Salvage Vehicles

Tip

Do not buy a vehicle with an orange-colored salvage title. The vehicle must be rebuilt before it is sold to a private party.

Salvage Vehicle Title
cars crashed

Consumer Tips/After a Crash

A vehicle that has been issued an orange-colored salvage title may not be registered in Nevada until it has been inspected by a Nevada registered garage, Nevada licensed body shop or Nevada licensed rebuilder.(NRS 487.860)

  • License Plates

    License Plates

    Remove your license plates from a totaled vehicle. You may:

    • Transfer them to another vehicle within 30 days
    • Surrender them to the DMV and apply for a registration fee refund.
      (You must have a copy of the Salvage Title to apply for a refund.)
    • Return them to the Department within 60 days for standard issue plates or within 30 days for special plates. You will receive a credit toward another registration.

    See Plate Surrender/Refunds. You must transfer or surrender the plates before you cancel the liability insurance if you intend to retain ownership of the vehicle and register it in your name.

  • If you have collision/comprehensive insurance coverage

    If you have collision/comprehensive insurance coverage

    Your insurance company will determine whether your vehicle meets the definition of a salvage vehicle. They will assist you in completing the Salvage Title Procedures.

    You may transfer ownership to the insurance company or to a DMV-licensed salvage pool, automobile auction, rebuilder, automobile wrecker or a new or used motor vehicle dealer.

    Or, you and your insurance company may agree that you can retain the vehicle.

  • If you do not have collision/comprehensive coverage

    If you do not have collision/comprehensive coverage

    It is your responsibility to assess whether the vehicle meets the definition of a salvage vehicle.

    If there is a loan or lease on a vehicle, you must notify the lienholder within 10 days and the lienholder must apply for a Salvage Title within 30 days.

    If there is no lienholder, you must either apply for a Salvage Title within 30 days or sell the vehicle to a DMV-licensed salvage pool, automobile auction, rebuilder, automobile wrecker or a new or used motor vehicle dealer. See Salvage Title Procedures.

    You may not sell the vehicle without first obtaining a Salvage Title. You may not sell the vehicle to a private party without rebuilding it.

  • If you retain a salvage vehicle

    If you retain a salvage vehicle

    Read and follow all of the procedures on this page carefully. A rebuilt vehicle must be inspected by a licensed garage or body shop and the DMV before it can be sold or registered. It is the owner's responsibility to complete these steps and obtain a standard blue Nevada title before the sale.

    If you retain the vehicle but choose not to rebuild it, you can sell it only to a DMV-licensed salvage pool, automobile auction, rebuilder, automobile wrecker or a new or used motor vehicle dealer.

    Improperly selling a salvage vehicle can be a serious felony offense. Sellers must disclose in writing that the vehicle is a salvage vehicle. See Salvage Vehicle Laws and Penalties.

What is a Salvage Vehicle?

“Salvage vehicle” means a motor vehicle that at any time has been declared a total loss vehicle, flood-damaged vehicle, non-repairable vehicle or had “salvage” or a similar word or designation placed on any title issued for the vehicle.

  • Total Loss - A vehicle that has been damaged to the extent that the estimated cost of repair, not including the cost associated with painting any part of the vehicle, would exceed 65 percent of the fair market value of the vehicle immediately before the damage was incurred. Vehicles with less than 65 percent damage are not considered salvage vehicles.
  • Flood Damaged - A vehicle that has been submerged in water to a point that the level of the water is higher than the door sill of the vehicle and the water has entered the passenger, trunk or engine compartment of the vehicle and has come into contact with the electrical system of the vehicle; or a vehicle that is part of a total loss settlement resulting from water damage.
  • Non-Repairable - A vehicle, other than an abandoned vehicle, that has value only as a source of parts and scrap metal, or has been designated by its owner for dismantling, or has been stripped of all body panels, doors, lights, etc., or has been burned or destroyed beyond a restorable condition.

Salvage vehicles in Nevada are issued an orange-colored Salvage Title. A salvage vehicle may not be registered or operated on any public street until it has been rebuilt and inspected. Once a salvage vehicle has been repaired, it becomes a rebuilt vehicle and may be registered and/or sold if the proper procedures below have been followed. Non-Repairable vehicles are issued a Certificate and may not be restored to operating condition. 

Older Vehicles

Vehicles 10 model years old or older are not considered salvage vehicles if the only repairs needed are a limited number of items. Specifically, the hood, the trunk lid, and/or up to two of the following: doors, grill assembly, bumper assembly, headlight assembly and taillight assembly.

If the vehicle requires more repairs than this, the 65 percent damage rule applies. For example, the 65 percent rule would apply if the grill, front bumper and one headlight assembly were replaced. If only the hood, the grill and the bumper were replaced, the 65 percent rule would not apply and the vehicle would not be considered a salvage vehicle.

Rebuilt Vehicles (Non-Salvage)

Vehicles which have had certain repairs must be titled as Rebuilt even if they do not meet the definition of a salvage vehicle. See Non-Salvage Rebuilt Vehicles.

