Overview of California Surety Bonds Requirements

Surety bonds are frequently required when you are applying to get a business license or permit. If you want to participate on a public construction project, you can also expect to be asked to get bonded.

Why do I need a bond?

The purpose of getting bonded is to guarantee that you will comply with the laws and regulations of the state of California, such as the Vehicle Code or the Financial Code. Note, though, that this depends on the bond type you need to obtain.

Another purpose of the bond you get is to serve as protection for the state and the public. This protection, in the form of compensation, is extended in cases in which a bonded business violates state laws and causes harms or damages to third parties.

Our ‘What is a surety bond’ guide is a great resource if you want to know more about the why’s and how’s of getting bonded.

To find out more about the types of bonds in California, the cost of your bond, and how to apply for one, see the sections below!

Start your surety bond application today! Why us?
  • The lowest possible rates
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  • Access to specialty programs, not available to small agencies

What Kinds of Surety Bonds Are There in California?

When applying for a bond, you will likely need one of the three major types of surety bonds:

  • a license and permit bond
  • a contract bond
  • a court bond

License & Permit Bonds

California state has some of the strictest requirements when it comes to obtaining a business license. Frequently, the licensing process also includes the requirement to obtain a surety bond.

Bonds that are required for business licensing are put in place to guarantee that licensed individuals and businesses comply with applicable laws in the state. Examples of these bonds include auto dealer bonds, sometimes also called DMV bonds, license bonds for contractors, and mortgage brokers.

Typically license bonds are renewed yearly or every two years.

Use the following table if you are looking for a particular bond. To learn more about how much your bond might cost, see the bond cost section below.

Find the Bond You Need

The table below contains a list of only the most popular surety bonds. If you can't find yours, fill out our online application and select "Not in the list".

