How to Get A Salvage Title

Damaged Vehicle

What is a salvage title?

A salvage title is given to a vehicle when it has been damaged and the insurance company finds the cost of repairs is more than the market value of the vehicle (typically 50-90%, depending on the state you're in). These are usually vehicles that were in a major collision or sustained significant damage from natural causes (e.g., a hailstorm or flood).

The insurance company will likely repossess this type of vehicle and declare it a total loss. They will then sell it to a repair shop so it can be rebuilt or repaired. When the vehicle is ready to be resold, it must have a salvage title so that potential buyers are aware of the significant damage to the vehicle in the past.

Why would someone buy a vehicle with a salvage title?

Most vehicles with salvage titles will be scrapped for parts. In some cases, the vehicle may be easily repaired and resold to a new buyer. Vehicles with salvage titles are appealing because of the low cost, but they can't be registered and legally-driven in most states until they pass an inspection. It's hard to know if there is hidden damage to the vehicle that could cause it to never be road-worthy.

How do you get a salvage title?

If you decide to get a salvage title for your vehicle, you'll likely need to complete a salvage vehicle title application. Application requirements vary depending on your state, but you'll likely need:

  • A Salvage Title Affidavit form
  • The vehicle's Certificate of Title as proof of ownership
  • Payment for applicable fees

Once you've received your salvage title, you'll need to make any necessary repairs to your vehicle. If your vehicle passes an inspection, you'll likely be able to apply for a new title and or registration from the DMV. Make sure to check with your local DMV office for the specific requirements in your area.

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