According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, a salvage vehicle is one that is inoperable, or that is unable to pass a state safety inspection without the owner needing to spend more on repairs than the fair market value of the vehicle.
When the vehicle has a salvage title, it is not possible to register or drive the vehicle. However, some owners and those who buy salvage vehicles want to get the vehicles into drivable condition. Once they do this, it is possible to get a new title for the vehicle and to register it. In order to get a new title, though, you need to prove that the vehicle has been repaired properly.
Applying for a Rebuilt Title
You will need to submit an Application for Certificate of Title (Form MV-1) unless the title is already in your name. You will also need to include the Application for Reconstructed, Specially Constructed, Collectible, Modified, Flood, Recovered Theft Vehicles and Street Rods (Form MV-426B). This includes your personal information, the type of vehicle, and the explanation including information about the repairs.
You will need to check off any of the parts that were repaired or replaced on the vehicle, and have a copy of the receipt, invoice, or salvage certificate for each of the replaced components. This is a lengthy and detailed form, so be sure to read and fill out each applicable part.
You also need to include color photos of the vehicle. The photos should be clear, and they should show the front, back, and both sides of the vehicle. Attach all of your bills of sales and receipts to your application, and include a completed Application for Correction of Vehicle Record of Verification of Vehicle Identification Number (Form MV-41) to apply for the vehicle identification number plate. The current fees are $51 for the title and $36 for the registration.
You can send all of the paper work to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Special Services Unit, PO Box 69007, Harrisburg, PA 17106-9007
You also have to have an inspection conducted by a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation approved station. Make sure you bring all of your paperwork, as the inspector will have to sign off on it. They will be looking for any evidence of a stolen vehicle or stolen parts.
After you pass the inspection and the applications are processed, you can receive your rebuilt title and register the vehicle. When you complete all of these steps, you will be able to drive your vehicle on the roads again, provided that you get insurance coverage.
The title will be branded as rebuilt, and it will carry over to all subsequent titles associated with the vehicle. This is to cut down on fraud when some owners and dealers would try to sell salvage vehicles without divulging the true history of the vehicle. Since the title will bear the brand, it makes it easier for anyone who buys these cars to know exactly what they are getting.