be used for mobile homes. For antique vehicles, an officer of an antique vehicle club or association may be used as these values may be difficult to obtain. None of these parties may provide an appraisal for their own vehicle. It must be a disinterested party.

There is no minimum amount of bond required for a Certificate of Title Bond but the Secretary of State’s office may question the value of any vehicle’s value if it is inappropriate.

Appraisal Requirements

To avoid another trip and possibly additional costs, make sure that all appraisals contain the following information:

  • Description of the vehicle: year, make, model and vehicle identification number. 
  • Current wholesale value. 
  • Statement that the vehicle is intact and that all major component parts are present and installed (check box if applicable), or 
  • Statement that the appraisal applies to an incomplete, salvage or junk vehicle (check box if applicable). 
  • Statement that the appraisal value is accurate to the best of the appraiser's knowledge and that the affirmation is made under penalties of perjury.
  • Signature and printed name of the appraiser. 
  • Firm name, address and dealer license number, or real estate license number, if applicable. 
  • Date of appraisal.

How to Obtain an Illinois Certificate of Title Bond

Illinois Certificate of Title Bonds can be purchased online without a credit check in most cases. Credit checks will only apply on bonds larger than $50,000. An applicant can enter their information, purchase and print their bond in minutes. Applicants will need to provide their contact information along with the year, make, model, body type, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Additionally, the applicant will need to know the value of the vehicle to get the required bond amount. 

Can I Obtain an Illinois Lost Title Bond with Bad Credit?

Yes. These bonds usually do not require a credit check through Axcess Surety so anyone can obtain them. Even those with credit challenges can purchase these bonds quickly and easily online. For large requests, Axcess Surety works with the best bond companies in the industry and can still obtain approval for almost any situation.

What do Illinois Title Bonds Cost?

Illinois Certificate of Title Bonds Cost about 1% of the bond amount for most applicants. For example, if a title bond is required for $15,000, the cost will be $150. The cost for these bonds depends on the bond company.

Cars in a lot. An Illinois state flag to the right. Text that shows the cost of an Illinois Certificate of Title Bond.

How Does an Illinois Certificate of Title Bond Work?

A person or company known as the principal pays premium and agrees to indemnify a third-party surety bond company (the surety) for losses. In return, the surety provides a financial guarantee to the State of Illinois (the obligee) agreeing to pay damages to them and any party harmed by the issuing of a new title. 

Any person has the right to recover against the bond for breach of its conditions. If this happens, the surety bond company will investigate the claim. If the claim is valid, the surety will pay out on the bond. The surety can then seek reimbursement from the principal under the general indemnity agreement

Regardless of the number of claims filed against the bond, or the dollar amount of claims, the bond limit (bond penalty) is the most that the surety is required to pay.

Term or Length of an Illinois Title Bond

Illinois Vehicle Title Bonds must be in place for a three year period. After three years, the certificate of title bond will no longer be needed. 

Alternatives to an Illinois Title Surety Bond

The state of Illinois will allow an individual or business to post a cash bond instead of a surety bond. The cash bond must still be in the same amount and for the same length as a surety bond. While a cash bond may be cheaper, it is rarely a better choice. It will tie up an individual's cash for 3 years. Additionally, if the principal does not claim their cash shortly after the three years, the State can claim the money under escheat. Read more about Surety Bonds versus Cash.

Steps to Obtain a Title by Bond in Illinois

The following items are needed to obtain a title by bond in Illinois. 

  • Provide evidence for the right to title. Acceptable documents can include a bill of sale, receipt, or canceled check. In the event that none of these documents are available, a notarized statement explaining how you came into possession of the vehicle may be acceptable.
  • A written appraisal for the vehicle meeting the requirements discussed above.
  • A Surety Bond or Cash Bond discussed above.
  • A completed application and fee submitted to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.
  • Proper tax documents which include a Motor Vehicle Use Tax Return form and tax payment, or proof of Mobile Home Local Service Tax if it is a mobile home.
  • A lien release if a lienholder is listed on the title record.

All of these documents should be submitted to the nearest Secretary of State’s office. Tags and plates will be issued after the documents have been submitted and approved. 


Getting a Certificate of Title Bond in Illinois is very easy and most can be purchased online in minutes without a credit check. Make sure to have all other information for a bonded title to submit to the Secretary of State as well. The people at Axcess Surety are bond experts. With the nation’s leading bond companies, we can find surety bonds solutions for customers in all situations and circumstances. Contact us today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Bonded Title in Illinois

A bonded title in Illinois is a motor vehicle title where the state has issued a duplicate title because the original title could not be located. 

Is a Bonded Title the Same as a Defective Title?

Generally, yes. Different states have different names for a bonded title including, defective title and duplicate title.

Is There Anything Wrong with a Bonded Title in Illinois?

Bonded titles do carry some risk. However, by requiring a title surety bond, Illinois reduces those risks significantly by having financial protection in place if a party is damaged. From a Practical standpoint, bonded titles are common in Illinois and other states. We find that claims against these bonds are rare.

Where Do You Obtain a Title Surety Bond in Illinois?

Illinois title surety bonds can be purchased online instantly by visiting Axcess Surety. You can call our people anytime.
Contact Us

Axcess Surety is the premier provider of surety bonds nationally. We work individuals and businesses across the country to provide the best surety bond programs at the best price.

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Olathe, KS 66062
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