What Is a Clear Blue Texas Car Title?by Fraser Sherman
Texas titles tell you a lot about the car, not all of it good. State law requires owners "brand" their title certificate to warn possible purchasers about problems. A clear title is one with no brands. In Texas, that clear title is blue. A branded title may be another color. Vehicles sent to a salvage yard have a green title certificate, for instance.
A car title gets a salvage brand when the vehicle is damaged to the point that the insurer has written it off as a total loss. If the owner restores the car to Texas standards, the owner gets a blue title with a "rebuilt" brand. A "replica" or "street rod" title tells you one of the prior owners extensively modified the original design, or replaced the body parts with different materials. A title with the "water damage" brand says the car has been seriously flooded. Branding a title makes it harder for sellers to pass off a lemon as a good car.
A graduate of Oberlin College, Fraser Sherman began writing in 1981. Since then he's researched and written newspaper and magazine stories on city government, court cases, business, real estate and finance, the uses of new technologies and film history. Sherman has worked for more than a decade as a newspaper reporter, and his magazine articles have been published in "Newsweek," "Air & Space," "Backpacker" and "Boys' Life." Sherman is also the author of three film reference books, with a fourth currently under way.