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Virginia Salvage Vehicle Titles

In the Commonwealth of Virginia the salvage vehicle requirements are that you must:

  • Apply to the DMV (VSA 56) for a salvage certificate (a document of ownership issued by the Department for any salvage vehicle upon surrender or cancellation of the vehicle's title and registration)
  • Submit the vehicle's title with a description of the damage and an itemized estimate of the repair cost, and 
  • Pay the titling fee.

Every owner of a Virginia vehicle that sustains damage in excess of 75 percent of the actual cash value (the retail cash value of the vehicle prior to damage as determined by an insurance company responsible for paying a claim or if no insurance company is responsible, by the Department of Motor Vehicles) must apply to DMV for a salvage certificate. The certificate will say "BRANDED IF REBUILT". Owners must pay the titling fee and obtain an itemized estimate of the cost of repairs on the official stationery of the insurance company or a Virginia independent appraisal firm and must include:

  • The description of the vehicle (make, year and vehicle identification number) 
  • A list of all parts that will be repaired or rebuilt including the cost and weather the part is new or used, and 
  • The total cost for labor and the total cost for parts.

Insurance companies that take possession of a vehicle that has been damaged and pay the owner for the value of the vehicle must apply to the DMV for a salvage certificate. Insurance companies must submit the Application for Salvage within 15 days of paying the owner or lienholder.
Insurance companies must notify the DMV by completing the form Notification of Owner Retained Late Model Vehicle (VSA 58 ) on all late model vehicles which have a paid claim for damages that exceeds 75 percent of the actual cash value if the vehicle is titled in Virginia and is to be retained by the owner.

A vehicle that is declared salvage cannot be operated on Virginia highways and may not be registered as long as there is an active salvage certificate.

A salvage certificate may be used for reassignment to a licensed rebuilder if the vehicle is to be rebuilt.

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