California Seller of Travel (Travel Agent) Bonds
California Seller of Travel Bond Information
Seller of Travel Bonds are required by the California Department of Justice for travel agents, tourism professionals and other parties involved in facilitating travel arrangements for consumers in California. Seller of Travel Bonds provide protection to consumers in the event of fraud, misrepresentation, or contractual breach by the agent. The bond amounts required by the Department vary for each applicant. Please confirm the specific bond amount required for your agency with the Department prior to requesting a quote.
What Does a Seller of Travel Bond Protect Against?
The conditions of the bond are set forth in the California Business and Professions Code section 17550.11. Any passenger who sustains a monetary loss as a result of any violation of Article 2.6 by a Seller of Travel may bring an action against both the principal and the surety on this bond.
Getting Your California Business License or Registration
Generally, a seller of travel is defined by the state of California as anyone who sells, provides, furnishes, contracts for, arranges, or advertises that he or she can or may arrange, or has arranged, wholesale or retail, either of the following:
- Air or sea transportation either separately or in conjunction with other travel services;
- Land or water vessel transportation, other than sea carriage, either separately or in conjunction with other travel services if the total charge to the passenger exceeds three hundred dollars.
All those meeting the above definition must get registered. For more information, see Business and Professions Code section 17550.1.
The following business types generally are not required to register as a seller of travel: air carriers, ocean carriers, lodging establishments who also arrange transportation but never receive money for providing it, government authorized transportation providers, or an agent of a registered seller of travel who meets certain requirements. For more information, see Business and Professions Code sections 17550.1 and 17550.20, subdivision (g).
Ten days prior to doing business in California, applicants must complete and submit the Seller of Travel Registration Application, any required additional forms, late fees and annual registration fee for each business location. If you have questions, you may e-mail the Seller of Travel Program at: Sellers.Travel@doj.ca.gov. All applicants must also comply with Travel Consumer Restitution Corporation requirements. Registration will not be completed until you are issued an Acknowledgement of Registration with a Seller of Travel certificate. For more information, please contact the State of California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General and see Business and Professions Code section 17550.20.
Other Helpful Information and Links
The California Department of Justice requires that an adequate bond be maintained in an amount of at least that required to be held in the trust account. Sellers should make appropriate upward adjustments to estimates and the surety bond required as circumstances change. The Attorney General's Office may require documentation of sales volume to prove your surety bond amount is sufficient.