How to Get a Rebuilt Title in Delaware

Obtaining a rebuilt title requires a number of documents, a certified inspection, and a fee.
Written by Michelle Ballestrasse
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
In Delaware, obtaining a rebuilt title requires you to apply for a Certificate of Title at your county DMV office, complete three different forms, sign a Salvage Title statement, and have the vehicle inspected and certified for a $50 inspection fee.
It’s a commonly held belief that a totaled car is a total loss, and that all it’s good for is salvageable parts and scrap. But for the right person, be it a mechanic or someone with enough mechanical skill, a totaled car can be restored to its former glory.
It’s not a job for the faint of heart, of course. It can cost quite a bit of money in terms of parts and labor. But it can be done, as long as you qualify for and receive a rebuilt title after the work is complete.
For whatever purpose drives you to rebuild a totaled car back to working order, you’ll need to know how to get a rebuilt title in the state of
. So we here at
have compiled the following handy guide to help you in the process, from start to finish. 
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What is a rebuilt title?

rebuilt title
is an official confirmation that a previously totaled car, as determined by an insurance company, has been successfully restored to working condition and is now legal to drive and sell.
Before you can apply for a rebuilt title, you’ll need a salvage title. Once the work on the car is complete, you can then
replace the salvage title
with a rebuilt title.
It’s also worth noting that the Delaware State Police Auto Theft Unit, which is responsible for the last official inspection that deems a car worthy of a rebuilt title, will no longer approve salvage titles on a car that was previously salvaged and rebuilt.

Does my car need a rebuilt title?

Unless you’re planning to scrap the car or keep it as a lawn ornament, you’ll need a rebuilt title. While it is possible to sell a car with a salvage title, it’s extremely difficult. 
Buyers largely avoid them, as they’re otherwise impractical purchases. And the market of those who may be interested is extremely limited. Even if the car is still capable of moving under its own power, as long as it's determined to be totaled, it cannot be registered or legally driven.
Obtaining a rebuilt title is definitely a process, but the end result is an advantage, no matter what your intentions are with your rebuilt car. Now that there is documented proof that the car is safe to drive, you can legally register and drive it. And a rebuilt title opens up more would-be car buyers who may be happy to take it off of your hands.

How to get a rebuilt title in Delaware

Rebuilding a car is a lengthy process, and in Delaware, so is getting a rebuilt title. It involves a number of fees, forms, and a lot of processing time to boot. When you’re ready to get started, use the following guide to help you out. 

Apply for the salvage title 

You’ll need to obtain a salvage title before any repairs are made. To start the process, you’ll need to do the following:
  • Make an odometer disclosure on the back of the car’s title under Section 1- Assignment of Certificate of Title.
  • Then, you will sign and print your name in the same section under Signature of Buyer and Printed Name of Buyer, respectively.
You’ll also need a letter from your insurance company that declares the vehicle is a total loss insurance settlement owner-retained salvage. The letter must contain the following information:
  • Name of the owner
  • Date of loss
  • Make, model, model year, and VIN of the vehicle
  • A signature from an insurance company representative
You’ll then take the title, letter, and Delaware vehicle license plate to your local DMV office to make the request. This visit will require a $35.00 fee.
You can also submit the forms, license plate, and fee payment by mail. If you choose to go this route, send the items to:
Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles
Title Section
P.O. Box 698
Dover, Delaware 19903
In either case, make sure you include a self-addressed envelope to ensure that the certificate is mailed to the correct address.
Once this is done, you’ll receive a Salvage Certificate by mail. Your license plate will be put in retention if the vehicle’s registration is still current.
The salvage certificate must be in your name, regardless of whether you’re selling the car through a dealer or as an individual. Delivery of your salvage title can vary, with no determined timeframe.

Make the necessary repairs to your vehicle

Once you’ve received the salvage certificate, don’t hit the gas on the repairs just yet. Before you get started, you must take color photographs of the car in its current state. Two is normally sufficient, as long as you’ve got a clear shot of the back, front, and both sides of the vehicle.
Keep receipts, invoices, and records of all parts and services used in the repairs. Receipts for parts must be dated and have the name, address, and zip code of the seller and the buyer. If you purchased any parts used, the receipt must also have the VIN of the vehicle from which the parts were taken. You’ll need them for the next step!

Have the vehicle inspected

Once the repairs are completed, you’ll need to have the vehicle inspected by the Delaware State Police Auto Theft Unit. The office is only available on limited days out of the month, but you do not need an appointment for an inspection. You can visit
the official DMV site
for available days and hours.
Before you go to the Auto Theft Unit inspection, be sure you have the following documents:
  • The salvage certificate
  • Either a bill of sale if you purchased the salvaged car or the total loss insurance settlement letter from your insurance company
  • All receipts for parts and repairs
  • Proof of identity
The documents must all be in your name.
After your inspection is completed, the Delaware State Police Auto Theft Unit inspectors will provide you with an MV214 Application for Title, which you’ll need for the final application process.
You will also need a Safety Inspection at the DMV. You can take the car to the DMV for a Safety Inspection before the Auto Theft Unit inspection. Both are required, regardless of the order in which they are completed. The DMV will then provide you a free temporary tag (if the car passes) to use the car legally until you can make it to the nearest available Auto Theft Unit inspection. 

Apply for a rebuilt title

Now that the car has been fully repaired and inspected successfully, it’s time to apply for a rebuilt title! You’re in the home stretch, but there are still a few steps left to take.
If you haven’t done so already, you must take the vehicle to the DMV for an additional inspection, where they will test for safety and emissions compliance. 
Once that inspection is completed, bring your MV214 Application for Title, proof of insurance, salvage certificate, and the Vehicle Inspection Report from the official inspection to your nearest DMV office. You’ll pay the titling fee of $35.00, and the process will be complete!

How long does a rebuilt title take in Delaware?

The process should take up to a month to complete. This is, of course, is contingent upon how long repairs take and how soon you can get an Auto Theft Unit inspection.

Finding cheap car insurance in Delaware

In order to finalize the rebuilt title application in Delaware, you’ll need to have valid proof of your current
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A car with a rebuilt title has an advantage in that it’s cheaper to purchase than a new car or even many used cars. But that advantage also comes with a few caveats. These cars do have to pass a number of inspections to be considered safe and roadworthy, but there’s no denying that a rebuilt car is still somewhat more fragile than an original. 
The risk should be minimal, but it is still there.
When all is said and done in terms of fees, getting a rebuilt title, barring the cost of labor and repairs, costs $70.00.
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