1. Declaring a Vehicle Salvage
Declaration by Owner
The owner of any vehicle titled in the Commonwealth of Virginia may declare the vehicle to be a salvage vehicle by:
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applying to DMV (VSA 56) for a salvage certificate
submitting the vehicle's title with a description of the damage and an estimate of the repair cost, and
paying the titling fee and
paying the sales and use tax (if applicable).
Every owner of an uninsured or self-insured late model vehicle that sustains damage and the estimated cost of repair is more than 75 percent of the actual cash value must apply to DMV for a salvage certificate. The certificate will be noted “BRANDED IF REBUILT”. Owners must pay the titling fee and obtain an estimate of the cost of repairs. This estimate must be on the official stationery of the insurance company or an independent appraisal firm and must include:
the description of the vehicle (make, year and vehicle identification number)
a list of all parts that will be repaired or rebuilt including the cost and whether the part is new or used
the total cost for labor and total cost for parts, and
the signature of the company representative who prepares the appraisal.
Declaration by Insurance Company
Insurance companies that take possession of a late model vehicle that has been damaged and pay the owner or lienholder for the value of the vehicle, must apply to DMV for a salvage certificate. Insurance companies may also apply for salvage certificates for vehicles not defined as late model. Insurance companies must submit the Salvage Certificate Application (VSA 56) within 15 days of paying the owner or lienholder.
Insurance companies must notify DMV by filing Notification of Owner Retained Late Model Vehicle (VSA 58) on all late model vehicles that have a paid claim for damages and an estimated cost of repair that is more than 75 percent of the actual cash value if the vehicle is titled in the Commonwealth and is to be retained by the owner.
Whenever an insurance company applies for a salvage certificate and is unable to present a certificate of title, the insurance company must submit the following:
A completed Salvage Certificate Application, (VSA 56).
A completed Affidavit in Lieu of Title Certificate, (VSA 12) indicating that the vehicle was acquired as the result of the claims process and a description of the efforts made by the insurance company or its agent to obtain a certificate of title from the previous owner. The affidavit must be signed and notarized.
Submit proof a claim payout was made through the claims process
An insurance company or agent applying for a salvage certificate using a VSA-12 must mail his application, documents, and fees to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Vehicle Branding Work Center
P.O. Box 27412
Richmond, Virginia 23269-0001
DMV Customer Service Centers are not authorized to process applications for a Salvage Certificate.
Restrictions on Salvage Vehicles
A vehicle that is declared salvage cannot be operated on the highways of the Commonwealth and may not be registered as long as there is an active salvage certificate.
A salvage certificate may be used for reassignment to a licensed rebuilder if the vehicle is to be rebuilt.
Nonnegotiable “Junk” Title
DMV will issue a nonnegotiable “junk” title for a vehicle has been rebuilt, titled and registered out of state. The vehicle must have NMVTIS brands or documentation equivalent to Virginia’s nonrepairable brands (“Junk”, “for destruction”, “for parts only”, “not to be repaired”, etc…).
To obtain a nonnegotiable “junk” title, applicants must submit a Nonnegotiable Junk Title Application (VSA 140), Certificate of Title and registration application (VSA 17A), out of state title, proof of registration, and documentation indicating the repairs have been completed.
After the vehicle has been titled, applicants may obtain full registration. The nonnegotiable “junk” title will display the brand “Junk Nonnegotiable- Not for Resale” on the face of the title and registration card. The vehicle cannot be sold and the title document cannot be used to transfer ownership except as provided in Virginia Code §6.2-633, §46.2-633.2, or §46.2-634.
DMV will NOT issue a nonnegotiable “junk” title if the vehicle has been issued a nonrepairable certificate in Virginia.
Applicable titling fees and taxes will apply.
Declaring a Vehicle Nonrepairable
Rebuilt Vehicle Examinations
Salvage General Licensing Information
Virginia Salvage Code Sections
Filing a Salvage Dealer Complaint
2. Salvaged Vehicles in Virginia
While a salvaged car might feel like a total loss (in fact, that’s what your insurance company will call it), there are ways to make the best of it—you might even get it back on the road! Keep reading to learn about the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) rules and options when it comes to dealing with salvaged vehicles.
