If a damaged vehicle has repair costs that equal 75% or greater than the fair market value of the vehicle determined by the insurance agency, they will declare the vehicle a total loss. At that point, the state of South Carolina will assign the vehicle a salvage title, meaning it cannot be driven or registered unless you rebuild the vehicle.
To apply for a salvage title, if the insurance company does not do it for you, complete a Request for Salvage (Total Loss) Title (Form TR-3). Provide the certificate of title and the registration papers with your name on them, and then fill out the Application for Certificate of Title and Registration for Motor Vehicle or Manufactured Home/Mobile Home (Form 400).
You will also need to include a statement from the insurance company that corroborates that the damage to the vehicle is greater than 75%. The current fee for a salvage title is $15, but this is subject to change. Check with the South Carolina DMV to learn the most recent fees.
Getting the Rebuilt Title
Before you can get a rebuilt title for the vehicle, you need to rebuild it and make sure it is safe for the road. Once you rebuild the vehicle, you will need to have the vehicle undergo an inspection. The inspection will cover all of the repaired and replaced parts in the vehicle including elements such as the fenders, the engine, transmission, frame, doors, and airbags.
The inspector and agent of the South Carolina DMV will ensure that the vehicle’s parts have proper documentation, which you need to include in the form of parts invoices and receipts. They are looking to make sure that none of the parts used in the repair have been stolen.
You will also need to have your title available. After the vehicle passes, they will complete the Salvage Vehicle Inspection Report, and then you can go to your local DMV office to file for your rebuilt salvage title.
When you go to the DMV office, have a completed Form S-2, which certifies that the vehicle was rebuilt. You also have to have your title, an Application for Title and Registration, and the Salvage Vehicle Inspection Report. You can turn in the paperwork and pay the titling fees. Check with the South Carolina DMV for the latest fees.
After everything is completed, you will then be able to receive your rebuilt title and register the vehicle. The rebuilt brand will stay on the title for the remainder of the car’s life, including when you sell the vehicle. This is to inform the new buyer of the vehicle’s past.