How to Get a Rebuilt Title in North Carolina

To get a rebuilt title in North Carolina, you must pass vehicle inspections, submit the required documents to the DMV, and pay $65.10
Written by Mary Cahill
Edited by Pat Roache
If you want to get a rebuilt vehicle title in North Carolina, you’ll need to pass a series of inspections, submit the required documents to the DMV, and pay a total of $65.10 in fees.
  • A rebuilt title is required to legally restore a vehicle that’s previously been issued a salvage title in North Carolina.
  • Salvage rebuilt cars in North Carolina have to pass a safety inspection ($13.60 fee) and emissions testing ($30 fee) to be approved for a rebuilt title.
  • North Carolina car owners can submit an application for a duplicate rebuilt title at the DMV for a $21.50 fee.

North Carolina rebuilt titles: What you need to know

If your car has previously been declared a total loss by a car insurance company and you’ve
kept the totaled car
, you can get a
rebuilt title
if it’s been restored to its former driving capabilities. You’ll need a rebuilt title for the car to be legally drivable again. 
In most situations, a car that’s being primed for a rebuild is first classified as a
salvage vehicle
. That basically means the vehicle has suffered such a high level of damage that it’s declared a wreck and has been issued a salvage title. 
Keep in mind: Cars that carry a salvage title cannot be driven on public roadways. You need to
replace the salvage title
with a rebuilt title to legally operate or sell a car that’s previously been declared a total loss.

How to get a rebuilt title in North Carolina 

You have to be willing to fully restore a salvage title vehicle and pass several inspections to certify it as a rebuilt title car in North Carolina. Here are the steps you’ll need to take.

Apply for a salvage title

You’ll need to apply for a salvage certificate of title from the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles if the salvage car doesn’t already have one. Be prepared to submit the following documents:
A salvage title car that is six years old or under must also have an anti-theft inspection performed by the North Carolina DMV License and Theft Bureau. 
How long it takes: Your duplicate salvage-branded title will be issued after 15 days if approved.

Make the necessary repairs to your vehicle 

Take your salvage motor vehicle to a certified mechanic to perform the necessary
car repairs
. Consider the following:
  • Purchase high-quality parts for your reconstructed vehicle.
  • Save all receipts or bills of sale for the car parts you use.
Once repairs are complete: Your salvage rebuilt vehicle will need to undergo another anti-theft inspection to ensure you didn’t use any stolen parts in the repair process.

Pass safety AND emissions testing 

The state of North Carolina requires salvage rebuilt cars to pass vehicle inspections for safety and emissions testing before they can be issued a rebuilt title.
Safety inspections:
Yearly safety inspections
are mandatory for all vehicles that are less than 35 years old in the majority of North Carolina’s counties. The fee for this inspection is $13.60.
During the safety inspection, the examiner will look at various components of the vehicle to confirm everything is in working order, including:
  • Signals
  • Brakes
  • Steering capability
  • Windshield wipers
  • Headlights
  • And more 
Emissions testing:  The safety examination is typically accompanied by a standard emissions test. The fee for
North Carolina emissions testing
is $30. 
You may be able to avoid emissions testing if your vehicle is:
  • Less than three years old 
  • Has less than 70,000 miles on the odometer 
  • Is from 1995 or older 
  • Runs on diesel
MORE: How to pass emissions testing

Apply for a rebuilt title at the DMV

Once you have your certificates of inspection in hand, you’ll need to take the following documents to your local NC DMV to apply for your rebuilt title:
How long it takes: You’ll need to wait at least 15 days for your duplicate rebuilt title to arrive in the mail. Then, you can officially take your rebuilt car out for a spin!
“With little to no work on my part,
saved me $70 a month in North Carolina. The process was simple and flawless. I will be working with Jerry in the future!” —Emmanuel K.
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A rebuilt title is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does indicate that a car has previously undergone sustainable damage and repairs. Since a rebuilt title is not considered a
clean title
, your car’s fair market value will be less than comparable, undamaged vehicles.
The total cost to get a rebuilt title in North Carolina is typically $65.10 after all considered fees. The safety inspection fee is $13.60, emissions testing fee is $30, and duplicate rebuilt title fee is $21.50.
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