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Are you ready to sell your salvage car in Idaho? We’re here to help! Selling any car can be frustrating, but we’re here to simplify the process for you by helping you get the forms you need and letting you know a few options you may have when it comes to selling your salvage car.

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How is a Salvage Car Defined in Idaho

The Idaho Department of Motor Vehicles (ID DMV) defines a salvage car as a car that’s been deemed a total loss by an auto insurance company. Total loss vehicles sustain severe damage to the point it would cost more to repair the car than to repair or rebuild it, and these repairs exceed the car’s actual cash value (ACV). Once it’s confirmed that your car is a total loss, you need to decide if you want to keep the vehicle or not.

Out-of-State Salvage Cars

If you’re bringing or brought a salvage vehicle to Idaho, there are different rules that apply.

Purchase a Salvage Vehicle in a Different State

Idaho does not require you to surrender the car’s title. However, you are required to apply for an ID salvage certificate within 30 days of obtaining the out-of-state title. You or your auto insurance provider must notify the ID Transportation Department if your vehicle that has an Idaho title becomes a salvage in a different state.

A representative will explain your next steps that are specific to your situation, which may include applying for a salvaged certificate or applying for a rebuilt car title. Call the Idaho Salvage Unit at (208) 334-8663 if you have questions or concerns.

I Have a Salvaged Car, Now What?

Now that your car has been deemed a total loss, your options are to accept a full or partial settlement from your auto insurance provider. Here’s what you need to know.

Full Auto Insurance Settlement

If you choose a full auto insurance settlement, you’ll sign over ownership of the vehicle to your auto insurance company. With a full settlement of a total loss claim, the auto insurance company will reimburse you for the damages.

In this scenario, the auto insurance company will apply for the car’s salvage title. You’ll need to satisfy the lien if there is one on the vehicle. Once you do, you are no longer responsible for the vehicle.

Partial Auto Insurance Settlement

If you accept a partial auto insurance settlement, you keep the vehicle and will be responsible for applying for the salvage title on your own. Since you’re keeping the vehicle, you can sell the vehicle to a business that scraps, junks, recycles, or dismantles salvaged vehicles, or repair the vehicle to safe and operable standards set by the ID DMV.

Once the car is repaired, you can apply for a rebuilt car title. Also, since you’re keeping the vehicle, your auto insurance provider will provide you with partial payment for the damages.

Other Types of Salvaged Titles in Idaho

There’s more than one type of salvage title in Idaho. If any vehicle you own has been branded as any one of the following, your vehicle is considered a salvage.

Rebuilt Salvage Vehicle: A vehicle that was previously declared a salvage that has been rebuilt or repaired and appears as a vehicle that was originally constructed under a distinctive manufacturer. [Section 49-123(2)(I), Idaho Code]

Salvage Vehicle: any vehicle that has a salvage certificate, a salvage bill of sale, or other documents that show evidence that the vehicle has been deemed a salvage.

A salvage vehicle can also be a vehicle that has sustained severe damage where the owner or the auto insurance company or other individual acting on behalf of the owner, determines that the cost of parts and labor minus its salvage value makes it uneconomical to repair or rebuild.

Salvage vehicles can also be defined as a car for which an auto insurance company has paid money or made another settlement as compensation for a total loss vehicle, such as a full or partial settlement. [Section 49-123(2)(o), Idaho Code]

Total Loss Vehicle: vehicles that are considered uneconomical to repair. A vehicle may be deemed a total loss when an auto insurance company or individual pays or makes other monetary settlements to the vehicle’s owner once it is deemed to be uneconomical to repair the damaged vehicle in question.

Compensation for a total loss does not include payments made by an insurer or other individual for medical care, bodily injury, vehicle rental, or anything other than the amount paid for the actual damage to the vehicle. [Section 49-123(2)(r), Idaho Code]

Owner-Retained Salvage: a vehicle that has been declared a loss and is being retained by the titled owner following a settlement.

Salvage Pool: licensed vehicle dealers who are engaged primarily in disposing of salvaged vehicles, recovering stolen vehicles, or both. [Section 49-120(4), Idaho Code]

Idaho Salvage Title Eligibility Requirements

To receive an Idaho DMV salvage car title, the vehicle must first satisfy all eligibility criteria to be eligible to perform the application process. Salvage vehicles may only be titled if they comply with the salvage requirements that are mandated by the ITD.

These eligibility requirements can vary based on your specific situation and depending upon whether you or your auto insurance provider is performing the procedure.

Actual Cash Value and How It’s Determined

Actual cash value (ACV), also referred to as depreciated cash value, is the amount of the car’s replacement cost minus its depreciation at the time of loss. The ACV for which the vehicle could be sold is always less than its cost to be replaced.

How Does Actual Cash Value Work?

