How to Get a Rebuilt Title in Pennsylvania

Salvage vehicles must pass a $40 safety inspection to qualify for a rebuilt title from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Written by Jacqulyn Graber
Edited by Pat Roache
To get a rebuilt title in
, you must keep detailed documentation of your car repairs, submit the reconstructed salvage vehicle for an enhanced vehicle safety inspection, and submit a reconstructed vehicle title application to the
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
(PennDot) with a $51 titling fee. 
  • A reconstructed vehicle title is required to drive a car that’s previously been declared a total loss and issued a salvage title in Pennsylvania.
  • Anyone can perform the repairs on your salvage vehicle, but you’ll need to keep detailed reports, receipts for parts used, and photographs of the rebuilding process.
  • The fees to get a rebuilt title and vehicle registration can vary, maxing out at a total of $154.50 in combined salvage title, safety inspection, rebuilt title, and registration fees.

Pennsylvania rebuilt title: the basics

rebuilt title
(also called a “branded title” or a “reconstructed vehicle title”) certifies that a previously totaled car has been fully repaired to safe operating condition. 
Getting a rebuilt vehicle title is the only way to legally drive, insure, or register a totaled car in Pennsylvania. 
A car will first be issued a salvage title after an
auto insurance
provider has declared it a total loss, deeming it illegal to drive in Pennsylvania. Once you’ve completed all of the repairs, you can start the process of
replacing the salvage title
with a rebuilt title. 

Step 1: Apply for a salvage title

If you didn’t receive a salvage title from the car insurance company that declared your car a total loss, you’ll need to apply for one through PennDOT Driver and Vehicle services. Here’s what you’ll need to bring to your local DMV office: 
It can take three to four weeks to receive your salvage title. 

Step 2: Submit your repaired vehicle for a safety inspection 

Perform the
car repairs
on the salvaged car by yourself or have a professional mechanic do it. After all the repairs are done, take your rebuilt salvage vehicle for an
enhanced safety inspection
at a DMV-approved Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) inspection station. 
The safety inspection fees range by location but shouldn’t exceed $40. 
Keep thorough records, receipts of all parts used, and photographic documentation of the rebuilding process. You’ll need to bring these to the state inspection, as the inspector will check to make sure that all of the parts were purchased legally.

Step 3: Submit the essential documents to the PennDOT DMV

You’ll need to submit the following documents to PennDOT to apply for your rebuilt title:
Mail the documents to the following address:
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Bureau of Motor Vehicles Special Services Unit
P.O. Box 69007, Harrisburg, PA 17106-9007
What to expect: It typically takes about 3-4 weeks to receive a new title for the rebuilt vehicle.

Step 4: Register your rebuilt title vehicle in Pennsylvania

Once you obtain your rebuilt title, you’ll need to register your vehicle with the Pennsylvania DMV. You’ll need to provide a $39 registration fee, a $5 annual residence fee, and the following documentation: 
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Rebuilt title cars are legal to drive, but these used cars are often considered “branded” for their previous vehicle damages and potential, undetected faults. As such, the fair market value of a vehicle with a rebuilt title will typically be lower than one with a
clean title
—even if state’s with rigorous rebuilding standards like Pennsylvania.
The fees you’ll need to pay for a rebuilt title will depend on a few factors. You may need to pay any of the following:
  • Salvage title fee: $22.50
  • Enhanced safety inspection fee: Up to $40
  • Rebuilt title application fee: $51
  • Vehicle registration: $36
  • Annual residence fee: $5
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