How to Get a Rebuilt Title in South Carolina

To get a rebuilt title in South Carolina, you’ll need to repair your salvage car, pass an inspection, and pay a rebuilt title fee.
Written by Andrea Barrett
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
To get a rebuilt title in South Carolina, you must request a salvage title, pay the $15 fee, make the necessary repairs to the vehicle, have the car undergo inspection, and then apply for the rebuilt title.
  • A
    rebuilt title
    certifies that a previously totaled car, as determined by an auto insurance company, has been successfully restored to roadworthy condition. 
  • If the vehicle doesn’t have a salvage certificate or title already, you’ll have to apply for one.
  • Applications for rebuilt titles are filed with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.

What you need to know about rebuilt titles

When an insurance company deems a car “‘totaled,” they assume ownership of the car, and it is given a
salvage title
, which means a salvage brand is added to the car’s original clean title. A rebuilt title certifies that a salvage title vehicle has been restored to drivable condition. 
If you want to sell or drive a previously totaled car, chances are you will need a salvage rebuilt title brand. South Carolina offers multiple salvage brands for titles, such as salvage fire and salvage flood, that inform a vehicle owner or potential buyer of the damage that led to the car being considered a total loss.
A salvage rebuilt brand informs owners and buyers that the damage that caused the vehicle to be declared a total loss has been fully repaired. While a salvage title car may appeal to a car enthusiast keen on fixing it up, most people will advise against
buying a salvage title vehicle
Rebuilt titles are only awarded to motor vehicles that have undergone complete restoration or repair and are safety-approved by a licensed inspector, making them easier to sell. Every rebuilt title car comes with a detailed account of all the previous damages and a thorough record of every repair it has undergone. 
The bottom line: Any car that has previously had a salvage title must obtain a rebuilt title before it can be sold or driven. 

How to get a rebuilt title in South Carolina

To get a rebuilt title in South Carolina, you need to:
  • Apply for a salvage title, if necessary
  • Make the necessary repairs to the vehicle
  • Get the vehicle inspected
  • Apply for a rebuilt title

Step 1: Apply for the salvage title 

If your vehicle does not already have a salvage title, you will need to coordinate with your auto insurance company to apply for one through the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
To do this, your insurance company will need to submit:
Documents can be mailed to:
Salvage Titles 
PO Box 1498 
Blythewood, SC 29016-0044.
You can usually expect a salvage title to be granted within three to six weeks. 

Step 2: Make the necessary repairs to your vehicle

Once you have a salvage certificate of title for your damaged vehicle, you can start the repairs. If you’re car-savvy, you may be able to do the repairs yourself, otherwise, take it to a certified mechanic. 
Note: Be sure to keep your original receipts, bills of sale, and documentation associated with the parts used to repair your vehicle. This includes the vehicle identification number (VIN) of any vehicle from which parts are taken to complete your repairs.

Step 3: Pass a vehicle inspection

Before applying for a rebuilt title, you must
get your car inspected
at a valid South Carolina vehicle inspection agency. Call
your local South Carolina DMV
for specifics on making an appointment, fees, and required documentation. 
The inspection will cover all repaired and replaced parts in the vehicle such as:
  • Fenders
  • The engine
  • Transmission
  • Frame
  • Doors
  • Airbags 

Step 4: Apply for a South Carolina rebuilt title

After your car has passed the safety inspection and received a Salvage Vehicle Inspection Report, you can go to your local DMV to apply for a salvage rebuilt title. You must include proper documentation for all parts to certify that the parts used in the repair have not been stolen.
To apply for your rebuilt title, you’ll need
Once complete, you can then receive your salvage rebuilt title and register the rebuilt vehicle. 
Keep in mind: The rebuilt title will be attached to the vehicle for the duration of its life. Unlike a clean title, your vehicle’s new title notifies any subsequent buyers of the vehicle's history.  

How long does a rebuilt title take in South Carolina?

From start to finish, applying for a rebuilt title in South Carolina generally takes anywhere from three to six weeks. However, the exact length will depend on the condition of the car and repair time prior to applying for the title. 
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