Every state in America has slightly different guidelines governing vehicle registration and licensing. These rules and policies are specific to each state, and can vary depending upon the type of vehicle involved. In most states, special rules apply to salvage titles.
The state of Delaware, for example, has its own guidelines for dealing specifically with cars or trucks that have been declared by an insurance company to be a total loss. Therefore, it is important to not only understand how to obtain a title for such a vehicle but also how to get it properly insured once the car or truck has been suitably rebuilt.
The Steps You Need to Follow To Get A Salvage Title In Delaware
In order to legally drive your salvage car in the state of Delaware, you need to apply for a salvage title issued by the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles, as the state of Delaware requires a title to be reissued if a vehicle was declared a total loss. The following are the steps you need to follow in order to get a salvage title in the state of Delaware:
- After the vehicle has been declared a total loss by the insurance company, the original car title will need to be handed over to the state of Delaware. At this point, you need to be sure that you made a proper notation on the back of your Delaware title noting the odometer reading. This needs to be recorded in Section 1. In that same section, you need to visibly sign and print your name in the correct areas. This odometer reading is critical during the later inspection and re-titling phases of the process, so ensure you record it correctly, bearing in mind that it is against the law in Delaware to tamper with odometer readings, even on vehicles with a salvage title.
- You will also need a detailed letter from your insurance company or agent stating that they have declared the car or truck to be a total loss. This is typically included within the loss settlement paperwork that your insurance company would have given to you when making this designation, so make sure that you get and retain a copy. It should state that the vehicle is now an owner-retained salvage vehicle. In addition, the letter needs to include your full name, the date that in which the loss occurred, as well as the make and model of the car, the model year, the vehicle identification number, and the signature of your insurance agent.
- You will also need to turn over the license plate of the vehicle.
- Once you have fulfilled the requirements stipulated in items 1-3, you will need to remit payment for the salvage title. In Delaware, that fee is currently set at $25. You can take care of this in person or by mail. If you choose to do this by mail, you will need to send the required documents, the license plate and a check for the fee to the Title Section at the Division of Motor Vehicles in Dover. You also need to send a self-addressed envelope. Unless you have done this before, it is recommended that you complete the process in person if possible, to make sure that everything is done correctly.
- When the Department of Motor Vehicles receives the items listed above, a salvage certificate will be issued to you. Remember that this is not the same as a title, so you cannot drive or insure the vehicle at this point. However, if the car registration is still current, you will be given back the license plate. When you go through the final steps in this process, you will be able to use that license plate on the car again.
- At this point, you can make the repairs necessary to put the salvage vehicle back in a condition in which it can be safely put on the road.
- The state of Delaware requires a safety inspection in order to confirm that your salvage vehicle is once again safe to go on the road. If the vehicle passes, a temporary tag will be issued to you on the spot, and no fee will be charged. This permits you to drive the car to a different inspection that is specific to vehicles that have a salvage title. This inspection is administered by the Auto Theft Unit, a division of the Delaware State Police. To prepare for this inspection, you will need to bring the following documentation with you:
- Color photographs of your vehicle, showing what it looked like before the repairs, and how it looks now that the repairs have been made.
- The salvage certificate that was issued for the car.
- A bill of sale for the car or truck, or a letter from your insurance company detailing a total loss insurance settlement.
- Detailed receipts for any new parts that you purchased for the vehicle during the repair process. These receipts need to contain the complete contact information of the seller and the buyer, in addition to the date in which each of the parts was purchased. All receipts for used parts must visibly indicate the vehicle identification number of the car and where the parts came from.
- Proof of your identity. All documents and receipts must be in your name.
- If you pass this inspection, the Auto Theft Unit will give you an application for a vehicle title. In Delaware, this is referred to as Form MV214.
- Complete Form MV214, and then take the car to its final inspection, as well as an emissions test. There are four different Department of Motor Vehicle inspections sites located in Delaware, and you can go to the one that is closest to you.
- If your vehicle passes this inspection, you can then go to your local DMV office to finish the title application process. You will need to take your salvage certificate, the complete title application, proof of insurance for the vehicle, and the vehicle inspection report.
Getting Your Car Insured
These are the steps required in Delaware to get a salvage vehicle back on the road again. Remember that you need to get proof of insurance before you complete the last step to get a salvage title. You will need to contact various insurance companies in the state to see who will insure your vehicle.
Please note that insurance providers are not legally obligated to grant you coverage for any vehicle that has a rebuilt title, so you might have to contact several insurance companies before you find suitable coverage for your vehicle. In addition, it may be difficult to get comprehensive or full cover insurance, but not impossible.