How to Get a Rebuilt Title in Illinois

You can get a rebuilt title in Illinois by having repairs done by a licensed rebuilder, passing two inspections, and paying a $95 rebuilt title fee.
Written by Amber Reed
Reviewed by R.E. Fulton
To get a rebuilt title in Illinois, you’ll need to obtain a salvage title, find a licensed rebuilder to perform the repairs, pass two inspections, and pay a rebuilt title fee of $95.
  • Only licensed rebuilders can perform repairs to a salvage vehicle in Illinois
  • Before a salvage vehicle is eligible for a rebuilt title, it must pass at least one safety inspection
  • You can’t get
    Illinois auto insurance
    for a salvage title vehicle—you need a rebuilt title first 

What is a rebuilt title?

A rebuilt title is a special type of certificate of title certifying that a vehicle previously declared a total loss by an insurance company has been restored to a safe, drivable condition. 
Generally, the process for getting a rebuilt title starts with what’s called a salvage title. A salvage title documents that the vehicle has damages that would exceed the value of the car to repair. It also means that the car is unsafe to drive.

How to get a rebuilt title in Illinois

The state of Illinois has stricter regulations around the rebuilt vehicle titling process than most states. It can be worth the time and expense, but it definitely comes with some work.
Still want to go for it? Okay! Here’s how: 

1. Apply for a salvage title 

If the salvage car you plan to rebuild doesn’t already have a salvage title, you can apply for one from the
Illinois Secretary of State
and pay a $20 fee.
Under Illinois law, a vehicle that has sustained damage equal to more than 33.3% of its fair market value is considered a salvage vehicle.

2. Make the necessary repairs to your vehicle

In Illinois, you cannot do the work of repairing a vehicle for a rebuilt title yourself. You must have it done through a licensed automotive rebuilder. 
Once the repairs have been completed, the vehicle must pass a safety inspection at one of the
Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Safety Testing Lanes
. These are located throughout the state.
If the car is more than eight years old, it will need to have an inspection done by the Illinois State Police to make sure that the car (and the parts used in its repair) aren’t stolen. 

Essential documents for a rebuilt Illinois title

To apply for a rebuilt Illinois title, you will need to bring the following to your inspection site:
  • A salvage certificate in the name of the licensed rebuilder
  • Your completed rebuilt title application
  • A salvage affirmation that identifies all the parts used in the rebuild
  • Invoices/bills of sale for all the parts used in the rebuild
  • IDOT vehicle inspection report and sticker
You’ll also need to bring the following required fees in the form of a check or money order: 
  • Inspection fee: $94
  • Title fee: $95

Does my car need a rebuilt title?

In Illinois, you cannot process a
vehicle registration
for a salvage title car or
insure a salvage title car
. If you want to drive the car, you’ll need to get a rebuilt title. You can sell a vehicle with only a salvage title, but most experts advise that buying a car without a clean title is a bad idea.
It doesn’t make the history of whatever happened to the car go away entirely—a buyer would still be able to obtain the details of what was damaged and how. But it does officially document that the car has been repaired to a safe, drivable condition. It’s also the only way that you can get the car registered.
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Yes—a rebuilt title means that the rebuilt salvage vehicle has been approved to drive. A salvage title vehicle, on the other hand, is illegal to drive until you have made the necessary repairs and the vehicle has passed inspection.
The process of applying for a rebuilt title in Illinois typically takes about a month.
Costs to have the required repairs done will vary widely. The cost for an inspection is $94 and the fee for a rebuilt title is $95.
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