Establishing Motor Vehicle Value for Bonded Titles

Texas Department of Motor Vehicles

Please review and distribute as appropriate.

As you are aware, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) Regional Service Centers establish the value of a motor vehicle for bonded title purposes.  This value is multiplied by 1.5.  The result is the value of the bond which must cover the motor vehicle.  For example, a vehicle valued at $10,000, multiplied by 1.5, will establish a bond amount of $15,000.  This information is documented on the Notice of Determination for a Bonded Title or Tax Assessor-Collector Hearing (Form VTR-130-ND). 

In October, TxDMV implemented a procedural change at TxDMV Regional Service Centers on how the value of a motor vehicle is established to align with existing Texas Administrative Code.  Previously, the value of a motor vehicle 25 years or older was established at a default of $4,000, resulting in a bond amount of $6,000.  Upon review of Texas Administrative Code, Section 217.9(c), it was determined the value of all motor vehicles, regardless of age is to be established as follows:

  1. Standard Presumptive Value (SPV) from the TxDMV Internet website.
  2. If the SPV is not available, then a national reference guide will be used.
  3. If the value cannot be determined by either source, then the person may obtain an appraisal.

Only when an appraisal is used (SPV and a national reference guide do not establish a value) does the age of the motor vehicle become relevant.  With an appraisal:

  • If the vehicle is less than 25 years old, the value as established on the appraisal is used.
  • If the vehicle is 25 years or older, and
    • The appraisal is less than $4,000, the value is set at $4,000.
    • The appraisal is $4,000 or more, the value as established on the appraisal is used.

As a reminder, applicants who disagree with the value of a motor vehicle as established by SPV are not able to utilize another means of establishing a value, such as a national reference guide or an appraisal.  Texas Administrative Code makes no such allowances.

This change has no impact to how county tax assessor-collector offices are to process bonded title applications.  Please continue to ensure the applicant presents a bond in the amount as established on the Form VTR-130-ND.

Additionally, we would like to bring awareness to two items around establishing the value of a motor vehicle to ensure customers are served as efficiently as possible when directed by your office to pursue the bonded title process: 

  1. The value of most trailers, especially assembled trailers, and aftermarket/assembled vehicles cannot be established through SPV or national reference guides. 
  2. Transportation Code, Section 501.032, requires a Law Enforcement Identification Number Inspection (VTR-68-A) for any motor vehicle which has no previous Texas record.

Advising customers to obtain an appraisal or VTR-68-A, as applicable, will aid the customer by ensuring they have the required documents on their first visit to a TxDMV Regional Service Center.

Thank you,


Roland D. Luna, Sr., Director
Vehicle Titles and Registration Division
Texas Department of Motor Vehicles


If you have any questions concerning this communication, please contact your local TxDMV Regional Service Center.