Are you considering selling a salvage car in Illinois? You’ve come to the right place! We’ll teach you everything you need to know about the different forms you need to submit to the Illinois Secretary of State (IL SOS) and the cost of everything. Now let’s get ready to junk your car!
What is a Salvaged Car In Illinois?
The state of Illinois has stricter salvage car regulations than a lot of other states. In this state, a car is considered a salvage when the damage it sustained totals ⅓ or more of its market value. At this time, the car must be retitled before it can be sold or repaired.
Here’s the bottom line. A salvage car has been damaged to the point that the cost of repairs exceeds the car’s actual cash value, what the car is worth. A lot of the time, auto insurance providers label salvage cars as “total loss” vehicles.
In general, auto insurance companies require you to submit a sworn proof of loss within 91 days of the vehicle becoming a total loss. You must include the following details:
- When the incident occurred
- How the incident occurred
- The reason your car was being used at the time of the incident
You can contact your Illinois auto insurance provider for specific details that pertain to your unique circumstances.
To sell your salvage car in Illinois, you need to do the following:
- Determine if your car is a “total loss”
- Obtain the car’s salvage certificate
Since your auto insurance company determines if your car is a “total” you need to have a letter from the insurance company stating this decision. Without this letter, your car HAS NOT been deemed a salvage. Once you have this letter, you can head to your local IL SOS branch to obtain the salvage certificate.
To obtain an Illinois salvage certificate, you need to do the following:
- Have the car’s title
- Complete the IL SOS Application for Vehicle Transaction (Form VSD 190)
- Visit your local IL SOS branch and submit the required paperwork
- Provide payment for all applicable Illinois titling fees
The application process for receiving an Illinois salvage car title must be initiated within 20 days of obtaining the salvage car. The department will process the title once they verify the authenticity of the submitted paperwork and payment of all applicable fees. Keep in mind that you may be required to present additional documentation depending on your situation.
The state of Illinois has different salvage/rebuilding laws than most states. You can’t make the car’s repairs. Instead, you must hire a licensed automotive rebuilder. Make sure you save the receipts and information for the repairs that were made and the parts that were purchased.
Whether you decide to sell your car as-is or you’re selling a rebuilt version of the car, you must disclose the current and previous condition of the car, which means you are required by law to disclose that the car is a salvage, rebuilt car. This is a good time to show receipts for the repairs that have been made to the car and the parts that were used to rebuild the car.
Illinois Salvage Vehicle Title Eligibility Requirements
The IL SOS Vehicle Services Department (VSD) will issue the salvage title ONLY for vehicles that meet the requirements to be branded a salvage. Situations that require the issuance of a vehicle salvage certificate are as follows:
- An auto insurance company has paid off a total loss claim on a wrecked vehicle, becoming the sole owner of the vehicle
- An insurer made payments to the vehicle owner after the theft of the motor vehicle
- The ownership of a salvage vehicle was transferred on a Certificate of Purchase after obtaining the vehicle at an auction, a public sale, or other similar disposition
- The vehicle has been repossessed by a lienholder, it has sustained extensive damage caused by fire, collision, theft, or other means, and the total cost to repair the damages exceeds 33 ⅓ percent of the car’s value WITHOUT damages
- The passenger and/or trunk compartment of the vehicle were flooded by water and the cost to repair the damage exceeds 33 ⅓ percent of the vehicle value without damages
- The vehicle is part of a commercial vehicle fleet and it has sustained extensive damages that exceed more than 33 ⅓ percent of the vehicle’s value without damages
As the vehicle’s owner, you can retain ownership of a damaged vehicle ONLY if the vehicle is older than 9 model years and you reach an agreement with your auto insurance provider.
In Illinois, once your insurance provider declares your car a salvage, they will assume ownership of the vehicle and be responsible for obtaining the salvage certificate. Next, your insurance company will replace the car or offer you a settlement.
Be advised that you can only keep the car if it has been damaged by hail and is safe to drive, or the car is at least 9 years old. If either of these situations applies to you, you can contact the Department of Insurance at (312) 814-2420 or (866) 445-5364 to learn about the next steps you need to take.
If your auto insurance company replaces your totaled car, it must be with a car that is a similar make and model, one that is purchased from a licensed dealer, and under warranty if it is 3 years old or less.