Oftentimes, auto insurance providers use the ACV to determine the amount to pay the policyholder after a loss or damage to the vehicle. To be clear, there is no type of insurance referred to as ACV insurance. This is a misconception.

How is Actual Cash Value Determined?

Calculating the ACV requires you to factor in replacement cost, expected lifetime, and the car’s current age. The replacement cost is the amount of money that is required to replace the damaged or destroyed car at its current cost. The expected lifetime is the expected lifespan of the car. As far as the current age, this is the age of the car at the time of the loss. Your actual cash value equation should look something similar to the one below:

ACV = purchase price x (expected life – current life) ÷ expected life

Can You Sell a Salvage Car in Idaho?

While it’s not illegal to sell your salvage vehicle in Idaho, you are responsible for preparing the vehicle to sell it. If you or your auto insurance provider have already reported your vehicle as a salvage to the ID DMV, you have the option of restoring the vehicle or obtaining a rebuilt car title, also referred to as a salvage vehicle title.

Avoiding Salvage Title Fraud

Salvage title fraud occurs when an individual manipulates the title of a vehicle to hide its true condition. Hiding the car’s condition is usually done to sell the vehicle as if it has a clean title.

Salvage title fraud can on different forms, including the following:

  • Title Washing: this is a type of title fraud that removes information from a vehicle’s title by illegal or fraudulent means. With title washing, information that could potentially decrease the value of a vehicle, including information regarding title brands, liens, and salvage and rebuilt car titles, is hidden.
  • VIN Cloning: this type of cloning alters the vehicle identification number (VIN) to hide its damaged past from potential buyers. In general, scammers will change a car’s salvaged VIN with a clean VIN. VIN cloning can also be used to hide that a car is stolen.

What Should Be Included in the Bill of Sale Required to Sell a Salvage Car in Idaho?

The bill of sale is important when you’re selling a vehicle, whether new, used, or salvaged. If the existing car title has a section where you can declare the amount you paid for the vehicle, you will not be required to complete a separate bill of sale.

However, if the car’s title doesn’t provide space to declare the selling price, you must complete and sign an Idaho bill of sale (Form ITD 3738). The bill of sale must name the buyer as the vehicle’s new owner. The bill of sale is a requirement because it records the exact sale price, provides information on the buyer and seller, and serves as a necessary document in the titling process. The transfer of vehicle ownership requires reassignment of the vehicle’s title.

Are There Salvaged Vehicle Restrictions in Idaho?

Yes. Like most states, Idaho has salvaged vehicle restrictions. In Idaho, it is illegal to operate a vehicle that has been deemed a salvage. You can not obtain auto insurance or register a salvage title vehicle. If you want to drive your salvage-deemed vehicle, you must follow the required steps to obtain a rebuilt car title.

Can You Sell a Salvaged Car in Idaho Without a Title and the Car’s Registration?

You won’t be able to sell your salvaged vehicle without its title. You must have the car’s salvage title to sell the vehicle. One type of document you need to sell your salvaged car is proof of ownership, which is the car’s title.

As far as the registration is concerned, it’s likely you won’t need it. Registration may also be able to be used as proof of ownership if you don’t have the car’s title, however, it’s best to have the car’s title. If you’ve lost the car’s title, you may want to apply for a duplicate Idaho car title by completing Form ITD 3367.

How Do I Get a Salvage Car Title?

To get a salvage title in Idaho, you must take specific steps. If your vehicle has been deemed a salvage or “total loss” by your auto insurance provider due to severe damage, it qualifies as a salvage-branded vehicle.

Sign Over the Vehicle to Your Auto Insurance Provider

If you decide to get rid of your vehicle by signing over the car to your auto insurance company, the company will handle the salvage process, including applying for the car’s salvage title. You will receive a full settlement for the total loss claim. Once you accept the full settlement, you will no longer be responsible for the car.

Keep the Vehicle and Apply for a Salvage Certificate On Your Own

If you want to keep the vehicle, you must take the following steps:

  • Apply for an ID salvage certificate
    • Complete the Salvage Certificate of Title Application (Form ITD 3312)
    • Pay the $14 fee
    • If your auto insurance provider sold the salvaged vehicle back to you, you must also include the sales/use tax

Once you’ve obtained the ID salvage car title, you can sell the vehicle to a business that dismantles vehicles, such as a junkyard or scrap yard, or repair the car to operable standards so that it is safe to drive on roads and highways and apply for a rebuilt car title.

Out-of-State Salvage Vehicles

If you have a salvage car from a different state, you must apply for an ID salvage certificate within 30 days of obtaining the out-of-state title. If this vehicle becomes a salvage car in a different state, you must notify the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) branch that the car has a salvage title and an ITD representative will walk you through the next steps. You may be required to apply for a salvaged certificate or a rebuilt car title.

