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Salvaged Vehicles in Idaho

So, you have a salvage car—or a “total loss” car, as your insurance company will call it—on your hands. What do you do now? 

From keeping it to rebuilding it to letting your insurance company have it, we’ve outlined all the possibilities—and requirements—below.

What Is a Salvaged Car in ID?

Simply put, an Idaho salvage car is a “total loss” car, meaning the vehicle is so damaged that it would cost more to repair or rebuild than the car’s actual cash value.

After the car becomes a total loss, you’ll first need to decide if you want to keep the vehicle or not

Out-of-State Salvage Cars

When it comes to bringing out-of-state salvage vehicles into Idaho, the following rules apply; if you:

  • Purchase a salvage vehicle in another state that doesn’t require you to surrender the title, you must apply for an Idaho salvage certificate within 30 days of obtaining the out-of-state title.
  • Have an Idaho-titled car that becomes a salvage vehicle in another state, you (or your insurance company) must notify the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD).

Keep in mind, this is a brief outline of Idaho’s Code. Call the ITD’s Salvage Unit at (208) 334-8485 if you have further questions.

What to Do with a Salvage Vehicle

Some general ways to handle a salvaged car include:

  • Signing the vehicle over to your insurance company.
    • Most often, this involves accepting a full settlement of a total loss claim, after which your insurance provider will reimburse you for damages.
    • With this option, your car insurance carrier applies for the salvage title, and aside from ensuring lien satisfaction (if applicable), you’re no longer responsible for the vehicle.
  • Keeping the vehicle AND applying for a salvage certificate yourself.
    • Once you have a salvaged title, you can:
      • Sell the vehicle to a business that junks, scraps, or otherwise dismantles salvaged cars.
      • Repair the vehicle to safe, operable standards and apply for a rebuilt title.
    • Often, keeping the vehicle entails accepting a partial payment from your auto insurance provider. 

Apply for an ID Salvage Certificate

Applying for an Idaho salvage title is fairly easy. You’ll need to submit:

  • A completed Salvage Certificate of Title Application (Form ITD 3312).
  • Payment for the $14 fee.
    • If your auto insurance provider acquired the salvaged car and then sold it back to you, you’ll also need to pay sales/use tax.

If another state issued the vehicle’s title, you must ALSO submit:

Mail the above items to:

Idaho Transportation Department
Attn: Vehicle Services Section
Salvage Desk
P.O. Box 34
Boise, ID 83731

Once you receive your salvage certificate, you can apply for a rebuilt title, which allows you to legally drive the vehicle.

If you have additional questions about applying for an ID salvage title, contact the Idaho Transportation Department’s Salvage Unit at (208) 334-8485.

Apply for an Idaho Rebuilt Salvage Title

You’ll need a rebuilt title to legally operate your salvage vehicle.

Before you can obtain a rebuilt salvage title, you or a qualified mechanic must repair and rebuild the car to meet the state’s motor vehicle equipment standards, as applicable to your type of vehicle.

After restoring your car, bring the following items in person to your county assessor’s motor vehicle office:

Be prepared to complete any other forms the IDT determines necessary related to your situation.

Once everything is complete on your end, the motor vehicle office will brand your Idaho title “Rebuilt Salvage.”

NOTE: You can title AND register your rebuilt salvage car at the same time.

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