Can you insure a car with a salvage title in SC? No, you can’t, that’s because the car is not roadworthy. A South Carolina insurance company will only consider your car if you have a rebuilt title. So, you have to get a rebuilt title.
In this post, I will also discuss the proper steps you should follow to obtain a rebuilt title.
Can You Insure a Car with a Salvage Title in SC?
In South Carolina, you can’t insure a car that has a salvage title. Salvage title cars are those that are so damaged that they’re considered a total loss and not legal to drive. No standard insurance company will offer a policy for such cars. However, if you repair the car and a certified mechanic in South Carolina inspects it and finds it safe, the DMV will give it a rebuilt title. With this branded title, you can get insurance from companies such as Farmers and Geico.
But remember, many insurers might only offer liability coverage for rebuilt cars. This means they won’t cover damage to the car itself. Even with collision and comprehensive insurance, they may not fully cover the car’s value if it’s totaled again. I have explained in another blog post how a rebuilt title affects your insurance.
Can You Drive Around with a Salvage Title?
A salvage title means a car is not roadworthy, so not, it is illegal to drive around with a salvage title. If pulled over, your car will be impounded and you will be fined. Since this would be a moving violation, you risk going to jail.
No matter what, do not get a salvage title car on the road. Not only is it a risk for other road users, but it is also a risk to you if it is considered irreparable. I also understand that even stolen vehicles get the salvage titles which means that it might still be in a drivable condition. However, even this does not permit you to put the car on the road.
How to Get a Rebuilt Title in South Carolina
You won’t be able to insure a car with a salvage title in SC, so you need a rebuilt title first. Follow these steps to apply.
Get a Salvage Title
If your car doesn’t have a salvage title yet, you’ll need to work with your auto insurance company to get one from the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Here’s what your insurance company must send to the DMV:
- A completed Application for Salvage/Branded Certificate of Title (Form 400-S) under your name.
- The car’s original title.
- A $15 title fee.
- A letter from your insurance company confirming your car is a total loss and you’re keeping it.
Send these documents to: SCDMV Salvage Titles PO Box 1498 Blythewood, SC 29016-0044. Expect to wait about 3 to 6 weeks for your salvage title.
Repair Your Vehicle
After you get the salvage title for your damaged car, you can begin fixing it. If you know a lot about cars, you might do the repairs yourself. If not, take it to a professional mechanic.
Remember to keep all your receipts, sales bills, and records of the parts you use for the repairs, including the vehicle identification number (VIN) from any car you take parts from.
Get Your Car Inspected
To start, have your car inspected at a recognized South Carolina vehicle inspection agency. You should contact your local South Carolina DMV for details about booking an appointment, the cost, and what documents you need to bring. The inspection will check all fixed and replaced parts in your car, such as:
- The engine
Apply for a Rebuilt Title in South Carolina
Once your car clears the safety inspection and you get a Salvage Vehicle Inspection Report, head to your local DMV to apply for a salvage rebuilt title. Make sure you have all the right paperwork to show that the parts used in the repairs weren’t stolen. For your rebuilt title application, you will need:
- A filled-out Owner’s Rebuilder’s Affidavit (Form S-2) to confirm your vehicle has been rebuilt
- The salvage title
- A completed Application for Title and Registration (Form 400)
- Salvage Vehicle Inspection Report
- $15 for the title fee After finishing these steps, you’ll get your salvage rebuilt title and can register your rebuilt vehicle. Remember, this rebuilt title will stay with your car forever. It’s different from a clean title because it lets anyone who might buy your car in the future know about its past.
The whole process should take about 3-6 weeks, but it all depends on the condition of the car.