Agricultural (Non-Livestock) Bond Department of Food & Agriculture SURETY BOND / PRODUCE DEALERS ACT Apply Now
Contractor License (No P&P Language) Bond Sonoma Count PRMD Public Works Bond (Sonoma County Department) Apply Now
Contractor License Performance & Payment (Local) Bond City of Los Angeles - Environmental Affairs Dept Waste Collector's Performance Bond Apply Now
Contractor License Performance & Payment (State) Bond Contractors State License Board Contractor's Bond Apply Now
Contractor License Performance & Payment (State) Bond CSLB Bond of Qualifying Individual Apply Now
Contractor License Performance & Payment (State) Bond Structual Pest Control Board Company Registration Apply Now
Contractor License Performance & Payment (State) Bond City of Los Angeles Sewer/Storm Drain Connectin Bond Apply Now
Contractor License Performance & Payment (State) Bond Dept of Industrial Relations Farm Labor Contractor Bond Apply Now
Check Sellers Bond CA Commissioner of Business Oversight Check Sellers Bond Apply Now
Debt Consolidators Bond Attorney General's Office Credit Services Organization Apply Now
Professional Fund Raisers Bond Attorney General - Registry of Charitable Trusts Commercial Fundraiser for Charitable Purposes Bond Apply Now
Insurance Adjusters Bond State of California Bond of Public Insurance Adjuster Apply Now
Insurance Adjusters Bond Producer Licensing Bureau Insurance Adjuster Bond Apply Now
Insurance Agents/Brokers Bond Producer Licensing Bureau Bond for Insurance Broker Apply Now
Insurance Surplus Lines Brokers Bond State of California - Dept of Ins Bond of Surplus Line Broker Apply Now
Insurance Surplus Lines Brokers Bond Producer Licensing Bureau Bond of Special Lines' Surplus Line Broker Apply Now
Mortgage Broker (1st & 2nd Mortgages) Bond Commissioner of Corporations, Dept of Corporations Mortgage Broker Apply Now
Mortgage Lender/Banker (1st & 2nd Mort.) Bond Commissioner of Corporations, Dept of Corporations Finance Lender Apply Now
Mortgage Lender/Banker (1st & 2nd Mort.) Bond Commissioner of Corporations, Dept of Corporations Residential Mortgage Lender and-or Servicer Bond Apply Now
Small Loan Companies Bond Department Of Corporations Deferred Deposit Transaction Law Licensee Apply Now
Title Insurance Agents & Escrow Officers Bond California Department of Corporations Escrow Licensee Apply Now
Defective Title Bond State of California Dept of Motor Vehicles Motor Vehicles Ownership Bond Apply Now
Auto & Mobile Home Dealers (New & Used) Bond Department of Motor Vehicles - Occupational Licens Retail Dealer Apply Now
Auto & Mobile Home Dealers (New & Used) Bond Department of Motor Vehicles - Occupational Licens Wholesale Dealer Apply Now
Self-Insurers & Financial Responsibility Bond CA DMV Financial Responsibility Bond Apply Now
Auto & Mobile Home Dealers (Used Only, No New) Bond Department of Motor Vehicles - Occupational Licens Retail Dealer Apply Now
Motor Vehicle (Non-Dealer, Not Listed) Bond Registration Operations Division Business Partner Automation Apply Now
Motor Vehicle (Non-Dealer, Not Listed) Bond California Registration Operations Division REGISTRATION SERVICE SURETY BOND Apply Now
Motor Vehicle (Non-Dealer, Not Listed) Bond State of California DMV Vehicle Verifier Apply Now
Motor Vehicle (Non-Dealer, Not Listed) Bond State of California DMV Commercial Requester Account Apply Now
Motor Vehicle (Non-Dealer, Not Listed) Bond California Department of Boating and Waterways Yacht and Ship Broker Bond Apply Now
Motor Vehicle (Non-Dealer, Not Listed) Bond Department Of Motor Vehicles, Motor Carrier Div. IRP Bonded Web User Bond Apply Now
Sport Permits Bond State Athletic Commission Professional Club and Promoter's Bond Apply Now
Auctioneers (Other than Livestock) Bond California Secretary of Sate Auctioneer/Auction Company Apply Now
Employment Agencies Bond California Secretary of State Employment Counseling Service Apply Now
Employment Agencies Bond CA Secretary of the State Employment Agencies Apply Now
Nursing Homes Bond CA Health & Human Services Health and Human Services Agency Apply Now
Nursing Homes Bond CA Dept of Public Health Health Facility Bond Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond State Board of Pharmacy Wholesaler or Nonresident Wholesaler Surety Bond Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond Structural Pest Control Board Company Registration Bond Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond California State Board of Pharmacy Pharmacy Wholesaler or Non-Resident Wholesaler Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond California Secretary of State Legal Document Assistant Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond Department of Industrial Relations Talent Agency Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond City of National City (National City, CA) Pawn Broker Bond Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond California Secretary of State Immigration Consultants Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond CA Dept of Industrial Relations Fee-Related Talent Service Bond Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond USPS Contract Postal Unit Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond Department of Industrial Relations Car Wash Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond Department of Justice- Second Hand Dealer Pawn Bro Pawnbrokers Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond Dept of Social Services-Adoptions Support Unit Adoption Facilitator Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond California Integrated Waste Management Board Waste Tire Hauler Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond State of California DMV Mobile Car Wash Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond Secretary of State Foreclosure Consultant Bond Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond RIVERSIDE COUNTY SHERIFF Pawnbroker Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond State of California, Public Utilities Commission Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond Cemetery and Funeral Bureau Cemetary Broker Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond Department of Justice Pawnbroker Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond County Santiation Districts of Los Angeles Waste Hauler Bond Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond Department of Corporations Franchise Registration Bond Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond Tax Education Council Tax Preparer Bond Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond City of Newport Beach, CA Pawnbroker Bond Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond Producer Licensing Bureau Cargo Shipper's Agent Bond Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond State of Califonia, Department of Pesticide Regula Pest Control Business Licensees Bond Apply Now
Professional Licenses (All Other) Bond City of Los Angeles - Office of Finance Parking Occupancy Tax Collection Bond Apply Now
Schools (All) Bond Department of Motor Vehicles Driving School Owner or ATV Safety Training Org Pr Apply Now
Schools (All) Bond Traffic Violator School Monitoring Division - LA Home Study Traffic School Apply Now
Schools (All) Bond Department of Motor Vehicles Traffic Violator School (TVS) Owner Apply Now
Schools (All) Bond Department of Motor Vehicles TRAFFIC VIOLATOR SCHOOL (TVS) OWNER BOND Apply Now
Travel Agencies Bond Dept. of Justice, Seller of Travel Program Seller of Travel Surety Bond Apply Now
Travel Agencies Bond Secretary Of State Seller of Travel Discount Programs Bond Apply Now
Cigar/Cigarette & Tobacco Tax Bond State of California Dept of Equalization Cigarette and Tobacco Products Tax Bond Apply Now
Cigar/Cigarette & Tobacco Tax Bond CA Office of the Attonrey General Tobacco Manufacturer and Importer Bond Apply Now
Fuel Tax (All Others, Sellers & Users) Bond California Board of Equalization Diesel Fuel Supplier Bond Apply Now
Miscellaneous Taxes Bond City and County of San Francisco Parking Tax Collection Apply Now
Sales, Use & Consumer Tax Bond State Board of Equalization Bond of Seller Apply Now
Sales, Use & Consumer Tax Bond State Board Of Equalization User of Fuel Bond Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond PG&E SURETY BOND / BILL GUARANTY Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond Public Utilities Commission Public Utilities Commission Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond Southern California Edison Company Edison Company Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond Southern California Gas Company Southern California Gas Company Bond Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond SAN DIEGO GAS & ELECTRIC SDGE Utility Deposit Bond Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond Sacramento Municipal Utility District Sacramento Municipal Utility District Bond Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond Modesto Irrigation District Modesto Irrigation District Utility Deposit Bond Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond Southern California Edison Company SCEC Utility Deposit Bond Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond Southwest Gas Corporation Southwest Gas Corporation Utility Bond Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond Department of Water and Power City of Los Angeles Utility Bond Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond California Public Utilities Commission Electric Service Provider Bond Apply Now
Utility Deposit Bond Public Utilities Commission of California Telephone Corporation Bond (CPUC) Apply Now
Financial Guarantee (All Other) Bond Allied Waste Transfer Services of California, LLC Disposal Payment Bond Apply Now
Auctioneer's (Net Proceeds Meet Amount) Bond California Secretary of State Auctioneer/Auction Company Bond Apply Now
Wages & Fringe Benefits Bond CA District Council Of Iron Workers District Council of Iron Workers Apply Now
Money Transmitter Bond PNB Remittance Center, Inc. Money Order, Money Gram, Buypay Bond Apply Now
Telemarketing/Phone Solicitor Bond Attorney General's Office Telephonic Seller Bond Apply Now
Non-Construction Performance Bond CA Public Utilites Commission CPUC Performance Bond Apply Now

