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Salvaged Vehicles in New York

Don't call it a comeback: When you revive your car (as opposed to your career) in New York, the DMV will call it a “salvaged vehicle."

But getting that designation is an involved process. Keep reading for more information on how to bring your salvaged car back to the streets.

What Is a Salvaged Car?

New York's definition of a salvaged car is very specific.

Your car is considered salvaged in the state if it was:

  • Model year 1973 or later and transferred to an insurance company with a Salvage Certificate, due to significant damage from:
    • Collision.
    • Water.
    • Theft.
    • Vandalism.
  • Declared a “wreck" at the time of sale or transfer by the owner listed on the back of its title.
  • Brought to New York after being issued a salvage title in another state.

Branded Salvage Title

The state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires a “branded" salvage title on any vehicle that is:

  • Up to 8 model years old.
    AND
  • Received damage worth at least 75% of its retail value OR was destroyed.

Your insurance company will determine the damage percentage, but you may want to read up on how your car's actual cash value is calculated before speaking with them.

Remember: Honesty is the best policy. If you fail to acquire a “branded salvage" title on a car meeting the above qualifications, you could be fined up to $2,000 or face other penalties.

Salvaged Car Titles in New York

Titling a salvaged vehicle in New York requires slightly different steps depending on whether it was declared salvage by the owner or a car insurance company.

In either case, you'll first need to visit your local NYS DMV office and bring:

  • Proof of:
    • Ownership, which can be shown with EITHER:
      • A NYS Salvage Certificate (Form MV-907A), issued by your insurance company.
      • The original title certificate, which indicates the car has been totaled.
        • Must be signed by both buyer and seller.
      OR
    • The bill of sale.
      • Must be signed by both buyer and seller.
    • Identity, which can be shown using:
  • Sales tax payment or purchase price (to pay the sales tax to the DMV).

The DMV will then issue you a sales tax receipt (Form FS-6T). This form is only available at the DMV.

Your next step is to compile:

You'll mail the above to the appropriate address below, depending on whether you have:

  • The NYS Salvage Certificate (Form MV-907A) issued by the insurance company.
    • Mail all of the above to:
      • Auto Theft & Salvage, DFI
      • P.O. Box 2105
      • Empire State Plaza
      • Albany, NY 12220
  • The original title, with the car declared “salvage" by its previous owner.
    • Mail all of the above to:
      • Title Services Bureau
      • NYS DMV
      • 6 Empire State Plaza
      • Albany, NY 12228

After this, the DMV will schedule your salvage vehicle examination (details below).

NY Salvage Vehicle Inspections

After sending in your title and exam application, your vehicle must be inspected by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.

The DMV should send you a letter with details on your appointment, including the:

If you don't receive a letter, contact your local DMV office and ask to be scheduled. Be prepared to pay the $155 inspection fee.

NOTE: If you miss your scheduled examination, you will have to reapply for a new appointment using the Salvage Examination/Title Application (Form MV-83SAL). You will have to pay a $150 reapplication fee.

Getting to Your Salvage Inspection

Since making your appointment involves transporting a car that has yet to be approved or inspected by the state, you may only bring your salvage vehicle to the inspection site by:

  • Having it towed.
  • Transporting it on a flatbed truck.
  • Using a “dealer" or “transporter" license plate.

If you'd rather drive your own vehicle to the inspection, you can get a Temporary Transport Permit from the DMV Division of Field Investigation (DFI) by collecting a:

Send the above to the DFI at:

Auto Theft & Salvage, DFI
P.O. Box 2105
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12220

After receiving your paperwork, the DMV will schedule your appointment and mail you the time, date, and location of your inspection along with an endorsement for the transport permit.

For more information on temporary transit permits, contact DFI directly.

At Your Inspection

You'll need to bring a lot of paperwork to your salvage vehicle inspection.

The Salvage Examination/Title Application (Form MV-83SAL) has a checklist of all necessary forms, documents, and identification types to bring with you.

It is important to arrive on time to your scheduled inspection. If you show up more than 30 minutes late, you'll have to:

  • Reschedule the exam.
  • Pay an additional salvage exam fee.

Your salvage car will also need:

At the inspection, you'll have to:

  • Pay the salvage inspection fee.
  • Open all of the vehicle's doors, the hood, and deck lid.
  • Describe the repair work.
  • Point out which parts were replaced.

The exam should last about 30 minutes. When all is said and done, it's time to breathe a sigh of relief—and celebrate! The New York Department of Motor Vehicles should send your salvage car title in the mail within 5 weeks after a successful examination.

After you receive the title, it's time for the final step in the process: Re-registering your salvage vehicle.

Re-registering a NY Salvaged Car

Congratulations, you're almost done! The only thing standing between your salvage car and the roads is a New York vehicle registration.

Luckily, this last step of the process is simple.

Once you have your salvage car title (which you'll receive in the mail after a successful salvage car examination), you'll need to:

When all is said and done, you can legally hit the streets with your salvage vehicle!

New York Salvaged Car Fees

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles charges the following for salvage cars:

  • Application fee—Varies by proof of ownership:
    • NYS Salvage Certificate (Form MV-907A): $200.
    • All other proofs of ownership: $205.
  • Inspection fee: $155.
    • Missed exam reapplication fee: $150.

You can pay the above fees by check or money order made payable to the “Commissioner of Motor Vehicles."

You may also be responsible for the following costs:

  • Titling fees.
  • Registration fees.
  • Sales tax.

Contact your local NY DMV office for more information.

Junk & Salvage Businesses in NY

The NY DMV requires anyone who transfers or dismantles junked or salvaged cars for business purposes to be certified and registered with the state.

Learn more about the rules and regulations of junked and salvaged car businesses—and how to register and certify—with the NY Department of Motor Vehicles junk and salvage guide.

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