A DMV salvage title in Pennsylvania is a legal document for a car owner to prove his or her ownership rights over a salvage vehicle. In general, the state’s Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is responsible for issuing every salvage certificate in PA. In order to become eligible for this credential, damaged cars must meet certain criteria.

Vehicle owners who qualify for a salvage title need to submit various documents as part of the requirements for this title application process. Moreover, motorists may be also required to have their vehicles inspected, depending on the specific situation. To discover more detailed information about how to get a salvage title in Pennsylvania, continue reading the sections below.

What is a Pennsylvania salvage title?

A Pennsylvania salvage title is a certificate of ownership that vehicle owners need to obtain when they possess an inoperable vehicle that is not allowed to be operated on public roads. Otherwise, this type of title may be issued to cars that are unable to meet the PennDOT’s inspection standards.

In most cases, a car salvage qualifies as such when the vehicle has been damaged to the extent that the cost to repair it would exceed its market value before the damages. On the other hand, vehicles classified as antique or classic cannot be considered salvaged.

Note: The PennDOT also issues salvage title certificates for reconstructed vehicles that were restored to operating condition and meet the equipment and inspection standards in the state.

Pennsylvania Salvage Title Eligibility Requirements

When obtaining a salvage title in Pennsylvania, vehicle owners will be required to satisfy certain eligibility criteria. In most cases, motorists need to prove that they own a salvage vehicle before they submit the request for a salvage certificate.

Moreover, car owners may have to file a total loss with their auto insurance companies as soon as their vehicles are declared as a total loss. Generally, the process is the same regardless of the reason for the car damages. For example, a vehicle may be deemed a total loss due to flood damage or as a result of theft.

How to Get a Salvage Title in Pennsylvania

Applying for a Pennsylvania salvage title is a mandatory procedure that the owners of salvage cars need to perform. To get a DMV salvage title, vehicle owners have to complete an “Application for Nonrepairable or Salvage Certificate” (Form MV-6) and submit it to the PennDOT in person or via mail. In addition to the required application form, motorists need to provide the original car title and proof of insurance.

In the event that a car was damaged due to criminal activity, applicants will also be required to submit a police report. As a general rule, a salvage certificate of title is issued for free. When completing an application form for a car salvage, owners need to first explain the reason for considering their motor vehicles as total loss vehicles. Furthermore, the application form must also contain the following information:

  • Applicant’s personal information and signature
  • Vehicle description
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN) and weight verification
  • Law enforcement report details, when applying without a police report

Owners of salvage title cars in Pennsylvania who wish to obtain this corresponding title may be able to complete an online procedure through the PennDOT’s official online portal. In addition, certain salvage auctions may process a salvage certificate online at their locations.

Auto insurance agencies are also able to apply for a PennDOT salvage title certificate. However, insurers will be required to complete a different type of application document instead of the MV-6 form. Thus, prior to beginning this procedure, applicants are encouraged to make sure they are filling out the correct forms.

Salvage Car Inspections in Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania salvage vehicle inspection is a procedure that vehicle owners have to complete as part of the requirements for this type of title. After completing the title and registration procedures, reconstructed motor vehicles will be subject to periodic safety inspections and emission inspections, whenever required. Overall, these periodic inspections may be performed at several inspection stations within the state. However, when salvage cars are titled for the first time in PA, their owners will have to have to submit them to more thorough inspections at enhanced safety inspection stations.

Pennsylvania Salvage Title Fees

In Pennsylvania, applicants are not required to pay any fees when obtaining a salvage certificate of title. As a general rule, these titles are free of charge. On the other hand, motorists may be required to submit payment for a rebuilt title fee when restoring a salvage motor vehicle, as well as sales tax, county taxes and the fees for registration and license plates.

Note: If a vehicle’s original title was issued in another state, the PennDOT will mandate applicants to pay salvage title fees to complete this procedure in Pennsylvania.

Last updated on Friday, March 8 2019.

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