You also have the option of rejecting the replacement vehicle. If so, your auto insurance provider must pay you what the replacement would have cost, including taxes, transfer fees, and title fees.
If you’re accepting a settlement from your auto insurance provider, your insurance company will determine your vehicle’s retail value. Keep in mind that your IL auto insurance provider can make deductions up to $500 from the retail value based on any unrepaired damages, such as rust, wear and tear, missing parts, and similar damages.
Once you receive the cash settlement, you will probably want to shop around for a new car. Following the purchase of the new car, your auto insurance provider can offer additional help. If you purchased a different vehicle within 30 days of the cash settlement that has a value that is less than the settlement amount, your auto insurance company must reimburse you for the full amount of sales tax, transfer fees, and title fees you paid on the new car. If the car you purchase is more than the settlement amount, your auto insurance provider will reimburse you for the sales tax, transfer fees, and title fees as applied to the settlement amount.
However, if you did NOT purchase a different vehicle within 30 days of the cash settlement because you couldn’t find one that fits the totaled car’s determined retail value, but you found a similar car that costs more, your auto insurance company will pay you the difference between the settlement and the vehicle that is more expensive. Your auto insurance company can also do one of the following:
- Try to negotiate a lower price for the car, and possibly purchase the vehicle for you
- Find a similar, but different vehicle for the determined market value
- Conclude the settlement (the specifics of which depend on the appraisal section of your auto insurance policy).
If you have questions or concerns about cash settlements following the total loss of your vehicle, you can call the Illinois Department of Insurance at (866) 445-5364 for assistance.
To apply for a duplicate Illinois car title, you need to appear in person at your local IL SOS branch or mail the required paperwork. You need to make sure you have the following documents:
- Complete the Application for Vehicle Transaction(s) (Form VSD 190) – click here for a list of documents. You can also obtain this form at any IL SOS by calling (800) 252-8980 or (312) 793-1010.
- Provide payment for the IL duplicate title fee – $50 (this fee does NOT include any registration fees or taxes that may be due when you are applying).
If you are submitting this paperwork by mail, you can mail it to the following address:
Secretary of State
Vehicle Services Department
501 S. 2nd St., Rm 424
Springfield, IL 62756
If you are applying in person, make sure you take your driver’s license or ID card and the car’s registration certificate.
If you need the title immediately, you can apply for an expedited title. Be advised that there is an additional $30 fee. Your request must be submitted by midnight and will be shipped via UPS or available for pick up the next day at the Springfield Howlett Secretary of State office.
You can also apply for an IL expedited duplicate title by phone or by mail. If you elect to use the phone to apply for your duplicate title, you must pay the required fees using a credit card and call (800) 252-8980. If you are applying for this title by mail, you can mail your request to the following address:
Vehicle Services Department
Attn: Expedited Title
501 S. 2nd St., Rm 629
Springfield, IL 62756
Cars that have an Illinois salvage title and cars that have an Illinois junk title have something in common, such as sustaining extensive damage. However, these titles differ when it comes to being road legal again.
ONLY cars that have a salvage title are eligible to be rebuilt and driven again. Once a car has a junk title, it can no longer be driven on roads and highways and must be junked.
Luckily, there is more than one salvage yard in Illinois, so you can pick the one that is closest to you. Although we can’t list every IL salvage yard, we made a list of salvage yards we found in this state that has excellent reviews.
2188 Highway 111
Granite City, IL 62040
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Ince’s Towing & Salvage Inc.
1550 Red Adams Rd.
Kewanee, IL 61443
Open 24 hours
Midstate Salvage Corp
1402 W South St.
Taylorville, IL 62568
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 4 PM)
Saturday (8 AM – 12 midnight)
Jerry & Gary’s Auto Salvage
3237 Terminal Ave.
Springfield, IL 62707
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 3 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)
To make a long story short, no, you can’t insure a salvage car in Illinois. You can, however, rebuild the car and apply for an Illinois salvage rebuilt car title. Be advised that in Illinois, you are NOT allowed to make the car repairs yourself. You must hire a licensed automotive rebuilder.
Before you can obtain the salvage rebuilt title, the car must be inspected to ensure it’s safe to operate on roads and highways. Once your car passes inspection, you can apply for an Illinois salvage rebuilt car title.
