How to Get a Rebuilt Title in Virginia

You’ll need to repair your salvage title car, pay $140 in fees, and pass a vehicle inspection to get a rebuilt title in Virginia.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Edited by Pat Roache
To get a rebuilt title in
, you’ll have to pay $140 in fees to request a rebuilt vehicle examination through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (VA DMV). Virginia’s Vehicle Branding Work Center will issue you a rebuilt title certificate once you can show that your previously salvaged car has passed the inspection. 
  • A rebuilt title provides a new lease on life to a car that’s previously been deemed a total loss by an auto insurance company.
  • You’ll first need to pay a $15 fee to apply for a Virginia Salvage Certificate of Title if you don’t have one already.
  • Submit your request for a rebuilt title to the VA DMV after all necessary repairs have been made by an experienced mechanic.

Rebuilt titles: What you need to know

rebuilt title
certifies that a car that was once deemed a total loss now meets all of the legal and safety requirements to be considered drivable. The totaled car will first be issued a salvage title before it can be
rebuilt and issued a new title
It is illegal to drive a salvage title vehicle before it’s been properly repaired: Once you take care of the necessary
car repairs
, the salvage title can be replaced with a rebuilt title, so long as it passes the required examination. 
You can sell or
buy a salvage title car
, but it can be considerably difficult considering the cost of repairs. It’s often much easier to find a buyer for a used car with a rebuilt title car.
Keep in mind: A rebuilt title does not expunge a vehicle’s history, but it is the only legal way to drive a car that was previously totaled. The actual cash value of a rebuilt title car will be lower compared to the resale value of a car with a
clean title

How to get a rebuilt title in Virginia

If you’re applying for a rebuilt title in Virginia, you’ll have to:
  • Title the car as a salvage
  • Restore it
  • Certify it with a rebuilt title

Apply for the salvage title 

If your car doesn’t have a VA salvage title, you’ll need to apply for one by mailing the following documents and a $15 fee to Virginia's Vehicle Branding Work Center:
  • Vehicle’s original certificate of title
  • Completed
    Salvage Certificate Application
    (Form VSA 56)
  • An itemized list of necessary repairs from either your insurance company or an independent appraiser
  • Vehicle’s make, model, year, VIN
  • Any new or used parts that require repairs, and costs
  • Total parts and labor costs
  • Insurance company or appraiser signature
Mail the above to the following address: 
Virginia Vehicle Branding Center
P.O. Box 27412, Richmond
Virginia 23269-0001

Make the necessary repairs to your vehicle

Upon receipt of your salvage title, you can begin repairs on the vehicle, or take it to a mechanic who is qualified to do so. 

Essential documents to apply for a rebuilt Virginia title

Once your car has been repaired, you’ll need to apply by mail for a rebuilt title with the following:
Mail to:  
Virginia Vehicle Branding Center
P.O. Box 27412, Richmond
Virginia 23269-0001
Upon receipt of your documents and fees, a DMV Special Agent will contact you to schedule your examination for a rebuilt title.

Essential documents for an Examination of Rebuilt Salvage vehicle in Virginia 

You’ll need to bring the following for your examination:
  • Proof that your vehicle has passed a Virginia safety inspection
  • A photocopy of the Request for Examination Rebuilt Salvage Vehicle
  • Receipts for any original parts
  • A photo of the vehicle before any repairs
  • Old components with the vehicle’s VIN (if applicable)
Once the vehicle has passed its inspection, the DMV Special Agent will notify the Vehicle Branding Work Center, and the rebuilt title will be sent to you in the mail.
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A rebuilt title certifies that a rebuilt vehicle is safe to drive in Virginia. However, A rebuilt car can have problems hiding under the surface, so rebuilt titles often lower the value of their vehicle.
It costs $125 for the examination necessary to get a vehicle’s title rebranded to rebuilt status, plus another $15 substitute title fee.
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