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Salvage Titles in Florida

If your vehicle was involved in a serious accident, a salvage title may not be your first priority. However, once injuries are taken care of and legal matters are settled, you will have to deal with the expense of buying a new car, which can be prohibitive, especially after you have been through an event that may put a strain on your finances in other ways. If your vehicle has been seriously damaged, you can have it inspected to see if it can be rebuilt. If it can be rebuilt, you can get a rebuilt title. However, if the car must be junked, then you can get a salvage title.

Auto salvage allows you to recover some of the costs of the car, even if it is too expensive to fix. Salvage dealers will take the car and strip it of its usable parts, in turn selling them or using them to make a new car. These cars may not be able to be driven, but they can get you the money you need to buy a new car and get your life back to normal.

When A Salvage Title Is Necessary

If you are the owner of a totaled car, there are two options that can allow you to recoup at least some of the costs of the vehicle. You can either:

  • Rebuild the vehicle.
  • Get a damaged car title so you can junk the vehicle.

Rebuilding the vehicle allows the driver to keep operating it on the highway, however you will not be able to do so if:

  • The vehicle does not pass an inspection by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
  • The vehicle was worth less than $7,500 before the damage.
  • The vehicle is more than seven years old.
  • The cost of repairing the vehicle would total more than 90% of the cost of the vehicle.

If any of these scenarios are true, you will not be able to rebuild the vehicle. You need a salvage vehicle title in this case, which will allow you to junk the vehicle and sell it to a salvage dealer so that they in turn may sell off the vehicle’s various parts for money.

Salvage Title Cars: Necessary Applications and Procedures

In order to salvage your vehicle, you will need to junk it. This necessitates:

  1. Filling out a wrecked car title and sending or bringing it to your nearest tax location, to let the government know that you are junking your vehicle.
  2. Filling out the bottom half of your car title, which is called the “Transfer of Title by Seller” section.
  3. Giving the title to the salvage dealer
  4. Giving them the vehicle and allowing them to junk it.

If you do not have the title, you will have to go to the DHSMV in order to obtain a duplicate copy of the title. After filling out the requisite form, you will then be able to follow these steps and transfer ownership of the vehicle to the salvage dealer.

In order to fill out wrecked car titles, you will need to have information regarding your insurance company, if your insurance company paid out a claim on your vehicle. This includes identifying information about the insurance company such as its name and address, as well as information regarding the claim you filed and how much was paid out for it. If your smashed car was not insured, you will need identifying information about yourself, such as name, address, and the number on your Florida driver’s license.

You will also need to list important information regarding the vehicle. This includes:

  • The number of miles that the car has driven, as indicated by the odometer. If you feel the odometer’s reading is incorrect, you may note this on the form.
  • The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This number needs to be verified by an official, who can be an officer of the law, a notary in the state, an individual who works for the DMV or a dealer.

Finally, with your signature you will affirm that the vehicle will not be driven on Florida highways.

Along with the replacing your regular title with a salvage car title, your local office will require you to void your registration by giving them your license plate. This can be done via mail by sending the plate to the title office in Tallahassee. If you choose to send the plate via mail, you need to understand that the office likely handles a variety of plate-related matters. Therefore, you will need to inform the office what your reason is for sending the plate in. Specify that you are sending the plate in because you are junking the vehicle.

Alternatively, to get a totaled car title you can visit an office with title voiding capabilities. If an office handles taxes, license plates, or driver’s licenses, they should be able to accept your license plate.

What is a salvage title, and when will I need one?

It is important to note that salvage titles are not needed for all junked vehicles. They are only used for vehicles that have a title, as a way of voiding the vehicle’s title with the government. Vehicles that do not have a title, such as mopeds, do not need salvage titles, which makes the junking process simpler. For mopeds, you will simply need to cancel the registration for the vehicle and give the vehicle’s license plate to your local tax office.

If you do not have a license plate to give, you will have to show photo ID to the office and fill out the form stating that your vehicle should no longer have a registration. You will also have to note why the license plate is unavailable. Your three options are to state that the plate was:

  • Stolen
  • Destroyed
  • Lost

Where Should I Take My Totaled Car?

If you are looking for a place to take your salvage title car, The Florida Department of Highway and Safety Management has a list of dealerships that are licensed with them. If you visit one of their offices, they should be able to direct you to the licensed salvage dealerships that are closest to you. Only licensed scrap dealers are legally allowed to take your totaled vehicle and make money off of it.