South Dakota law states that if you have a totaled vehicle that weighs less than 16,000 lbs. or is five years old or less, you’ll need to obtain a salvage title if you’re keeping it instead of letting your insurance company haul it away for you.
If you ever want to get this salvage vehicle on the road once more, you’ll need to do more than just repair it – you’ve got to get it re-registered, re-titled, and re-insured so it’s street legal again.
However, most people simply assume that it’s impossible to get insurance for a salvage auction car in South Dakota. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, here’s the whole path to insuring a salvage car in the state, from getting it towed to the garage all the way to getting insurance cover for it once again.
We Can Rebuild It
Once you’ve got your salvage title, which you’ll have to do within 30 days of having your car totaled or written off by your insurer, you can take however long you want to rebuild your vehicle. When you think it’s road-worthy once again, you’ll have to get it inspected by either the state’s Department of Revenue and Regulation or by the South Dakota Highway Patrol. You’ll need the following before you can get your vehicle inspected successfully:
- A filled out Application for Motor Vehicle Title & Registration, otherwise known as a Form MV-608.
- A filled out Affidavit for Rebuilt Vehicles, also known as a Form MV-950.
Once you pass, you’ll need to take the certificate of inspection you’re given and attach it to your vehicle registration paperwork. You’ll also need all the receipts or bills of sale for any new or used parts you used to fix any mechanical problems with the vehicle.
Once you have all this documentation – including your salvage title – you can go to your county’s treasurer’s office to register the vehicle. If you can’t make it yourself, you can send someone in your place as long as they have power of attorney for you (Form MV-008).
Once you’re completely cleared and you’ve paid all your taxes and fees, you’ll be issued a new registration – and a brand new title that brands your car as “rebuilt salvage”.
Now you’ve just got to get it insured and you’ll be driving around town once more in style. However, while this is the last step in the process it can also be the most time-consuming and frustrating – even more so than trying to repair the vehicle.
Rebuilt salvage cars are considered to be poor risks when it comes to the insurance industry, and this means that it could be an uphill battle getting the right level of coverage for your vehicle.
Most insurers will offer to provide you with minimal personal liability and property damage coverage to your rebuilt salvage car, but if you’re looking for physical damage insurance like comprehensive or collision coverage, it’s going to be a lot more difficult for you.
However, if you can prove to the insurance company that your rebuilt salvage car is in good condition, you may be able to convince them to provide you with physical damage coverage.
Many insurers will offer comprehensive or collision to you if you allow an insurance agent to take a look at your car in person and photograph it from several angles to create a record of any pre-existing damage in the event of an accident. This makes it much easier to get full coverage to protect your new investment once it’s back on the road.