Salvage Title Procedures

Publications

Salvage Vehicle and Non-Repairable Vehicle Certificate Guide

Wrecker and Tow Car Guide

Obtain a Salvage Title

When a vehicle has been damaged to the extent it becomes a salvage vehicle, an orange-colored Salvage Title must be issued. The responsibility to complete this process rests with:

  • The insurance company if the company declares the vehicle to be a total loss.
  • The lienholder, if any, if there is no comprehensive/collision insurance. The registered owner must notify any lienholder of the damage to the vehicle within 10 days and the lienholder must apply for a salvage title within 30 days.
  • The registered owner, if there is no insurance or lienholder and the owner wishes to retain the vehicle. The owner must submit the current title and an Application for Salvage Title (VP-213) within 30 days. The owner has the option to sell the vehicle to a DMV-licensed salvage pool, automobile auction, rebuilder, automobile wrecker or a new or used motor vehicle dealer. If this occurs, the licensee is responsible for obtaining the Salvage Title.

See NRS 487.800 for details. The DMV will issue a Salvage Title or Non-Repairable Vehicle Certificate to the new owner (the insurance company or DMV licensee) or to the current owner (if the vehicle is retained) within two business days after the department's Central Services Division has received the properly completed application, current title and other documents.

Important: No other transfer of ownership may take place until the DMV has issued a Salvage Title.

See Bonded Titles if you do not have proof of vehicle ownership and cannot contact the previous owner.

Salvage Vehicle Title
Salvage Vehicle Title

Vehicle Restoration

If the vehicle to be restored is five model years old or newer, it must be brought to a DMV Inspection Station for completion of the Authorization for Vehicle Restoration prior to any repairs. Vehicles may not be restored, titled or registered unless this has been completed. This is not necessary for vehicles six model years old or older.

Authorization for Vehicle Restoration (VP 209)

Garages, body shops and rebuilders must repair vehicles to the common standards published and applied in the automotive repair industry. Air bags and seat belts must be repaired to the standards set in federal law. The business must keep records of the repair including any identifying information of parts.

When the reconstruction has been completed, the Certificate of Inspection must be completed by a Nevada registered garage, licensed body shop or licensed rebuilder.

The vehicle must then be brought to a DMV inspection station for completion of the Certificate of Inspection. Once this is accomplished and all other registration requirements have been met, the vehicle may be registered and titled. The vehicle may be sold once the new title has been issued.

All future titles will be a normal Nevada Certificate of Title but will be "branded", which means the title will be labeled with the word "Rebuilt" or other appropriate term. The brand cannot be removed.

Vehicle Title with Rebuilt brand
Vehicle Title with Rebuilt brand

Salvage Vehicle Laws and Penalties

Any person who transfers an interest in a motor vehicle in this state shall, before the transfer, disclose in writing to the transferee any information that the transferor knows or reasonably should know concerning whether the vehicle is a salvage, rebuilt or reconstructed vehicle. (NRS 487.830)

A person shall not remove, cause to be removed or conceal a marking on:
(a) A salvage title or other title which indicates that the vehicle is a salvage vehicle; or
(b) A certificate of title or other title for a rebuilt vehicle which indicates that the vehicle is a rebuilt vehicle. (NRS 487.840)

Violations are felony criminal offenses if the vehicle is valued at $250 or more. Courts may order jail terms, fines and restitution. 

Any purchaser or lessee also may bring a civil suit against the offender. If successful, the purchaser will be awarded court costs, attorney's fees and whichever of the following is greater:

  • Three times the amount of actual damages;
  • Five thousand dollars; or
  • Actual damages and such punitive damages as may be allowed by the court.

You may not remove any salvage vehicle from the State of Nevada with the intent to sell it without first obtaining a Salvage Title.

Chapter Number and Title Statutes Code
Chapter 482 - Motor Vehicles and Trailers: Licensing, Registration, Sales and Leases NRS NAC
Chapter 487 - Repair, Removal and Disposal of Vehicles (Body Shop and Garage) NRS NAC

Non-Salvage Rebuilt Vehicles

Certificate of Inspection for Rebuilt Vehicles (Not Salvage) - (VP 064A)

Vehicles which have had certain repairs must be titled as Rebuilt even if they do not meet the definition of a salvage vehicle. This applies to any vehicle that has had one or more of the following major components replaced:

  • Cowl assembly;
  • Rear clip assembly;
  • Roof assembly;
  • Floor pan assembly;
  • Conventional frame coupled with one additional major component
  • Complete front inner structure for a unibody

These vehicles must be inspected by a licensed garage or body shop and the DMV using the Certificate of Inspection for Rebuilt Vehicles (Not Salvage). The existing title must be surrendered to the DMV, which will issue a title branded "Rebuilt".

A vehicle for which the only change is the installation of a truck cab assembly is not considered a rebuilt or salvage vehicle.

Contact Us

Title Questions

Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles
Central Services and Records Division
Salvage Unit
555 Wright Way
Carson City, NV 89711
(775) 684-4785
(775) 684-4493 fax

Contact DMV

Contact for Dealers, Body Shops and Repair Garages

Contact your local DMV Compliance Enforcement Division office.