Car Wash Bonds

California.  New York.

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The state of California and city of New York each require a $150,000 “Car Wash Bond” to ensure licensees abide by the local rules and regulations governing car washes.

International Sureties has an easy process to assist with your needs so you can quickly find out about bond approval.

Click below to apply or contact one of our License & Permit Bond Specialists directly.

A Car Wash Bond is a three party instrument by which:

  1. One party – SURETY
  2. Guarantees that a second party – PRINCIPAL/CAR WASH
  3. Will perform an obligation or duty owed to a 3rd party – OBLIGEE/STATE

KEY POINT – the Surety guarantees that a Car Wash will abide by State law

Is a Surety Bond an Insurance Policy?

No.  A Surety Bond is a form of credit extended to you, and it is not insurance.  In traditional insurance, the risk is transferred to the insurance company.  In suretyship, the risk remains with the Principal.  You are the risk.  Again, the protection of the bond is for the Obligee.

Does my credit history matter when obtaining a Surety Bond?

When a surety extends credit to you in the form of a bond, they are vouching that you will abide by the terms of the bond.  If you do not, you are responsible for reimbursing the Surety for any losses they may incur as a result of any claims on a bond issued on your behalf.  As such, the Surety must make certain that you are capable of reimbursing the Surety for any claim losses it sustains.

What does a Car Wash Surety Bond do?

It guarantees that you will play by the rules and perform your duties as a Car Wash licensee. The intent of the bond is to protect the Obligee/State and NOT the Principal/Car Wash.  The bond guarantees that the operator will pay their employees.

Why is a Car Wash Bond required?

The provisions of California Labor Code Section 2055(b) require that the Principal (Car Wash Owner/Operator) file with the Labor Commissioner a bond in the penal sum of $ 150,000.00.

How do I qualify and find out how much the $150,000 Car Wash Bond costs?

Complete the form on this page to apply.  International Sureties maintains an exclusive bond program to our office that is structured for a quick approval process and aggressive premiums.

Who does a Car Wash Surety Bond protect?

The bond required by Labor Code Section 2055(b) shall be in favor of, and payable to, the people of the State of California, and shall be for the benefit of any employee damaged by his or her employer’s failure to pay wages, interest on wages, or fringe benefits, or damaged by violation of Section 351or 353.

What does a Car Wash Bond guarantee?

The bond guarantees that the bond Principal (Car Wash Operator) pays to employees when due in accordance with the law such portion of earned wages, interest on wages, and fringe benefits as are owed to them.

Where do I send my fully executed bond?

The bond must be filed with the State of California, Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, typically with your license paperwork.  The address is as follows:



P.O. BOX 420603


Does my Car Wash Surety Bond expire?

No – the bond on file with the state remains in full force and effect until cancelled by the surety company or the principal.  The State of California, Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement should not require evidence that the bond has been renewed.  Occasionally, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement will request a bond Verification Certificate, which we are happy to provide upon request.

For assistance with Car Wash Bonds, please contact one of our License & Permit Bond specialists:

Stephen Beahm

Cappy Kehoe

David Joseph

Other Important California Car Wash Bond Laws

Record Keeping Requirements:

  • Pursuant to California Labor Code section 2052, every Car Wash Operator/Employer must keep accurate records for three (3) years showing all of the following:
    • The names and addresses of all employees engaged in rendering actual services for any business of the employer
    • The hours worked daily by each employee, including the times the employee begins and ends each work period
    • All gratuities received daily by the employers, whether received directly from the employee or indirectly by deduction from the wages of the employee or otherwise
    • The wage and wage rate paid each payroll period
    • The age of all minor employees
    • Any other conditions of employment

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