In the state of Wyoming, a salvage car – one that’s suffered more than 75 percent of its market value in damage – represents some serious opportunities. If you’re interested in buying a salvage car to fix it up yourself for your own use or to resell, or if your own vehicle was in an accident bad enough to total it but you don’t want to toss it on the scrap heap, there are ways to get it back on the road legally.
However, until you satisfy several state laws and regulations you’re never going to get that salvage car registered once more – or insured again. Here are the steps you need to follow to reach that ultimate goal.
The Rules of Getting a Salvage Vehicle Back On the Road
You’ll need to get a special title for a car that’s been totaled but you’re keeping regardless of this fact. It’s called a branded title, and it’s branded with the word “salvage” to prevent the car from being registered or insured until it’s been repaired.
You can get a branded title the same way you get any other title in Wyoming, by going to your county clerk’s office, where you’ll have to submit a Wyoming application for certificate of title and surrender your old title. You’ll also have to provide either a letter from your insurance provider or a police accident report to provide evidence of the damage your car sustained.
As long as your car isn’t classified as “nonrepairable,” you’ll be able to get it back on the road provided you repair it properly. You’ll also need to apply for a new title, all the while providing a full list of the damage your vehicle sustained through a Branded Title Disclosure form (Form MV-602). You’ll also need to provide names and addresses for any individuals or garages that did the repair work, and yes, that includes yourself.
You’ll receive a certificate of approval in the mail. You’ll also be given a decal, meant to be affixed to your car in a spot requested by the certificate, which reads “rebuilt from salvage”.
Next, you’ll need to have a Wyoming police officer conduct an inspection of your vehicle to ensure you’ve placed the decal in the right spot, check that your vehicle is road-worthy, and to double-check that your vehicle identification number (VIN) is valid.
After you do all this, you can take all your completed forms, your original salvage title, and your certificate of approval to your local county clerk and you’ll be able to get a new title for your car, one that’s branded “rebuilt from salvage”.
Still More Work Ahead of You
However, you’re still going to need to find an insurance provider willing to offer you coverage on your rebuilt salvage vehicle, and this can be difficult sometimes – precisely because your car has been rebuilt from salvage.
You’ll be able to get a minimal level of insurance, such as the state-mandated levels of personal liability and property damage, without much trouble. However, it will be more difficult to get comprehensive, collision, or any other type of coverage for physical damage to your car.
This is because insurers don’t trust rebuilt salvage cars. You can fix this by submitting your car to yet another inspection – this time by an insurance agent who will catalog your vehicle and take pictures to create a photographic record of its state of repair.
Doing this will often satisfy an insurer to the point that they will offer you physical damage insurance of some sort or another. It might not be cheap, but it’s better than driving an underinsured vehicle. It’s also an important way to protect your investment in your rebuilt salvage car.