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Selling a salvage car isn’t the most exciting thing, but it’s something that may need to be done. If you’re the owner of a salvage car in Hawaii, and you want to sell the vehicle, we have the information you need to put you on the right track.

How Does the Hawaii DMV Define Salvaged Cars?

Your auto insurance provider is responsible for declaring your vehicle a total loss, also referred to as a salvaged car. In Hawaii, a salvaged vehicle is one that has damage to its supporting structure, external frame, and/or suspension system, and the car would cost more to repair than it’s worth at the time of the accident. If you are not sure whether your vehicle qualifies as a salvage, contact your local motor vehicle agency for further clarification.

Total Loss Claims in Hawaii

You can’t legally operate a salvaged vehicle until the vehicle is repaired, properly titled, and registered. Depending on your unique circumstances, you may have different options when it comes to dealing with your salvaged vehicle. In most similar scenarios, you can assign ownership of the vehicle to your auto insurance provider in a full settlement or retain ownership of the vehicle in a partial settlement.

Full Settlement

In a full settlement, you will assign ownership of the totaled vehicle to your auto insurance company. Your auto insurance provider will explain the next steps that are required in this process, including lien satisfaction, if applicable.

Partial Settlement

With a partial settlement, you will retain ownership of the totaled vehicle. In this situation, your auto insurance provider will pay for partial damages, and you will keep your vehicle as part of the total loss claim. Be advised that your vehicle must be repaired and inspected by an approved repair salvage dealer (RDS), and the vehicle must pass inspection before you can obtain a rebuilt car title.

In Hawaii, each county has its process for junking total loss vehicles, including how to complete the most recent title, the appropriate junking forms, and paying the applicable fees. Your county’s DMV can further explain and clarify their junking process.

Hawaii Salvage Title Eligibility Requirements

To obtain a salvage car title in Hawaii, you must satisfy specific eligibility requirements. The criteria may vary depending on your Hawaii county and the damages your vehicle sustained. These requirements may differ depending on whether you accepted a full or partial settlement from your auto insurance provider. In this situation, as the car’s owner, you can rebuild your vehicle, but there are steps you need to take to do so, such as passing a salvage vehicle inspection.

Do I Need to Know My Car’s Actual Cash Value?

Knowing your vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV) is not required to sell your salvage car in Hawaii. However, it’s good information to know. The ACV is a method auto insurance companies use to determine the amount of damage to stolen or damaged property, such as your car, sustained at the time of the loss.

In the auto insurance world, insurers use the car’s ACV to determine how much to pay you if you choose not to replace your car, also known as a partial settlement. Be advised that there is a difference between your car’s actual cash value and the replacement cost of your vehicle.

Can You Sell a Salvage Car in Hawaii?

Yes! You can sell your salvage car in Hawaii. You must take the following steps to ensure you have the necessary documents and payment(s) to sell your salvage car in HI:

  • Complete and sign a bill of sale
  • Sign your car’s title and complete the required sections on the backside of the title
  • Provide the car’s buyer with the car’s registration card, safety inspection certificate, and an accurate odometer disclosure statement.
  • Visit your local Hawaii Department of Motor Vehicles (HI DMV) branch within 30 days to title and register the vehicle
  • Inform your county’s motor vehicle registration branch of the car’s sale

If you intend on obtaining a rebuilt salvage title, you are required to complete an HI salvage vehicle inspection. This inspection must be completed at an approved Repair Salvage Dealer (RDS).

How to Avoid Salvage Title Fraud

Salvage title fraud is more common than you may think and takes different forms. Check out these different types of title fraud.

Title Washing: removing information from a vehicle title by fraudulent means, removing information that potentially reduces the value of the vehicle, including loan information (liens), and title brands, such as salvage and rebuilt titles.

VIN Cloning: changing the vehicle identification number (VIN) to hide the vehicle’s past from potential buyers. Scammers change the salvaged VIN with a clean VIN. VIN cloning is also used to disguise stolen vehicles.

Concealing a Salvage Title: when a dealership knowingly hides the fact that a salvage title was issued for a car. Dealerships could face legal penalties, including fines, and revocation of licenses for selling vehicles.

To ensure you stay in the clear for salvage title fraud, always inform buyers that your car has a salvage title.

What Information Must Be on the Hawaii Bill of Sale to Sell a Salvage Car?

In Hawaii, the bill of sale must include the following information:

  • Vehicle description
  • The vehicle’s VIN
  • Names of the buyer and seller
  • The county and state where you purchased or sold the vehicle
  • An accurate odometer reading
  • Final sale price
  • Notarized signature of the seller(s)

You can get a bill of sale from the city and county of Honolulu (Form CS-L (MVR) 40). As the seller of the vehicle, you can use a bill of sale for additional liability protection once you release the vehicle to the buyer. The bill of sale is your receipt for selling your vehicle.

