If you are buying a vehicle with “Rebuit Title Due to Theft” (aka Theft Recovery) you want to make sure it didn’t receive any serious damage. That is why it is necessary to check vehicle history by VIN.

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(all vehicle types)

Rebuilt Title Due to Theft

Although a stolen car is a used car buyer’s nightmare and the biggest red flag one is watching out for when checking a used vehicle’s history, the statements on the title rebuilt title: theft recovery or rebuilt title due to theft aren’t so bad at all. On the contrary, a rebuilt title after theft can be a great buy, with just one condition: you are not planning to resell it at a normal price or as a trade-in and is planning to use for a long period. Technically, such an ex-stolen vehicle is roadworthy, and can even be safer and in a better condition than other rebuilt autos because it could have suffered no damage at all, unlike common rebuilt cars. Practically, I don’t recommend to include the money from selling such a vehicle into your financial plans. If the word theft and *recovery appear on the title or elsewhere on the DMV issued papers, you may be sure that the vehicle will not give you any problems with the police - it was successfully registered with it’s theft recovery history because nobody is searching for that car any longer - it was found.

How a Stolen Vehicle Gets a Rebuilt title

In some states, salvage titles are given not just to damaged cars, but also to stolen vehicles, either if the insurance claim is paid before the vehicle is found or if the recovered vehicle suffered certain damage and cost of repairing it higher than 70-85% of its market value. Such states are AZ, FL, GA, IL, MD, MN, NJ, NM, NY, OK and OR. When the vehicle is found, it becomes the property of the insurance company and then is sold at a salvage auction or back to be owner. In either case, the recovered auto will have a salvage for a lifetime, as the law requires in most states. Later, it can be inspected, recognized roadworthy and get a rebuilt or rebuilt salvage title, which also can never be converted into a “clean” one. Although stolen cars can be abandoned, stripped or vandalized, the interior may be damaged or the audio ripped out, as a rule, such autos are generally in a good condition: there is no use for the criminals in damaging the plunder and thus decreasing the value of the cars they are going to resell. However, sometimes major parts like transmission or engine a taken off and resold. To avoid this, you need to match the engine and the VIN number and if they don’t match, check the vehicle history report for any engine replacement records. Quote often, recovered vehicles have no damage at all - these are actually great buys. Be cautions here: dealers know that you know that theft recovery rebuilt cars are from the “best buys” category, and they will almost certainly try to avail themselves of this. You’ll be told that the car received salvage title due to theft, not physical damage, with the hope that you swallow the bait any buy it without any concerns. However, remember that it can be damaged. It’s a totaled out vehicle so the insurer doesn’t car much. Have it inspected before you buy and make sure the mechanic who does it for you is not related to the seller in any way.

Can rebuilt title be issued for a stolen vehicle still searched by the police?

Theocratically, it can - because title washing scam still works and VIN numbers are faked to cover tracks. To avoid a stolen car with a rebuilt title (or any other title), always take the following steps prior to buying:

  • Always get full vehicle history report. But don’t content yourself with the records about the current title state you may receive at the DMV or even at you state’s police office because authorities in different stats often fail to transfer vital car history data to each other. Get vehicle history reports from online VIN check companies because they specialize in collecting every bit of information associated with a used vehicle across the states, They pull information from about 100,000 sources, including car auctions, insurance and finance companies, police records, body shops and other.
  • Always make sure the VIN is genuine, a fake VIN means checking a fake history of a rebuilt title vehicle. Although VIN number inspection and verification is a mandatory procedure before the DMV allows you to register the vehicle, you should know what to watch out for: any signs of repainting, molding or filing (in the VIN is printed or etched), scratches around or printing on the VIN plate (in the VIN in on the plate), non-matching digits and letters, letters I, O, Q in the VIN.
  • If the seller is telling you a rebuilt car received a salvage title due to theft, get a car history report and check it for in reality it can be an accident. The seller will tell you anything to sell the vehicle.
Rebuilt Title means that the vehicle has had a serious damage. You can safely buy such a vehicle only when you know what exactly happened. That is why it is critically important to check vehicle history by VIN.

Enter VIN (all vehicle types):