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It’s the land of 10,000 lakes! Selling a salvage car in Minnesota is a process like everything else when you want to sell something. We’ll help you get everything you need to sell your salvage car with the least amount of effort. Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

What is a Salvaged Car in Minnesota?

An MN salvaged car has sustained extensive damage to the point the cost to repair the car exceeds 80% of the car’s value before the damage occurred. At this time, your car has a salvage status. There are different ways you can handle this situation.

What Can You Do With a Salvage Car in Minnesota?

We’re glad you asked! There are different ways you can handle your salvage car, and these options depend on who retains ownership of the vehicle. You or your auto insurance company can obtain vehicle ownership. However, the steps you are required to take depend on your auto insurance company’s policies, if your salvage car is insured and registered, or the Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services (MN DVS), and if your salvage car is uninsured and not registered.

If Your Auto Insurance Company Keeps the Salvage

Deciding to let your auto insurance company keep your salvaged vehicle may be the easiest option because there aren’t a lot of steps in this process. Once you sign your car’s title over to your auto insurance provider, they will pay you in full for the damages and take responsibility for the car.

You may be required to complete salvage-specific paperwork and/or provide certain documents, such as proof of lien satisfaction. However, this depends on your auto insurance provider and the situation. A representative with your auto insurance provider will walk you through this process.

If You Keep Your Salvaged Car

If you choose to keep your salvaged vehicle and accept the insurance payment for partial damages, you will be responsible for the vehicle. What does this mean for you? As the owner of the car, you can sell the car for parts. In general, you can sell your car to a business, such as a junkyard or salvage yard, or recycling company.

You can also obtain a salvaged Minnesota car title from the MN DVS. Once you complete this step, you can rebuild your vehicle to MN’s safety standards, have it inspected, and retitled for operation on public roads and highways. You can also sell your salvaged car to a private party.

Whether you choose to keep your salvage vehicle depends on your financial situation and auto insurance policy. It’s important that you thoroughly review your options and understand how they will impact your auto insurance policy.

What’s an Actual Cash Value?

Maybe you’ve never heard of actual cash value, or maybe you have. Either way, we’ll give you a better understanding of ACV and an equation to help you figure out your salvage car’s ACV.

Yes, determining your salvage car’s actual cash value involves math, but don’t worry. Our equation is straightforward. Here’s the equation you need:

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

Your car’s ACV is equal to its replacement cost minus its depreciation. Keep in mind that while your car’s ACV reflects the car’s accounting value, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the economic value of your car. This means that your salvage car can be more or less of value than its ACV when you sell it.

Who Can Determine a Car’s Actual Cash Value?

We’re glad you asked. Anyone can determine a car’s actual cash value. Use the equation we provided above to help you. Let’s talk about the purchase price of your car. Let’s say the purchase price of your car was $32,000. So, the first part of the equation would be $32,000. Next, you have your car’s expected life. In general, cars have a life expectancy of 11 years, so we’ll use that number.

So far, the ACV equation looks like this:

32,000 x (11)

Now we have to factor in your car’s current life. We’ll say your car’s current life is 5 years, which means your car is a model year 2018. To calculate your car’s current life, subtract the current year from your car’s model year. If the year is 2023, and your car is the model 2018, 2023-2018 equals 5, so your car’s current life is 5 years. So, here’s the next part of our equation:

32,000 x (11-5)

Now we can discuss the next step, which is to divide everything by your car’s expected life. Your finished equation should look like this:

32,000 x (11-5) ÷ 11

That’s it! Use this equation to determine your car’s actual cash value. Now we can proceed to the next step. However, keep this information handy.

Is a Car’s Actual Cash Value Different From a Car’s Replacement Cost?

Yes! There is a vast difference between your car’s ACV and replacement cost. These two factors are essential when you’re obtaining auto insurance. Assuming you’re the primary policyholder with your auto insurance company (meaning you make the decisions regarding the policy), you have a choice to make.

To paint a clear picture, we’ll give you a scenario instead of throwing a bunch of technical terms at you. If your vehicle is damaged in an accident, and your auto insurance company deems your car a salvage or a total loss, you can either accept your car’s replacement cost or the car’s actual cash value.

What’s the best option? Good question. In this situation, it’s your choice. We’ll give you a scenario for both instances, so you can make an educated decision on what’s best for you. If you want to replace your car with a car of the same type, being paid the replacement cost of your salvage car is probably the best option that involves little to no major sacrifices.

