How to Sell a Salvage Car in Maine

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Selling your salvage car may not be at the top of your to-do list, but we’ll help you get everything sorted out so you can complete this task. Every state has salvage car regulations, so let’s talk about Maine!

What is a Salvage Car in Maine?

The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (ME BMV) defines a salvage car as one that an auto insurance company has declared a total loss. In Maine, a vehicle is often deemed a total loss or a salvage when the repair cost exceeds 75% of the car’s actual cash value (ACV). A vehicle’s ACV is your car’s worth BEFORE being damaged, which your auto insurance company calculates.

Your auto insurance provider will determine your car’s ACV based on different calculations and considerations, such as data collected from national databases on your car’s normal wear and tear. Speak with your auto insurance provider for specifics regarding how they calculate a car’s ACV.

Can I Keep My Salvaged Car?

Yes! You can keep your salvage car. To do so, you’ll have to choose a partial settlement with your auto insurance company. Be advised that keeping your salvage vehicle means you’ll be responsible for repairing and rebuilding or selling the car. Regardless of the option you choose, you’re responsible for obtaining and submitting the proper paperwork.

Auto Insurance Settlements in Maine

When your car is deemed a “total loss”, you can accept a full or partial settlement from your auto insurance provider. Let’s talk about your settlement options.

Full Settlement

If you accept a full settlement, your auto insurance company will keep the car and it will no longer be your responsibility. You will be paid in full for the damages, and able to purchase a vehicle of the same make and model.

Partial Settlement

In a partial settlement, you will keep your total loss vehicle and be paid for partial damages. Keeping your vehicle allows you to sell your vehicle or repair and rebuild it. Remember that you will be responsible for obtaining the required paperwork from this point forward.

Can You Sell a Salvage Car in Maine?

As far as selling a salvage car in Maine goes, you’ll need to speak with your local ME BMV branch for the specifics. In general, in Maine, you may only be able to sell your junk car to a scrap yard, junkyard, or auto parts recycling company. Make sure you have the car’s title!

Maine Salvage Title Eligibility Requirements

Maine vehicles must be declared a total loss by an auto insurance company or the car’s owner to be issued a Maine salvage car title. Auto insurance companies often determine that a vehicle is a total loss when its damages exceed at least 74% of its actual market value without damages. A vehicle will qualify for a salvage certificate and be branded as a salvage in any of the following situations:

  • An auto insurance company paid off a total loss settlement on a wrecked vehicle and has obtained its title.
  • A vehicle owner has declared their vehicle salvage and decided to keep it rather than transfer it to a recycler.
  • A towing company has claimed the vehicle and declared it a total loss.

As the vehicle’s owner, you must surrender the car title certificate and obtain a Maine salvage title within a certain period after a car is declared a salvage.

Why Is My Car’s Replacement Cost Different From Its Actual Value?

Good question! Your car’s actual cash value (ACV) is the current worth of your vehicle after you take depreciation and market conditions into account. The replacement cost is the amount it would cost to replace your vehicle with a similar one. Both the ACV and replacement cost serve different purposes in auto insurance claims.

Avoid Salvage Title Fraud

Salvage title fraud is easy to get caught up in, so let’s talk about how to avoid salvage title fraud. Salvage title fraud occurs when you knowingly sell a salvage vehicle without the buyer knowing it’s a salvage. The best way to stay clear of salvage title fraud is to disclose that you’re selling a salvage vehicle. You can also include the repairs the car will need and an estimate of the repair costs.

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

Yes. You must have a bill of sale to sell your salvage car in Maine. Creating a bill of sale isn’t difficult, but you need to make sure the document contains the following information:

  • Date of sale
  • Description of the vehicle (make, model, and year)
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Name of the buyer
  • Amount of sale
  • Name, address, and signature of the seller(s)

Are There Salvage Vehicle Restrictions in Maine?

Yes. In Maine, you can’t operate a salvage-titled vehicle on the roads and highways in Maine, and you can’t sell the vehicle without the title. If you plan on selling your salvage vehicle, you can only sell it to a scrap yard or junkyard.

How Do I Get a Salvage Car Title in Maine?

If your auto insurance provider deems your vehicle a total loss, they are responsible for applying for the ME salvage certificate whether you keep the car as part of your claim settlement. However, if your auto insurance company did NOT declare your vehicle a salvage, you will be responsible for applying for the ME salvage certificate.