No problem! If you no longer have the car’s title, you can scrap the car with the registration card. Either document must be presented to the scrap yard to show proof of ownership of the car. Although these documents can be used in other situations as documentation for car transactions, the following documents can NOT be used to show proof of ownership:
- A bill of sale (this is a document that can be forged easily)
- Proof of insurance (it’s easy to insure a vehicle that is NOT in your name)
- Cash and bribery (this one goes without saying, but just in case, cash and bribery won’t work because the salvage yard is responsible for reporting every car they obtain).
Depending on the car’s condition, the offer for your salvage car can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars! You will receive your funds once the tow truck driver inspects the car and checks the VIN to ensure the correct car is picked up.
If you’re interested in making a few more extra dollars, you can part out your car by selling it for parts. You can take the car to a mechanic to help you remove parts of the car that are the most valuable.
If you don’t want too much hassle with selling the car, you can also sell your car as-is, which is a great option for mechanics who are looking for a DIY project. There are different online marketplaces you can use to sell your car, but be mindful of the platform’s selling fees and any other fees that may apply to selling your car with them.
As the salvage car’s owner and seller, you are responsible for disclosing ALL information regarding the car’s condition and all repairs and modifications that have been made, including information about the parts that were used to restore the car. Make sure you have the receipts for the parts that were purchased, the fees to repair the car (if the car was repaired by a mechanic), and information about the parts that were used to restore the car. This essential information is required by law, and not disclosing this information can result in having to pay multiple fees and penalties.
To legally operate your rebuilt salvage vehicle in Illinois, you need to apply for and obtain an Illinois rebuilt car title.
If your salvage car doesn’t currently have a salvage title, you can apply for a salvage title at your local IL SOS branch and pay the $20 fee. Under Illinois law, any vehicle that has sustained damages that equals more than 33.3% of its fair market value is considered a salvage vehicle.
In the state of Illinois, you can’t make the required car repairs yourself. You must have a licensed automotive rebuilder make the repairs. Once the repairs have been made, the car is required to pass an Illinois safety inspection at an Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Safety Testing Lanes.
There are multiple safety testing lanes located throughout the state of Illinois. If your car is at least 8 years old, the car’s inspection must be completed by the Illinois State Police to ensure the car and the parts used to repair it are not stolen.
To apply for a rebuilt Illinois car title, you need to take the following with you to the inspection site:
- A salvage certificate in the name of the licensed rebuilder
- Your completed Illinois rebuilt title application
- A salvage affirmation that identifies the parts used to rebuild the car
- Invoices and/or bills of sale for the parts used to rebuild the car
- A valid driver’s license
- IDOT vehicle inspection report and sticker
You will also need to present a check or money order to pay for the following required fees:
- Illinois inspection fee: $94
- Illinois Title fee: $95
Before you register your salvage rebuilt vehicle, make sure you have an active Illinois auto insurance policy. Once you’ve obtained auto insurance, you need to submit the following:
- An Application for Vehicle Transaction (VSD 190) – this form is available at your local IL SOS branch or online through the Electronic Registration and Title System found here. If you choose to print and complete the application, you are required to take it to the IL SOS branch within 7 days.
- The vehicle’s title (the title must be signed by the previous owner, if applicable) Names and address of lienholders (if applicable)
- A completed Odometer Disclosure Statement for Title Transfers (Form VSD 333) – this form must be signed by the owner and previous owner, if applicable)
- A Private Party Vehicle Tax Form (Form RUT-50) – you can obtain this form at your local IL SOS branch
- Payment for the following registration and tax fees:
- Vehicle registration per year fees: $151 to $164
- Title fees: $50
- Tax fees: these fees are based on the value of the vehicle
Once you complete these steps, you can pick up your new Illinois license plates. If you are applying for vanity or personalized Illinois license plates, you will be issued a Temporary Registration Permit (TRP). You can also transfer your license plates for an additional fee.
You can also send the required documentation and payments by mail to the following address:
Secretary of State
Vehicle Services Department
ERT Section, Rm 424
501 S. 2nd St.
Springfield, IL 62756
There are different fees that you may be required to pay depending on the type of vehicle, vehicle weight, or license plate(s) you chose. The most common types of Illinois vehicle registration per year fees are the following:
- Passenger vehicle: $151
- B-Truck: $151
- Motorcycle: $41
- Car or truck with vanity or personalized plates: $164
You’re done! You now know how to sell a salvage car in Illinois. Congratulations!