Salvaged Vehicles in Mississippi

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Car accidents, severe weather, vandals―all potential causes for your insurance company to declare your vehicle a salvaged car (also called a “total loss”). When that happens, your insurance carrier will present a total loss settlement and you can decide whether keeping the vehicle for yourself is worth it. 

What Is a Salvaged Car in MS?

Your vehicle is considered a salvaged car in Mississippi when your insurance company determines it’s a “total loss” due the amount of damage sustained. This damage could come as a result of:

  • Wreck or other collision.
  • Fire.
  • Flood.
  • Hail.
  • Vandalism.
  • Theft.

Generally, you and your provider will work on a total loss claim when the cost to repair the car exceeds or almost surpasses the car’s fair market value (in other words, if it will cost more to repair the car than the car is worth).

Excluded Vehicles

Mississippi does not apply salvaged vehicle provisions to any car that:

  • Is 10 years old or older AND has a value of $1,500 or less.
    OR
  • Needs 5 parts (minor components) or fewer replaced/repaired; minor component parts include the vehicle’s:
    • Doors.
    • Hood.
    • Fender.
    • Quarter panels.
    • Deck lid or hatchback.
    • Bumper.
    • T-top.
    • Transmission.

If your vehicle falls under one of these categories, contact the Mississippi Department of Revenue (DOR) at (601) 923-7200 for further instructions on how to deal with your vehicle.

First Steps with Your Salvaged Car

How you handle your MS salvaged car depends on who takes ownership of the vehicle—you or your insurance company—and below are a few of the most common scenarios.

Note that your exact procedures can vary depending on your insurance company and policy, though in either case, your insurance provider will take initial control of the vehicle following a total loss claim.

Insurance Company Keeps Car

When cars are so damaged insurance companies determine they’re total losses, many owners decide to accept a full total loss settlement and let the provider keep the vehicle. 

Sometimes, it’s just the easiest option. You simply sign over the car title to the company, accept the full payout, and let your provider handle the rest. Your insurance agent will explain the exact details and any final responsibilities you have (for example, you might need to provide proof of lien satisfaction). 

You Keep the Salvaged Car

Now, let’s say you decide to accept a partial settlement and want to keep the total loss car because, well, maybe you don’t see it as a total loss.

At this point, you’ll still sign your title over to the insurance company and an agent will apply for a salvage title with the MS Department of Revenue. Once your insurance company receives the salvaged title, the provider will sign the salvage title back over to you and you can determine a way to handle the vehicle that best suits your situation. 

A few possibilities include:

  • Selling the vehicle to a business that junks, scraps, or dismantles cars OR via your own private sale of the parts.
  • Repairing the car so it meets Mississippi’s legal and safety requirements, and applying for a rebuilt title.
    • Your rebuilt vehicle will need to pass a salvage inspection as part of obtaining a rebuilt title.
    • With a rebuilt title, your car is legal for operation on public roadways, and you can then choose to keep the vehicle for yourself or sell it.

Keeping your salvage vehicle could mean devoting a significant amount of time and money to dealing with your car. Consult with your insurance provider on what they perceive to be the best option, as they will have a good understanding of the amount of work needed. 

MS Salvaged Car Inspections

Once you’ve salvaged car is rebuilt, it’s time for a salvaged car inspection with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS).

It’s best to contact the inspection station in your area before bringing your rebuilt vehicle in. Driving your vehicle to the inspection site is the ONLY time you’re allowed to operate your salvage car on public roads.

Before you head to the inspection, make sure you have:

  • The salvage title (which your insurance company signed over to you).
  • A completed Application for Inspection of a Salvage/Rebuilt (Form 78-021).
    • You must attach pictures of the damaged vehicle before repairs. The application provides instructions on how to take the pictures and where to attach them.
  • Bills of sale and/or invoices for each component part used for repair:
    • Sale documents for replacement major component parts must be notarized.
    • All bills of sale and invoices must include:
      • The seller’s name and contact information.
      • The make, model, year, and vehicle identification number (VIN) of the car from which the parts originally came (if applicable).
  • A certified check made payable to the “Department of Public Safety” for the $75 inspection fee.
    • The DPS requires this fee whether your vehicle passes or fails AND for each re-inspection (if applicable).

If your vehicle:

  • Passes, the inspector will give you a Completion of Vehicle Inspection (Form 78-022) and you can move on to applying for a rebuilt title.
  • Fails, the inspector will explain the necessary repairs to be made; you’ll need to bring your vehicle in for another inspection after making these repairs.

NOTE: This is NOT a safety inspection. The salvaged vehicle inspection verifies that parts are not stolen and that no information has been altered, removed, or destroyed; it doesn’t check for the reconstructed car’s roadworthiness. Ask the DOR or DPS if you’ll need an additional safety inspection.

Rebuilt Vehicle Titles

Now you can apply for your rebuilt title with the Mississippi Department of Revenue by submitting the following items at your local tax collector’s office:

  • A completed Application for Inspection of a Salvage/Rebuilt (Form 78-021).
    • Refer to the application for the pictures you must include with this form.
  • The Completion of Vehicle Inspection (Form 78-022) issued by the inspector.
    • Remember, you’ll receive this form after your repaired vehicle passes inspection.
  • All the bills of sale and/or invoices you presented for your salvage inspection.
  • The $9 title fee.

You should then be on your way to a rebuilt vehicle title!

If you have questions while putting together your application for a rebuilt title, give the Mississippi DOR a call at (601) 923-7200.

Forms

Application for Inspection of a Salvage/Rebuilt Vehicle - 78-021

To apply for a rebuilt Mississippi title, you must submit this vehicle inspection form to the Department of Revenue. Must be completed by a certified salvage inspector.

Completion of Vehicle Inspection - 78-022

You'll receive this form after your vehicle passes Mississippi's required salvage vehicle inspection for rebuilt titles. Form not available online. Must be obtained from a certified inspector.

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