You might come across a rebuilt title from another state if you decide to shop from a private seller out of state. A rebuilt title on a car typically means that the car previously had a “salvage” title, but then it has been restored and passed a state inspection. Therefore, it is eligible for sale and can be driven again on public roads.
Also, all 50 states mandate the buyer to disclose the title of the vehicle being sold.
Should You Buy a Rebuilt Title Car?
Just because a car has a rebuilt title doesn’t mean it is automatically bad. It might cost less than a similar car with a clean title, but there is a chance it could need more repairs in the future. When buying a rebuilt title from another state, you want to be careful. Before the purchase, do some research on the vehicle history, and have a mechanic and body specialist you trust check it out.
A vehicle inspection is a good thing to do whether the car has a rebuilt title or a clean title. The reason is that some cars with clean titles might have gone through ‘title washing”. This scheme is when a seller changes a car’s title in a different state that does not recognize certain types of titles, making it look clean. Title washing is against the law, but it can sometimes be hard to figure out.
If your credit is not good, it is usually hard to get a car loan from subprime lenders for a car with a rebuilt title. Lenders are concerned about the risks of rebuilt title cars, and if you also have bad credit, it is not a good decision to get one. While a rebuilt title car might be cheap, potential safety and reliability concerns make it a risky business.
Getting Insurance for Car with Rebuilt Title from Another State
At the same time, getting full insurance for a car with a rebuilt title is really tough, and in some cases, it is almost impossible.
Whether you can get insurance depends on where you live and the insurance company you use. Each state has different rules about insuring cars with rebuilt titles, so get to know the regulations by checking your state’s DMV or Secretary of State website.
When it comes to the kind of insurance available for a rebuilt title car, most companies only provide liability or property damage coverage. These types of insurance only pay for the damage you cause to other people or their property in an accident.
Selling a Car with a Rebuilt Title
Before you sell a car with a rebuilt title from another state, you need to fix it up properly and pass your state’s rebuilt title inspection. Once it is approved, you can sell the car.
Remember that a rebuilt title significantly affects the car’s value, and potential buyers might want to haggle for a lower price.
You could, however, maximize your profit from selling a car with a rebuilt title. Just make sure it’s in great condition before you list it for sale. Even if it passes the inspection, you still need to fix any minor cosmetic damage to make it look better.
A Car Can Have a Rebuilt Title in One State and a Clean in Another
Let’s discuss the possibilities of a scenario where a car has a rebuilt title in Nevada but receives a clean title when transferred to California.
1. Title Washing
One of the primary reasons for this discrepancy is a practice known as title washing. The codes for title status are not consistent across all states.
As a result, when a car is moved from one state to another, it can sometimes obtain a “clean” title instead of its previous “rebuilt” status. Some people or entities might exploit this inconsistency to increase a car’s value.
2. National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS)
There is a system called NMVTIS that keeps track of car titles. If a state doesn’t participate in NMVTIS, it might not be aware of a car’s title history from another state. While some states provide data to NMVTIS, they do not always check it before issuing a new title. Such states include California, Idaho, North Carolina, Maryland, and Massachusetts.
Can You Register a Car with Rebuilt Title from Another State?
You generally can register a car with a rebuilt title from another state. Different states each have specific rules. In this section, I have covered the requirements for many states.
Typically, some states do not require you to go through the rebuilt title process again if the car has already been branded “Rebuilt” in another state. On the other hand, some states still require you to go through the rebuilt title procedure again, rendering the out-of-state branded title invalid.
If you have a rebuilt title from another state that is already branded as “Rebuilt” or “Restored”, you still have to complete the rebuilt vehicle procedures except for the following:
- Photographs of the vehicle in its salvaged/wrecked condition.
- Receipts for parts used to restore the vehicle.
- Form T-129 Labor and Parts Certification.
A vehicle that completes the rebuilt process in another state and returns to Tennessee with an out of state title that shows “rebuilt,” will be accepted and a Tennessee title, with the “rebuilt” brand, will be issued.
Reference: Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-3-207
In New York, the DMV will not examine or issue a title certificate for a rebuilt vehicle that has an out-of-state title certificate.
The New Jersey website is not clear about whether you need a rebuilt title in NJ if you already have a rebuilt title from another state. However, when I called the DMV, the official said, “You can register it, no problem.”
So, this means that if the title is rebuilt from another state, you should be fine as long as the title doesn’t show salvage. NJ MVC has a problem if the title is still salvage because NJ requires them to be rebuilt in NJ.
Alabama does not make a clear comment on whether or not you need to obtain a rebuilt title from the state. However, following Section , Code of Ala. 1975, you do not have to unless your title is showing salvage. So, only a salvage motor vehicle is required to title in Alabama.
The website of Vermont does not mention whether you need to reinspect a vehicle with a rebuilt title.
If the vehicle is from out of state and that state only has a registration requirement, submit the original registration form. KYTC will not accept copies. Also, you can call the Kentucky Rebuilt Support Section at (502) 564-1257.
Texas does not specify whether you need to apply for a rebuilt title with the TX DMV if the vehicle already has one from another state.
Connecticut says “If you rebuild the salvaged vehicle, you should re-title it. Before you re-titled it, it needs to first pass a salvage inspection.” However, there is no mention of out of state branded titles. This means that as long as you do not have a salvage title, you may be allowed to register a car with a rebuilt title from another state.
You may be able to register a rebuilt title car in Maryland without inspection as long as the title does not say “Salvage”. Refer to Maryland MVA.
