Salvaged Vehicles in Pennsylvania

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The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

(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.

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.


Application for Certificate of Title - MV-1

Contact your local PennDOT

Application for Reconstruct, Specially Constructed, Collectable, Modified, Flood, Theft Vehicles, Street Rods - MV-426B

Application to title a vehicle classified as reconstructed, collectable, modified, recovered from theft or flood OR street rod in Pennsylvania. Several inspections required to complete application.

Application for Nonrepairable or Salvage Certificate - MV-6

Submit this form to the PennDOT to request a salvage certificate (original or duplicate) OR original nonrepairable certificate for your vehicle.

Application for Correction of Vehicle Record or Verification of Vehicle Identification Number - MV-41

Submit this form to the PennDOT to request a VIN verification OR correction to your vehicle record.

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