What Is a Salvaged Car in VA?
In Virginia, a salvaged car is defined as one so damaged by a collision or accident, fire, flood, theft, or other occurrence that the cost of repairs would exceed the car’s actual cash value.
A non-repairable vehicle is one that has no value except for use as parts or scrap metal.
Depending on who keeps the car (see below), you or your provider will apply for a non-repairable certificate by taking the following to a local VA DMV office:
A completed Non-repairable Certificate Application (Form VSA 57).
The car title.
Non-repairable certificates are free. Once you have the non-repairable certificate, you can ONLY sell the car to scrap metal processors, salvage vehicle dealers, car removal companies, or dismantlers. It’s illegal to sell a non-repairable car to anyone else.
What to Do with Your Salvaged Car
How you handle your salvaged car mostly depends on who declares the car a total loss: your insurance company or you.
Declared by Insurance Company
When your car’s been severely damaged, you may choose to get your insurance company involved by filing a total loss claim.
When you file a total loss claim, your provider will confirm the car meets the criteria for a salvage. If it does, you can expect a monetary settlement based on your car’s actual cash value (less any deductibles) with the option to:
Keep the car and accept partial payment.
You must apply for a salvaged title. After that, you can sell the car to a dismantler (or related business) OR repair it back to roadworthy condition and apply for a rebuilt title.
Let your insurance carrier keep the car and accept full payment.
Aside from providing proof of lien satisfaction (if applicable), the car isn’t your responsibility anymore and you can use your settlement money to invest in a replacement vehicle.
Declared by Car Owner
You can declare your car a salvage and apply for the appropriate title without getting your insurance carrier involved.
Once you have a VA salvaged title, you might decide to sell the car to a scrapyard, recycler, or other business that deals with dismantling salvage cars, OR you might repair the car and apply for a rebuilt title, making the vehicle legal for street use again.
Apply for a VA Salvaged Title
To apply for a salvaged title in Virginia, submit the following to the Virginia DMV’s Vehicle Branding Work Center:
The original car title.
A completed Salvage Certificate Application (Form VSA 56).
An itemized estimate of the repair costs from your insurance company OR an independent appraisal firm. The estimate must include a:
Vehicle description (including the make, model, year, and vehicle identification number).
List of new and used parts that need repairing and the cost to do so.
Total cost for parts and labor.
Signature from insurance company or appraisal company representative.
Payment for the $15 salvage title fee.
See the DMV’s fee chart for acceptable payment methods.
Mail everything to:
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 27412
Richmond, VA 23269
If you have questions about applying for a Virginia salvage title, call the Department of Motor Vehicles at (804) 497-7100.
Virginia Rebuilt Vehicle Inspections
Once you’ve repaired your salvage car, it must pass a safety inspection AND a rebuilt vehicle examination before you can apply for a rebuilt title.
Your rebuilt car must pass a vehicle safety inspection BEFORE the rebuilt car inspection. You can apply for a temporary trip permit to drive your car to and from the inspection facility.
Refer to our guide on Virginia car inspections for details on what the safety inspection entails.
Rebuilt Vehicle Examination
To start, schedule your rebuilt car examination by submitting:
The original salvaged title.
A completed Request for Examination of Rebuilt Salvage Vehicle (Form LES 022A).
Make a copy of the completed form before sending it off—you’ll need to provide the copy at the actual rebuilt examination appointment.
Payment for the:
$125 inspection fee.
$15 rebuilt (or “substitute”) title fee.
Mail the above items to the address on the form.
Next, a Virginia DMV agent will contact you to schedule the exam. When the day arrives, bring the following items to your rebuilt inspection appointment:
Proof the car passed the state safety inspection.
A photocopy of the Request for Examination of Rebuilt Salvage Vehicle (Form LES 022A).
Pictures of the car BEFORE repairs were made.
Receipts for all original parts.
Old component parts showing the vehicle identification number (if available).
The DMV agent will let you know if you need any additional documents when he or she schedules your exam.
Once your car passes inspection, you’ll receive a VA car title with the “REBUILT” brand. You can apply for car registration 48 hours after receiving the title.
VA Rebuilt Title & Car Registration
After your car passes inspection, the Virginia DMV will issue your rebuilt title. You MUST wait 48 hours from receiving your rebuilt title to apply for a new car registration.
