In Washington, salvage vehicles are those cars and trucks that have been damaged to the point that the insurance companies decide to declare them a total loss and the owner or insurance company decides that it would not be economical for them to make repairs.
The owner or the insurance company needs to report the vehicle as a total loss and then surrender the vehicle within 15 days of the declaration. A salvage vehicle cannot be legally driven.
Reporting a Salvage Vehicle
When reporting a salvage vehicle, you will write destroyed, and the date of salvage, on the face of the title and then mail it to the Department of Licensing, Wreckers, PO Box 9038, Olympia, WA 98501.
What Options Are Available?
Salvage vehicle owners have the option of selling the vehicle, keeping the vehicle without repairing it (they may want to use it for parts), or of keeping the vehicle and repairing it.
Those who decide to keep the vehicle or those who buy a salvage title and who want to repair it will need to make sure that they repair the vehicle to make it roadworthy and that they keep all of the bills of sale for the parts used in the reconstruction of the vehicles. The bills of sale need to be in the name of the person who is presenting the documentation at the inspection. Internet bid receipts are not acceptable.
The vehicle will then need to go through an inspection before applying for the title. After getting the rebuilt title, they will need to register the vehicle, provide a notice of cancellation letter, and pay the applicable fees.
If the vehicle is five years old or newer, or if it meets the current market threshold criteria (six to 20 years old, a passenger vehicle, SUV, or light duty truck, and had a retail value of greater than $7,880 or more before being declared a total loss), it is eligible to receive a WA rebuilt title.