Texas Salvage Title Rules

by Kevin Kinder

No one wants to buy a car that does not live up to their expectations. Texas attempts to protect consumers by requiring salvage titles for certain automobiles. This includes vehicles that have been totaled or flood damaged.

Salvage Status

Vehicles in Texas are declared to have salvage status if the cost of repairs -- or the replacement of missing parts -- exceeds the value of the automobile. Texas can declare salvage status on vehicles carrying a similar designation from another state. The state also designates some vehicles as nonrepairable. This occurs if the value of the vehicle is only for its remaining parts and metal.


Application must be made for a salvage or nonrepairable title before an insurance company or individual can sell or transfer a salvaged vehicle to another party. To apply, send a completed Texas form VTR-441, evidence of ownership and the $8 application fee to the Texas Titles and Registration Division.


If a salvage title or nonrepairable title has not been issued for a vehicle classified as such, the vehicle can only be sold or transferred to certain parties. These include a registered salvage vehicle dealer, an insurance company, a metal recycler, a government agency or an out-of-state buyer.

Flood Damage

Due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the number of flood damaged vehicles restored and returned to Texas roads has increased. Texas will stamp these vehicle titles as "flood damaged."

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