What are the Different Types of Vehicle Titles?

by J. Cavan Barry

Vehicle titles (often called "Pink Slips") are certificates for legal ownership of a vehicle. These documents are given to the legal owner and will display information such as the owner's address, vehicle price, license plate number, and condition. The vehicle's condition will dictate what type of title is issued.

Clear Title

A vehicle with a "clear" title is one that has not been damaged beyond repair, and has no liens placed on it. When buying a car, this is the type of title that is most desired, and often times the only type of title that is eligible for vehicle financing.

Salvage Title

Salvage titles are issued to vehicles that have been damaged beyond 75 percent of the vehicle's original value. A vehicle with a salvage title can be repaired and made roadworthy, but will never again be eligible for clear title status. Salvage titles can drastically lower the price of a vehicle, no matter what make or model, and are not eligible for financing by most lenders.

Rebuilt/Reconstructed Title

This type of title is issued to salvaged vehicles that have been successfully repaired to full operation and safety. These titles may still be called salvage titles in some states, and require an extensive inspection before they can be considered safe and allowed to return to the road.

Dismantled Title

Dismantled titles are issued to vehicles that have sustained severe damage to major component parts with cost of repair exceeding the value of the vehicle. This is similar to a salvage title, but vehicles given dismantled titles may only be used for parts and scrap metal and cannot be repaired for road use.

Junk Title

Junk titles are similar to salvage titles in that they are issued once a vehicle suffers damage exceeding 75 percent of the vehicle's value. Vehicles that are given this title are not eligible for road use. Some states consider junk and salvage titles as one in the same.

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