To apply for a salvage certificate in Maine, you must apply with the ME BMV and provide the following:

  • A completed application for a certificate of salvage (you can contact the ME BMV and request this application from the Title Unit in Augusta or in person at your local ME BMV branch.)
  • The vehicle’s title
  • The car owner’s name, residence, and mailing address (depending on who keeps the vehicle, the auto insurance company’s information may be required instead of yours.)
  • The settlement agreement date
  • A vehicle description including its:
    • Model, make, and year
    • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
    • Body type
    • Current mileage (odometer reading)
  • Chronological information about liens and the lienholders
  • Payment for the $33 ME salvage title fee

If you have questions or concerns, contact the ME BMV main office at (207) 624-9000. If you keep your salvage vehicle, you can sell it to a company that specializes in salvaged vehicles, or you can apply for a ME rebuilt car title.

VIN Inspections in Maine

The ME BMV is overseen by the Office of the Secretary of State (SOS). VIN verifications apply to specific vehicles in the state. These inspections are performed to help deter the trafficking of stolen vehicles and/or parts.

You must verify a VIN in ME while applying for your vehicle title. After the ME BMV verifies the VIN, you will be eligible to proceed with other essential procedures that are related to the vehicle.

What Is a VIN?

A VIN inspection must be performed for a vehicle title to be issued by the state. A VIN is a unique combination of digits that is assigned to a specific vehicle. Manufacturers assign a VIN to each vehicle during the production process.

Since the VIN is unique to each vehicle, a VIN validation ensures that no two vehicles have the same VIN. VINs are physically displayed on almost all modern vehicles. Vehicle owners can locate the VIN inside the driver’s side door or on the windshield.

VIN inspections are performed to deter the illegal selling or refurbishing of stolen vehicles and/or auto parts. To pass the inspection, the VIN on the car must match the number on its ownership documents. If these numbers do not match, the ME BMV will not issue a title for the car.

Where Do I Go to Have a VIN Inspection Performed in Maine?

You must go to any ME BMV branch when you’re applying for the car’s title to have a VIN verification performed. If the ME BMV has any reason to suspect the VIN you provided has been altered in any way, your car will be confiscated until the violation is cleared. If you receive a notice that your vehicle requires a more in-depth VIN inspection, you must take your vehicle to one of the following establishments for further inspection:

  • ME BMV office
  • Law enforcement agency
  • Licensed auto dealerships
  • Authorized vehicle inspection stations

Are you submitting a car title application for an abandoned vehicle? If so, the car must undergo a VIN validation through a law enforcement officer. In this situation, you will be responsible for providing an acceptable payment method for all applicable inspection fees.

What Do I Need to Take to a VIN Verification?

You must request a VIN verification to apply for your car’s title. To obtain the application, you can visit an ME BMV branch. Once you fill out the application, you must return it to the BMV branch with an acceptable payment method to pay for all applicable processing fees.

If the ME BMV determines they need a more comprehensive VIN verification performed on your vehicle, you need to take your vehicle to an authorized agent. Before the verification is performed, make sure the VIN is visible and legible on your car. Failure to ensure the VIN can be seen could result in a failed ME car inspection.

What To Do Once the ME VIN Inspection is Complete

In most instances, once your vehicle passes the VIN inspection, the ME BMV will send a certificate through the mail. Unless you are notified otherwise, you are not required to take any further action.

If the ME BM requires your vehicle to complete a more detailed VIN verification, you must have the car inspected by someone who is authorized by the ME BMV to perform the inspection. In general, the agent will visually inspect your vehicle and verify the VIN. Once the inspection is complete, the inspector will complete an ME BMV form that certifies that your vehicle has been visually inspected and that its VIN does not show signs of being altered.

Failure to have a required VIN verification performed subjects you to serious penalties and expensive fines. Also, if you don’t retrieve your confiscated vehicle, the ME BMV can dispose of the vehicle.

Maine Vehicle Registration Fees

Vehicle registration in Maine is based on the type of vehicle, its size, and the type of license plate the vehicle has. The base vehicle registration fees are as follows:

  • Passenger vehicles: $35
  • Motorcycles: $21
  • Disability plates: $35
  • Mopeds: $9

Be advised that these fees may vary for other vehicle types. Check with your ME BMV branch for specific details.

Who Buys Salvage Cars Near Me in Maine?

There are a lot of salvage yards in Maine that will be willing to take your salvage car off your hands. Although we won’t list all the salvage yards in Maine, we’ll list a handful to point you in the right direction.

