How to Register a Vehicle With a Salvage Title in Illinois

by Lynn Burbeck
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Salvage titles are given to vehicles that have sustained so much damage in a wreck that the cost of repairs exceeds the value of the car. In Illinois, vehicles with salvage titles cannot be registered. Rather, the car must be rebuilt and properly inspected. Those that receive a rebuilt title can then be registered in the state.

Step 1

Have the vehicle inspected by a licensed car rebuilder to find out how much work the car will need to make it back onto the road. Whether or not you decide to proceed with the rebuilding will depend on the cost of fixing the vehicle in relation to its value. A professional rebuilder can help you determine whether it is worth the financial investment.

Step 2

Bring the rebuilt vehicle to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Safety Testing Lane for a safety inspection. This must be accomplished prior to having the vehicle inspected at a salvage station.

Step 3

Contact a Secretary of State Police Inspection Station to make an appointment to have the vehicle inspected. There are four inspection stations in the state of Illinois--each of which services a number of counties. To find the contact information and address off the inspection station in your area, download the "Salvaged Vehicle Inspections" brochure from

Step 4

Have your licensed vehicle rebuilder drive the car to the station for the inspection appointment. According to the Secretary of State Police, the car cannot be driven until it is registered with valid dealer plates, has a 7-day permit from a Secretary of State Driver Services facility or a 72-hour permit from the Secretary of State Police.

Step 5

Bring the necessary documentation to the inspection appointment. Documents that must be furnished include the salvage certificate, a completed application, a salvage affirmation that describes all of the work that has been done to rebuild the car, the IDOT vehicle inspection report, a valid driver's license for the driver of the salvaged vehicle and bills for all essential parts that have been replaced. The salvage certificate and the application must be in the name of the licensed rebuilder.

Step 6

Bring two checks or money orders to the inspection appointment to pay for the inspection and the title. Both checks must be made out to Secretary of State. As of March 2010, the inspection fee was $94 and the title fee was $65.

Step 7

Register the vehicle if it passes the inspection and is granted a rebuilt title. You can apply for a registration at any Secretary of State Driver Facility in the state.

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