NY Salvage Vehicle: Rebuilt Title Process

Learn how to obtain a rebuilt title for a salvage vehicle in New York with this step-by-step guide. Find out what is required to repair the car, apply for a salvage examination, provide necessary documents, and pass the inspection to get a legal document that makes your previously damaged vehicle safe to drive on public roads.

NY Salvage Vehicle: Rebuilt Title Process

If you've ever thought about purchasing a salvage vehicle, it's important to note that these cars are typically involved in accidents or thefts and are not considered roadworthy in New York. Therefore, in order to legally drive a salvage title car again, you must first repair it and obtain a rebuilt title.

A rebuilt title is a legal document that indicates your previously damaged vehicle has been repaired and is safe to drive on public roads. But before you can get a rebuilt title for your vehicle, you must pass a safety inspection to prove that it meets the state's requirements. If you're interested in learning more about all the different title types check out our Navigating the World of Car Titles: A Brief Guide to Common Types article.

Here's what you need to know to obtain a rebuilt title for your salvage vehicle in New York:

Step 1: Repair Your Vehicle

The first step is to repair your car. This can be an extensive and costly process, so it's essential to research auto mechanics and find someone you trust. If you're mechanically inclined, you can do the repairs yourself. Ensure that your car is in driveable condition before you proceed to the next step. If you would like to learn essential tips for a successful restoration project read our Reviving Salvage Cars.

Step 2: Apply for a Salvage Examination

To obtain a rebuilt title, you must fill out a Salvage Examination/Title Application form (Form MV-83SAL) and pay a fee of $200 (if you have a New York salvage certificate) or $205 (if your proof of ownership is anything other than a New York salvage certificate). You can pay by either a check or a money order that is payable to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

The form must be mailed to:

Auto Theft and Salvage, DFI
P.O. Box 2105
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12220.

If your vehicle has an out-of-state title or a salvage certificate with labels such as "Parts-only," "Certificate of Destruction," "Non-rebuildable," "Non-repairable," "Scrapped," or "Destroyed," you cannot apply for a rebuilt title. If you would like to know more about these title types please read our article Navigating the World of Car Titles: A Brief Guide to Common Types.

Once your Salvage Examination/Title Application has been approved, you will receive a letter from the DMV with a date, time, and location for your salvage examination. It's crucial to keep your appointment because being more than 30 minutes late will require you to reschedule and pay a $150 fee. If you need to cancel or reschedule, call (518) 474-0955.

Step 3: Provide Required Documents

To ensure that your Salvage Examination/Title Application is accepted, sign the bottom of Form MV-83SAL, enclose a check for the appropriate amount, and include the following documents:

  • Proof of identity
  • Original proof of ownership
  • Original bill of sale (if applicable)
  • Sales tax receipt (follow the instructions on Form FS-6T)
  • Original lien/lien release (if applicable)

Step 4: Bring Required Documents to the Salvage Examination

To pass the New York salvage examination, you need to have before photos of the vehicle in color, and receipts for any parts used to fix your vehicle, and each of these receipts must include the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the car from which they were originally taken. It's important to bring these required documents during the examination process, where the inspector will ensure your car meets all necessary safety requirements.

Once you pass the inspection, you'll receive your rebuilt title in about two weeks, which allows you to legally drive your car on public roads again. Keep in mind that having a rebuilt title can increase the value of your vehicle and help you get a better price if you decide to sell it in the future.

In summary, obtaining a rebuilt title for your salvage vehicle in New York involves repairing your car, applying for a salvage examination, providing the required documents including before photos of the vehicle in color, and passing the inspection. With some time and effort, you can get back on the road with a legally drivable vehicle.