A salvage certificate in Colorado is issued to motor vehicles that have been damaged under various circumstances and classified as salvage vehicles. Owners of such vehicles need to apply for the appropriate title through the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of the Colorado Department of Revenue (CO DOR). However, they first must learn what a salvage car title is and whether their vehicle may be titled as such.

Prior to getting salvage title in Colorado, vehicle owners may have to satisfy certain eligibility requirements in order to qualify for the title certificate. Moreover, motorists may also be mandated to perform a salvage vehicle inspection, as part of the procedure for getting a salvage car title. For more information about how to get a salvage title in Colorado, continue reading the following sections.

What is a Colorado salvage title?

A salvage title in Colorado is a legal certificate issued by the CO DMV to serve as proof of ownership to owners of such motor vehicles. Salvage title cars are motor vehicles damaged by fire, flood, accident, collision, trespass or by other circumstances except hail damage, to that extent that the repair cost of the vehicle exceeds its retail fair market value prior to the damage.

Car salvage owners need to repair their vehicles in order to be able to be in a roadworthy condition for legal operation on public state roads. The vehicle value is determined by the vehicle owner at the moment of the situation, or by the insurer or another person who is assigned to act on behalf of the owner.

Note: In addition to the salvage title, the CO DMV issues also non-repairable title certificates to vehicles that are designated as a source of parts or scrap.

Colorado Salvage Title Eligibility Requirements

Prior to applying for a salvage certificate in Colorado, motorists may have to satisfy certain eligibility criteria. The mandatory requirements may vary based on the driver’s specific situation. Therefore, motorists are encouraged to check the eligibility criteria before beginning the application procedure.

For instance, vehicle owners who plan to apply for a salvage title certificate may have to first make an application for the appropriate title certificate before the transfer or sale date of the vehicle. Moreover, the subsequent purchasers or transferees of the salvage motor vehicle will be required to get the certificate within 60 days from the date of transfer or purchase.

How to Get a Salvage Title in Colorado

Vehicle owners may apply for a Colorado DMV salvage title when their vehicles are damaged to that extent that are proclaimed as salvage. To obtain a salvage certificate, motorists need to complete an Application for Salvage Title or Non-repairable Title with the following details:

  • Vehicle information: vehicle identification number (VIN), model, make, year, body, dealer, color, date of purchase, date of damage and other required details
  • Owner’s legal name as it appears on an ID card and owner’s address
  • Reason for damage
  • Owner’s signature and verification
  • Signature of a witness
  • Signatures of both vehicle owners (in case of joint ownership)

After completing the salvage title certificate application form, vehicle owners need to submit it to the CO DMV. The insurance company or salvage pool may need to complete a Declaration for a Salvage or Non-repairable Title when applying for a salvage certificate of title without a properly endorsed ownership document.

The steps for getting a roadworthy title by repairing the salvage vehicle will differ from the procedure explained above. To get a rebuilt from salvage title certificate, vehicle owners will have to complete different steps, which are explained in the Rebuilt Title Established by Salvage Title Checklist.

Note: The CO DMV does not issue salvage titles for off-highway vehicles, snowmobiles, or vehicles classified as collector’s items, horseless carriages, or street rods at the time of damage.

Salvage Car Inspections in Colorado

Vehicles that have salvage titles may be rebuilt in order to enable motorists to operate them again on public state roads. In such a situation, vehicle owners will be required to perform a salvage vehicle inspection procedure and a P.O.S.T. certified inspector will have to complete a certified vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection. The inspector will inspect some of the following items: lights, tires, wheels, mirrors, windshield and wipers, horsepower.

In addition, the instructor will also check whether all parts and seats are permanently attached, as well as whether there is no metal torn or jagged. However, the inspection procedure may vary based on the owner’s specific situation. Therefore, prior to inquiring about the CO salvage title application procedure, motorists are encouraged to find out more information about the inspection.

Colorado Salvage Title Fees

Applicants for Colorado salvage title certificates may be required to submit payment for the applicable fees to the CO DMV. However, the salvage title value is not strictly determined, since the cost may vary based on the vehicle owner’s specific situation. Therefore, the fees vary according to the CO county, the license plate type, the vehicle’s weight, manufacturing year and original taxable value.

Furthermore, motorists may also need to pay a fee of $20 for the VIN inspection. Therefore, prior to submitting any type of payment to the CO DMV, applicants for a salvage certificate are encouraged to learn the exact fees that apply to their situation, in order to avoid future inconveniences.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.