Rebuilt Title

What you need to know about the rebuilt title and vehicle branding.

Rebuilt Title in New York


A New York rebuilt title vehicle will have the “REBUILT SALVAGE:NY” brand on the title. The branding notice must be printed in capital letters on the front of the title certificate. Once issued, the branding remains on the title as long as the vehicle exists.

How bad are NY vehicles damaged to get a salvage title?

According to NY law, a vehicle that is destroyed or receives a damage 75% or more of its retail value at the time of the damage and is no more than eight model years old received a salvage title. Important!: In NY, however, rebuilt salvage title can be issued not just to previously salvaged and then repaired NY vehicles, but also to out-of-state vehicles with branded titles, such as Rebuilt Salvage, Salvage, Salvage Restored, Water Damage and even Junk and Parts Only. No need to explain the difference between a rebuilt title car that was salvaged because the insurance company decided that investing in repairing cosmetic damage was not cost effective due to the vehicle’s age (say, 5 years) and a junk car reconstructed after a severe crash. A NY rebuilt salvage title can be given to both types of vehicles. Unless you know the vehicle history you cannot judge if a rebuilt title is a good buy or a disaster for both your pocket and your safety. Mandatory pre-titling examination of rebuilt vehicles by the DMV is not a safety or emissions inspection, it’s a part of NYS Auto Theft Prevention Program. If the DMV investigator determines that the condition of your vehicle is not safe, the DMV will not examine the vehicle. However, that does not guarantee that the vehicle was properly repaired. Although the title applicant will have to describe the repair work and all the parts that were replaced, there is no requirement to provide any proof documentation, like repair receipts from a certified body shop that repaired the vehicles, although you will have to provide receipts for the replacement parts used.

Registering Rebuilt Title in New York

To register a rebuilt title in NY one must provide the following documents to the DMV:

If the vehicles passes the examination, the DMV will mail your title certificate in approximately 15 business days (only by mail, according to the law). Please not that you cannot drive the car to the examination facility if it does not have a valid registrations. You will either have to tow or transport it on a flatbed truck, or apply for a Temporary Transport Permit from the DMV. For the latter, you will need a proof of a safety inspection - the form MV-899 completed by the inspection station (to which you will also have to transport the car legally).

NY laws require that the owner disclose the damage that caused the vehicle to become total loss. The failure to disclose the damage is penalized by the fine up to $2000 and other penalties. Specifically, when selling a vehicle a dealer must indicate, in writing, on the bill of sale whether a vehicle is a rebuilt salvage or reconstructed, new or used, or was not manufactured to U.S. standards. In addition, a dealer must have all rebuilt title cars for sale inspected before selling it to your within 30 days before delivery. The same applies even if the vehicle is new. However, you may be charged an inspection fee. The DMV will not register or issue title to a previously salvaged car unless a salvage disclosure statement is completed by the seller and signer by the buyer. Examination or a rebuilt vehicle by the DMV is also mandatory before issuing a Rebuilt Salvage title and registering the vehicle. The purpose of this examination is to verify that no stolen parts were used for the reconstruction.

Reconstructed Title

Reconstructed Title is commonly issued to heavy trucks or tractors rebuilt after extensive damage with a glider kit.