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Salvaged Vehicles in Kansas

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If your car is badly damaged, it may qualify as a salvage. On this page, we’ll go over the KS Department of Revenue (DOR) definition and options when it comes to salvaged vehicles in the Sunflower State. 

What Is a Salvaged Car in Kansas?

The Kansas DOR considers your car to be a salvage if any of the following apply:

  • It’s a late model vehicle* that’s damaged to the point where the cost of repairs would be 75% or more of the vehicle’s fair market value (before damages).
  • It’s not a late model vehicle* and the required equipment is missing or damaged to the point it needs significant repairs before you can register it for safe and legal operation on KS roads.
  • Your insurance company deems it a total loss and keeps the title.

*NOTE: The KS Department of Revenue defines a “late model vehicle” as one with a model year falling within the 6 years prior to the car being wrecked or damaged. 

Non-Repairable Vehicle

A non-repairable vehicle is one that is damaged beyond repair and has no resale value except for parts and scrap.

You can apply for a non-repairable vehicle certificate using the same process to apply for a salvage title (and completing the applicable non-repairable sections) outlined below; however, before you do, note that:

  • Kansas will not reverse or remove a non-repairable certificate—once it’s done, it’s done.
  • The vehicle will no longer be eligible for a car title or registration to operate on roads in any state.
  • You can’t sell the vehicle as a whole unit.

Refer to the state’s policies and procedures to learn more about what you can do with a non-repairable vehicle.

Your Salvaged Vehicle Options

Your options for dealing with a salvaged car depend on who’s retaining ownership of the vehicle—your insurance company OR yourself.

Insurance Company Owns the Car

After filing a total loss claim, you can sign over your salvaged—or “total loss”—car to your insurance company. Generally, this means you’ve accepted a full total loss settlement. Your insurance company will pay you the damages and then take control of the salvaged vehicle.

At that point, the salvaged vehicle becomes your insurance provider’s responsibility. You might need to complete some additional paperwork and steps—such as meeting lien satisfaction requirements—but aside from that, you won’t have to worry about dealing with the salvaged car.

You Retain Ownership

If you retain ownership of the salvaged vehicle, it’s probably part of a partial settlement following a total loss claim. Your insurance company will advise you on how partial settlements work based on their own regulations and policies.

By keeping the salvaged car, you have the following options:

  • If the vehicle is beyond repair, you can apply for a non-repairable certificate (as described in the DOR's definitions of salvaged cars above) and sell it for parts.
    • Remember, you CANNOT sell the vehicle as a single unit—it must be dismantled/disassembled.
  • If you can repair the vehicle, you can apply for a salvaged title.
    • After applying for a salvage car title and repairing the vehicle, you can get a rebuilt title and then keep the car for yourself or sell it.

Apply for a Kansas Salvage Title

To apply for a Kansas salvage title with the Department of Revenue, provide the following at your county treasurer’s office:

Once your car has a salvage title, you:

  • Can rebuild the vehicle and apply for a title branded “rebuilt,” but the salvage status will remain in its history.
  • Can keep its license plate and car registration but you CANNOT TRANSFER them to another vehicle.
    • If you obtain a rebuilt title, you can transfer the registration and license plate back to the vehicle after the rebuilt vehicle passes inspection.
  • Don’t need insurance for the salvaged vehicle because it’s not eligible for registration and you can’t legally operate it.

If you have questions about submitting a salvage title application, call the Kansas DOR’s Division of Vehicles at (785) 296-3621.

Apply for a Rebuilt Title in Kansas

Once you’ve repaired your salvaged car to a safe, operable, and legal condition, you can apply for a rebuilt title.

First, you’ll need to go to a Kansas Highway Patrol inspection station and:

  • Have an officer:
    • Perform a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection on your rebuilt vehicle.
    • Provide you with a completed inspection form (also known as an MVE-1 form)
    • Attach a rebuilt salvage decal to the vehicle.
  • Pay the $20 inspection fee.

Then, to complete your application for a rebuilt vehicle title, submit the following at your local county treasurer’s office:

  • A completed Title and Registration Manual Application (Form TR-212a).
  • The MVE-1 form you received for passing the VIN inspection.
  • Your car’s salvage title.
  • Proof of auto insurance.
  • The applicable fees.
    • Kansas rebuilt car title fees can vary—check with your county treasurer for details on what you’ll need to pay.

If you need help applying for a KS rebuilt title, don’t hesitate to contact the Division of Vehicles at (785) 296-3621. 

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