The Florida salvage title certificates issued by the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) are a special type of vehicle titles that assign ownership of a damaged, destroyed, flooded or stolen vehicle. Note that the state DHSMV will issue car salvage certificates for vehicles declared total loss by both an insurance company and an uninsured or self-insured owner. The type of salvage title that will be issued will vary depending on whether or not the vehicle is repairable.

You will have the option of obtaining a rebuilt title in FL only if you are issued a rebuildable salvage title. In such cases, you can make the necessary repairs yourself or engage the services of a professional repairman for that purpose. Once your vehicle passes the necessary inspection procedure, you can then proceed with the titling and car registration procedures before driving it on public roads once again.

What is a Florida salvage title?

If you are unsure of the purpose of the Florida salvage vehicle title, note that it is a unique title certificate issued for vehicles damaged to the point that it is uneconomical to repair them. The department will issue a salvage certificate for flooded and stolen motor vehicles as well. Depending on whether or not the vehicle can be repaired, the insurance company or the vehicle owner can apply for either a rebuildable or an unrebuildable salvage title, which is also known as a certificate of destruction. Note that certificates of destruction are mainly issued in cases when the cost to repair the vehicle exceeds 80 percent of its current value.

Applying for FL salvage titles is a mandatory step, since the state DHSMV must document all inoperable vehicles within the state. Then, if your vehicle was branded as rebuildable, you will have the option of licensing it once more. If you were issued a certificate of destruction, on the other hand, you will be able to sell it for parts or junk. Note that the state salvage laws do not apply to vehicles with a retail value of $1500 or less in an undamaged condition.

Florida Salvage Title Eligibility Requirements

Before learning how to get a salvage title in Florida, you must learn whether or not your motor vehicle qualifies for a salvage title certificate. Note that the department will issue a DMV salvage title under various circumstances. For example, vehicles that were declared total salvage loss or total theft loss and paid off by an insurance company are eligible for a salvage title. The vehicle owner can also apply for a salvage certificate in FL if he or she determines that the repair costs make it uneconomical to restore the vehicle to operable status, even if no insurance company was involved.

Note: If the vehicle owner and the insurer agree to repair instead of replace the motor vehicle, the vehicle will not be considered a total loss.

How to Get a Salvage Title in Florida

The application process for a Florida salvage car tile will vary depending on who applies for the salvage certificate. If your insurance company pays off your motor vehicle as a total loss, it will be responsible for applying for the salvage certificate. You will have to request a salvage title certificate yourself if you are an uninsured or self-insured motorist with a salvage vehicle.

To complete the process of getting a salvage title in FL, you will be required to complete several steps, which may vary depending on the cost, type and age of your motor vehicle. The standard steps necessary to get a salvage title are outlined below:

  • Submit your vehicle to a physical examination and a VIN verification, if you find yourself in one of the following situations:
    • You do not have the vehicle title.
    • You have not filled out the Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Verification (Form HSQMV 82042).
    • Your vehicle is not exempted from the VIN verification requirements.
  • Visit a nearby tax collector office.
  • Fill out the Application for Salvage Title/Certificate of Destruction (Form HSMV 82363).
    • Complete the Odometer Declaration portion, if the vehicle is not exempt from this requirement.
    • Complete the Motor Vehicle Identification Number Verification section, if your vehicle is not exempt from this requirement.
  • Submit proof of ownership, such as an in-state or out-of-state title certificate or a manufacturer’s certificate of origin.
  • Provide any lien satisfaction form, if applicable.
  • Pay the applicable titling fees.

Note: When submitting a request for a salvage title insurance companies and vehicle owners may be required to abide by certain time restrictions and initiate the application procedure within a certain time period.

Salvage Car Inspections in Florida

When applying for a salvage car title in Florida, applicants may be required to submit their vehicle to a certain type of inspection, depending on their circumstances. For example, if the vehicle is not exempt from the standard VIN examination requirements, it must pass a physical inspection with an authorized individual. Therefore, prior to buying a salvage title car owners may be required to deliver their motor vehicle to a notary public, police officer, licensed dealer, DHSMV employee or a tax collector employee for inspection purposes.

When applying for a rebuilt salvage title in FL, on the other hand, a thorough vehicle inspection will be necessary. In such cases, car owners will be required to contact an approved inspecting station before visiting the department to apply for a title certificate. The purpose of this examination is to verify the identity of the component parts used to rebuild the motor vehicle. You will have to submit the necessary proofs of ownership of all parts used during the reconstruction prior to the physical examination of your vehicle.

Florida Salvage Title Fees

To successfully obtain a Florida car salvage title, you will be required to arrange payment for the applicable titling fees. Note that the cost for a vehicle salvage title may vary depending on the following factors:

  • Your county of residence
  • Whether you are getting an electronic or a paper title
  • Whether or not a lien is listed on the title
  • Whether or not the vehicle in question was titled in Florida or outside of the state
  • Whether or not you are applying for an expedited title

For instance, if you are getting a standard FL DMV salvage title in Seminole County, you will be required to pay a fee of $9.75 for a paper title without a lien or an $11.75 fee for a paper title with one lien. Note that electronic titles cost $2.50 less, since they do not include a service and handling fee. Due to the various factors that affect the titling costs in Florida, contact your county tax collector office to get the exact fee estimates that apply in your situation.

Last updated on Friday, March 8 2019.

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