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:

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:

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 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:

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.


HSMV 82042
Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Verification
VIN verification required when titling OR registering an out-of-state vehicle with the FL Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Must be completed by an authorized agent of the state.
HSMV 82363
Application for Salvage Title/Certificate of Desctruction
Use this form to apply for a salvage title OR certificate of destruction on a vehicle in Florida.
HSMV 82040
Use this form to title your vehicle with the FL Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Complete this form to title a vehicle in your name.
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