However, you have another option, which is to be paid your car’s actual cash value. When you’re paid the car’s ACV, you won’t have the luxury of purchasing a car of the same type because you won’t have enough funds.

One thing you can’t forget to do is read the fine print of the auto insurance policy. Why? Once you sign your name on the policy, you agree to whatever the fine print says. You need to make sure you’ll be satisfied with the outcome.

How Do You Sell a Salvage Car in Minnesota?

Let’s get down to selling a salvage car in MN. You’ll need to complete a car title transfer within 10 days of the date of sale. You and the buyer are required to fill out the requested information on the back of the car’s title. The title transfer process must take place at an MN DVS branch.

Transferring a Car Title in Minnesota

Once you sell your salvage car, you’ll need to sign over the car’s title to the new owner. You and the buyer must fill out the information requested in the assignment area of the car title.

You will need the following to transfer your car’s title in Minnesota:

  • The sales price of the vehicle
  • Date of sale
  • Odometer disclosure (if required)
  • Damage disclosure (if required)
  • Lien release card or notarized lien release (if applicable)
  • Printed name and your signature

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

You must submit a bill of sale to complete a vehicle title transfer after a vehicle transaction if you don’t have proof of ownership for your salvage car, such as selling a car. It’s a good idea to have one because it provides a lot of the essential information that is required by the MN DMV. A bill of sale also provides you and the buyer with a record that proves a transaction has occurred. You can use a bill of sale:

  • As a receipt of the transaction
  • To protect the seller in the event the buyer fails to register the vehicle or abandons it
  • To file away for tax purposes

Minnesota Bill of Sale Requirements

If you choose to use an MN bill of sale, and we recommend that you do, you and the car’s buyer need to make sure it includes the following information:

  • Printed names, addresses, and signatures of the vehicle’s buyer and seller (all vehicle owners are required to sign)
  • Date of purchase
  • A complete description of the vehicle’s make, model, and year
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Final sale price

Why is a Bill of Sale Needed to Sell a Salvage Car in Minnesota?

A bill of sale is a great document that helps you keep track of transactions, especially when you’re selling your car in a private sale. You can use a generic bill of sale. However, the bill of sale must include the following information:

  • Vehicle information (make, model, year, vehicle identification number (VIN), and current odometer reading)
  • Buyer information (name, address, and signature)
  • Seller information (name, address, and signature)
  • Selling price and date sold

Do Salvaged Vehicles Have Restrictions in Minnesota?

As the owner of a salvage vehicle, you are not allowed to operate this vehicle on roads or highways until you rebuild the car to MN’s safety standards, pass the vehicle inspection, and have the car retitled with an MN rebuilt car title.

Salvage cars are deemed unsafe to operate, so you’ll be required to make the required repairs set by MN before you can drive the car again.

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

You can’t do much without a car title, and this includes selling a salvaged car. So, the answer to your question would be no. In some situations, having the car’s registration card can help you, but it’s always best to have the car’s title.

If you have lost the car’s title, you’ll need to apply for a duplicate car title with the MN DVS by completing an Application for Duplicate Title, Registration, Cab, or Lien Card (Form PS2067A).

How Important is My Car’s Title?

Your car’s title is more important than you may think. A car’s title is a legal document that shows who legally owns the car. Hopefully, your name is on the title as the car’s owner. If not, the car is not legally yours, and you don’t have the right to sell it or make any other decisions regarding the car.

Even if there is more than one owner listed on the car’s title, as long as you’re one of the listed owners, you’re good to go. Your car’s title includes the following information:

  • the name(s) of the car owner(s) and the following information:
  • Year, make, and model of the vehicle (may include the body type of the vehicle)
  • Vehicle color
  • Odometer reading
  • The date on which the odometer reading was done
  • Owner or owners of the vehicle
  • Owner’s address
  • The date on which the title was issued

A car’s title can also include the following:

  • Title number
  • The vehicle’s weight
  • The number of cylinders in the engine
  • The engine number
  • The type of fuel used in the car
  • The license plate number

Some states, like Minnesota, require information regarding flood damage, or a “salvage” label will be included on the car’s title. The “salvage” title can be removed if you repair the vehicle to MN’s safety standards and your car passes the required inspections. At this time, you will be eligible to apply for a salvage MN rebuilt car title.

The car’s title should have the signature of one or multiple state officials who are in charge of motor vehicles or revenue collection, such as the Division of Motor Vehicles or Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Department of Transportation (DOT), Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), and similar motor vehicle departments. In Minnesota, you would be looking for signatures from the MN DMV.