Contract Bonds

These bonds are required of licensed contractors in California who want to bid or perform on public construction projects in the state. Both federal, state, and county/city public projects may require contract bonds of one sort or another.

Contract bonds guarantee your compliance with the conditions of a bid, if you are bidding, or the construction agreement you enter into.

Court Bonds

A court bond may be required when you are summoned by a court to be appointed as a fiduciary or guardian to someone. Such a bond may also be required of individuals who want to appeal a court decision.

If you can’t find what you are looking for, give us a call at (866)-450-3412 to receive assistance from one of our surety bonds experts.

What is The Cost of a Surety Bond in California?

What is the bond premium?

To get bonded, you need to pay a bond premium which is equal to a percentage of the total amount of the bond you are getting. This premium is determined by the surety when you apply for your bond.

What determines your bond premium?

The main determining factors in calculating the price of your California surety bond premium are:

  • Personal credit score
  • Personal and business financials
  • Your assets and liquidity
  • Your industry experience and personal resume

Out of these factors, the most important one is your credit score. If you have good credit, one of 700 FICO or above, you will be offered a surety bond at standard market rates, ranging between 1%-3% of the full bond amount.

Applicants who have a slightly lower score, can expect to get a rate upward of 3%.

Can I get bonded with bad credit?

If your personal credit score is low, or there are other contributing factors making you a high-risk applicant, you will be subject to a slightly higher premium, ranging between 5%-15% of the total amount.

By improving your credit score over time, you will be able to receive increasingly better premiums on your bond.

Make an initial cost estimate calculation for your bond by using our calculator below. You can also request a free and exact quote by completing our bond form.

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How to Get Your California Surety Bond

There are two different application forms, depending on the type of bond you need.

License bond application

Complete our 1-page bond form to get started with your bond application. You will then receive a free quote on your bond, along with more details on completing the application process.

Contract bond application

To apply for this kind of bond, download and complete the relevant contract bond form, depending on the construction contract amount you need to get bonded for. Send the form to us, once you’ve completed it, and we will get in touch with you soon.

If you have any questions, or would like to speak to one of our surety bond experts, call us at (866)-450-3412.

Useful Resources


About the author:
Todd Bryant
Todd Bryant is a graduate of Germantown Academy and the University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration Honors College. He has been President of Bryant Surety Bonds, Inc., an A+ rated Business with the Better Business Bureau, since 2007. Licensed as a producer with the Department of Insurance, he has been published in the National Association of Surety Bond Producers newsletter and on numerous authoritative publications such as The Washington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Azcentral.com and many more.