What you need to know about Broker bond compliance and the new MAP-21 law

How to avoid an expensive mistake which could jeopardize your authority and ability to legally conduct business.
As of 8/7/2013:

The 75K Broker bond requirement became effective October 1, 2013.  Many of our customers are researching available options. These are some recommendations we offer to help insure that what you are considering will be accepted and compliant with the new law.

Know the only acceptable bond options at this point in time:

  • BMC-84 Property Broker’s Surety Bond – (Insurance)
  • BMC-85 Property Broker’s Trust Fund Agreement – (Cash Deposit)

          Combination of the two (1)

Know what is being filed on your behalf - an 84 or an 85:

BMC-84’s are provided by licensed insurance companies which are recognized as such by the U.S. Department of Treasury. If your bond company is filing an 84 you are purchasing an insurance product, specifically a “surety” bond. You should be provided and keep on file the following documents:

Form BMC-84 with a unique serial/bond ID number assigned to your specific MC number and associated legal name. The document should be signed by both the underwriter and the broker.
A General Indemnity Agreement (GIA). The GIA should be tied to the bond serial number and signed by both parties.

BMC-85’s are provided by financial institutions which are authorized by the FMCSA. If your bond company is filing an 85 then you are assigning them as Trustee for your cash deposit which is held in trust. An 85 is not a surety or an insurance product. The current Form BMC-85 is a working legal document produced by the Federal government. Both parties are attesting that the bond company has received $10,000 in cash (2). There are no provisions for cash substitutes. Recommendation:

  • If you are provided a BMC-85 only then it should be cash funded at $75,000.
  • If you are provided a combination plan and depositing less than $75,000 in cash you should be provided an insurance bond equal to the difference.
  • If you are provided a combination plan and your bond company files an 85 you should provide a minimum deposit of $10,000 into the Trust as the current form states.


Know that a “Group Bond” option has not been authorized at this time.

A provision that the Secretary may authorize the use of “group bond” does exist within the law, however, this has not occurred. At this date there has been no indication that a group bond option is being considered and no rules have been promulgated for its implementation. (3)

(1) MAP-21 pg. 426, Sec.32918(a)(b)(1)(A)
(2) Paragraph 4. “Trustee acknowledges the receipt of the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00)…” Form BMC-85, Approved OMB 2126-0017.
(3) MAP-21 pg. 426, Sec.32918(a)(b)(1)(B)Type your paragraph here.