Can You Sell a Salvaged Car Without the Car’s Registration in Minnesota?

Yes. In Minnesota, you aren’t required to have your car’s registration card when you’re selling it. You are, however, required to have the car’s title. If you don’t have the car’s title, you may be able to use the registration card but this is always a last resort. It’s best to have the car’s title to avoid delays and fees in the selling process.

What Happens If I Don’t Have My Salvage Car Title?

If you don’t have the car’s title, you can request a duplicate MN car title by completing an Application for Duplicate Title, Registration, Cab, or Lien Card (Form PS2067A). Another option would be to determine if your car qualifies for the Defective Title Bond Process.

If you don’t have the car’s title or the registration card, you need to find out if your car is old enough to endure the Defective Title Bond Process. This particular process applies to vehicles that are at least 6 years old.

You will need the following documents and payment:

  • An Affidavit of Due Diligence
  • An Application to Title and Register a Motor Vehicle (Form PS2000A)
  • Payment for the following:
    • Title fee: $7.25
    • Transfer tax: $10
    • Public safety vehicle fee: $3.50
    • Filing fee: $11
  • A Statement of Facts document (Form PS2002) – As the seller of the car, you must provide this form to the buyer if you don’t have proof of ownership
  • A statement of protection from the buyer that defends the state of MN from any future claims of ownership of the vehicle
  • Photographs that show all sides of the vehicle (this helps determine the car’s fair market value of the vehicle
  • Vehicle registration (if available)
  • A surety bond against any future claims of ownership (if applicable)
  • Sales tax of 6.5% (unless exempt then instead of the fees based on the vehicle’s value)

How to Get a Salvage Car Title in Minnesota

The MN Driver and Vehicle Services issues salvaged titles for the following types of vehicles:

  • Late-model cars that are 6 model years old or newer
  • High-value cars (includes vehicles worth $9,000 before the damage or cars that exceed 26,000 lbs.

The MN DVS requires you to provide specific paperwork when you’re applying for an MN salvage title. You can call your local MN DVS or the MN DVS’ main line at (651) 297-2126 for specifics on everything you’ll need.

You can renew the registration on your salvage-titled car one time. After this, you won’t be able to renew it again until the MN DVS clears its salvage status. Once you have your car’s salvage title, you can retitle the car by clearing its salvage status, which allows you to operate the car on roads and highways again. If you choose to clear your car’s salvage title, you must rebuild/repair the car and the car must pass an inspection before you can legally drive your car.

If your car doesn’t meet the above criteria, contact the MN DVS or your auto insurance provider for alternate routes you can take when dealing with a total loss vehicle.

Minnesota Salvage Rebuilt Car Inspections

Before you can legally hit the road again, your salvaged car must pass inspection. When you rebuild your vehicle, you are required to keep a Declaration of Reconstruction/Special Assembly (Form PS2015A). The mechanic or whoever makes the repairs will need to fill out this form. You’ll need this form when your vehicle is inspected and to clear its salvage status, which is when you apply for a Minnesota rebuilt car title.

Once your car is reconstructed, it’s time for your car to be inspected. You can find Driver and Vehicle Services Inspection Specialists across the state on the Declaration of Reconstruction/Special Assembly (Form PS 2015A). It’s a good idea to schedule an appointment ahead of time.

Before you head to your inspection appointment, you need to make sure you have the following:

  • Your car’s salvage title
  • The Declaration of Reconstruction/Special Assembly (Form PS 2015A) – this must be completed by the individual who repairs the vehicle
  • Original bills of sale, receipts, and invoices for the parts you or the repairer used to rebuild the vehicle – each sale document must be printed on letterhead
  • The $35 inspection fee

After your vehicle passes inspection, the inspector will give you an inspection report. Don’t lose this document! You’ll need this document to retitle your car. Before you leave the inspection station, make sure you ask an agent if your vehicle requires a safety inspection. If you have additional questions about Minnesota salvage vehicle inspections, call the MN DVS at (651) 282-2173 for assistance.

What Major Vehicle Components Are Checked During an MN Vehicle Inspection?

During your MN vehicle inspection, your rebuilt salvage car’s major components will be checked. The following are the components that will be checked during an MN vehicle inspection:

  • Cowls
  • Transmission
  • Frames
  • Engines
  • Doors
  • Trunk lids
  • Front and rear fenders
  • Quarter panels

Why Are Car Inspections Performed in Minnesota?

