The Iowa salvage title documents issued by the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) of the state Department of Transportation (DOT) are special types of title certificates that catalog inoperable vehicles with extensive damages. Note that the application process for car salvage certificates must be completed through county treasurer’s offices, since they offer the MVD vehicle services on behalf of the division. However, in order to obtain a salvage certificate, your motor vehicle will be required to meet certain requirements.

If you title a salvage vehicle, you will then be able to repair it and apply for an IA rebuilt title. Note that this option will be available only if you own a repairable vehicle. If you originally obtained a junking certificate, on the other hand, you will not be able to relicense the motor vehicle, regardless of whether or not you reconstructed it to operable status. Continue reading the following sections to learn more about the state salvage and rebuilt salvage title certificate.

What is an Iowa salvage title?

If you would like to know what the Iowa salvage certificate is, note that it is a title document issued for wrecked or salvage vehicles. Unlike standard title certificates, the salvage car title prohibits you from registering your vehicle and driving it on open roads. Depending on the cause of the damage, the salvage title may bear different designations, such as flood, fire, vandalism or theft.

Note that your vehicle will be eligible for an IA vehicle salvage title only if it can be repaired and relicensed. In such cases, you may be able to convert your salvage title to a regular title, which is in essence a rebuilt title certificate. However, if your motor vehicle is unrepairable, you will only be able to obtain a junking certificate, which will indicate that your vehicle can only be dismantled for spare parts, and it will be prohibited from legal road operation.

Iowa Salvage Title Eligibility Requirements

To successfully obtain a salvage title in Iowa, your motor vehicle will be required to meet the requirements to be branded a salvage vehicle. Only vehicles with repair costs greater than 50 percent of their average retail value without the damages are considered to be salvage vehicles. The motor vehicle’s fair market value before it became damaged must also be greater than $499.

Auto insurance companies can obtain car salvage certificates if they settle a total loss claim on a damaged or stolen motor vehicle as well. To be issued a salvage title in any situation, however, the vehicle must be repairable. Otherwise, the motor vehicle will only qualify for a junking certificate.

How to Get a Salvage Title in Iowa

Vehicle owners who would like to know how to get a salvage title in Iowa must note that they will be required to submit their request through the county treasurer’s office in their county of residence. Note that the application process for a salvage vehicle title may vary depending on whether the applicant is the original vehicle owner or an agent of his or her insurance company. Regardless of who submits the titling request, however, application must be made within 15 days of the assignment of the title to the transferee.

To finalize the application procedure for an IA salvage certificate, you will be required to follow several straightforward steps. After arriving at the corresponding county treasurer’s office, you will most likely have to:

  • Fill out the standard Application for Certificate of Title and/or Registration (Form 411007).
    • Check the Salvage Title box on the request form.
  • Present your existing title certificate.
  • Pay any applicable titling fees.

Depending on your circumstances when applying for a car salvage title, however, you may be required to complete additional steps. For instance, you may have to provide lien release forms. Therefore, prior to applying for a DMV salvage title, contact your county treasurer to learn about the specific requirements that apply in your situation.

Salvage Car Inspections in Iowa

You will not be required to complete an Iowa salvage vehicle inspection in order to obtain a salvage certificate. You will have to submit your vehicle to a thorough examination only if you are converting a salvage title to a regular title after rebuilding the vehicle. In such cases, your motor vehicle will have to be physically inspected by an Iowa law enforcement officer for purposes of verifying that it was not reconstructed with stolen components and that it is currently roadworthy.

To complete the IA rebuilt title inspection procedure, you will have to deliver your motor vehicle to an inspection site and present the following items:

  • Your salvage certificate
  • The documentation for the parts used to rebuild the vehicle
  • The permit to drive the vehicle to the inspection site

Before delivering your vehicle for an inspection, you will be required to complete the Affidavit of Salvage Vehicle Repairs online form via the division’s website. After filling out this electronic affidavit and paying the inspection fee with a valid payment card, the system will generate your permit to drive.

Iowa Salvage Title Fees

When obtaining a salvage car title in Iowa, applicants may not be required to pay any fees, since the motor vehicle will not be legally operated on public roadways. However, the state MVD will require payment of fees when vehicle owners convert their salvage certificates to IA rebuilt salvage titles.

The applicable registration costs in such cases will vary depending on several factors surrounding your motor vehicle. You will also have to pay a $50 inspection fee for your vehicle inspection.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.