Getting a salvage title in New Jersey is an important step for car owners whose motor vehicles have sustained extensive damages, regardless of the source of the destruction. In general, applications for a car salvage certificate can be submitted through the state Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) either in person or by mail. However, it is important to note that the application process may vary to a certain degree depending on whether the applicant is the original vehicle owner or the car’s insurance company.

Once you obtain an NJ salvage certificate after retaining your vehicle, you can either sell it or have it repaired. If you successfully restore the motor vehicle to a roadworthy status, you have the option of getting a restored salvage title, which will allow you to reregister the car and continue driving it on public roads. If your salvage vehicle is a newer than eight years, you will also have to submit it to a vehicle inspection before relicensing it.

What is a New Jersey salvage title?

Vehicle owners who need additional information on the New Jersey salvage car title must note that it is a unique title certificate issued for purposes of cataloging all vehicles within the state that have become inoperable due to extensive damages. By issuing salvage titles, the state MVC reduces the risk of title and auto insurance policy fraud. Moreover, these credentials provide additional safety to car owners who are selling and buying vehicles within the state. For instance, vehicles that were previously branded salvage will lose a part of their value, which is a fact that must be revealed to all potential car buyers.

When the MVC manufactures a DMV salvage title in NJ, it will mark the credential in a way that distinguishes it from standard non-salvage car certificates of title. On the other hand, a salvage certificate does extend the option for motorists to repair their motor vehicles, converting this type of title to a standard one. However, if a vehicle is unrepairable, you will only be able to obtain a junk certificate of title. While this is a similar credential in comparison to MVC salvage titles, junk titles will indicate that a car is unrepairable and cannot be relicensed ever again. In such cases, you can only use or sell the vehicle for its spare parts.

New Jersey Salvage Title Eligibility Requirements

In order to successfully apply for a New Jersey car salvage title, applicants must own a vehicle that meets the criteria to be declared a total loss. According to the state MVC’s definition, to receive a salvage certificate, a motor vehicle must be damaged or destroyed to such an extent that the cost to repair it is beyond its actual value before damages. In most cases, this determination is made by insurance companies. Note that, in NJ, the source of the damage is irrelevant. Thus, vehicles will qualify for a salvage car title regardless of whether they were damaged by fire, water, collision or other occurrences.

How to Get a Salvage Title in New Jersey

The process for requesting a New Jersey salvage title can be completed by submitting an application form through a local MVC facility that processes such procedures. It is important to note that the select number of motor vehicle agencies that accept vehicle salvage title requests do not require you to make an appointment. You can simply walk in during their standard business hours and submit the required paperwork and fee payments in person.

The steps that you must complete to get a salvage vehicle title in NJ will vary depending on whether you are applying as the original owner, an agent of an insurance company or a representative of a salvage processor. As such, if you are applying for a salvage certificate after retaining the vehicle as the original owner, follow these steps:

  1. Assign your title certificate to your insurer in order to obtain the company’s sales tax-satisfied stamp.
  2. Have your insurer fill out the MVC Insurance Listing Sheet (Form BA-28), which must include important information regarding the vehicle in question. These details include the type of damages the car has sustained, its cash value and the vehicle’s estimated loss of value.
  3. Satisfy any liens, if applicable.
  4. Fill out the Application for Salvage Certificate of Title (Form OS/SS-61).
  5. Visit a nearby MVC site that processes salvage title requests.
  6. Submit the abovementioned paperwork in person and pay the applicable titling fees.

Once the commission processes your request, it will issue you the corresponding salvage title. Furthermore, be mindful that salvage title cars can only be reregistered for road use if and when they are restored to roadworthy status and pass a vehicle inspection.

If you would like to know how to get a salvage title in NJ under different circumstances, note that you will be required to follow a slightly different set of steps. For example, if your vehicle is an unrecovered theft vehicle, you will also need a copy of the corresponding police report. On the other hand, when applying for a salvage title, insurance companies will need to submit a different set of documents upon retaining the ownership rights over a motor vehicle.

Salvage Car Inspections in New Jersey

When applying for a salvage title in New Jersey, you will not be required to submit your motor vehicle to an inspection. However, if you retain and repair the car for purposes of relicensing it, the state MVC must verify that the vehicle is roadworthy before issuing a new title and car registration. In such cases, you will have to submit your motor vehicle to a salvage vehicle inspection through a state-approved inspection site.

For the purposes of a salvage car inspection procedure, make sure to first collect before and after photographs of the restored vehicle, as well as the bills of sale of the parts used to rebuild it. Then, you will have to call an approved inspection station to schedule your visit, fill out a Salvage Inspection Application (Form OS/SS-3) and send it along with the fee payment to the address provided on the form.

In general, an NJ salvage car inspection will last up to an hour. During your visit, will need to bring a copy of your salvage title and the bottom portion of the Salvage Vehicle Information document (Form OS/SS-4), as well as the documents listed on the previous section. After the conclusion of this inspection procedure, you can visit an MVC office to obtain a restored title certificate.

If you rebuild a salvage vehicle that is older than eight years, you will not be required to submit it to an inspection in order to obtain a restored salvage title. In such cases, you will only need to submit the following items to an MVC facility:

  • The vehicle salvage title
  • Picture of the vehicle before and after repairs were conducted
  • The work order to repair the vehicle
  • Receipts for the component parts used to rebuild the vehicle
  • The insurance company damage report
  • The applicable titling fee payment

After obtaining your rebuilt title, you can proceed with the standard registration application to get new license plates.

New Jersey Salvage Title Fees

When applying for a New Jersey rebuild salvage title or a salvage certificate, you will have to pay certain types of fees. Salvage titles are issued by submitting a single $60 title fee. An additional $25 penalty fee will also apply if the request is submitted 10 days after the title transfer process.

When getting a restored title, on the other hand, additional costs are imposed as well. First, you will have to pay a $200 inspection fee for a passenger vehicle, before paying the title and car registration fees through an MVC office.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.