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It’s time for you to sell your salvage car! Well, you can keep it if you want to. Whether you sell or keep your salvage car, we’ll tell you the steps you need to take in each scenario. Let’s get started!

How is a Salvaged Car Defined in Iowa?

The Iowa Motor Vehicle Division (IA MVD) defines a salvaged car as one that needs repairs that will exceed at least 70% of the car’s fair market value before the damage occurred, and the car’s fair market value was at least $500 before it was damaged.

Getting to Know Iowa’s Total Loss Claims Options

As we previously stated, you can keep your salvage car or get rid of it. If you want to keep your car, you will choose a partial settlement. If you want to get rid of your car, you’ll accept a full settlement.

Full Settlements

If you sign over your salvage vehicle to your auto insurance provider, Each auto insurance company has its set of rules for settlement policies. In general, during a full total loss settlement, your auto insurance provider will pay you for the damages and keep the car.

A representative from your auto insurance company will walk you through the next steps and help you complete any required paperwork, such as lien satisfaction requirements. Once you complete these requirements, your vehicle becomes your auto insurance provider’s responsibility.

Partial Settlements

In a partial settlement, you’ll keep your salvage car. You can choose to sell the car or rebuild it. If you decide to rebuild the vehicle, it must pass inspection before you can apply for an Iowa rebuilt car title and hit the road again.

What is the Difference Between the Actual Cash Value and the Replacement Cost of a Car in Iowa?

The actual cash value (ACV) and replacement cost are two different types of auto insurance coverage that are used to determine how much you will be paid for the loss of your vehicle. However, the car’s ACV pays for the depreciated value of your car. The replacement cost pays for the full value of your vehicle. Replacement cost offers more coverage but it has higher premiums than ACV.

Can You Sell a Salvage Car in Iowa?

You can sell a salvage car in Iowa. However, you are responsible for ensuring you have the required documents needed to sell the car. One of the most essential documents is the car’s title. You must have the car’s title to sell a salvage car in Iowa. Failure to disclose that you a selling a car that has a salvage title can result in different penalties and fines.

How Can I Avoid Iowa Salvage Title Fraud?

Avoiding salvage title fraud is easier than you may think. You need to make sure you disclose your car’s current status (salvage title/salvage-branded) when you provide a description of your vehicle on ANY car-selling platform.

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

A bill of sale may be required if you don’t have the car’s certificate of title. Even if you have the car’s title, it’s good to have a bill of sale as a receipt.

What Information Should Be Included in the Bill of Sale?

Make sure you complete the bill of sale in blue or black ink and write as legibly as possible. The car’s owner (you) needs to sign the bill of sale. If more than one person owns the vehicle, they are all required to sign the bill of sale.

In general, a bill of sale needs to include the following information:

  • The seller’s and buyer’s full name and signature
  • The date of the sale
  • The purchase price
  • The make, year, and vehicle identification number (VIN)

Do I Need My Car’s Registration to Sell My Salvage Car?

It’s not likely that you’ll need your car’s registration card to sell it. Having the car’s valid car title is one of the documents you’ll need to sell your car. If you’ve lost the car’s title, you may be able to use the car’s registration card as a proof of ownership document.

Does Iowa Have Salvage Vehicle Regulations?

Of course! Each state has its salvage vehicle restrictions. In Iowa, it is illegal to operate a salvage-branded vehicle on roads and highways. However, if you still want to drive your vehicle, you can! First, you’ll have to repair the vehicle and have it inspected. Once the vehicle passes inspection, you can apply for a rebuilt car title. After you obtain the rebuilt car title, you can hit the road!

How Do I Apply for an Iowa Salvaged Car Title?

The Iowa salvage title application process is handled by the IA county treasurer. You are required to complete an Application for Certificate of Title and/or Registration (Form 411007). Make sure you mark the appropriate salvage title options. You may need to complete additional application steps depending on your situation and the specifics of your auto insurance provider’s total loss settlement claim.

You will be asked to provide details regarding the salvage vehicle, including the car’s age and fair market value. Who you’re selling your salvage to also makes a difference, such as selling the car to a junkyard or plans to rebuild the car. You must satisfy any liens on the vehicle and disclose the degree of damage the vehicle suffered.

After you receive your salvage car title, you can sell or repair the car. Contact your local Iowa county treasurer’s office for more information regarding your application and other required documents that are specific to your situation. You must take the required documents to your local IA treasurer’s office and complete the salvage process.