Salvage Car Inspections in Idaho

You must have your salvage vehicle inspected in Idaho before you can obtain a rebuilt car title. Check out these ID inspection requirements.

Idaho Inspection Requirements

Idaho vehicles that are registered in Ada and Canyon County and the City of Kuna are required to complete emissions inspections every 2 years. Vehicles that are gasoline-powered and model year 1981 and newer, and diesel-powered vehicles over 5 model years old must be inspected.

Idaho Inspection Exemptions

The following vehicles are exempt from ID emissions testing:

  • Vehicles under 5 model years old
  • Vehicles older than model year 1981
  • Electric and hybrid vehicles
  • Vehicles that do not exceed 1,500 lbs.
  • Motor homes
  • Classic vehicles
  • Farm equipment that is motorized
  • Vehicles that are used solely for agricultural purposes

If your vehicle meets any of the above qualifications, you are required to apply for an exemption by completing an Idaho Application for Exemption, gather the necessary supporting documentation (these are listed on the application), and send the above documentation to the address or email address listed on the form.

Completing an Idaho Emissions Test

Once you register your vehicle or renew its registration, you will receive a notice that informs you of your vehicle’s emissions test. You can also check if it’s time for your vehicle to have an emissions test using Idaho’s lookup tool.

When it’s time for your vehicle’s emissions test, take your vehicle to an official Idaho testing station with the $14 fee and all applicable paperwork and identification. These requirements can vary by station, so call beforehand to verify the documents you will need.

Once your vehicle passes the inspection, you will receive a Vehicle Inspection Report. The technician will advise you on the next steps to take in this process. The first emissions notice will provide details about when and where you need to have your vehicle tested.

You will receive a second notice only if you fail to have your vehicle tested within that time. Once you receive your second notice, this will be your final notice, and you have 35 days to have your vehicle tested. After this time, your registration will be revoked.

Out-of-State Extensions

You can apply for an emissions test extension if your vehicle is located outside of the ID emissions testing area in the time that is required to have your vehicle tested. These circumstances include, but are not limited to the following individuals:

  • Active-duty military personnel
  • Out-of-state students
  • Business purposes

To apply for an extension, you must complete the ID Extension Application and mail or email it along with all supporting documents to the address(s) listed on the form. Be advised that you will not be eligible if your vehicle is located in a state and/or county that has emissions testing reciprocity with the state of Idaho.

Out-of-State Reciprocity

Idaho has emissions testing reciprocity with different states and counties across the country. If your vehicle is out of state at the time of testing but located in an eligible state and/or county, you are required to apply for reciprocity and have your vehicle tested in this location.

Check the Application for Reciprocity for the state and county in which your vehicle is located. If you’re eligible, you must complete the form and mail it with the required documents to the mailing or email address that is listed on the form.

Failed Idaho Vehicle Inspections

If your vehicle fails the ID emissions test, you are required to have it repaired and retested. The emissions testing technician will provide you with information about why your vehicle failed and the necessary repairs that need to be made.

Your vehicle can be retested 1 time for free if you take the vehicle to the same station within 30 days of the original emissions test. You may be eligible for a repair or hardship waiver, depending on your unique circumstances.

Applying for a Repair or Hardship Waiver

Idaho offers repair and hardship waivers. With a repair waiver, you can apply if your vehicle failed its initial emissions test, you made the necessary repairs that are at least $200, and your vehicle then failed all subsequent tests. A repair waiver is granted for 1 year from the original testing date if you meet all of the above conditions.

You can also apply for a hardship waiver, which is available on a case-by-case basis if your financial situation limits or prevents you from repairing and retesting your vehicle. Hardship waivers require accurate and valid financial documentation such as tax returns, proof of unemployment, or proof of government assistance.

What is the Process for Registering a Salvaged Vehicle in Idaho?

You don’t have to worry about registering a salvage vehicle because it’s not possible. In Idaho, you can’t register a salvaged vehicle. Your car will have to pass the emissions test. Then you can register your car and apply for an Idaho rebuilt car title.

Idaho Vehicle Registration Fees

In addition to the Idaho sales tax, you must also pay the registration fees. The Idaho vehicle registration fees are based on the following factors:

  • Vehicle age
  • Type
  • Weight of the vehicle
  • Inspection requirements
  • Your county of residence

There may be other factors that are included in Idaho’s vehicle registration fees. Here’s a heads-up on the payments you can expect.

  • Idaho title fee: $14
    • VIN inspection: Add $5 if you’re registering a vehicle that has never been registered or isn’t currently registered in Idaho
  • Smog testing: $11
  • Basic annual Idaho registration fee: $45 to $69 (this fee is based on the car’s age)
    • Electric vehicles: Add $140
    • Plug-in hybrid vehicles: Add $75
  • Plate transfer fee: $10

The average ID DMV costs are $62 for gas-powered vehicles but may be closer to $92 with other vehicle types and considerations.

