How to Get Rid of a Salvage Title on Your Vehicle

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You can’t remove a salvage title from a car, but it can be rebranded as rebuilt after undergoing repairs and passing a state inspection.
A car receives a salvage title after it suffers damages that exceed 75% of its total value. Most states will not allow you to legally drive a car with a salvage title, but with some work, you can rebrand the car with a rebuilt title.
Things get trickier when it comes to car insurance. Cars with salvage titles don’t need insurance since they’ve been deemed a total loss, but a car with a rebuilt title can be more difficult to insure than your average vehicle.
Thankfully, Jerry has you covered! Jerry is your pocket insurance broker that can help you find affordable coverage for difficult insurance needs, including rebuilt titles.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about salvage titles.
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What can you do with a car that has a salvage title?

Most states will not allow you to drive or insure a car with a salvage title. You might also find it difficult to trade in the car at a dealership.
Since a vehicle with a salvage title has been declared a total loss by an insurance company, there is little value in it unless it’s rebuilt. Believe it or not, it can even be difficult to insure a car that previously had a salvage title.

Can a salvage title be changed to clean?

You can’t remove the salvage title from a vehicle and give it a clean title—but you can rebrand the car as a rebuilt title (also known as a reconditioned title or assembled title).
Before diving into the process of changing a salvage title, it’s important to note that it is illegal to try to hide the history of a car. In fact, it’s called title laundering and it’s a crime.
Before you try to change a salvage vehicle title, get acquainted with your state’s registration and titling laws.
To change a salvage title to a rebuilt title, you will need to repair the vehicle and submit it for inspection to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in your state. If the car passes the inspection, the DMV can rebrand the salvage title to a rebuilt title.
In a sense, the title has been "cleaned"—but potential buyers and insurers will understand that the car had a salvage title in the past. If you choose to sell or want to insure the vehicle, this can certainly complicate things.
Key Takeaway Salvage titles can be rebranded as rebuilt titles, but insurers and potential buyers are entitled to the history of the car.

Removing a salvage title

You can have a salvage title rebranded as a rebuilt title after you repair the car, pass an inspection, and file the necessary paperwork.

Buy the salvage vehicle

There’s a lot to consider if you’re considering buying a car with a salvage title. In some states, only licensed rebuilders are allowed to purchase salvage vehicles. If this is the case where you live, you’ll need to purchase a vehicle that has already been repaired and given a rebuilt title.

Repair the vehicle so it’s safe to drive

Unless you’re a licensed rebuilder, the salvaged car repairs must be done by a certified mechanic. Take care to document all the work you’ve done on the car. Take pictures as much as possible.

Get an inspection from the DMV

Once the vehicle has been rebuilt, you’ll need to submit various documents to the DMV, including the salvage title, the bill of sale, and photos and documents from the repair process. After the DMV receives these documents, you’ll need to schedule an inspection.
You are not allowed to drive a car with a salvage title. You’ll need to have the car towed to the inspection site.

Apply for your rebuilt title

Once your car passes the inspection, you can apply for a rebuilt title. To do this, you’ll need to complete the forms required by your DMV and submit proof of a passed inspection to your state’s title department.
Finally, your salvage title will be rebranded as rebuilt!
Key Takeaway You’ll need to have a salvage vehicle repaired and inspected before you can apply for a rebuilt title.

Finding cheap car insurance for your rebuilt salvage title

It can be tough to find car insurance for a rebuilt salvage title. To help save you time (and lots of headaches), use Jerry.
As a licensed broker, Jerry does all the hard work of finding the cheapest quotes from name-brand insurance companies and finalizing your new car insurance. Jerry will even cancel your old policy for you.
And to ensure you always have the lowest rate, Jerry will send you new quotes every time your policy comes up for renewal, so you’re always getting the coverage you want at the best price. This level of service is why Jerry earned a 4.6/5 rating on the App Store and made it the top insurance app in the country.
"This was the easiest thing I did this year besides cutting off my ex! The app is so user friendly! With Jerry, I saw multiple offers and was able to choose which was best for me. Agents are available over the phone, but being able to text was awesome. 10/10 would recommend!" — SatisfiedJerry user


How much does a salvage title drop the value of a car?

According to Kelley Blue Book, a salvage title can decrease the value of a car by anywhere from 20 to 40 percent.

How does a salvage title affect insurance?

You cannot purchase insurance for a car with a salvage title. You’re not allowed to legally drive a car with a salvage title, even if you’re just going to an inspection facility.
If you have a car with a salvage title and you would like to move it, you will need to have it towed.
Purchasing insurance for a rebuilt salvage title can be tricky, so your best bet is to shop around for the best deal. If you’d rather leave the hard work of gathering quotes to someone else, use Jerry. This free app can collect quotes from over 50 top insurance companies in seconds!
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