Are There Salvaged Vehicle Restrictions in Hawaii?

Yes. In Hawaii, it is illegal to operate any vehicle that has a salvage brand on roads and highways. Since your vehicle has been branded a salvage, the vehicle is deemed unroadworthy and unsafe to operate.

Can You Sell a Salvaged Car Without the Title in Hawaii?

According to the HI DMV, you can sell a salvaged car in Hawaii without the car’s title. However, you are responsible for disclosing that you’re selling a salvage-branded vehicle without the title to all potential buyers.

Where Can I Get a Hawaii Salvage Car Title?

To receive an HI salvage car title, the vehicle must meet the HI salvage car requirements. Each Hawaii county has its application procedures for obtaining a salvage car title.

Your county’s licensing agency will handle salvage certificates and rebuilt car titles. However, your auto insurance provider can also point you in the right direction for obtaining a salvage car title.

First, you must contact an approved RDS to repair and inspect your car. In Hawaii, you are required to go through an approved RDS for salvage and rebuilt car titles. You are NOT allowed to repair the vehicle yourself. Each HI county has its own vehicle inspection fees.

Once you have the required paperwork, visit your local HI DMV branch and submit it. For the specifics of the paperwork your county requires, you can contact your auto insurance provider or contact your county’s licensing agency.

  • Hawaii County: (808) 961-8234
  • Maui County: (808) 270-7363
  • Kauai County: (808) 241-4200
  • Honolulu County: (808) 768-9100

You may pay all applicable fees for titling and registering your vehicle.

Hawaii Vehicle Inspections

The HI DMV requires all commercial and non-commercial vehicles to have valid safety inspection certificates and stickers. Your vehicle must be properly registered with the county’s vehicle registration branch to operate it on public highways. Having an expired safety inspection will not stop the registration of your vehicle.

You can have a vehicle safety inspection performed at authorized service stations and vehicle repair shops. With the exception of specific commercial vehicles, most privately owned vehicles are issued a safety inspection certificate that remains valid for one year.

You must have the car’s vehicle registration car and auto insurance ID card to present to the safety check inspector. Once the safety inspection is complete, the safety inspection information is updated electronically into the Statewide database. These updates can take up to 48 hours to reflect the current safety inspection expiration date. A copy of the safety inspection form can be submitted if you renew your registration by mail. You can view a list of the HI safety inspection components list.

What is the Process for Registering a Salvaged Car in Hawaii?

You can’t legally register a salvage-branded vehicle in Hawaii. You can, however, register a rebuilt vehicle in Hawaii once you submit the proper paperwork and pay all applicable fees. The vehicle must be repaired by an approved RSD and deemed roadworthy.

Hawaii Vehicle Registration Fees

The following are the HI vehicle registration fees and associated fees.

Registration FeesAll vehicles are subject to an annual tax computed according to the net weight of THE vehicle. Vehicles are required to be registered in the county in which the vehicle is physically located.
Vehicle Disposal Fee$12.00
Beautification Fee$1.00
Emblem Renewal$.50
State Weight TaxVehicles up to 4,000 pounds are 1.75 cents per pound. Vehicles that are at least 4,001 and do not exceed 7,000 pounds are 2 cents per pound. Vehicles that are at least 7,001 pounds and do not exceed 10,000 pounds are 2.25 cents per pound. Vehicles over 10,001 pounds are a flat rate of $300.
State Fee$45.00
County Weight TaxAll passenger vehicles are 1.25 cents per pound for all weights (minimum $12.00). Passenger trucks up to and including 6,500 pounds are 1.25 cents per pound (minimum $12.00). Freight vehicles and all trucks over 6,500 pounds are 2.5 cents per pound.
County Fee$12.00
Transfer Fee$5.00 – the annual fee must also be included if the vehicle has not been licensed for the current year of within 45 days of the vehicle’s staggered expiration month.
Duplicate Title$5.00
Duplicate Registration$5.00
Emblem Replacement$ .50
Plate Replacement$5.00
Out-of-State VehiclesAll vehicles must be registered within 30 days of arrival into Hawaii. The following is required: Title (if no lienholder) and current registration. Bill of Lading. Hawaii safety inspection certificate (Hawaii motor vehicle insurance identification card is required when the motor vehicle has a safety inspection performed).

Is There a Difference Between Hawaii Salvage, Rebuilt, and Junk Titles?

Salvage, rebuilt, and junk titles are different. A salvage title is what your vehicle will have if you accept a partial settlement, and decide to keep the car. The rebuilt title is what you will receive once you have the car repaired at an approved RSD. Junk-titled cars can not be sold unless it’s to a junkyard or scrap yard, and they can’t be repaired or driven.