Dixfield Salvage & Sales
803 Canton Point Rd.
Dixfield, ME 04224
(207) 562-7067
Monday – Friday (9 AM -5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

Lashin’s Auto Sales & Salvage Yard
321 Mechanic Falls Rd.
Oxford, ME 04270
(207) 539-2905
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

R&K Auto Salvage
465 Morrill Rd.
Winslow, ME 04901
(207) 873-1881
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

Shibles Garage & Salvage Yard
938 Bangor Rd.
Troy, ME 04987
(207) 948-5964
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

How Can I Legally Sell My Salvaged Car in Maine?

You have at least 4 options when it comes to selling your salvage car in Maine. Don’t forget to avoid salvage title fraud by disclosing that you’re selling a salvage vehicle!

Private Sale

Private sales of salvage cars are common. If you don’t mind taking the time to post a description of the car (including photos) and wait for someone to purchase your car, this is the perfect selling option for you. You can set your price and negotiate if necessary. This selling method puts you in control.

Salvage Yard or Junkyard

Selling your salvage car to a salvage yard or junkyard is a great option if you want to get rid of your car quickly and don’t want the hassles of completing and submitting paperwork. Under most circumstances, you’ll be paid within 72 hours for your salvage car. Once you receive payment, the car is no longer your responsibility.

Selling for Parts

If you’re interested in making the most money from your salvage car, selling it for parts may be the best option. If needed, you can hire a mechanic to help you determine your car’s most valuable parts and remove them.

Selling As-Is

Selling your salvage vehicle as-is, is another way to sell your car without too many hassles. With this selling method, you won’t have to repair your vehicle or apply for a rebuilt car title. You’ll be selling your vehicle exactly the way it is.

Difficulties That Can Occur When Selling a Salvage Vehicle

Selling a salvage vehicle is often more difficult than selling a traditional vehicle that doesn’t have any damage. Although selling a salvage vehicle isn’t impossible, it is difficult. When you account for paperwork and fees, needless to mention the repair and rebuilding process, if you choose, selling a salvage vehicle can be a lot of work and can become expensive.

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

Once you have the car’s salvage title, you can repair your car and apply for a rebuilt car title. In Maine, there are different types of rebuilt car titles. The type of rebuilt title you apply for depends on your vehicle’s circumstances.

You can apply for a rebuilt car title if you replaced at least 1 component but fewer than 5 components. You are eligible to apply for a rebuilt salvage title if you replaced at least 4 components or you used a front or rear clip to repair your vehicle.

Applying for a Rebuilt Car Title in Maine

To start the repairing/rebuilding process, you or an auto repair shop will repair/rebuild the vehicle. Whoever makes the repairs is required to complete an Affidavit of Rebuilt or Repaired Salvage Vehicle (Form MVT-103).

Your rebuilt vehicle must pass inspection. Ask your local ME BMV representative about any permits you’re required to have to operate the vehicle and drive it to the inspection station. Next, you’ll take your repaired vehicle to an inspection station (with the approval of the ME Department of Public Safety’s Police) to have your vehicle inspected.

Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when it comes to a Maine vehicle inspection:

  • This inspection is similar to the ME annual safety inspection that all vehicles are required to pass. However, the inspector will check the vehicle and components for identification numbers.
  • Once your vehicle passes inspection, you will receive a safety inspection sticker and other paperwork related to applying for the ME rebuilt car title.

Next, you will submit your rebuilt salvage title application by providing the following:

  • An application for a rebuilt/rebuilt salvage title (you must get this from your local ME BMV branch. Ask the agent about additional application requirements you must submit.
  • The Affidavit of Rebuilt or Repaired Salvage Vehicle (Form MVT-103)
  • The proper documentation for each:
    • New components: bill of sale
    • Used components: VIN and title information on the affidavit above
  • Payment for all applicable fees (these fees may vary. Ask your local ME BMV branch for specifics on what you owe. Call the ME BMV at (207) 624-9000 if you have questions or concerns.

How Long Will It Take to Receive a Rebuilt Car Title in Maine?

It can take as long as 12 days to receive your rebuilt car title in Maine. The sooner you get your car repaired and it passes inspection, the sooner you can apply for your rebuilt car title.

You now know everything it takes to sell your salvage car in Maine. Gather the required documents and head to your local ME BMV. Happy selling!