What Are the Differences Between Idaho Salvage, Rebuilt, and Junk Titles?

It’s fairly easy to confuse salvage, rebuilt, and junk titles. Although these titles are somewhat related, they are different. A salvage title is the title you’ll have once your auto insurance provider brands your vehicle as a salvage. If you want to drive your car again, you’ll need to repair the car and then, you’ll obtain a rebuilt car title.

Junk titles are ones that your vehicle can’t change, even with repairs. Once your car has a junk title, it will always have a junk title. Junk-titled cars must be junked or scrapped. There is no other option.

Who Buys Salvage Cars Near Me in Idaho?

When you’re ready to sell your salvage car in Idaho, you can check out one or all of the salvage yards listed below.

Crossroads Towing and Salvage, LLC
3415 Hoffman Ln.
Nampa, ID 83651
(208) 461-8696
Monday – Friday (9 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

All Makes Auto Salvage
4026 S. Banner St.
Boise, ID 83709
(208) 362-7111
Monday – Friday (10 AM – 6 PM)
Saturday (10 AM – 3 PM)
Sunday (Closed)

D&C Salvage
1296 E Iona Rd.
Idaho Falls, ID 83401
(208) 522-1100
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

Barger-Mattson Auto, Inc.
1154 Addison Ave. W.
Twin Falls, ID 83301
(208) 733-8745
Monday – Friday (9 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Open 24 hours)

How Long Do I Have to Wait to Get Auto Insurance for My Salvage Car?

You won’t be able to obtain auto insurance for a salvaged vehicle. To get auto insurance, your car must pass the emissions inspection and you need to complete the rebuilding process. Once you complete these steps, you can register and retitle your vehicle, and get auto insurance. Be advised that it will be difficult to obtain auto insurance but not impossible. You will likely only be able to get Idaho’s minimum coverage.

What Are My Salvage Car Selling Options in Idaho?

There are 4 common salvage selling options in Idaho. The option you choose should be the one that best focuses on your intentions, whether you want to get the most money or just want to get rid of the car. Check out these selling options and choose the one that’s best for you.

Private Sale

If you prefer to sell your salvage car to an individual and not a business, a private sale is a good idea. You may get more money in a private sale than you would if you were to sell your car to a junkyard or salvage yard, depending on the damages your car sustained.

Salvage Yard or Junkyard

If you want to get rid of your salvage vehicle with little to no hassles, selling your salvage car to a junkyard or salvage yard may be your ideal selling option. You’ll need the car’s title, but you don’t have to worry about completing various forms and paying different fees.

Selling for Parts

If you’re looking to get a pretty penny, your best bet is to sell your car’s valuable, salvageable parts. Common valuable car parts include catalytic converters, air conditioning, airbags, and more. A mechanic can help you determine which car parts are the most valuable and remove them for you.

Selling As-Is

You can also sell your car as-is. This is your best option if you want to get rid of the car and have nothing else to do with it. Once you sell the car, you are no longer responsible for it. This means you don’t have to be worried about repairing the car, obtaining a rebuilt car title, and paying any fees.

Common Difficulties That You May Experience When Selling Your Salvage Car in Idaho

Selling a salvage car is more difficult than selling a new or used car. You can run into a few different issues, such as pricing and the actual sale of the vehicle. Since your vehicle is branded as a salvage, potential buyers know your vehicle has sustained severe damage. With this information, a lot of people will be hesitant to purchase your vehicle unless they are looking for a new project for their DIY hobbies.

How Do I Apply for a Rebuilt Car Title in Idaho?

Once your salvage vehicle has been correctly repaired and passes the necessary Idaho safety inspections, your vehicle is eligible for an ID rebuilt car title. When you obtain a rebuilt car title for your vehicle, it will be street-legal and indicate to potential buyers that your vehicle was once significantly damaged.

Before you can receive your rebuilt car title, you must have a salvage car title. Once your vehicle has been repaired, you’re ready to apply for a rebuilt car title! You must apply in person at your local ID DMV.

Before you visit your local DMV branch in person, you will need the following documents:

  • Your ID salvage certificate
  • A completed Salvage Vehicle Statement (Form ITD 3311)
  • Payment for the $14 fee

You may also be required to provide the following information:

  • Your vehicle’s model, make, color, and vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • The details of why your car was originally declared salvage
  • A comprehensive summary of the car’s repair history

Depending on your unique circumstances, you may be required to complete other forms, especially if you plan on registering your vehicle in Idaho.

How Long Does It Take to Receive an Idaho Rebuilt Car Title?

The process of obtaining a rebuilt car title depends on how long this process is in Idaho. In general, it can take approximately 2 weeks to receive your ID rebuilt car title. The sooner you rebuild your vehicle, the sooner you can receive your ID rebuilt car title.