Salvaged Vehicles in Florida
Depending on the situation, either you or your insurance company will need to apply for a salvage title, certificate of destruction, and possibly a rebuilt vehicle title with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) following an accident.
If you think there’s a chance you could rebuild your totaled car, you’ll want to apply for a salvage title. On the other hand, if you plan on selling/junking your car for parts, you should apply for a certificate of destruction.
What Is a Salvage Car in FL?
In Florida, your car is a salvage vehicle (or “total loss”) if:
- It has a value of $1,500 or more and your insurance company pays you to replace it with a vehicle of similar type and quality.
- Your insurance company agrees to help pay for repairs, BUT the repairs cost more than 100% of the cost to replace.
- You do not have car insurance to cover the damages and the cost of repairing or rebuilding the vehicle will be 80% or more of the car’s replacement value.
If you need help deciphering whether your car qualifies as a salvage vehicle, call the DHSMV at (850) 617-2000.
FL Salvage Title or Certificate of Destruction
The application process to title your salvaged vehicle depends on who’s applying for the salvage certificate. If your car was declared a salvage as part of an insurance settlement, the auto insurance company will be responsible for applying for the salvage title.
However, if a car insurance company was not involved, you can apply for a Florida salvage title or certificate of destruction on your own. Start by completing a physical inspection AND VIN verification of the vehicle, which can be performed by a:
- Licensed dealer.
- Public notary.
- Police officer.
- Local tax collector.
- DHSMV agent.
You DO NOT need a VIN verification if any of the following apply:
- Your vehicle is:
- Brand new.
- A mobile home.
- A travel trailer.
- A camping trailer.
- A fifth-wheel recreational vehicle.
- A trailer/semi-trailer weighing less than 2,000 lbs.
- You can provide the current Certificate of Title.
- You complete and provide a Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Verification (Form HSMV 82042).
Then, provide the following items at your local tax collector’s office:
- A completed Application for Salvage Title/Certificate of Destruction (Form HSMV 82363), which requires:
- An odometer reading, UNLESS the vehicle is 10 years old or older.
- Verification and a signature from the person who performed the VIN verification (if applicable) and physical inspection of the car.
- An estimate of the total cost to repair your vehicle.
- Proof of lien satisfaction, if applicable.
- 1 document to prove ownership of the vehicle.
- Payment for the applicable title and registration fees—contact your local tax collector’s office for fees specific to your FL county of residence.
Apply for a Rebuilt Title in Florida
Once your vehicle has a salvage title, you can apply for a rebuilt title. A rebuilt vehicle title allows you to legally operate your car on public roads after you’ve rebuilt the vehicle to safe, operable standards AND it’s passed an inspection.
Before applying for your rebuilt title, contact your local tax collector’s office for details on getting a temporary license plate (good for 10 days) so you can drive your vehicle to have it inspected. A quick Internet search will often lead you to rebuilt vehicle inspectors in your area—call the FL Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles at (850) 617-2000 to confirm you’re meeting with an approved inspector.
Then, make an appointment to visit your local DMV Compliance Examiner at the nearest DHSMV regional office with:
- Proof of ownership for the vehicle if it was deemed a “total loss”:
- Before January 1, 1990 in Florida: Signed bill of sale stating the vehicle is a salvage.
- On or after January 1, 1990 in FL: Florida salvage title (indicating the vehicle is rebuildable).
- Outside of Florida: The out-of-state salvage title.
- A completed:
- Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration (Form HSMV 82040).
- Statement of Builder (Form HSMV 84490).
- The original bills of sale or receipts for all major component parts.
- Pictures that show at least 2 angles of the damaged vehicle (i.e. before repair).
- A copy of the insurance adjuster’s report or repair estimate.
- The $40 inspection fee.
- If necessary, a $20 fee will be added for each additional inspection.
- Contact your local tax collector for applicable title fees, registration costs, and sales taxes in your county of residence.
Once you receive your rebuilt title, the DHSMV will affix a decal to your car showing it’s a rebuilt vehicle; it is a crime to remove this decal.
For more detailed information, refer to and carefully read the DHSMV’s packet explaining everything you need to apply for a rebuilt title. Conveniently, the packet includes a vehicle rebuilt checklist for you to use.