How to Get a Salvage Title


Check with your state's Department of Motor Vehicles. Regulations on how to get a salvage title may vary slightly depending on your state residency. Request a copy of their requirements for a salvage title.


Take photos of the automobile before and after the repairs have been made. Most DMV agencies will require that you present clear color photos of both sides of the vehicle after the accident and then after the repairs were made. A copy of the insurance company report may be required as well.


Bring along a copy of the bill of sale from your repairman. An itemized list of the parts used by the mechanic to rebuild the damaged car will likely be required by DMV to get a salvage title.


Complete a salvage vehicle inspection. These types of inspections typically need to be scheduled in advance and the DMV will have certain sites designated for salvage inspections. If the vehicle passes the inspection, you will be issued a salvage title after paying the applicable fees.


Consider any other factors that may affect receiving a salvage title. You will need to bring different documentation if you are getting a salvage title for a recovered stolen vehicle. Instead of the damage report, you will bring a copy of your police report to DMV. Stolen vehicles that need a salvage title will also likely require inspection first.

A salvage title is presented to a car for several reasons. In most cases, it will be given to a vehicle that has sustained damage worth more than approximately 70 to 80 percent of the Kelley Blue Book value of the automobile. Certain states also present salvage titles as a way to identify cars that have been stolen. Typically, consumers will decide to get a salvage title if they choose to keep a car when an insurance company has deemed it a total loss after an accident and pays the owner for the estimated value of the vehicle.