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Salvaged Vehicles in Connecticut

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If your faithful four-wheeled friend was totaled in an accident, don't despair! You may still have options if you have it branded as a salvage car.

We'll help you with the details of salvaged cars below, as well as titling and registration requirements, should you choose to rebuild it.

What Is a Salvaged Car in CT?

When your insurance company declares your vehicle is a total loss, it means the cost to repair the vehicle is higher than the vehicles fair market value, i.e. what the vehicle is worth.

Once your insurance company determines what your vehicle is worth and, if applicable, declares your vehicle a total loss, it stamps the title "Salvage" and sends the title to the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

What to Do with Your Salvaged Car

When your insurance company declares your vehicle a total loss:

  • You cant drive the vehicle on any road.
  • The CT DMV cancels your registration.
    • As mentioned above, your insurance company sends the vehicles title stamped "SALVAGE" to the DMV.
  • You must remove the license plates.
    • You can transfer the registration and license plates to another vehicle.

Now, its time to decide what you want to do with your salvaged vehicle. You might:

  • Let your insurance company retain ownership.
    • Typically, this happens as part of a total loss settlement and means you’ve accepted the full settlement.
    • Your insurance provider will explain all required paperwork and other steps—such as satisfying a lien, if applicable.
  • Keep the vehicle* and:
    • Sell it to a business that scraps, junks, or rebuilds salvaged vehicles.
      OR
    • Rebuild the vehicle, have it inspected, and re-title it. At this point, you can keep the vehicle for yourself or sell it.

*NOTE: If you keep the vehicle, your insurance company will pay only the vehicle’s value at the time of loss SUBTRACTING the “salvage value” the company determines. You’re responsible for all repair costs.

Selling a Salvaged Vehicle

Selling a salvaged vehicle is similar to selling any other vehicle, BUT you can’t transfer ownership using CT DMV’s duplicate title form. You must obtain a duplicate title marked “SALVAGE” and sign that title over to the buyer.

Learn more about obtaining duplicate titles and how to transfer a title when you sell a used vehicle over at our CT Title Transfers guide.

CT Rebuilt Salvage Title & Registration

You must title and register your salvage car before you can put rubber to pavement again. Remember, the DMV cancels your registration when your insurance company sends them the “SALVAGE” title.

Typically, titling and registering a salvage vehicle is the same as titling and registering any other vehicle but your vehicle MUST pass an inspection before you can do so

NOTE: You cannot register or title any vehicle with a title stamped “Salvage Parts Only,” “Salvage Unrebuildable,” or “Salvage Unrepairable."

Salvage Car Inspections in CT

The salvage car inspection is perhaps the most important step in getting your vehicle back on the road, as you can’t title or register the vehicle until it passes inspection.

Once you or a qualified mechanic has repaired the salvaged vehicle:

  • Purchase and complete an inspection form—the cost is $88.
    • You can request an inspection form online.
    • You must have form validated (with the payment) before bringing the vehicle in for inspection.
    • You’ll pay a $10 administration fee when you register the vehicle IF:
      • It has never been registered in Connecticut.
        OR
      • It’s 10 years old or older.
  • Gather all receipts, invoices, and/or bills of sale for the major components used to repair the vehicle.
    • These documents must show the:
      • Vehicle identification numbers (VINs) for the original vehicle(s) from which the parts came.
      • Original owner’s name and address.
  • Obtain an original copy of the insurance appraisal.
  • Complete a Salvage Vehicle Repair Report (Form K-186).
    • Attach the required photographs listed on the Salvage Inspection Information Sheets (Form B-256).
    • You MIGHT need the person who repaired the vehicle to complete this form, if it wasn’t you. Contact your inspection station for details.
  • Have a franchise dealer/repairer or a certified air bag technician complete the Inflatable Restraint System Air Bag Certification Statement (Form B-303).
    • Required for all salvaged vehicles, whether or not the air bag deployed.

Now, it’s time for your inspection.

Note that:

  • You must bring all above listed documents and fees to the inspection.
  • You must bring your vehicle on a flat-bed trailer or car carrier.
    • You cannot drive or tow the vehicle to the inspection site UNLESS you are a dealer/repairer employee AND the vehicle has dealer repair plates AND the dealer owns the vehicle.
  • The following offices conduct inspections:
    • Wethersfield: Open Monday—Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Hamden: Open Tuesday— Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • You must have your salvaged vehicle in line no later than 3 p.m.

Emissions Tests

Additionally, your salvaged vehicle must pass an emissions test at an approved emissions testing center UNLESS it’s an exempt vehicle. For details, jump over to our guide to Connecticut emissions tests.

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