How to Get a Rebuilt Title in Wisconsin

You can get a rebuilt title in Wisconsin by acquiring a salvage title, making the essential repairs, and paying title, registration, and inspection fees.
Written by Melanie Johnson
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
To get a rebuilt title in
, you’ll have to apply for a salvage title, make the essential repairs, pass inspection, and apply for a rebuilt title through your local DMV.
After an insurance company deems a car a total loss or “totaled,” the car is usually taken to a salvage yard and sold for parts. But in some circumstances, a totaled car can be safely rebuilt, receive a rebuilt title, and be driven again. 

What is a rebuilt title?

rebuilt title
confirms that a car that was once deemed a total loss has been rebuilt and is now safe to drive.
For a rebuilt title to be issued, the car needs to have a salvage title first. The salvage title shows that the car was totaled—meaning 70% or more of it was damaged—and is presently unfit to drive. 
Once the vehicle has been restored, you'll have the
salvage title removed
and receive a rebuilt title.

Does my car need a rebuilt title?

If you want to drive or sell a totaled car, you will need a rebuilt title.
In general, buyers are advised to avoid cars with salvage titles because they are unsafe to drive and therefore uninsurable.
Cars with rebuilt titles are more appealing to potential buyers. A rebuilt title will not erase a car’s history, but it does show that the car has been repaired properly, is deemed fit to drive, and is insurable.

How to get a rebuilt title in Wisconsin

Getting a rebuilt title in Wisconsin is not easy! You should be prepared to put some serious time and money into the process.
Repairing a car from salvage can be a rewarding experience, but it is not without its challenges. 

Apply for the salvage title 

You’ll need to first apply for a salvage title if you don’t already have one. You will need:
  • The original title in your name.
  • A completed
    Title Application/Branding Notification (Form MV2849)
    . Note that you cannot use this form if there’s still a lien on the car. You’ll need to remove the lien before applying for a salvage title.
  • Documentation from your insurance company proving the car was deemed a total loss by state standards, as well as a written statement from you that confirms this, as well.
  • A $169.50 check made out to “Registration Fee Trust,” which includes the title fee ($164.50) and counter fee ($5)
Mail all of the above to Wisconsin Department of Transportation, P.O. Box 7949, Madison, WI 53707. Should you have any questions, you may call the Wisconsin DMV at (608) 264-7447.

Make the necessary repairs to your vehicle

As soon as you’ve received the salvage title, you may begin the process of repairing the vehicle. But remember to take photos documenting the car in its salvage state prior. 
The Department of Transportation (DOT) asks for the following four photos:
  • Front of the vehicle
  • Back
  • Driver’s side
  • Passenger’s side
Afterward, go ahead with the necessary repairs. You can complete these repairs yourself or take the car to a licensed mechanic. 

Vehicle inspection

After the car has been properly repaired, you’ll have to have the car inspected at an inspection agency approved by the DOT. This inspection is to ensure the car is safe to drive and none of the parts used were stolen. A list of approved agencies is available at
You must fill out a Request for Repaired or Rebuilt Vehicle Examination form to initiate the inspection. 
If you do not pass inspection, the state will re-issue you a salvage title and you will have to go through the process again. You will also have to pay the inspection fee again.

Essential documents for a rebuilt Wisconsin title

The following documentation is necessary to apply for a rebuilt title:
You will also need to prepare an affidavit with the following information:
  • Major parts used in the restructuring of the vehicle
  • Model/make/year/VIN of the vehicle the parts were taken from
  • Date of sale of the parts and signature of seller (if the seller is unknown, the affidavit must reflect this)
  • Signature of the buyer of the parts and amount paid
  • Certification of the vehicle passing inspection
Lastly, you’ll need a $329.50 check made out to “Registration Fee Trust” inclusive of the following fees:
  • Reconstructed car title: $164.50
  • Vehicle registration: $85
  • Inspection fee: $80
After the vehicle passes inspection, it’s the inspector’s responsibility to send this documentation, as well as applicable fees, to your local Wisconsin DMV branch. 
Should all application requirements be fulfilled, your new rebuilt title will be mailed to you.

How long does a rebuilt title take in Wisconsin?

From beginning to end, the process of acquiring a rebuilt title in Wisconsin can take six to eight weeks. The exact length of time will depend on how long repairs take, as well as application processing time. 
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Not necessarily! You can find great deals on rebuilt titles because they are less appealing to certain buyers. A rebuilt title certifies that the car is functional and safe to drive. However, sometimes rebuilt titles come with hidden flaws, so buyer beware!
It costs around $500 in fees alone to get a rebuilt title in Wisconsin—this includes the salvage title fee. This does not include repair or labor costs.
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