Typically, registering a rebuilt car is similar to registering a regular car. The Department of Motor Vehicles agent who issued your car title can explain and provide the required paperwork specific to registering your rebuilt vehicle.
Still have questions about getting a rebuilt title? Give the Virginia DMV a call at (804) 497-7100.
Salvage Certificate Application
DMV application for a Virginia salvage certificate AND/OR to report water damage on a vehicle.
Request for Examination of Repaired or Rebuilt Salvage Vehicle
Request an examination of a rebuilt salvage vehicle from the VA Department of Motor Vehicles.
3. Car Rebuilding and Title Rules for car auctions in VA and Virginia auto owners
Rebuilt salvage vehicles in Virginia need to undergo an examination before they can have a certificate of title issued. It is important to make sure that all of the necessary repairs are made before the inspection takes place.
How to Schedule an Exam
If you are going to schedule an inspection for your vehicle that has been rebuilt, you need to make sure you provide the proper documents and fees. Without it you can’t put this vehicle to inventory of public car auctions in Virginia VA and become a seller.
You will need to have a copy of the original Virginia salvage certificate that is in your name, along with your original request for Examination of Rebuilt Salvage Vehicle (LES 022A). The current fee for an exam is $125, and the fee for a substitute title is $10.
You will need to mail the documents to the Department of Motor Vehicles, Vehicle Branding Work Center, PO Box 27412, Richmond, VA 23269-0001.
Once you submit your materials, an agent will contact you to set up an appointment for the examination of the rebuilt vehicle. After the vehicle passes the examination, you will receive the new title.
Those who then want to register the vehicle should wait 24 hours after receiving the certificate of title for the record to be updated in the DMV records. At that point, there should be no problem with registering the vehicle.
After July 1, 2015, salvage vehicles that have an “estimated cost of repair less than 90%, but not exceeding 90% of the actual cash value will receive a certificate of title branded as rebuilt.” This is a permanent brand on the vehicle and will be on every subsequent title issued for the vehicle.
Compared to many states, the process of the repair and examination in Virginia is relatively easy. Owners simply need to make sure they fill out all of the forms properly and that they complete all of the needed repairs on the vehicle before the time of the inspection.
4. How to Re-register a Salvaged Vehicle in Virginia
A salvage certificate in Virginia is given to a vehicle that costs more than 75 percent of its actual cash value to repair. A vehicle with a salvaged title will not be allowed to be driven on the road or be registered. The vehicle must first be rebuilt or repaired, then the owner will have to apply for a new title with the VA DMV.
Rebuilt vehicles must be examined by the VA DMV before a certificate of title is issued. You will need to schedule an appointment to get the vehicle inspected. To schedule a rebuilt vehicle examination, submit the following:
The original Virginia salvage certificate
A completed Request for Examination of Rebuilt Salvage Vehicle (Form LES 022A)
Payment for fees
Mail the payment and documents to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Vehicle Branding Work Center
P.O. Box 27412
Richmond, Virginia 23269-0001
Bring the following for the examination:
Proof that the vehicle has passed a VA state inspection
A copy of the Request for Examination of Rebuilt Salvage Vehicle (Form LES 022A)
Receipts for any parts that were purchased for the rebuilding/repair of the salvaged vehicle
A photo of the vehicle in its salvaged condition, before it was repaired
Old parts or components where the VIN can be seen (if applicable)
Once your vehicle passes the inspection, you will be given the new title. Allow for at least 24 hours for your vehicle records to be updated before applying for a vehicle registration.
5. Things You Need to Know About Cars with Rebuilt Titles
It isn’t unusual to come across a car with a rebuilt title while shopping for a used vehicle. But how does a rebuilt title car differ from any other? How does a rebuilt title affect the value of a car, or affect how much you pay for auto insurance?
To answer that first question, a car gets a rebuilt title after it’s been totaled and then repaired to a point that it’s safe for the road.