Iowa Salvage Car Inspections

Before you can obtain a rebuilt car title in Iowa, your vehicle must pass the IA salvage vehicle inspections. This inspection is performed to ensure the vehicle isn’t stolen and that stolen parts were not used to repair/rebuild the car.

When your salvage car is ready to be inspected, you must complete an online Affidavit of Salvage Vehicle Repairs. There are online tutorials that provide detailed instructions on how to properly complete the affidavit. You must provide the following information on the Iowa affidavit:

  • Personal information
  • Vehicle information
    • Salvage title number
    • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
    • Make and year
    • Reasons for damage (collision, flood, fire, water, etc.)
    • Each repair and the VIN/part number (whichever is applicable) for each part that was used to repair the vehicle)
  • Total cost of repairs
  • Payment for the $53 inspection fee

You must have all receipts, invoices, and any other documents for the repair parts at the inspection appointment. If the cab or frame was altered, or the VIN was removed or damaged during repairs, contact the IA Department of Transportation (DOT) Bureau of Investigation and Identity Protection at (515) 237-3050).

Once you complete the affidavit, you are eligible to print a permit to operate the car to and from the Iowa inspection location on the day of your inspection appointment ONLY.

Once you complete the affidavit and print the permit, contact a certified law enforcement agency to schedule your inspection appointment. When your vehicle passes inspection, you will receive a Salvage Theft Examination Certificate (Form 411072). This form allows you to apply for a new Iowa title and registration.

What is the Correct Process for Registering a Salvaged Car in Iowa?

You won’t be able to register a salvaged vehicle. Since your vehicle is a salvage, operating the vehicle on roads and highways is illegal. You’ll need to repair the vehicle and have it pass an Iowa vehicle inspection before you can register the car.

Iowa Vehicle Registration Fees

In Iowa, you must pay fees to register your vehicle. All Iowa vehicles must be registered to legally be driven. There are annual registration fees that are determined by the Iowa Code sections 321.109 and 321.115 through 321.124. These fees will be paid to the county treasurer’s office in your county of residence.

Iowa Passenger Electric Vehicles

Vehicle TypeJanuary 2020 FeeJanuary 2021 FeeJanuary 2022 Fee
Battery Electric (BEV)$65.00$97.50$130.00
Plug-in Hybrid Electric (PHEV)$32.50$48.75$65.00

Example – January 2022 Renewal of a 2019 Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)

Weight: 4,000 X .40% =$16
List Price: $35,500 X 1% =$350
Supplemental Fee: Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) =$130
Annual Fee =$496

Iowa Traditional Passenger Vehicles

Model Years OldPercent of List Price
1 – 71.00
8 – 90.75
10 – 110.50
12 and after$50

Example: Weight: 3,000 pounds, list price: $18,500

3,000 X .40% =$12
$18,500 X 1% =$185
Annual Fee =$197

If My Car Has a Salvage Title, Does This Mean My Car Also Has a Junk Title?

Salvage titles and junk titles are two different types of car titles. If your car has a salvage title, this is the title the car will have until it’s repaired and rebuilt, which you can then apply for a rebuilt car title. Junk car titles however are different. Cars with a junk title can’t be repaired and can only be scrapped or junked.

Who Buys Salvage Cars Near Me in Iowa?

If you intend on selling your salvage car to a scrapyard or junkyard, we can help! Here’s a handful of salvage yards/junkyards in Iowa.

Wilbur Auto Salvage
2220 Easton Ave.
Waterloo, IA 50702
(319) 232-1747
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday (8 AM – 12 PM)
Sunday (Closed)

Wilken Auto Salvage Nashua
1157 275th St.
Nashua, IA 50658
(641) 435-4077
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday (8 AM – 12 PM)
Sunday (Closed)

AB Salvage
980 Quartz Ave.
Boone, IA 50036
Monday – Friday (8:30 AM – 12 PM)
Saturday (8:30 AM – 12 PM)
Sunday (Closed)

Ron’s Auto Salvage
24613 Butler Center Rd.
Allison, IA 50602
(319) 267-2871
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday (8 AM – 12 PM)
Sunday (Closed)

When Can I Get an Iowa Auto Insurance Policy for My Salvage Car?

You won’t be able to get an auto insurance policy for your car as long as it has a salvage title. To get auto insurance, you’ll need to repair the car and have it inspected. The car must pass inspection for you to obtain a rebuilt car title. Once you have a rebuilt car title, you can apply for auto insurance.

