How to Sell a Salvage Car in Alaska

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Selling a salvage car won’t be the highlight of your day, but it’s a task you can complete and won’t have to worry about again. You’ll work with the DMV to get everything situated with your car. Let’s get you ready to sell your salvage car in Alaska!

What is a Salvage Car in Alaska?

The Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (AK DMV) defines a salvage vehicle (also referred to as a reconstructed vehicle) as one that has been declared a total loss after it’s damaged, which means it would cost more money to repair the vehicle than it’s worth, making it uneconomical to repair.

However, if your vehicle is deemed a total loss, it doesn’t mean that it’s an actual loss for you! There are different ways you can deal with your salvage vehicle to make a profit or drive your car again.

What Is the Insurance Claim Process in Alaska?

After your vehicle is declared a total loss, you will need to choose a full or partial settlement. Accepting a claim is the first step in the salvage car process in Alaska. The settlement you choose determines your next steps in the salvage car process.

Before you choose a settlement, your auto insurance provider will inspect your vehicle. If it is declared a total loss, and you don’t dispute this decision, you can accept a full or partial settlement.

Full Settlement Claim

Accepting a full settlement claim means you are accepting the entire actual cash value (ACV) of the vehicle, and your auto insurance provider keeps your car.

Partial Settlement Claim

Partial settlement claims allow you to keep your vehicle. You can sell your salvage car in Alaska or rebuild it, pass an inspection, and apply for a rebuilt car title. If you decide to keep your vehicle and rebuild it, be advised that in Alaska, a reconstructed vehicle is one that you’ve altered from its original state by removing, adding, or substituting essential parts, such as the body, chassis, or engine. If you only replace the car’s engine, the vehicle is not considered a reconstructed vehicle.

Actual Cash Value and Replacement Cost

We mentioned actual cash value (ACV) earlier when we were talking about insurance settlements. The ACV is often confused with replacement cost. While auto insurance companies use the ACV and replacement cost to determine the value of your vehicle at the time of loss, they are not the same.

The ACV of your vehicle is its depreciated value at the time of loss. Having an ACV policy compensates you for the value of your vehicle before it was declared a total loss. If you have a replacement cost policy, you are provided with the funds you need to replace your vehicle. Most people choose replacement cost policies because they put you back at square 0, meaning you will be in the same financial position you were in before your car was totaled.

Can You Sell a Salvage Car in Alaska?

Sure! However, you are required to have the car’s title. If you no longer have the car’s title, you must request a duplicate one by completing an Affidavit of Lost, Stolen, or Destroyed Title (Form 809). The title must be notarized and you must provide a lien release from any lienholder of record. You are also required to pay the $15 duplicate car title fee.

Avoiding Salvage Title Fraud in Alaska

Fraud can occur anywhere, including Alaska. Your responsibility as the seller of a salvage vehicle is to disclose that you are selling a car that has a salvage brand. Make sure you state in the description that the car has a salvage title, and not something along the lines of, “This is a used car”. Used cars are not the same as cars that have a salvage title.

Is a Bill of Sale Required to Sell a Salvage Car in Alaska?

No. You are not required to have a bill of sale, however, having one is beneficial for you and the buyer. The bill of sale can be used as a receipt of the car sale. Having a receipt of this transaction helps you avoid any penalties, fees, or any further liabilities involving the car once you sign over the car’s title.

If you decide to use a bill of sale, make sure you include the following information:

  • An accurate description of the vehicle
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Warranty information
  • The vehicle’s final sale price
  • Names of the buyer and seller
  • The names of the county and state where you purchased or sold the vehicle

Can You Sell a Salvage Vehicle Without the Car’s Registration Card?

The car’s title is the most essential document in this situation. You don’t need the car’s registration card to sell a salvage vehicle. As long as you have the car’s title, you’re good to go!

How Do You Get a Salvage Title in Alaska?

To obtain an Alaska salvage car title, you must submit the following documents at your local AK DMV branch:

  • A completed Application for Title and Registration (Form 812)
  • A completed Reconstructed Vehicle Affidavit (Form 829)
  • Submit a completed Verification of Vehicle Inspection (Form 811)
  • Submit a lien release (if applicable)
  • Pay all applicable fees

If you need further assistance, contact the AK DMV at (907) 269-5551.

Alaska Salvage Vehicle Inspections

Before you can title and register your rebuilt vehicle in Alaska, the vehicle must pass a vehicle inspection performed by an Alaska DMV representative or an approved law enforcement officer. You’ll need to contact the Alaska DMV to schedule the inspection. You’ll also need to ask for a trip permit to drive your unregistered vehicle to the inspection site.

The approved inspector will record technical information that pertains to the following:

  • Odometer reading
  • Engine number
  • Vehicle identification number
  • Model, make, and year of the vehicle
  • Federal certification label status

The inspector will also check the car’s mechanical parts to ensure the vehicle is street-legal. These parts will include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Vehicle operation and body condition
  • Head, tail, and brake lights
  • Steering system
  • Defrost system
  • Windshield
  • Emergency and foot brakes

You can view a complete list of the parts the inspector will check, on the Verification of Vehicle Form (Form 811). The agent must fill out this form once they complete the vehicle inspection.

How Do You Title and Register a Rebuilt Vehicle in Alaska?

