If a vehicle has been damaged by 75% or more of its retail value, based on the NADA guide, then it is considered a total loss and is a salvaged vehicle. The insurance company will declare this a total loss and the vehicle will receive a salvage title after you submit your current title to the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT).
You need to do this within ten days of the vehicle being declared a total loss. The NDDOT will then send you a salvage certificate of title.
Rebuilding the Vehicle
Though the vehicle might be called a total loss by some, it does not mean you necessarily have to part with the vehicle and sell it for scrap. Some may want to reconstruct the vehicle to get it back on the road and to get a new title. In order to do this, you will need to make sure the car is in good repair, and that you have all of the information about the parts used in the vehicle’s reconstruction whether they were used or new.
After you rebuild the vehicle, you need to get an inspection. These inspections used to be conducted by the North Dakota State Highway Patrol, but are now done by licensed businesses.
This inspection is to determine whether any of the parts that were used in the vehicle, or the vehicle itself, were stolen.
The inspection is conducted by law enforcement, and they will provide you with a completed Certificate of Vehicle Inspection (Form SFN 2486) if the vehicle passes the inspection.
The Certificate of Vehicle Inspection will check the VIN, as well as the safety of the vehicle. Some of the parts that the officers will check for safety include the headlights and taillights, license plate light, turn signals, horn, exhaust, wipers, door latches, floor pan, bumper height, steering wheel, and tires. The form also requires the name and address of the people who completed the repairs.
You will also need to include an Application for Certificate of Title & Registration of a Vehicle, properly filled out, along with the vehicles salvage certificate of title. The current fee for the new title is $5, payable by check or money order.
After you turn in all of the paperwork, they will send a new certificate of title with branding on it that denotes that it had been damaged. The title will always carry this disclosure, so any buyers in the future are aware that they are buying a repaired vehicle.