If a vehicle has been involved in an accident and declared to be a total loss by the owner or the insurance company, the Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles will brand it with a salvage title.
Generally, a salvage title car cannot be driven on public roads in Alabama until it has been adequately repaired, inspected, rebranded as “rebuilt” or “revived”, registered, and insured.
This page will cover the salvage title process in Alabama, and provide you with tips on how to get a salvage vehicle back on the road.
For official information or questions about your specific situation, please contact your local Alabama DMV office or visit the official DMV website:
What is a Salvage Title in Alabama?
Like many other states, a salvage title in Alabama means that the vehicle has been reported to the DMV to be a total loss, wrecked, or damaged to the point where it is no longer roadworthy.
In Alabama, the threshold for declaring a total loss is when the cost of the damage is equal to 75% or more than the fair retail value for the car.
Alabama salvage title cars cannot be driven until they have been repaired and inspected and a rebuilt title has been issued.
However, if you decide not to repair the vehicle, you can sell it as long as it includes a disclosure that states: “This vehicle’s title contains the designation salvage or rebuilt.”
If you buy a car with a salvage title, you cannot get a new salvage title issued in your name. You’ll need to get the vehicle repaired, inspected, and get a rebuilt title first.
How to Get a Salvage Title Cleared in Alabama
There are two main scenarios in which you can clear a salvage title in Alabama:
- If you owned the vehicle when the salvage title was issued.
- If you purchased the vehicle after the salvage title has been issued, and a rebuilt title has not been issued yet.
If you already owned the vehicle when the salvage title was issued and wish to clear the salvage status, you’ll need to apply for a rebuilt inspection. To do so, you’ll need the following items:
- A completed application for a rebuilt inspection (Form INV 26-15): https://www.revenue.alabama.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/INV-26-15-4-21.qxp_.pdf
- Your current salvage title.
- Bills of Sale for all parts that were replaced. Major components, such as engines or entire systems require notarization on the bill of sale.)
- Proof of ownership prior to the salvage status with a copy of your previous registration documents.
- Payment for the:
- $90 salvage inspection fee.
- $75 application fee.
- $15 title fee.
Your application and payment should not be submitted until all repairs have been made and the vehicle is ready to pass the inspection.
If you did not own the vehicle prior to its salvage status, the application will need to be submitted along with a master dealer regulatory license number. Find a local mechanic, dealership, or rebuilder for a business that handles salvage vehicle repairs near you.
Once your application has been received, the AL DOR will schedule an inspection.
If the vehicle passes the inspection, a new rebuilt title will be issued and you’ll be able to register and insure the car.
Register a Salvage Title Car in Alabama
After your AL salvage title has been cleared and a rebuilt title has been issued in your name, you’ll be able to register the car again.
To do so, you’ll need to submit the following to your local tag office:
- An application for license plates and registration.
- Proof of ownership with your newly issued rebuilt title.
- Proof of an active liability insurance policy for the vehicle.
- Payment for your registration fees and taxes.
- What is a Salvage Title?
- What is a Rebuilt Title?
- Salvage Title Insurance
- Buying a Car with a Salvage Title
If you’re in the market to buy, sell, or register a salvage title vehicle in Alabama, VINvaquero.com has the free resources you need to get back on the road.
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