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Selling your salvage car won’t be the highlight of your life, but it may make your day to know you got the job done and don’t have to worry about it anymore. If you’re keeping your car and giving it a complete makeover by rebuilding it, we can help you do that too!

Table of Contents

What is a Mississippi Salvaged Car?

The Mississippi Department of Revenue (MS DOR) considers a car a salvage when your auto insurance company deems the car a “total loss” because of the amount of damage the car sustained. The vehicle’s damage could be a result of the following:

  • Wreck or collision
  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Hail
  • Vandalism
  • Theft

In general, you and your auto insurance provider will work together on a total loss claim when the cost to repair your car exceeds or comes close to exceeding the car’s fair market value, which means it will cost more to repair your car than the car is worth.

Excluded Vehicles

Mississippi does NOT apply salvaged vehicle provisions to any vehicle that:

  • Is at least 10 years old and has a value of $1,500 or less
  • Needs 5 parts (minor components) or fewer replaced or repaired

What Minor Components Are Considered?

If your vehicle requires any of the following minor repairs, your vehicle will NOT be considered a salvage:

  • Doors
  • Hood
  • Fender
  • Quarter panels
  • Deck-lid or hatchback
  • Bumper
  • Transmission
  • T-top

If your vehicle falls under one of these categories, contact the MS DOR at (601) 923-7200 for further information on how to deal with your vehicle.

What’s the First Step of Dealing with a Salvaged Car?

How do you handle a salvage car in Mississippi? Your first step depends on who obtains ownership of the vehicle. You or your auto insurance company can assume ownership of the car. However, the exact procedures can vary depending on your auto insurance company and policy. In any situation, your auto insurance provider will take initial control of the vehicle following a total loss claim. Let’s discuss the most common scenarios.

If Your Auto Insurance Company Keeps the Car

When vehicles are severely damaged, they will likely be deemed a total loss. In most situations, car owners decide to accept a full total loss settlement and let the auto insurance provider keep the vehicle. A lot of the time, this is the easiest option.

You may sign over the car’s title to the auto insurance company, accept the full payout, and let your insurance provider take care of the rest. Your auto insurance agent will explain the exact details regarding any final responsibilities you have, such as providing proof of lien satisfaction.

If You Keep the Salvaged Car

If you choose to keep the car and accept a partial settlement, you will still sign over the car’s title to your auto insurance company, and an agent will apply for a salvage title with the MS DOR. Once your auto insurance provider receives the salvaged title, your insurance provider will sign the salvage title back over to you. At this time, you can decide how you’re going to handle the situation.

The following are a few available options:

  • Selling the vehicle to a business that junks, scraps, or dismantles cars, or via your private sale of the parts.
  • Repairing the car so it meets Mississippi’s legal and safety requirements, then applying for a rebuilt title
  • Your rebuilt vehicle must pass a salvage inspection as part of obtaining a rebuilt car title

With a rebuilt car title, your car is legal for operation on public roadways. You can also choose to keep the vehicle for yourself and sell it.

Keeping your salvage car could mean putting in a lot of time, effort, and money to get your car legal again. Talk with your auto insurance provider about your options. They can help you choose the best option based on your situation because they understand the amount of work that is required to repair your car.

Understanding Your Car’s Actual Cash Value and How to Determine the Value

You may be like a lot of other car owners who think their salvage car doesn’t have value. The good news is it does! This is where we talk about your car’s actual cash value (ACV), which is equivalent to your car’s replacement cost minus its depreciation. The ACV reflects your car’s accounting value, but it may not necessarily reflect its economic value, which means your vehicle can be more or less value than its ACV when you sell it.

Determining Your Car’s ACV

You can use the following equation to determine your car’s ACV.

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

We’ll use a scenario. The general life expectancy of a car is 11 years. The current life of your car is your car’s age. Let’s say your car is a year model 2021, and the current year is 2023, the current life of your car would be 2 years.

Is There a Difference Between the Actual Cash Value and the Replacement Cost?

