Salvaged Vehicles in Arkansas

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The Arkansas Office of Motor Vehicle (OMV) issues salvaged titles for rebuilt vehicles. There are some exemptions and certain vehicles must pass specific inspections, but overall the titling and registering processes for salvaged vehicles are similar to those for regular vehicles.

What Is a Salvaged Car in AR?

Arkansas considers a salvage vehicle one that has suffered:

  • Damage that equals or is higher than 70% of its average retail value.
    • Generally, insurance companies refer to these vehicles as “total losses.”
  • Water damage due to being submerged in a level of water above the dashboard.

Depending on the degree of damage and/or the owner or insurance company’s decision, the vehicle might have a “Junk,” “Non-Repairable,” or “Parts Only” notation and can’t be registered for driving purposes.

Salvage Title Exemptions

Your vehicle is exempt from Arkansas’ salvage vehicle laws IF BOTH of the following statements were true when it was damaged:

  • It was registered in Arkansas.
    AND
  • It was more than 7 model years old by the time the accident occurred.

Apply for an Arkansas Salvage Certificate

Obtaining a salvage certificate is dependent upon whether you:

  • Kept your vehicle after it was damaged.
    OR
  • Gave it to your insurance company.

If your insurance company declared your car a salvage and you gave it up to them as part of a total loss settlement, the insurance company is responsible for applying for the salvage title. You will have to provide them with the car’s original title, properly assigned.

If you choose to keep the vehicle, whether you deal with your insurance agent or declare the car a salvage on your own, you will have to apply for a salvage certificate yourself by providing the OMV with:

NOTE: If you keep your car after a total loss settlement with your insurance company, you must notify the OMV that your car is a salvage vehicle. 

Applying for a Rebuilt Car Title

After receiving your Arkansas salvage certificate, you can work on rebuilding your car. Once it is completely rebuilt, you’ll need a rebuilt salvage title.

Submit the following to your local OMV:

  • A completed Affidavit of Reconstruction for a Salvage Motor Vehicle (REV 2009).
    • You’ll need to provide information about:
      • Who rebuilt the vehicle.
      • All parts repaired or replaced, including VINs of the vehicle(s) from which they were obtained.
  • Payment for all required fees (contact the OMV for details).
    • Be prepared to pay the $10 title fee and any other applicable fees.

After this, you should be set to register your car and legally drive on Arkansas roads.

Out-of-State Vehicles

If you’re bringing in an out-of-state vehicle with a salvage or previously salvaged title (or a title with a similar description), it must undergo a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection before you can register with the Arkansas Office of Motor Vehicle.

You can bring your car to a certified city or county law enforcement officer, the Arkansas State Police, or an ASP designee for inspection.

Selling or Buying a Salvage Vehicle

Selling a salvaged car is perfectly legal; not disclosing that it’s salvaged, however, is not.

As a seller, you must tell the buyer the vehicle is a salvage and provide all required paperwork, such as the salvage title and the Salvage Title Buyers Notification (REV 2016) Failing to do so violates Arkansas consumer protection laws and can bring criminal charges.

As a buyer, you can protect yourself by ordering a vehicle history report and having a qualified mechanic of your choosing inspect the vehicle. If you suspect you’ve purchased a salvage vehicle without full disclosure and required paperwork, you can file a complaint with the Arkansas Attorney General.

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