How To Get A Salvage Car Ready For The Road Again – Part 2


In part 1, we told you about how to prepare for the inspection process for repaired salvage cars. In Part 2, we will talk about the actual inspection.  

Are You Ready?

The Inspection Process For Salvage Cars

Once the owner of the salvage title car or truck has repaired the car and taken the photographs, it is time to assemble the documents, showing where each major component used in the repair was sourced from, and go to the actual inspection. Depending on the jurisdiction that can mean going to a repair shop that is authorized by the state to do the inspections, or it can mean some sort of governmental entity or officials. For example, in the case of Michigan, inspectors are law enforcement officers from the county the owner resides, as is the case with Wisconsin, where the certified salvage title inspector is a law enforcement officer.  

Every state requires proof of the origin of major components and parts used in the build. That includes the VIN number of any donor vehicle. Major components, as defined by the State of New Jersey, are:

Engine Transmission/Transaxle, Front Bumper, Rear Bumper, Each Quarter Panel Decklid, Tailgate, Hatchback Roof (Including T-Tops) Cowl Nose (fenders, hood, bumper, radiator support) Front clip (cowl, frame section, shock, and apron structure)  

Missing Some Major Components

You Can’t Drive Your Salvage Car To The Inspection!

One thing that is true across the board is that the vehicle will have to be towed or trailered to the location. It seems like common sense.  But some people can get overexcited once they have finished that project car. Nothing like showing off that new ride, right? Well, not yet. As mentioned before, the inspectors also happen to be traffic police or state troopers in many states. 

This could happen on the way there!

Inspection Time

Colorado Inspector

The inspector will usually go through the paperwork.  Then will then physically inspect the vehicle.  For the most part, it means looking to see if the car is complete, with all safety equipment in place. The State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation states that: “inspections ensure the vehicle and its individual parts are not stolen, have the proper equipment and are in safe operating condition.”

If the inspection is successful, the owner will be issued a certificate of title that certifies the car is driveable but will remain marked with a “branded title”.  That title could include “rebuilt”, “repaired” or it can even be called “salvage” repaired. Those are different than a “clear title”. But for the owner, it does mean the car can be driven. Not only in the state the person lives in, but across state lines, since a rebuilt title will be recognized by other states, in the same way, that a salvage title will.

Where To Get a Salvage Car

Now that you have read this, why not consider getting a salvage car for fixing up? Check out the Copart Auto Auctions where tens of thousands of cars are listed daily. Normally,  you would need a dealer’s license when you buy salvage cars. However, when you use a registered Copart broker, there’s no need for such a license. Good luck!