Salvage Titles in Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania salvage title is a certificate of title reserved for motor vehicles with special circumstances. Specifically, these sorts of titles are used only for vehicles considered ‘total losses.’ In Pennsylvania, a motor vehicle is considered a total loss when the cost to repair it exceeds the value of the vehicle before the damage occurred. A salvage title is for vehicles that have been subjected to collisions, flood, theft or other events that leave the vehicle considered a total loss, even if it starts up and can be driven. A car needing a salvage certificate is determined to be a total loss by an insurance company. These cars are considered salvage vehicles. You may not legally drive a salvaged vehicle in Pennsylvania. However, there is a way around this predicament. A salvage vehicle title in Pennsylvania allows a salvaged vehicle to be rehabilitated and put back on the road. To learn how to get a salvage title, download our guide. Review more details about salvage certificates in PA in the sections outlined below.

What is a salvage certificate in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, a salvage vehicle title is a type of vehicle title reserved for special circumstances. Specifically, if a vehicle is inoperable due to damage, or sustains an amount of damage from any number of causes, such as flooding, collisions or theft and vandalism, it may be declared a total loss. A salvage title is the only title that may be assigned to a vehicle considered a total loss. Only the insurance company covering a vehicle can declare it a total loss. A vehicle sustaining an amount of damage that exceeds the fair market value of the car prior to sustaining the damage and considered a total loss may yet be repaired and put back on the road and driven legally. Obtaining a salvage certificate is the first step in this process. Learn more about salvage certificates in Pennsylvania by downloading our free and informative guide.

How to Obtain a Pennsylvania Salvage Title

To apply for a Pennsylvania salvage certificate, you must go through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). The salvage certificate application, officially titled the Application for Nonrepairable or Salvage Certificate (Form MV-6) may be obtained from any DOT office location or may be downloaded from the DOT website. The DOT requires the completed Application for Nonrepairable or Salvage Certificate be turned in along with the original car title that is in your name, as well as any police reports that may be pertinent, depending on the circumstances surrounding the declaration of total loss by the insurance company. Once you have all the items necessary to submit your salvage certificate application, you may submit them in person at your local DOT office, or you can submit them via mail. Please note that Pennsylvania salvage titles are free to file. However, this is not the case, should the vehicle owner applying for the salvage vehicle title have an out-of-state title that is assigned to a resident of Pennsylvania who is trying to transfer a car title to another resident of the state. In this case, there is a fee to be paid.

How to Use a Salvage Title in Pennsylvania

Once you obtain a Pennsylvania salvage title, you may set upon the path to repair your vehicle. When you have made all the necessary repairs, you can apply to have the vehicle inspected for safety. If your vehicle is able to pass a safety inspection, you may be able to transfer a salvage vehicle title into a reconstructed vehicle title enabling it to be treated as a new car. An insurance company will write an insurance policy for it, you can register it again as a normal car and treat it as such in every other way. If the vehicle is unrepairable and you do not wish to pursue – or cannot pursue – a salvage title, you may acquire a nonrepairable title. This restricts the use of the vehicle. It may not be repaired for use on the road again. It may only be used for scrap or spare parts. Download our complimentary guide to review more information about car titling tasks in Pennsylvania.