What is Salvage Title?
Generally, Salvage title denotes that the vehicle has been damaged and/or deemed a total loss by an insurance company that paid a claim on it. Effectively, if the car was damaged to the point that the insurance company deemed the car to be a total loss, the car will then have a salvage title.
The amount of damage that is required for a car to be deemed a total loss varies from State to State. Some States mandate that a total loss should equal 50% of the car value, others can go as high as 95% – 100% of the car value, while other States allow the insurer to decide its threshold for a total loss. Because of this, there is a risk that a car which is considered clear or clean in one state could be considered salvage in another state when brought over for registration in that other state. For example, if the car in a State where the salvage threshold is damage in the amount of 95% of the car value is brought to a State where the threshold is 50% that car would be clean or clear title in the first State but considered salvage in the other state.
In addition, regulations in some states require a salvage title to be issued for stolen or vandalized vehicles.
We highly recommend that you look up the rules and regulations of the State where the title is registered and the State where you wish to register the car to determine the rules and criteria they use in connection with salvage title and determination.
We discuss Salvage vehicles and title in more detail under this “Understanding Salvage Titles” FAQ page below.