Applying for a Georgia salvage title with the state Department of Revenue (DOR) is an important step after damaging your motor vehicle to the extent that its repair costs are greater than its actual value. However, the state DOR may also issue car salvage certificates in other unique situations. Note that once you obtain a salvage title document, you will not be allowed to operate your vehicle on public roadways until you repair and relicense it.

Note that the application process for a GA salvage car title will vary to a certain degree depending on whether the vehicle is retained by the vehicle owner or by his or her insurance company. You can obtain a rebuilt title only if you retain the vehicle and restore it to operable status. In such cases, you will have to prove to the state DOR that the motor vehicle is roadworthy by passing a vehicle inspection.

What is a Georgia salvage title?

If you are wondering what a salvage vehicle title in Georgia is, note that it is a unique title certificate issued for vehicles declared salvage motor vehicles. The purpose of this title is to catalog the inoperable motor vehicles within the state. Motor vehicles that were titled as salvage cannot be operated legally until they are repaired.

Depending on the current operable state of the motor vehicle, the state DOR will issue a different type of salvage title. If your motor vehicle has been branded as parts-only vehicle due to extensive damage, it cannot be repaired or be issued a GA rebuilt salvage title. However, if your motor vehicle suffered minor damage and can be restored by replacing two or more component parts, you will receive a vehicle title that will allow you to repair, retitle and reregister it.

Georgia Salvage Title Eligibility Requirements

The state DOR will issue Georgia salvage titles only for motor vehicles that meet the requirements to be branded salvage vehicles. Therefore, before buying a salvage title car owners must ensure their motor vehicle meets the criteria in one of the following situations:

  • The vehicle has been damaged or dismantled and two or more of the following component parts must be replaced to restore it to operable status:
    • The vehicle frame
    • The vehicle side section, including fenders, doors and/or quarter panels
    • The motor vehicle’s front fenders, hood and bumpers
    • The vehicle’s rear clip assembly, including the quarter panels
    • The vehicle top assembly or its floor panel assembly
  • The owner’s insurance company has paid off the damaged vehicle as a total loss motor vehicle, and the vehicle has not been restored.
  • The motor vehicle was damaged during import, it was never on sale or titled and the manufacturer has disclaimed it as a result.
  • The vehicle has been branded salvage or marked with another similar brand by another state.
  • The motor vehicle has been scrapped or demolished and can only be used for spare parts.

Note: The state DOR will issue you a salvage title in GA regardless of whether your motor vehicle was damaged in a car accident or by fire, flood or water.

How to Get a Salvage Title in Georgia

Applying for a Georgia salvage title certificate is a procedure that will vary depending on whether the insurance company pays off and obtains the vehicle as a total loss or the vehicle is retained by the owner. However, regardless of who keeps the vehicle, the application for a DMV salvage title must be submitted by the insurer. If you retain the vehicle in your possession, for instance, the application process can only be started after you submit the following items to your insurance company:

  • The current title certificate, if available
  • The MV-1S Salvage Title Application form, properly filled out and signed
  • The vehicle license plates
  • The Report of and/or Surrender of GA License Plate (Form T-158)

To apply for a salvage title insurance companies will then have to mail the above items along with additional paperwork to the Motor Vehicle Division of the state DOR in Atlanta. The additional items required to finalize the procedure include the applicable lien release forms, car registration receipt, Notice to Owner – Payment of a Total Loss Claim (Form T-56) and the current titling fee.

Note: You must initiate the titling procedure for a GA salvage certificate within 30 days of accepting the settlement.

Salvage Car Inspections in Georgia

You are not required to submit your vehicle to a Georgia salvage vehicle inspection in order to obtain a salvage certificate. However, if you have restored the vehicle and you would like to get a rebuilt title, the motor vehicle will have to pass an inspection through a state-approved inspecting station. To complete the inspection procedure, you will be required to have your vehicle towed to the inspection location and submit the following paperwork:

  • A filled out Motor Vehicle Title/Tag Application (Form MV-1)
  • The vehicle salvage title
  • Photographs of the motor vehicle before repairs were conducted
  • Completed and signed Request for Inspection of a Rebuilt Motor Vehicle (Form T-22R) and the Labor and Parts Certification (Form T-129)
  • A photocopy of the rebuilder’s license
  • Receipts for the components used to reconstruct the motor vehicle

Once your motor vehicle passes inspection, you can obtain your GA restored salvage title by mailing the above items along with the inspection report and the inspection and titling fee to the DOR Salvage Unit in Atlanta.

Georgia Salvage Title Fees

When applying for a salvage or a rebuilt salvage title in Georgia, you will be required to pay certain titling fees. The current cost for salvage titles amounts to $18. If you are applying for a restored salvage certificate, however, your total costs will include additional fees.

For instance, apart from paying the initial salvage title fee, you will have to pay the salvage vehicle inspection cost in the amount of $100 and an additional $18 titling cost. Since you must mail your application, postage fees may also apply.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.