Salvaged Vehicles in Arizona
Sometimes cars that have been stripped, damaged in an accident, or waterlogged don't get a second chance―but sometimes they do! It depends on whether your insurance company considers it financially prudent to revive the car or just send it to the junkyard. If it goes with the latter, the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) will certify the automobile as "salvage," deeming it unfit for use on the road. It will be issued a new title branded with the term Salvage.
However, even that does not mean the end if you believe in restoration. You can choose to restore the salvage vehicle to make it ready for the road, but it will be the MVD that has the final say. Once you have completed the necessary repairs, your salvage vehicle needs to be inspected to verify that it is fit to drive on the open road.
You will need to make an appointment at one of several MVD enforcement inspection facilities to do so. When you go, bring proof of ownership (likely the title), your driver license, money to cover the varying fees ($20–$50 depending on the level of inspection required), and the receipts for the work and parts you have put into restoring the vehicle.
Depending on the level of inspection you require, you will need to take it to different inspection centers.
- Level I inspections: Arizona Motor Vehicle Division office or authorized third-party office.
- Level II and level III inspections: Specific vehicle inspection locations. Please call ahead to confirm your vehicle can get a level II/III inspection at the inspection office.
If you cannot get to an inspection center, contact the Arizona MVD to make other testing arrangements.
Once your car passes the inspection, it will be issued a new title branded with the term Restored Salvage. This will alert all future owners that it was rebuilt after being greatly damaged.
Needless to say, there is risk involved in buying a restored salvage vehicle. While many of the parts may be new, there will be some that are not, and even trained mechanics cannot always gauge the life expectancy of a vehicle. Further, the vehicle will be difficult to resell if you ever choose to, and very few, if any, dealers will take it as a trade-in.
It is for these reasons that the state of Arizona mandates that sellers disclose that a car has held a salvage title before they sell it to a buyer.
For more information, see the MVD's salvage vehicle information page.