Salvaged Vehicles in Ohio

So, your car’s been in an accident or otherwise suffered some serious damage—serious enough that your insurance company considers the vehicle a salvage, or total loss. So, what can you do with the car now? On this page, we’ll go over your options when it comes to dealing with a salvage vehicle in Ohio.

Salvaged Vehicle Settlements 

A salvaged car is one so damaged, your insurance provider determines the repair costs would exceed the car’s fair market value (the car’s value immediately before the damage occurred).

When this happens, your carrier labels the car a total loss and you’ll file a total loss claim. At the end of the claim, you can accept a:

  • Full settlement, in which your insurance company pays you full damages and takes ownership of the vehicle.
  • Partial settlement, in which you keep the car and receive payment for partial damages.

If you decide on a partial settlement, you have several options (explained below) going forward—be prepared to put in some time and effort to get these options off the ground though. 

Options After a Partial Settlement

If you decide to take the partial settlement and keep the total loss vehicle, you can:

  • Sell the car.
    • Usually, you’ll sell your vehicle to a scrapyard, junkyard, or scrap metal processor in the business of recycling or selling used car parts.
    • Refer to the OH Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) for the laws on selling salvaged cars and how to protect yourself from fraud.
  • Repair the vehicle.

If you’re up to the task, repairing your salvage vehicle could save (or even make) money in the long run! Once you’ve retitled the car, you can drive it again and/or sell it as a working vehicle. Keep reading for the steps you’ll need to take to get your total loss vehicle back on the road.

How to Get an Ohio Salvaged Title

The first step to getting your total loss vehicle repaired, inspected, and retitled is obtaining a salvaged title. You can apply for an OH salvage title in person at your local BMV title office by submitting:

  • A completed Application(s) for Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle (Form BMV 3774).
  • Your car’s certificate of title.
  • Possible required paperwork from your insurance company or lienholder, if applicable.
    • Contact your insurance company and the BMV title office for the paperwork specific to your situation.
  • Payment for the $4 salvage title fee and any other associated costs. 
    • Call the title office ahead of time about any other county-related fees and taxes you may owe.

Now that you have your salvaged title, it’s time to start repairing your car to the state’s safety and legal standards. You may choose to do this on your own or take your car to a repair shop if you aren’t familiar with rebuilding vehicles.

If you have questions about applying for a salvaged title in OH, call the Bureau of Motor Vehicles at (614) 752-7671. 

Ohio Salvaged Car Inspections

So, you’ve repaired your salvage car to highway operating condition and are ready to get it back on the road—not so fast! You’ll need to have it inspected by the Ohio State Highway Patrol first.  

To start, you’ll need to head to your local BMV Deputy Registrar’s office to pay the $50 salvage inspection fee. The BMV employee will then give you a salvage inspection receipt—DO NOT lose this! The receipt allows you to legally drive your non-registered salvage vehicle to the inspection station.

After paying the inspection fee, it’s time to make an appointment at your local inspection station. When the day of your salvage inspection arrives, make sure you have:

  • Your OH driver’s license.
  • The car’s salvage title.
  • The salvage inspection receipt.
  • Receipts for all replacement major component parts, which MUST:
    • Be original—no copies or faxes.
    • Include the:
      • Vehicle identification number (VIN) for each vehicle from which the part(s) came.
      • Name, phone number, and address of each business or private seller.
    • Be notarized if the parts came from a private seller or a business that isn’t a licensed parts dealer.
  • If applicable, receipts for repair parts obtained from irregular sources , which should include the seller’s name, phone number, and address.

During the inspection, the OH State Highway Patrol inspector:

  • WILL check that:
    • Your receipts ensure all parts were acquired legally.
    • Your rebuilt vehicle is up to state safety standards.
  • MIGHT ask to:
    • Remove some of your vehicle’s parts.
    • Keep your car overnight.
      • Make sure you have someone to drive you home from the inspection station in case this happens!

Once your inspection’s over, the inspector will provide you with paperwork to prove your car passed—hold onto this! It’ll come in handy when you apply for your rebuilt Ohio title

OH Rebuilt Title Application

To apply for a rebuilt car title with the OH Bureau of Motor Vehicles, provide the following items at your local BMV title office:

  • A completed Application(s) for Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle (Form BMV 3774).
  • Your salvage vehicle title.
  • Proof that your vehicle passed inspection.
  • Payment for the applicable title fees—this varies by county, so call the title office ahead of time for specifics on what you’ll owe.

When all your paperwork is approved, the BMV will issue a new Ohio certificate of title, stamped “Rebuilt Salvage.” With this title, you can legally drive your car again or even sell it as a roadworthy vehicle.

If you need help putting together your rebuilt title application, don’t hesitate to call the OH BMV at (614) 752-7671.


BMV 3774
Application for Certificate of Title to a Motor Vehicle
Request an original, duplicate, replacement, memorandum, OR salvage Ohio Certificate of Title for your vehicle.
DMV.ORG BBB Business Review