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How to Get a Rebuilt Title in Michigan? Things to Know

  • Tips & Trips
  • Xavier Sabastian
  • 6 minutes

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A rebuilt title in Michigan goes to vehicles that insurance companies classify as a total loss. This title means that since the repair costs exceed the car’s, you need to send the car for dismantling and rebuilding. In other words, since the car’s parts have significant damage and you get a replacement, you must drive after you get a rebuilt title. 

Hence, make sure to get a Michigan rebuilt title on time, or else driving around the state with damaged parts becomes illegal. This blog takes you through everything you need about a salvage title in Michigan and the right way to attain it. 

Meaning of a rebuilt title in Michigan 

A rebuilt title in Michigan is also called an ‘orange title.’ This certification means the car receives a certificate with the word ‘totaled’ stamped. Receiving this title means the insurance company had to write off the car as a total loss after the damage.  

Since selling or driving these cars is illegal, the insurance company buys the car after deducting the insurance amount, repairs it, and then sells it at auction. Most often, the insurer auctions the car himself after the company declares it a total loss. 

rebuilt title in Michigan

Laws you should know about Michigan’s rebuilt title. 

Chapter 5 of the Michigan dealer manual discusses the laws you should know about Michigan’s rebuilt title. Here are some of the laws you must keep in mind: 

  • It would help if you used cars with something other than scrap or rebuilt titles in Michigan.  
  • You must submit TR-12 and R-108 at the State Secretary’s office. 
  • You must get a Michigan rebuilt title if your engine, bumper, trunk floor pan, car body, or hood is faulty. 
  • The seller must sign the salvage disclosure for a Michigan rebuilt title before selling the car after verifying replaced parts. 
  • Remember to send the seller copies of the salvage disclosure once the document is signed.  

What are the documents you’ll need to get a rebuilt Michigan title? 

Here are some mandatory documents you’ll need to get from the Secretary of State to get a Michigan rebuilt title.  

  • The original restoration certificate shows that the non-functional parts have undergone replacement. 
  • The dealers must have the records of assigned salvage, scrap titles, and an odometer disclosure that defines the car’s working condition. 
  • You must also check for a police book entry under your registration number to ensure that none of your car’s parts are dismantled or removed. 
  • Also, add an application for Salvage Vehicle Reinspection (to undergo the inspection for replaced parts). As a request for reinspection, you must fill in the TR-13A form. You may proceed with the other phases of reinspection by submitting the TR-13B form, which a mechanic needs to fill in and confirm. 
  • Pay the inspection fee of $100 to the inspecting officer. Once the reinspection is complete, you may collect your new license plate or transfer the existing ones for replacement. In addition, you should also collect a 30–60-day permit to drive with insurance till your new title arrives. 

What is the process to get a rebuilt title in Michigan? 

Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to get a rebuilt title in Michigan: 

  • Get authorization from the Michigan salvage vehicle dealers. 
  • See that your dealers are either C, H, or R certified. You need to send the details of your vehicle certification to the Michigan Department of State. 
  • Thirdly, the dealers must provide details of the parts sold, removed, or replaced from the vehicle.  
  • Finally, the dealer must reassign the title, meaning the vehicle’s title rebuilding is complete.  
  • The dealer and salvage title seller must sign an authorization letter after completing the vehicle inspection. 
  • You must also produce photo proof, the authorization letter, and an original ID.  
  • Once the verification is complete, you may have to submit the receipt for replaced parts or parts that need repairs.  

Remember that you can only drive once you receive a rebuilt title in Michigan. If you are planning to sell your car to a retail purchaser, you must mention that your ‘Vehicle has been damaged’ under section RD-108. 

Pros and cons of having a rebuilt title in Michigan 

Here are some of the benefits and demerits of going for a rebuilt title in Michigan: 


  • Cheaper than other vehicles: Cars with rebuilt titles are cheaper than original ones.  
  • Flexible modification: Since cars with rebuilt titles cost less, you can modify or customize them after checking with your state laws.  
  • Wide range of options: Cars with a rebuilt title are hard to find so you can find a rare set of options.  


  • Difficult to find history: Since you cannot dig deep into the history of the use of the car, it becomes tough to track down the entire history of the car. 
  • Hidden damages: When you opt for a car with a rebuilt title in Michigan, there is a probability that the car may have hidden damages that are not visible on the outside. It must be much later that you may find these damages when you realize it is too late. 

While getting a rebuilt title in Michigan is important, it is also quite easy to clear one. It may take some time to clear it, but it becomes quite easy if you follow the right steps.   

FAQs on Michigan’s rebuilt title 

What happens if a seller can’t join me for the title transfer at the Secretary of State’s Office? 

You can still proceed if a seller can’t join you at the Secretary of State’s office for a title transfer. However, you’ll need the lien statement, odometer statement, termination statement, and any loan records on the car.  

How do I send someone instead of me if I can’t make it to the title transfer? 

The Secretary of State is the authority to assign a replacement title. Hence, if you cannot make it for the title transfer, they must fill out the Appointment of Agent form directly at the Secretary’s office.  

What is a memo registration? 

A memo registration is a reminder sent to Michigan residents whose vehicles don’t have a registration, title, or consent. 

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