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How to Get Rid of a Salvage Title

by Sally Brooks

When a vehicle suffers damage in excess of 75 percent of its value, a salvage title is given to that vehicle. Some states also issue salvage titles to stolen vehicles. In most states, cars with salvage titles are considered unfit to drive and cannot legally be on the road. Though a salvage designation can never be completely removed from a vehicle's title, if a car is completely repaired and passes a state inspection, a rebuilt salvage title or rebuilt title will be issued.

Repair the damage to the vehicle. Keep all receipts for any repair services and replacement parts. Note the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the cars you use for any used replacement parts. You will need to produce these documents with your application for a rebuilt title.

Complete the forms required by your state's department of motor vehicles prior to inspection. Most states require a rebuilt title application, parts certification form and pictures of the damaged vehicle.

Schedule an inspection with a state-approved inspector. You cannot drive a car that has not yet passed inspection, so arrange to transfer the vehicle to the inspection location legally.

Submit paperwork and proof of a passed inspection to your state's title department. Pay any applicable fees. If the application is complete, your state will issue a rebuilt or rebuilt salvage title and you will be free to drive and sell the vehicle.

Warning

  • State laws regarding salvaged vehicles vary, so consult your state department of motor vehicles for specific retitling instructions.

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About the Author

Sally Brooks has been a writer and stand-up comedian since 2006. Also a licensed attorney, Brooks' work has been featured in the "Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review" and "Jurist." Brooks holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor of Science in health science from Purdue University.

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