There are advantages and disadvantages to buying a vehicle with a rebuilt title, as you might imagine. You’ll learn about both in this article, which covers eight things you should know about cars with rebuilt titles, including:
A rebuilt car could save you money
You might have a hard time selling a car with a rebuilt title
Not all insurance companies cover rebuilt title cars
A rebuilt car might save you money
Cars with rebuilt titles are usually cheaper to buy than other used vehicles. How much could you save buying a rebuilt or reconstructed car? Fifty percent, according to Jason Shackelford, owner of Stingray Auto Repair in Redmond, Wash. Of course, how much you save on a rebuilt car depends on several factors, like the popularity of the vehicle and the type of damage done to it.
This doesn’t mean cars with rebuilt titles are cheaper than used cars with clean titles in the long run, though. If you don’t have your rebuilt or reconstructed car properly inspected before you buy it, you might have to pay for expensive repairs down the road.
Cars with rebuilt titles must pass an inspection
If you’re wary of buying a car that was once salvaged, remember this: to get a rebuilt title, a car often has to pass a state inspection.
That doesn’t mean surprises won’t pop up in the future. But it should make you feel at least a little more secure about buying a rebuilt car — especially if you also have it inspected by a trusted mechanic before you finalize your purchase.
Get a second opinion before buying a car with a rebuilt title
Most salvaged cars must pass an inspection before receiving a rebuilt title, but don’t stop there. Have a mechanic look over any rebuilt cars you’re thinking of buying, too.
“Always have the car inspected by a shop with experience handling vehicles with rebuilt titles before purchasing,” Shackelford said. “A shop without the proper experience may not know what to look for.”
Remember, all cars with rebuilt titles were once damaged to the point they were inoperable. Make sure the mechanic looks closely at everything before signing off on the car. Someone could always repair it and then remove the new parts they added after receiving the rebuilt title.
Always ask for documentation on rebuilt title cars
If your rebuilt auto was repaired after being totaled, there should be documented evidence of the work done to get it running again. Should the person selling the rebuilt car you’re interested in refuse to give you this paperwork, run! Anyone trying to sell a reputable rebuilt vehicle won’t mind providing documentation.
“Ask for receipts from the repairs and ensure the repairs were done by a reputable facility, not in Uncle Joe’s backyard,” Shackelford said.
You can also look into your rebuilt auto’s history using sites like:
Kelley Blue Book
Your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may be able to help, too.
It's important to know why your car was salvaged and how it was repaired. For example, it could have been rebuilt with parts from other totaled vehicles. While it may run properly, because it was fixed with spare pieces, you will need to maintain it differently moving forward than you would otherwise.
You may have trouble selling your rebuilt car
Because cars with rebuilt titles can be problematic, they're often difficult to resell. And if you do end up selling your rebuilt car, chances are you’ll make less of a profit from its sale than you would if your vehicle had a clean title.
Also worth mentioning here is that some dealers won’t accept rebuilt title cars as trade-ins for other autos.
Here’s how to insure a car with a rebuilt title
Some auto insurance companies won't insure a car with a rebuilt title. Others will insure them, but won’t offer full coverage. This is because it can be difficult to figure out the real value of a car that’s been rebuilt.
“The biggest challenge of owning a car with a rebuilt title is insurance can sometimes be difficult to obtain,” Shackelford said.
If an insurer refuses to cover your car because it has a rebuilt title, you still have options. Shop around and compare quotes to find an insurance carrier that will cover vehicles with rebuilt titles.Are you planning to transfer a rebuilt title between Virginia and its surrounding states? Check out my detailed guides for North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky and Maryland.
What is a rebuilt title (what does a rebuilt title mean)?
A rebuilt title is also called a reconstructed title. There are two types of rebuilt titles. A legal salvage title is usually issued because the vehicle has suffered severe damage and needs to be rebuilt. A legal salvage title is necessary to legally sell the vehicle. A non-legal salvage title is issued when the damage isn't severe enough to warrant a legal salvage title, but the owner determines that repairing the vehicle is too costly. A non-legal salvage title is often issued with a brand. The "brand" means the vehicle is only good for parts.
What is a salvage title (what does a rebuilt title mean)?
Salvage titles are assigned to vehicles that have been deemed unrepairable and uninsurable, usually because of the damage they have sustained. The title assigned to a salvage vehicle usually has a letter and an alphanumeric code. However, if a vehicle has been damaged and repaired and the damage has been deemed minor, the original title holder can request a replacement title without a salvage code!
