Washington Rebuilt Salvage Title
In WA rebuilt salvage vehicles get permanent brand "WA REBUILT". "Salvage vehicle" in WA means that its certificate of title has been surrendered to the DMV after the vehicle's destruction or declaration as a total loss because the owner or an insurer determined that repairing the vehicle is uneconomical. There is a list of requirements to meet for the salvage vehicle to obtain a rebuilt brand and get back on the road legally.
- the vehicle was not kept by the vehicle’s owner (otherwise it won't get a salavge title)
- The vehicle should be 5 years old or less
Older vehicles should conform to the State's "market value threshold" criteria, namely:
- Age: 6-20 years old.
- Type: passenger vehicle, SUV or light-duty truck
- Retail value before receiving the damage or the incident that caused its being declared a total loss: at least $7,930
Why damaged WA vehicles may be a risk?
- In Washington, if the owner of a damaged vehicle decides to keep it and repair by himself, without declaring total loss to the DMV, no title brand will be issued and there is no mandatory inspection to undergo! The owner surrenders the old title and applies for the new one immediately. Such vehicle is called "Owner retained Salvage", the insurance company never possessed the vehicle, the ownership didn't change. Instead, the insurance company gets reimbursement for the scrap value of the vehicle and the amount is deducted from the insurance settlement. So, the title gets a branding only if the owner either sells the vehicle to someone else before it is repiared or received insurance settlement form the insurance company and the company becomes the owner.
- In WA totaling procedure is done electronically which automatically voids the current paper title. The buyer purchasing a vehicle into his/her name with a voided title may face a lot of trouble down the road with re-titling it and getting a roadworthy status. Even release of interest on the voided title won't be acknowledged because the title is no longer valid!
- Not every severely damaged vehicle will have a branded title.
That's the reason why every used vehicle in WA should be purchased after studing a detailed vehicle history check report.
Inspection for a Rebuilt Title in WA
The purpose of the inspection is to prevent trafficking of stolen vehicles and use of stolen parts.
All the documents presented to the officer at the inspection site should be original. Photos, photocopies or faxes are not accepted.
All the major components should be in place and not damaged
Valid Picture Identification if the vehicle
Washington State Patrol Inspection Request form completed by the licensing agent. This fully completed document is required for the WSP to conduct an inspection.
Certificates of Title or Receipts for major component parts. All receipts must be made out to the name of the licensed shop that built your vehicle or your name (the vehicle owner) or any of your immediate family member.
- If a third party that sold you major component parts is a private person the owner should provide the original parts receipts and the notarized bill of sale from the original purchaser to you.
- If the third party is a licensed business, the original parts receipts and a letterhead statement of transfer to you are required.
The receipts must display a description of the parts sold, the information about the vehicle the parts belonged to, of purchase price, the name and address of the seller and the date of sale.
- Only new aftermarket components purchased via Internet or electronically are accepted. If this case a printed out copy of the receipt is acceptable, it must include the description of the part, purchase price and tax paid, the business name (seller), date of purchase, address, phone number.