After you rebuild your vehicle, it must be inspected. After it passes inspection, you must title and register the vehicle. You are required to submit the following documents at your local AK DMV branch:

  • A completed
    • Vehicle Transaction Application (Form V1)
    • Reconstructed Vehicle Affidavit (Form 829)

The person who completed the vehicle reconstruction is required to complete this form in front of an AK DMV representative or notary.

You must also have a bill of sale and invoice for each component you used to rebuild the vehicle. You also need the original vehicle title for each vehicle you used to rebuild the salvage vehicle.

If the AK DMV already has the titles on file and was marked as “junked”, this requirement does NOT apply. You must provide a lien release if there was a lien on the vehicle. You may also be required to pay a reconstruction fee plus all applicable Alaska vehicle registration taxes.

Alaska Vehicle Registration Fees

The AK DMV will register a vehicle once you pay all applicable licensing fees. The vehicle registration fees may vary depending on your unique circumstances, the type of vehicle you’re registering, and the type of license plate you choose.

Since most applicants complete the titling and registration process simultaneously, the total cost of registration may also be comprised of the following smaller fees:

  • $30 standard plate fee
  • $10 in-person transaction fee
  • $15 title fee
  • $15 lien recording fee
  • $5 license plate transfer fee

Once I Rebuild My Vehicle, Will My Car Still Have a Junk Title?

Wait! Your vehicle doesn’t have a junk title. Salvage titles are often confused with junk titles. A salvage title is what your vehicle has since your auto insurance provider declared it a total loss. Cars that have junk titles don’t have the option of being repaired, and the only value cars with these titles have is scrap metal value. Since your car has a salvage title, you can sell or repair the car and drive it again. Junk-titled cars can’t be sold unless they are being sold to a junkyard, salvage yard, or recycling center, and they can’t be operated on roads and highways.

Who Buys Salvage Cars Near Me in Alaska?

If you’re selling your vehicle to a salvage yard, junkyard, or recycling center, we’ve got a few locations for you! Even if you don’t use any of these locations, you’ll at least know where to start looking.

Interior Auto Salvage
3230 Van Horn Rd.
Fairbanks, AK 99709
(907) 479-4266
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

Northwest Auto Parts
5700 Camelot Dr.
Anchorage, AK 99504
(800) 770-6531
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 6 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

Hilltop Recycling, Inc.
16849 Old Glenn Hwy
Chugiak, AK 99567
(907) 696-2246
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

What Selling Methods Are Available for My Salvage Car in Alaska?

In Alaska, there are different ways you can sell your salvage vehicle. Make sure you disclose that you are selling a vehicle that has a salvage title!

Selling As-Is

Selling your car as-is, is the best selling method if you don’t want the hassle of repairing and retitling the vehicle. Even though you’re selling your salvage vehicle as-is, make sure you provide pictures of the vehicle, and let buyers know you’re selling the vehicle as-is. If you know what repairs need to be made, this is also great information to include in the car’s description. Make sure you set a reasonable asking price. Asking too much can make buyers overlook your vehicle, and it will take a while to get rid of it.

Selling for Parts

If you’re up for putting in a little elbow grease, you can remove the car’s valuable parts and sell them individually. You can also hire a mechanic to help you complete the job.

Salvage Yard or Junkyard

If you’re looking for a quick way to earn a little cash, selling your salvage car to a junkyard or salvage yard may be the solution. You’ll need the car’s title and you’ll be asked to provide information about the damages. In most scenarios, you can use the junkyard’s or salvage yard’s website to junk your car.

You’ll need the VIN and information about the damages. You can schedule a pick-up date and time that works best for you. Once the VIN is matched with the VIN in the AK DMV database, you’re done! You will usually receive your funds in 72 hours or less.

Private Sale

Selling your salvage vehicle in a private sale is also an option. You can use different online platforms, such as Craigslist, Facebook Market, and similar platforms to sell your salvage car. Again, you must disclose that you are selling a vehicle that has a salvage title. Also, include photos of the vehicles from all angles, so buyers can see the work they have cut out for them.

How Difficult Is Selling a Salvage Vehicle in Alaska?

When you’re selling a salvage vehicle, you’ll have to put in more effort to sell the vehicle, but nothing over the top. If you’re selling the vehicle, you’ll need the car’s title and other documents may be required depending on your unique situation. If you’re rebuilding the vehicle, you’ll need to complete a variety of forms and pay vehicle registration fees. Once you complete these steps, you’ll be eligible to apply for your rebuilt title, and get driving again!

How Long Does It Take to Receive a Rebuilt Car Title in Alaska?

Receiving your rebuilt car title can take up to 4 weeks. On the bright side of things, the sooner you rebuild the car and it passes inspection, you’re on the fast track to receiving your rebuilt car title. Double-check the information you provide on the necessary forms and ensure the information is accurate. Incorrect information will delay the title process, and it will take longer for you to receive your rebuilt car title.

What Type of Auto Insurance Can I Get With a Rebuilt Car Title?

Although you rebuilt your vehicle and have a rebuilt car title, your vehicle is still considered a salvage-branded vehicle. With this type of car title, you will only be able to obtain Alaska’s minimum coverage. Some insurance is better than no insurance!

Now you know the ins and outs of selling a salvage vehicle in Alaska. Take what you’ve learned and put it to good use. Happy selling!