A salvage title is what you get when you buy a car that has been involved in an accident. Salvage titles are fairly cheap to get and the car probably isn't in the best condition, but they could be good to get if you're on a budget. There are certain states that require you to get a vehicle inspected after it has been repaired. For the most part, the car will make it through this inspection because most people don't know how to spot the damage done to it after an accident.
After a vehicle sold at auction, a dealership may not have the time to inspect every vehicle properly. They will sell the vehicles as is, even if there is a salvage title. That is because some vehicles will not have any issues that affect the safety of the driver or the passengers. In fact, many vehicles will still be drivable after an accident. Therefore, a salvage title is a warning sign for a potential buyer. However, it is not a guarantee that the vehicle will not function as intended. That is why a buyer needs to perform a thorough inspection on a vehicle with a salvage title.
What is a branded title (what does a branded title mean)?
A branded title is a classification on a vehicle's title that states the vehicle was once declared a total loss or comes with some other major problem. Cars with branded titles have been repaired or rebuilt and sold. A branded title can mean the car was damaged in a flood, its odometer was rolled back, or it was involved in a major accident. Purchasing a car with a branded title entails risks. These risks may include issues with the car's safety, performance, and even its history. However, some cars with branded titles are still great buys. Before you buy a car with a branded title, you should examine the title thoroughly and test the car after you've purchased it.
Rebuilt title vs. salvage title vs. branded title
It's important to understand the difference between a rebuilt title and a salvage title. A rebuilt title means that a mechanic took a damaged title and repaired it. If a mechanic can't repair a title he will have to issue a salvage title. A salvage title means that a car had major damage in a crash. If a car has a salvage title it will have a rebuilt title with a branded title. A branded title means that the car had major damage in a crash, but the mechanic was able to repair it. Salvage titles are less desirable to buyers. If a car has a salvage title the vehicle will lose a lot of its value. In that case, it might not be worth repairing it.
Is a rebuilt title bad?
Although a rebuilt title may seem like a bad deal, you can make a rebuilt title car work for you. To do this, first you need to learn all you can about the car before you buy. You should be able to see it and drive it and check everything that the car and seller say about it. And if it has a rebuilt title, you can read the report written by the insurance company and find out exactly why the car was totaled. This way you can avoid buying a rebuilt title car that will quickly break down and be more than you can handle.
As long as it was repaired and inspected properly by a reputable mechanic, a rebuilt title car is a perfectly good vehicle to consider buying.
Before you consider buying a car with a rebuilt title
If you are looking to purchase a rebuilt car, you should consider several factors beforehand. First, are the quality of the work done on the car. If you are looking to purchase a car that has been rebuilt, you should ask for proof that it has been inspected. You should also ask for a record of the repairs that have been done to the car. This information could save you a lot of headache down the line.
Salvage title cars are not always in bad shape, sometimes they are rebuilt to the manufacturer's specifications. And if you are willing to do some of the maintenance that comes with any used car, you can get a great deal!
People who are looking to sell their used cars or buy cheap cars will often check out rebuilt title car auctions. These auctions are exactly what they sound like, places where cars that have been salvaged after an accident are sold to the public. Of course, not all of these cars are in bad shape. Some of them are practically brand new! Because the sellers want to turn a profit, they can be quite willing to negotiate. You can find some great deals in rebuilt title car auctions.
How to determine the value of the rebuilt title car?
It's important for individuals who are looking to buy a new and used vehicle to know how a rebuilt title affects the value of a vehicle and what the benefits and setbacks are of having a rebuilt title before buying a vehicle.
The Kelley Blue Book will tell you exactly what a car is worth in a number of different conditions. Here's a step by step process on how to use a Kelley Blue Book: First, you need to know the year, make, model, and mileage of the vehicle. Next, find the vehicle in the book. This will tell you how much the vehicle is worth when in perfect condition. After, subtract the amount of miles the car has from the original mileage the car had when it was purchased. You can also compare prices and see what other people are paying for rebuilt titles.
