Vehicle owners must apply for a salvage title in Michigan in a situation when their vehicles have been damaged and considered as salvaged. The Michigan Secretary of State (MI SOS) issues salvage certificate documents to motorists whose vehicles are classified as “distressed vehicles”. This means that the vehicle itself and its major components have been stolen, damaged, wrecked or destroyed.

Motorists who want to get a DMV salvage title may have to satisfy certain eligibility criteria, as well as other requirements and documents that are mandatory for the application procedure. Furthermore, vehicle owners are encouraged to learn in which situations they need to perform a salvage inspection and how much money they need to pay for the salvage car title fee. For more information about how to get a salvage title in Michigan, continue reading the sections below.

What is a Michigan salvage title?

Prior to preparing for the Michigan DMV salvage title application procedure, vehicle owners need to learn what a salvage car title is and whether their vehicles abide by the MI law on obtaining salvage titles. Motorists must get a salvage certificate as legal proof of ownership if their vehicles have been damaged, stolen, wrecked or destroyed to the extent that the total cost of damage is more than 75 percent and up to 91 percent of the cash value of the vehicle from before the damages.

Furthermore, when the damage to the vehicle or its major component parts is higher than 91 percent, motorists will have to obtain a scrap title instead. However, a scrap title may be used for parts or scrap metal and it cannot be retitled or operated on the road by using the same vehicle identification number (VIN).

Motorists need to have in mind that only motor vehicles, motorcycles, trailer coaches and titled trailers are subject to the salvage title law and must be titled as salvaged. On the other hand, mobile homes, ORVs and watercrafts are not subject to that law and owners of these types of vehicles are not mandated to obtain salvage car titles. Vehicle owners may apply for a salvage certificate in Michigan when their vehicles have suffered only flood damage.

Michigan Salvage Title Eligibility Requirements

Prior to beginning the application procedure for a Michigan DMV salvage title certificate, vehicle owners may be required to satisfy certain eligibility criteria first. For instance, motorists need to discover whether their motor vehicles may be classified as salvage or not in order to know whether to begin the application procedure. For that reason, individuals need to obey the Michigan salvage title law, which allows owners of motor vehicles, motorcycles, trailer coaches and titled trailers to title them as salvage. In addition, motorists may have to satisfy other eligibility and basic requirements in order to title their salvage vehicles.

How to Get a Salvage Title in Michigan

Vehicle owners need to obtain a salvage title in Michigan for their salvage or wrecked motor vehicles by satisfying certain requirements and preparing a mandatory paperwork. To apply for a salvage certificate, individuals, businesses or dealers may need to provide the following documents:

  • Completed Application for and Original Michigan Salvage Title or Scrap Title (form TR-12)
  • Estimate of the car’s value and repair costs
  • Original car certificate of title
  • Payment for the applicable fees

The above-listed documents may be submitted via mail or in person at a local MI SOS branch. When dealers perform the application procedure, they may be required to complete and submit another form titled the Michigan Department of State Application for Title and Registration Statement of Vehicle Sale (form RD-108).

Note: When owners of vehicles with out-of-state salvage title certificates want to apply for a Michigan recertified road-use title, they need to first recertify the vehicle for road use and obtain a salvage car title from another state or have the vehicle recertified by an MI salvage inspector.

Salvage Car Inspections in Michigan

After getting salvage car titles, motorists must perform a Michigan salvage vehicle inspection if they want to repair their motor vehicles or obtain rebuilt titles. A specially-trained law enforcement officer conducts the inspection process that is required for each salvage vehicle. However, prior to taking the vehicle for an inspection, owners need to complete an Application for Salvage Vehicle Inspection (form TR-13A). Moreover, they need to have a licensed mechanic complete the fourth part of the form and certify the repairs of the vehicle.

The police officer must verify the ownership of the repair parts that are used. Therefore, the vehicle owner must provide the title and bills of sale for the used parts. Then, the vehicle is supposed to be inspected and verified that it complies with the Michigan Vehicle Code equipment and safety requirements. Finally, the police officer should complete and issue a TR-13B form to the applicant. Upon the completion of a salvage vehicle inspection, motorists are supposed to receive a new title with “REBUILT SALVAGE” written on it.

Michigan Salvage Title Fees

The final step of the Michigan DMV salvage title application procedure requires motorists to pay certain fees. The salvage title value is currently set to $15, which must be made payable to the state of Michigan and must be submitted to the MI SOS along with the application forms.

In addition, when converting this title into a rebuilt one, motorists will have to pay the $15 title fee, along with a payment for the registration fee and applicable taxes. The fee for a scrap title is $20.

Note: Motorists who are performing a salvage vehicle inspection at a law enforcement agency need to pay a fee of up to $100 for the recertification.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.