Any title, certificate of origin, statement of origin, or certificate of salvage that indicates the
vehicle is to be used for parts only; is not suitable to be rebuilt or titled; or is not designed,
constructed, or intended for use on public roadways. Therefore, if you have a rebuilt title, you should be able to title in your name in Pennsylvania via the PennDOT.
Once a salvage vehicle has been repaired, it becomes a rebuilt vehicle and may be registered and/or sold if the proper procedures below have been followed. See Nevada DMV.
If your revived salvage vehicle has been previously reported to CA DMV as a total loss by the owner or insurance company and has been rebuilt and restored to operational condition, it needs to be registered again. If already registered out of state, you may not have to go through the inspection. Meanwhile, these are the steps to get a salvage title cleared in California.
If the Washington State Department of Licensing reissues a title on the car, it may be branded as “WA REBUILT”. However, the website does not specify whether you need to reregister an out of state car with a rebuilt title in WA.
Reconstructed, rebuilt, homemade, or shop-built vehicles may be titled if the applicant has all the required documents and provided that the vehicle conforms to all vehicle equipment safety standards applicable to the particular vehicle. See NM MVD.
Motor vehicles that come into Wyoming with an out-of-state salvage title must obtain a Wyoming salvage title and apply to WYDOT for a Rebuilt Salvage Decal prior to registering the vehicle. Therefore, a car with a rebuilt title from another state may not need to be inspected again in Wyoming.
In WV, you may not need to have a rebuilt title car reinspected because WV DMV only requires salvage title car owners to first exchange the out-of-state vehicle title by completing a Salvage Certificate Application (DMV-SV-1) to get a rebuilt title.
You only need to complete the rebuilt title application process in Missouri if you have a salvage title certificate.
Once a salvage title has been issued for a vehicle, the vehicle cannot be registered or titled until it has been rebuilt for road use and has undergone a salvage inspection. Therefore, if you have a rebuilt title from another state, you should have no problem registering the car in NH.
Vehicles brought into Michigan from another state or province with a rebuilt title must be issued a comparable Michigan title, according to Michigan.gov.
In Massachusetts, you may not need a reconstructed title if you already have a rebuilt title. Nevertheless, you should contact the RMV.
A rebuilt from salvage indicates the motor vehicle is now roadworthy as defined in section Colorado Revised Statute 42-6-102(15). Therefore, if you already have a rebuilt title from another state, Colorado DMv may not require you to undergo a vehicle inspection again.
Indiana BMV says that you need to request a rebuilt title brand for a vehicle previously branded as salvage by applying for a salvage restoration title. Therefore, since the title you have is “Rebuilt” or “Reconstructed” from another state, you may not need to inspect the vehicle again.
NC DOJ is clear about cars with rebuilt titles from another state:
Any motor vehicle which has been branded in another state shall be branded with the nearest applicable brand specified in this section, except that no junk vehicle or vehicle that has been branded junk in another state shall be titled or registered.
Therefore, you receive a rebuilt title if you already hold a rebuilt title certificate.
Nebraska branded title requirement is also clear:
If an Out-of-State title is presented with any indication of damage, the brand will be carried forward along with the name of the jurisdiction who issued the previous title, on the Nebraska Certificate of Title.
This rule includes a branded title such as rebuilt. So, if yours is rebuilt, it will be carried forward in Nebraska.
, it will be branded “Rebuilt Salvage”, or a
comparable brand on an out-of-state title will be carried forward.
Only licensed rebuilders can bring a vehicle out of salvage in the state of Illinois. If the applicant is not a licensed rebuilder, they must contract with a licensed rebuilder to obtain a rebuilt title.
South Dakota Department of Revenue will require a rebuilt title certificate if you don’t already have one. SD DOR does not make reference to out of state rebuild titles, so you won’t have issues as long as it isn’t salvage.
A vehicle last titled in Wisconsin as a salvage vehicle after successfully passing a Wisconsin salvage inspection by a certified state salvage inspector s.342.07; Wisconsin Administrative Code Trans 149. There is no mention of out of state vehicles, so you are good to go as long as your title does not say “salvage”.
In Iowa, an out of state rebuilt title is acceptable. You will only get a salvage title if you fail to complete repairs and inspection within 30 days of the purchase date.
If a title is already branded as rebuilt by another state or jurisdiction, it is not eligible to have the brand removed in Utah.
If a vehicle has an out-of-state branded title, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety will reissue a rebuilt title. You may not have to undergo the inspection again in MN.
So, these are some of the states and their registration requirements for vehicles with rebuilt titles. You can always visit your DMV’s website or call the support line to know your options.
How to Register a Rebuilt Car from Another State
The process and requirements for obtaining a rebuilt title for a car from another can vary by state, but generally involves the following steps:
The vehicle must undergo a state-approved inspection to ensure it has been repaired to meet safety standards. Note that many states will just reissue a rebuilt title without having you go through the inspection process again.
You’ll need to provide documentation showing the vehicle’s history, including the original salvage title, receipts for parts used in repairs, and any other relevant paperwork.
Submit an application for a rebuilt title to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or equivalent agency.
4. Pay the Fees
Pay any required fees associated with the application and inspection process. Once approved, the state will issue a rebuilt title for the out-of-state vehicle.
Even if a vehicle has a rebuilt title from another state, it can still be a good car to buy or sell. Just consider all the problems and choices you have. If necessary, have an expert assess the condition of the vehicle before you pay the money. You do not want to end up spending unreasonably on repairs.
Read also: Transfer Title Without Smog in California