If you live in West Virginia, and you bought a vehicle from an auction sale that has a salvage title, or you are considering it, you have to understand what it will take to get the vehicle insured and drivable on the roads.
What Are the Rules in West Virginia to Get a Reconstructed Title?
In West Virginia, if the vehicle you are considering is declared as non-repairable or as junk, then you will be unable to have it reconstructed. You can only use these vehicles for parts. Also, if you bought through an auction sale and chose a vehicle that has a salvage title from out of state, you need to first complete a Salvage Certificate Application to obtain a salvage title.
You are not able to register or drive the vehicle until reconstruction and inspection, which we will discuss next. The only time that the vehicle can be driven is when you have a single trip permit that you can obtain from the state police. You can only use this for driving to the inspection.
Steps You Need to Take
After you have a salvage title for the vehicle, you can start the repair and rebuilding process. First, you have to take “before” photos of the vehicle. You need them from the front, both sides of the vehicle, as well as the rear.
Keep all the receipts for the parts, materials, and labor that go into the rebuild. You will need to keep all of these records, including the photos, for three years at least. Additionally, you will need to make them available to the inspector, who will check to make sure the parts used are not stolen.
After you have all of the necessary repairs completed on the vehicle, you will need to take the car or truck in for an inspection. You can get a one-time permit for this, or you can have the vehicle towed into the state inspection office. This is a safety inspection to make sure the vehicle is roadworthy.
You then need to have the vehicle inspected by a West Virginia DMV inspector, who will check the parts to make sure they haven’t been stolen. The inspector will want to examine all the paperwork, including receipts and the before photos of the vehicle. After you complete the inspections and pass, you can then get a reconstructed title for the vehicle from the DMV.
Insurance companies generally have no problem providing liability insurance for these vehicles. Getting full coverage, even after repairs, is more difficult because insurance companies don’t always know how to calculate the value of a rebuilt vehicle. Some companies will provide this type of insurance, though, so it’s worth talking with several companies.
You can get some great cars through auction sales, and it’s a great way for West Virginia residents to save some money. Do not let the extra steps scare you off.