A rebuilt title car value calculator is a great tool for anyone who is in the market for rebuilt title cars for sale. While all cars on the market have a value, not all of these values are created equally. Don't just go on the word of the salesman. Do your due diligence and check the value. The value of a car is calculated by its mileage and the year it was built. A rebuilt title car value calculator can assist you in understanding the value of the automobile. The condition of the engine, its interior and exterior, and its mileage are all used to calculate its market value.
What to look for when you shopping for a car with a rebuilt title
If you want a good deal on a car, a rebuilt title might be a good thing to look for. Here are a few reasons to get a rebuilt title. They're not always a bad thing! They're usually priced at a discount because of some minor damage or some other minor issue, but nothing that affects the driving performance of the car. Sometimes a rebuilt title is a good way to get a high-end luxury car like Bentley, Audi R8 and BMW M4, without paying a high-end luxury car price. In rare cases, a car's title will be rebuilt if it was totaled in an accident. But most of the time, a car's title will be rebuilt if it was in an accident and the owners insurance company paid out for a total loss. If you want a good deal on a car and you don't mind taking a chance on a car with a little bit of a history, you might want to consider a rebuilt title.
There are different kinds of rebuilt car reports that will tell you the history of the car. The VIN report will tell you if the car has been in a major accident and what caused it. The vehicle accident report will tell you if the vehicle has been in a minor accident (or no accident but only salvaged because of theft). If you want to buy a rebuilt title car, you'll need to know all of the information on the different reports and how it will affect your new vehicle.
Some people wonder if they should buy a car that has a rebuilt title. The short answer is that you should always buy a rebuilt title car with many questions. Even if you find a car with a clean title, you'll still want to take a look at the car before you buy. Buying a car with a rebuilt title is much better than buying a car with a clean title and it's a good way to save money. It's important to always ask the seller as many questions as possible before you decide to buy. The best thing you can do is to take a look at the car yourself. The worst thing you can do is to take a look at the car. You should always ask for as much information as possible and do as much research as possible to give yourself an idea of what you're getting.
What is salvage title insurance?
Most people know there are insurance companies for auto accidents, but some are unaware of the salvaged title car insurance. This form of insurance is for people who want to continue using their vehicle after it has an accident or has some other defect that prevents it from being safe to drive. Insurance policies that cover salvaged title cars are for people who want to keep their car instead of trading it in for something newer. These policies are also for people who aren't able to pay the cash value for a new car due to their low income.
Can I get an auto loan for a rebuilt title car?
The best way to see if you qualify for an auto loan with a rebuilt title is to check with several lenders and compare rates and repayment terms. You may want to consider comparing lenders whose business is to do auto loans with rebuilt titles. At the very least, you should be able to find one or two lenders who specialize in auto loans with rebuilt titles. The easiest way to do this is to use Google. Simply type in "auto title loan lenders" and you should find a few companies whose business is to do auto loans with rebuilt titles.
Here are a few tips to help you figure out how to get an auto loan for a rebuilt title. Start off by talking to a few different banks and financial institutions and find out what you can and can't do with a rebuilt title and what the different options are. Determine which route is best for you, but be sure that you get all the information you need before you start down that road.
What is a typical rebuilt title application process?
A salvage vehicle may be re-titled and registered in several ways. The owner should be aware that there are regulations that must be followed. If the car was even partially rebuilt from parts sourced from other salvage cars, such as those purchased from a salvage yard, the owner will have to have an Affidavit of Motor Vehicle Assembled From Wrecked or Salvaged Motor Vehicles filled out and notarized.
The process for replacing a lost title varies depending on the state you live in. In many states, in order to make a replacement title application, you'll need to submit a few pieces of information and provide a small fee. First, you'll need to fill out an application for a replacement title and indicate type of lost title and where you lost it. You'll also need to provide proof of insurance and pay a fee. Then, you'll take this application to your local county clerk and hopefully receive your replacement title.
It's important to fulfill the requirements of a salvaged vehicle before you can apply for a title and registration. Additionally, you will need to inspect the vehicle and restore it to a safe and drivable condition. This will require obtaining parts and repairing and replacing any and all body parts and mechanical systems. There is a specific order that you must follow. First, you'll need to verify the VIN. Then, you'll need to inspect the vehicle and all the parts. After that, you'll need to replace or repair the body and mechanical systems. Finally, you'll need to notify the DMV and fill out the necessary applications for a title and registration.