So how do you transfer a vehicle into your name if it’s a salvage title? Oftentimes when a vehicle has a salvage title, you will not be able to transfer the title or get a new title issued until the vehicle goes through an inspection process. Before a new title can be issued for a salvage vehicle, the DMV requires the vehicle to be inspected to ensure it is safe for the road. Essentially, they’re making sure that the damages that warranted the salvage title brand have been fixed properly and will not pose a safety threat to you or others on the road. So if you have a vehicle title stamped salvage featuring the old owner’s name or old insurance information, the title cannot be transferred to you until that inspection process is followed and approved.
What do they check for in a salvage inspection?
Every state has its own version of a salvage inspection process with some being more rigorous than others. New York, for example, it’s a very difficult state. Some other states are easy. However, after that inspection is done there are typically no more inspections needed and won’t be required if you transfer the title in the future. Check with your state’s DMV before proceeding.
A major part of the inspection process is to make sure that the repairs were done correctly. On top of being done correctly, part of the salvage inspection is to make sure that the parts used are legitimate. The inspector is looking to make sure that no parts were from stolen cars in a chop shop. For example, if your vehicle needed a new front clip, the DMV inspector is going to look to see if you have receipts for where that front clip came from. So if you bought the front clip brand new from a dealer, you have to provide the receipt from that dealer. If you bought it from a junkyard, they’re going to make sure that you have a receipt from that junkyard with the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the donor vehicle so they know that’s not from a stolen vehicle.
The DMV inspector will also ensure the safety features (airbags, antilock brakes, etc.) are operational and the overall condition of the vehicle (no rust, etc.) is in good condition.
If your vehicle has a salvage title, there is very likely no way to get a new title until the salvage inspection process is completed and passed. Before taking your vehicle in for inspection, remember to bring all applicable documents pertaining to the repair of the vehicle. Without the receipts, the vehicle will fail inspection. The process of converting salvage title is possible, but not before a strict inspection by your state’s DMV agency.