Who Buys Salvage Cars Near Me in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, there aren’t a lot of salvage yards or junkyard options. However, there are a couple of options.

Monster Hi-5 and Tires
2960 Waialae Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 735-0717
Open 24 hours

Cash 4 Cars
94-233 Leonui St.
Waipahu, HI 96797
(808) 853-4315
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

How Long Does It Take to Get Auto Insurance for a Salvage Car in Hawaii?

You won’t be able to obtain an HI auto insurance policy for a salvage-branded vehicle. If you want to drive the vehicle again, you’ll need to have the car repaired and it must pass inspection. Once you complete these steps, you can apply for a rebuilt car title, and then obtain auto insurance.

Can I Salvage My Car Without the Title in Hawaii?

You can’t salvage a car without the title in Hawaii. The car’s title is required as proof of ownership of the vehicle. If your name is not on the car’s title, you are not the legal owner of the vehicle, and won’t be able to sell or junk the car.

What Are My Options for Selling My Salvage Car in Hawaii?

When it comes to selling your salvage car in HI, you have at least four options. You should choose the option you are most likely to complete, meaning see the task from beginning to end. Let’s discuss your salvage car selling options.

Private Sale

If you’re selling your salvage car in a private sale, this means you’ll be selling your car to another person and not a salvage yard or junkyard. In this situation, you’ll need the car’s title so you can sign over ownership. Don’t forget the bill of sale!

Salvage Yard or Junkyard

You can also sell your salvage car to a salvage yard or junkyard. This is a logical option if you’re looking for a way to get rid of your salvage car with little to no hassles. You’ll need the car’s title and you may be required to submit a Statement of Facts Relating to Junking of Vehicle (Form CS-L (MVR) 202).

Selling for Parts

Selling your car’s parts is another option. When you “part out” your car, you sell the salvageable, valuable parts of the car. It’s best to have a mechanic remove the car’s parts. Make sure you keep the receipts for all services provided. Parting out your car is the ideal option for potentially getting the most money for your salvage car.

Selling As-Is

You can also sell your car as-is, which means you’ll sell your car exactly how it is without any repairs or modifications. Selling your salvage car as is, is a good selling method to use if you want to get rid of your car and have nothing else to do with it. Once someone buys your car, you’ll sign it over, and you’re done! You won’t have to worry about making repairs, getting the car to pass inspection, and obtaining an HI rebuilt car title.

Common Difficulties That Can Occur When Selling Your Salvage Car in Hawaii

Completing the paperwork required to salvage your car can be frustrating. Since your car has been branded “salvage”, as you can tell from the information above, the selling process is a little different from selling a used car with a clean title.

Obtaining auto insurance for a salvage vehicle is not possible. However, you can obtain auto insurance for a car that has a rebuilt car title. Be advised that you may only be allowed to get Hawaii’s minimum coverage, which means collision coverage will not be an option.

How Can I Apply for a Rebuilt Car Title in Hawaii

To get a Hawaii rebuilt car title, you’ll need to apply for a salvage car title and then make the necessary vehicle repairs. Let’s take things one step at a time.

Applying for Your Hawaii Salvage Car Title

You’ll need your salvage car title before you can start repairing the vehicle. You must exchange your car’s original title, registration, and license plates at your local satellite HI city hall branch. Be advised that each HI county has a different process for salvage title vehicle applications and fees.

Make the Necessary Repairs

Unlike other states, Hawaii does not allow you to repair your vehicle on your own. You must have the car repaired at an approved repair salvaged dealer (RSD). Once your car is repaired, the mechanic will sign a certificate stating the vehicle has been rebuilt to the manufacturer’s specifications and has passed the required inspection.

Essential Documentation for Obtaining a Rebuilt Car Title in Hawaii

You must have the following documentation to present at your local HI DMV to receive an HI rebuilt car title:

  • The car’s salvage title
  • The car’s original title, registration, and license plates
  • Certification from the RDS that the vehicle has been rebuilt properly
  • Certification from the RDS that the vehicle has passed inspection

As we previously mentioned, each HI county has its inspection fees and required documentation. For the specifics of what you’re required to present, you must contact your county’s licensing agency.

  • Hawaii County: (808) 961-8234
  • Maui County: (808) 270-7363
  • Kauai County: (808) 241-4200
  • Honolulu County: (808) 768-9100

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

The time it takes to receive your HI rebuilt car title can vary depending on labor time, and your local city hall’s processing time. The sooner you get your car repaired, the closer you’ll be to obtaining your rebuilt car title. You have everything you need to know to sell or repair your salvage car in Hawaii. Happy selling or rebuilding!