Be advised that although you made the necessary repairs and your car now has a rebuilt title, you may only be able to obtain Iowa’s minimum coverage, since your car is still a salvage-branded vehicle.

What is a Salvage-Branded Vehicle?

Salvage-branded vehicles are ones that have a salvage brand, such as the following:

  • Salvaged
  • Rebuilt
  • Total loss
  • Flood
  • Fire
  • Theft

Can I Salvage My Car Without the Title in Iowa?

You are required to have the car’s title to salvage it. The car’s title is required to show proof of ownership. Only the vehicle’s owner can sell the vehicle. If your name is not listed on the car’s title, you are not the legal owner of the vehicle.

How Can I Sell My Salvage Car in Iowa?

There are different ways you can sell your salvage car. We recommend choosing the selling option that best describes your intentions for the vehicle.

Private Sale

Selling your salvage car in a private sale is a common selling method. With this method, you will be selling your car to another person and not a business. If you choose this selling method, you’ll list your vehicle on a car-selling platform, such as Craigslist, or a similar marketplace. When you list your vehicle, make sure you include a detailed description of the vehicle and photos from all angles. A private sale is a great option if you don’t mind waiting for someone to purchase your salvage vehicle.

Salvage Yard or Junkyard

You can also sell your salvage car to a salvage yard or junkyard. Selling your car to a salvage yard or junkyard is the best option if you want to get rid of your car quickly and make some extra cash. If you don’t want the hassle of repairing the car, having it inspected, and obtaining a rebuilt car title, selling your car to a salvage yard or junkyard is ideal.

Selling for Parts

Selling your salvage car for parts is your ideal selling solution if you know your way around a car and can safely remove the car’s parts to sell. Even if you don’t have expertise regarding cars, you can hire a mechanic to help you determine your salvage car’s most valuable parts and remove them.

Selling As-Is

Selling your salvage car as-is is another option you have if you don’t want to deal with paperwork and other hassles to bring your vehicle up to Iowa’s vehicle safety standards to drive again. Once you sign over ownership to the new buyer, the vehicle is no longer your responsibility.

Difficulties You Can Expect When Selling a Salvage Vehicle

Selling a car can be frustrating, and selling a salvage car can be a more daunting task than you anticipated. When you sell a salvage car, don’t expect to receive hundreds of emails a day regarding your car. Since your vehicle has a salvage title, a lot of buyers are hesitant to purchase a vehicle that needs repairs and an inspection.

There is light at the end of the tunnel! Selling a salvage car is not impossible. It’s best to post your vehicle for sale on car sites that specialize in vehicles that need repairs. Be sure to provide a detailed description of your vehicle, including how the car was used before it sustained damage. You can also include facts about your car that make it “special” or worth buying and disclose how the vehicle became damaged. You need to also include pictures. Take pictures of the damages and pictures of the exterior and interior of the car so buyers know what they’ll need to repair the car.

When Can I Apply for a Rebuilt Car Title in Iowa?

Your vehicle must be repaired and pass inspection before you will be eligible to receive an Iowa rebuilt car title. To obtain a rebuilt car title in Iowa, you must submit the following to your county treasurer’s office:

  • Your vehicle’s salvage title
  • The Salvage Theft Examination Certificate (Form 411072) – you will receive this form once your vehicle passes the IA salvage inspection
  • Your auto insurance certification (this certification must be dated and signed by an authorized agent from your auto insurance company that must include the following:
    • The insurance provider’s name and address
    • The salvaged vehicle’s make, year, and VIN
    • A statement that certifies the vehicle repair costs did not exceed $3,000
  • Payment for all applicable fees

You can contact your IA treasurer’s office for more information on the fees you will be required to pay.

After you provide the required documents, applications, and fees, your county treasurer will inform you whether your application is approved and when you will receive your IA rebuilt car title.

Be advised that your auto insurance certification may suffice as proof of passing the IA salvage inspection, which means you won’t be required to provide a Salvage Theft Examination Certification (Form 411072). You can ask your county treasurer for more details.

How Long Does It Take To Receive an Iowa Rebuilt Car Title?

The time it takes to receive your IA rebuilt car title depends on your county’s treasurer department and their title process. The sooner you repair your car and it passes the IA vehicle inspection, the closer you are to receive your rebuilt car title!