How to Get a Rebuilt Title in Washington

To get a rebuilt title in Washington state, your vehicle must meet certain age and value criteria and be inspected by the Washington State Patrol.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
To get a salvage vehicle rebranded with a rebuilt title in Washington State, the car will need to be inspected by the Washington State Patrol. The vehicle must be five years old or newer, or between 6 and 20 years old with a pre-accident value of more than $7,880. If you plan on selling the vehicle, it must be inspected by the Washington State Patrol, as well.
For the most part, when a car is totaled, it has reached the end of its life. The insurance company will write it off as a total loss, and then the vehicle will be stripped of any salvageable parts and crushed into a cube. But some people will want to repair the car so they can either drive it or sell it. If you plan to do either in Washington, you must get a rebuilt title before you can legally take the vehicle on the road.
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What is a rebuilt title?

rebuilt title
certifies that a vehicle once deemed a total loss has been repaired, meets Washington State’s safety and legal standards, and is now in drivable condition. 
To be branded a rebuilt title car, a vehicle must first have a salvage title certificate. With a salvage title, a car is not driveable. Once you make the necessary repairs (or get a qualified and licensed mechanic to do those repairs for you), you can
the salvage title with a rebuilt title. 
If you plan on selling the vehicle in Washington State, the rebuilt vehicle must pass an inspection before a rebuilt title can be issued. If you plan on keeping the car, an inspection is not necessary, but you’ll still have to notify
Washington State’s Department of Licensing

Does my car need a rebuilt title?

If your car was totaled in an accident and you want to rebuild it to either drive it again or sell it, you will need to get a rebuilt title. Selling a vehicle with a salvage title can be difficult, and most experts
recommend against buying a salvage vehicle
Selling a car with a rebuilt title is usually easier. Keep in mind that a vehicle with a rebuilt title will not have its history erased, so the buyer will know that it once had a salvage title attached to it. Still, a vehicle with a rebuilt title has been deemed safe and in drivable condition.
MORE: How to insure a car with a salvage title

How to get a rebuilt title in Washington

First, you’ll need to apply for a salvage title if you don’t already have one. You’ll also need to make any necessary repairs. If you have experience working on cars, you may be able to repair the vehicle yourself, but totaled vehicles typically require extensive work, so it’s probably best to have a mechanic oversee the work. 

Apply for the rebuilt title

Once your salvage car, SUV, or pickup has been repaired, you can begin the process of getting the vehicle branded a rebuilt title. Here’s what you will need to do:
  • Have the vehicle towed to a Washington State Patrol office. Do not drive the car there—it is illegal to do so.
  • Schedule an appointment for an inspection if you plan on selling the vehicle.
  • Pay any fees and licensing costs.

Essential documents for a rebuilt Washington title

At the inspection appointment, you’ll need to bring the following:
  • A Washington State Patrol Inspection
    , completed by a licensing agent
  • Valid ID
  • Original and salvage titles
  • Any receipts for repairs performed on the vehicle 

How long does a rebuilt title take in Washington?

From start to finish, the process of getting a rebuilt title in Washington State will take between 4 to 8 weeks. The exact length of time depends on how long it takes to make the necessary repairs to the vehicle. 

Finding cheap car insurance in Washington

As in most U.S. states, you’ll need
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Not necessarily, but it depends. You could buy a car with a rebuilt title and have no problems. But the opposite is true—you could buy a car with a rebuilt title, and despite its shining new appearance, there could still be serious problems lurking under the hood. There is a risk when buying a car with a rebuilt title, so do your research accordingly before taking the plunge.
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