Salvaged Vehicles in New Jersey
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A vehicle might be declared salvage when an owner or insurer determines that it will cost more to fix it after a collision than the vehicle is worth. A salvage title will be issued by the Motor Vehicle Commission, after which the vehicle can't be registered.
If you repair a salvage vehicle and want to put it back on the road, the state will first conduct a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection to make sure none of the component parts (or the car itself) were stolen.
Repairing and retitling a salvage vehicle can be difficult, with a lot of paperwork involved, so be sure to keep all documents showing where you bought the parts you used to resuscitate the vehicle. Also take "before" photos as soon as you come into possession of the vehicle; you'll need them later when you have the repaired car inspected.
How to Bring a Vehicle Out of Salvage
1) After a salvage title is issued, color photographs of the salvaged vehicle must be taken. To be acceptable, they must include:
- At least one photo of the entire front and left side of the vehicle (one before and one after repairs).
- At least one photo of the entire rear and right side of the vehicle (one before and one after repairs).
If repairs were begun before any pictures could be taken, a damage report from your insurance company is required. The report will substitute for the two "before" photos only.
2) You will also need a bill of sale for every major component part used in the reconstruction, rebuilding, or repair of the salvaged vehicle. The bill of sale should include the name and address of the buyer, the name and address of the seller, and the date and purchase price of each part. Include a description and the part number on the bill of sale if new parts were used.
In the case of used parts, you must provide:
- A description of the part.
- The vehicle identification number (VIN) of the motor vehicle that contained the part or a statement from you indicating why it is not available; the make; and the model and year.
- The date the part was removed or dismantled (if available).
- The name and address of the person or business that dismantled or removed the part.
3) If you installed used, major component parts, you must also provide the VIN from the vehicle(s) which parts were removed.
4) Complete and submit a Salvage Inspection Application along with a check or money order payable to NJMVC for $200 (cars and trucks) or $100 (motorcycles). This inspection fee is non-refundable and expires after one year.
5) Phone one of the salvage inspection sites indicated on your application to arrange for an appointment.
Note that failure to keep your scheduled appointment, or failure to arrive on time, will result in the forfeiture of your inspection fee. To avoid this, you should request a new appointment at least five working days before your original appointment date if you need to reschedule.
6) Fax a copy of your New Jersey salvage title, a copy of your Salvage Inspection Application and all pertinent VINs to the inspection site you'll be visiting. Fax numbers can be found on the inspection application.
When you go to the inspection, bring:
- The salvage title issued to you.
- Your copy of the application.
- The bill of sale for each major component part you have replaced.
- The required photographs and work order.
- A work order showing all repairs made.
- VINs of new and used parts, with thorough descriptions of work performed on work order.
- A damage report from the insurance company only if it's a flood vehicle
- If it's a theft recovery vehicle, provide a theft report from the law enforcement agency which recovered the vehicle.
For further details about the salvage inspection and how to apply, download the MVC's Salvage Vehicle Information brochure.
Other Topics in This Section
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
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