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How to get a salvage title cleared? FAQ Answered

  • Auto Insurance
  • Natasha Young
  • 6 minutes

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It’s not always possible to repair a car to the point where it can be driven again after a major accident. You may have to deal with a salvage title in addition to the physical damage to the vehicle. Cars that have been declared total losses by their insurance companies are known as salvaged, as the cost of repairing them exceeds their market value (State-specifics may vary). If you plan to resell or repurpose the vehicle, this becomes an issue. That gets you to the million-dollar question, how to get a salvage title cleared? We have also answered almost all of your FAQs regarding cars and salvage titles. 

What is a salvage title? 

Having a salvage title indicates that the vehicle was nothing but a total loss by the insurance company. A salvage title is issued to a vehicle that has been declared totaled by an insurance company. They could sell it to a shop that can fix it up and resell it.  

Even after rebuilding the car, it still does not have a clean title. Even if there is no further damage, the market value will go down by 20 to 40 % as a result of this. The definition of a total loss varies from state to state. Cars that have more than 55% of their value in damage come under coverage by insurance. 

What is the relevance of the salvage title? 

It is a serious crime known as “title laundering” or “title washing” to attempt to conceal a vehicle’s history in a way that isn’t strictly “by the book”. If you’re thinking about buying a salvage title car, be sure to check your state’s specific registration and titling regulations first. 

In most jurisdictions, the rules are nearly identical. For the most part, once a vehicle’s title is marked “salvage,” it will never return to its previous status. Rebuilt titles (or “reconditioned” or “assembled” in some states) can be rebranded in most states. In order to do this, you will need to fix the vehicle and submit it to the DMV for an inspection. “Rebuilt” will be renamed as a designation if the bill passes. 

So, technically, it is possible to remove the salvage title and replace it with a rebuilt title. When a car’s title refers to it as “rebuilt,” it indicates that the vehicle was previously identified as “salvage.” All insurance companies, as well as knowledgeable buyers, are part of the list. Salvage should be avoided if that is a major concern for you.  

How to get a salvage title cleared

A salvage title can be rebranded as a rebuilt title if you repair the vehicle, pass an inspection, and complete the paperwork. 

Purchase the vehicle 

If you’re thinking about purchasing a vehicle with a salvage title, there are numerous factors to take into account. Salvage vehicles can only be purchasable by licensed mechanics in some states. A rebuilt title is necessary if this is the case where you live. If this is the case, you will need to buy a rebuilt vehicle. 

Repair the vehicle 

Rebuilding a salvaged car requires a certified mechanic unless you’re a licensed rebuilder. Document everything you do to the vehicle. Take as many pictures as you can. 

Get the inspection done

It is necessary to submit various documents to the DMV, including the salvage title, the bill of sale, and photos and documents from the repair process once the vehicle has been rebuilt. To schedule an inspection, the DMV will need to receive these documents. Cars with salvage titles are illegal to drive. For the inspection, you’ll need to have your car towed there. 

File the final paperwork 

You can apply for a rebuilt title after your vehicle has passed the inspection. Fill out the forms required by your DMV and submit proof of a passing inspection to your state’s title department to complete the process. After this procedure, your salvage title will finally be renamed as rebuilt! 

how to get a salvage title cleared

Source: Unsplash

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Should I buy a salvage car? 

A salvage title car is generally not a good idea to buy. Putting up with the hassle is not worthwhile. However, if any of the following apply to you, you may want to think about purchasing a vehicle with a salvage title. 

  •  Your mechanical expertise is sufficient to inspect and repair the car. 
  •  You have confidence in the vendor because you are familiar with his work. 
  •  The fact that you will not be selling or exchanging vehicles in the future 
  •  You’ll need a second vehicle that you’ll only use on rare occasions or for short distances. 

What can you do with a car that has a salvage title? 

Most states don’t allow salvage-titled vehicles to be driven or insured. You may also have a hard time selling the car to a dealership. Since an insurance company has declared a salvage title vehicle a total loss, it has little value unless it is rebuilt. It’s not uncommon for a car with a salvage title to be difficult to insure. 

How does a salvage title affect insurance? 

There is no way to insure a vehicle with a salvaged title. Even if you’re only going to an inspection facility, you can’t legally drive a car with a salvage title. In the event that you need to move a car with a salvage title, you will need to have it towed away. The best way to get insurance for a vehicle with a rebuilt salvage title is to shop around for the best price.  

How much does a rebuilt title affect a car’s value? 

20 to 40% of the car’s value can be slashed by a rebuilt title. That’s the general consensus in business. 

Why do I need a bill of sale for a salvage inspection? 

It is necessary to have a bill of sale in order to prove that you legally own the vehicle. If you bought the car new and it hasn’t been sold before, you may not require one. 

What happens during a salvage inspection? 

The primary goal of a salvage inspection is to verify that the vehicle has all of the required parts and that nothing has been stolen or illegally altered. The inspector will conduct a thorough examination of the vehicle’s components and cross-reference them with the relevant paperwork.

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