Car inspections in Minnesota are essential. Since salvage cars are deemed unroadworthy and MN vehicle inspectors want to make sure that you and other drivers are safe on the road. Part of safety is ensuring your vehicle can safely be operated on roads and highways. Car inspections in Minnesota are designed to make sure your car was not repaired with stolen parts and that you are the legal owner of the vehicle.

Minnesota Vehicle Safety Inspection Failures

If your vehicle fails the Minnesota vehicle safety inspection, don’t panic. Failing this vehicle inspection could mean different things. In general, failing an MN inspection could mean that some or all of the parts of the vehicle are malfunctioning. In this scenario, you’ll need to have the necessary repairs made and have your car re-inspected. Treat this situation as a time-sensitive matter. Get your car repaired and re-inspected as soon as possible.

How Do You Register a Salvaged Car in Minnesota?

You can’t register a salvage car in Minnesota. If you want to register a salvaged car, you need to first repair your vehicle and then have it inspected. Once the car passes inspection, you can apply for a Minnesota rebuilt car title.

Minnesota Vehicle Registration Fees

The vehicle fees in Minnesota vary, so use this chart to help you determine the fees you are required to pay. You may also be able to waive certain vehicle fees.

What’s the Different Between a Minnesota Salvage Title and a Rebuilt Car Title?

This is another good question. So, an MN salvage title is for cars that have been severely damaged, but can legally be rebuilt, retitled, and driven again. However, an MN rebuilt car title is for cars that have had the necessary repairs made and passed the MN vehicle inspection. Also, cars with a rebuilt title can legally be operated on roads and highways.

How is a Minnesota Salvage Title Different from a Junk Title?

We’ve already covered the definition of a salvage title car. Now, we’ll talk about an MN junk title car. Junk title cars are just that, “junk”. These cars will not be given any other title. Cars that have a junk title can never be legally driven on roads or highways in any state.

You can’t rebuild a car that has a junk title. Even if you make repairs on the car, you won’t be able to obtain a title with a different label, such as salvage or rebuilt car title. Be advised that selling a junk car or operating one on roads and highways is illegal.

Who Buys Salvage Cars Near Me in Minnesota?

Minnesota has many salvage yards. We won’t list all of them, but we’ll list a handful of salvage yard locations to help you get started. Keep in mind that salvage cars can’t legally be operated, so you must have your car towed to the scrap yard.

Apex Auto Salvage
198 Minnehaha Ave. E.
Saint Paul, MN 55130
(651) 228-1389
Monday – Thursday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Friday (8 AM – 3 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

Metro Auto Salvage, Inc.
11710 263rd Street
Lakeville, MN 55044
(952) 461-2186
Monday – Saturday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Sunday (Open 24 hours)

U Pull R Parts
2985 160th St. W.
Rosemount, MN 55068
(651) 322-1800
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (9 AM – 5 PM)
Thursday (Closed)

Bob Kohl’s Auto Salvage
10241 Sleepy Hollow Rd.
Brainerd, MN 56401
(218) 829-1947
Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday (Closed)
Monday (11 AM – 5 PM)
Tuesday (5 PM – 7 PM)
Friday and Saturday (11 AM – 4 PM)

How Long Does It Take to Get a Minnesota Auto Insurance for My Salvage Car?

You won’t be able to insure a salvage car in Minnesota. If you want to insure a car with a salvage title, the car must be repaired, pass an inspection, and be retitled. Once you take these steps, you will be able to get an MN auto insurance policy. Be advised that your auto insurance premiums will probably increase.

Can I Salvage My Car Without a Title in Minnesota?

No. You will need the car’s title to salvage a car in Minnesota. If you don’t have the car’s title, no worries. You can apply for a duplicate car title by completing an Application for Duplicate Title, Registration, Cab, or Lien Card (Form PS 2067A).

You must pay $7.25 for the MN duplicate title fee, and $11 for the filing fee. You can mail your application and required payment to the following address:

Driver and Vehicle Services
Town Square Building
445 Minnesota St.
Suite 187
St. Paul, MN 55101

How Does a Having a Minnesota Rebuilt Salvage Title Affect My Car’s Value?

Although having a Minnesota rebuilt car title decreases your car’s value, your car still has value. You may notice that cars of the same make and model have more value than your car. Why? Cars that don’t have a salvage rebuilt car title do not have a clean title, which means they have not been involved in an accident. Although you rebuilt your vehicle, the car is rebuilt from parts of other cars and previously had a salvage car title, which decreases your car’s value.

