Salvaged Vehicles in Pennsylvania
(PennDOT) defines a salvaged vehicle as one that is either inoperable or unable to pass a state safety inspection without the owner having to spend more on repairs than the vehicle is actually worth. Read on for details on obtaining a salvage title in PA and options for a reconstructed title.
Though you can't register or drive them, salvage-branded vehicles are legal to buy, sell, and own. The manner in which some of them are falsely sold, however, upsets the authorities.
There have been a growing number of cases of devious car dealers selling salvaged vehicles with impeccable exteriors but with blemished engines or chassis that cannot be detected by the untrained eye. To cover your back against such fiendish practices, Pennsylvania requires a stringent titling and registration process for all salvaged vehicles so that buyers know what they're getting.
Registering and Titling
To register a vehicle with a salvage title, you'll need to show proof that it was satisfactorily repaired and then apply for a rebuilt-salvage title.
- Submit an Application for Certificate of Title (Form MV-1), unless the Pennsylvania Certificate of Salvage is already in the name of the applicant. This form cannot be downloaded, but you can pick one up at any Driver License Center location.
- Submit either form MV-5 (it, also, cannot be downloaded) or an out-of-state certificate of salvage.
- Submit an Application for Reconstructed, Specially Constructed, Collectible, Modified, Flood, Recovered Theft Vehicles and Street Rods (Form MV-426B).
- Detailed instructions are included in the file.
- Attach color photos of the vehicle (front, back, and both sides).
- Attach a bill of sale or receipts for parts used to fix the vehicle. You can download, if needed, a generic bill of sale.
- Include a completed Application for Correction of Vehicle Record or Verification of Vehicle Identification Number (Form MV-41) to apply for a vehicle identification number plate (only if one is needed).
- Enclose all applicable fees ($51 for a title and $36 for registration).
The vehicle will need to be inspected by a PennDOT-approved station, and the inspector will need to sign the application form (so bring along all your paperwork). Among other things, the inspector will check to make sure that the car and its parts were not stolen.
Submit your documents to the address specified on the application forms.
Declaring a Vehicle Salvage
To apply for an original certificate of salvage, complete an Application for Nonrepairable or Salvage Certificate (Form MV-6). You must be the current owner and surrender the title.