How Can I Get the Most Money for My Salvage Car in Minnesota?

Getting the most money for your salvage car in Minnesota can be somewhat tricky, and it depends on the time and effort you’re willing to put into getting the most money for your car. We’ll discuss different options in detail to help you decide which selling option is best for you.

Selling Your Salvage Car to Another Individual

You can sell your salvage car to another individual, which is known as a private sale. This is a great option if your car has sentimental value and you’re looking for a buyer that will take care of the car and make the necessary repairs. It may take some time to find your ideal buyer, but it may be worth the wait.

Selling Your Salvage Car to a Salvage Yard or Junkyard

Although it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme, selling your salvage car to a salvage yard or junkyard is the best way to get your cash the same day. This is the perfect option if you want to get rid of your car quickly without the hassle of waiting for someone to want the salvage car you’re selling.

Many junkyards allow you to complete the junking process online through their website. You will need the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN), title, and other essential information to junk your car online. More good news is that most junkyards will tow your car free of charge, so you don’t have to worry about paying expensive towing fees.

Selling Your Salvage Car for Parts

Yes, parting out your car is a thing. As we said, your car may be a salvage, but it still has value. If you choose this method to sell your salvage car, you will need a mechanic’s help unless you know your way around a car. Even if you know a thing or two about cars, a mechanic is always great to have. They can help you identify the valuable parts of your car and remove them.

People are always searching for car parts, so you may be in luck. However, some car parts will sell faster than others. You may have to wait longer than you anticipated for all of your car’s parts to sell.

Selling Your Salvage Car As-Is

If you want to get rid of your salvage car without hassles and paperwork, you should consider selling your car as-is. Selling your salvage car as-is, is legal in MN but make sure you have the car’s title.

With this selling method, you may have to wait a while for the car sale because you’ll have to find someone interested in purchasing a car that needs significant repairs. However, once you sell your salvage car, repairs, titling, and fees that are associated with the car are no longer your responsibility.

Difficulties You May Experience When Selling a Salvage Car in Minnesota

You may have figured out that selling a salvage car takes more effort than selling a car with a clean title. However, don’t get discouraged. Many people will be ecstatic to purchase your salvage car but remember that your target audience is not as broad as it would be if you were selling a car that has a clean title. Nonetheless, many mechanics and DIY gurus will jump at a chance to start a new side project.

The Importance of Disclosing Information When Selling a Salvage Car in Minnesota

When you’re selling a salvage car in Minnesota, you are required to disclose specific vehicle information. One of the most important details you will provide buyers with regarding your car is the car is a salvage. Why is this important? Selling a salvage car without letting the buyer know it’s a salvage is illegal.

How do you disclose that your car is a salvage? We’re glad you asked. Whichever platform you’re using to sell your salvage car, make sure you include a full, in-depth description of the car. Your car’s description is where you will inform buyers that your car is a salvage.

When you’re writing your car’s description, you need to focus on the car’s good points and not solely on the car’s negative aspects. Tell buyers about the life your car had, meaning what the car was used for, places you’ve traveled, and how it’s held up over the years. It’s also a good idea to tell buyers how the car became a salvage, such as being involved in an accident or another instance that caused the car’s damages. You can also include a few repairs that the car needs to give potential buyers insight about the repairs they’ll be responsible for making and possibly give buyers a starting point.

Applying for a Minnesota Rebuilt Car Title

Your car has been repaired and passed the MN vehicle inspection. Congratulations! You’ve passed the hardest part of selling a salvage car, and now you can apply for an MN rebuilt car title. This process is known as the re-titling and registration process.

To apply for an MN rebuilt car title, you will need to take the following to your local MN DVS branch:

  • The vehicle’s salvage title
  • A completed:
    • Declaration of Reconstruction/Special Assembly (Form PS 2015A) – keep in mind that this form must be completed by the individual who made the vehicle’s repairs.
  • Bills of sale, receipts, and invoices on letterhead for all the parts that were used to reconstruct your car
  • Your vehicle inspection report
  • Payment for the $10 filing fee

After you complete this step, the MN DVS will issue your salvage rebuilt car title and registration!

How Long Does it Take to Receive a Rebuilt Title in Minnesota?

The time it takes to receive a rebuilt title in Minnesota depends varies. You must give the MN DVS at least 10 to review your rebuilt title application, process it, and put the information into the MN DVS database. Since you are applying for a rebuilt car title, this process could take more than 10 days.