Yes. There is a significant difference between your car’s ACV and its replacement cost. Your car’s ACV becomes important when you’re getting an MS auto insurance policy. Why? As the primary policyholder, you make the decision regarding the auto policy. If your vehicle is damaged in an accident, you can be paid the replacement cost or the car’s ACV.

The option you choose will be what works best for you. If you want to be able to replace your vehicle with a new car of the same type, you’ll be interested in being paid the replacement cost of the car. You can also be paid for your car’s ACV. If you choose this option, you probably won’t have enough money to purchase a new car of the same type after depreciation is considered.

Can You Sell a Salvage Car in Mississippi?

Yes. You can sell a salvage car in Mississippi. However, you are required to take specific steps to ensure you avoid unnecessary penalties and fees. As a seller of a salvage car, you are responsible for disclosing that your car is salvaged to potential buyers. Failure to disclose the current status of the salvage car will result in penalties and fines

Although you’re selling your car independently, you must take the proper steps required by the MS DOR to avoid penalties, fees, and fines. You are responsible for providing the buyer with the following:

  • The vehicle’s certificate of title – you must sign over the car title to officially grant ownership to the buyer, The title transfer process includes completing the information requested on the back of the car title, including the current odometer reading, car model, purchase price, date of the sale, and signatures from you and the car’s buyer.
  • Bill of sale – if the car’s title assignment doesn’t have a specific space for the purchase price, you must also provide an MS bill of sale. The buyer will submit the bill of sale to their local county tax collector when they transfer ownership of the vehicle. The local county tax collector will also determine the appropriate sales tax for the purchase.
  • Affidavit of Relationship – although this is not required, Mississippi recommends completing an Affidavit or Relationship when you’re selling your car to your spouse, parent, child, grandchild, or grandparent. This form is available at an MS DOR branch.

Mississippi Vehicle History Report

Providing the buyer with a Mississippi vehicle report is an essential document to have when you’re selling a car. Most car buyers will not purchase your car without this report. This report assures the buyer of the vehicle’s quality and value by providing information about the car, such as past accidents and repairs, possible theft, and recalls. Buyers want peace of mind knowing what they’re getting into when they purchase your car, even though they are aware it’s a salvage.

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

You must have a bill of sale to sell your salvage car in MS. The bill of sale is a form of record-keeping when you’re selling your vehicle. You can create your own bill of sale. However, you must make sure that it has the following information:

  • Date of sale
  • Make, model, and year of the car
  • A complete description of the vehicle (color, body, style)
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Odometer reading
  • Buyer’s full name and address
  • Seller’s full name and address
  • Purchase price of the vehicle
  • You and the buyer’s signature

What Are the Salvaged Vehicle Restrictions in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, like most states, salvaged cars have restrictions. Although they are not considered junk cars, they also are not able to be operated on roads and highways until the necessary repairs are made and the car passes an MS salvage vehicle inspection. Keep in mind that salvaged cars can’t be insured. We’ll discuss this later in the article.

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

No. You can’t sell a salvaged car without the title. Even if you’ve made the required repairs to the car and want to sell it to make money more, you will need the car’s title. Without the title, you won’t be able to complete the sale. If you’ve lost the car’s title, you need to complete an Application for Replacement Certificate of Title (Form 78-006) and submit it to your local MS DOR branch.

Why is the Car’s Title Important?

Throughout this article, you’ll hear us talk about the car’s title and needing it to finalize the sale of your salvage car. Your car’s title is important because it 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 will 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 Mississippi’s safety standards. At this time, you will be eligible to apply for a salvage MS 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 Mississippi, you would be looking for signatures from the DOR.

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

The car’s registration is similar to the car’s title. Both the car’s title and registration card are legal documents that prove the legal ownership of a vehicle. However, in most scenarios, whether you’re selling your car privately or otherwise, you don’t need the car’s registration card to sell a car, salvage or not. Keep in mind that you must have the car’s title to sell it.

How and Where Do You Get a Mississippi Salvage Car Title?

First, you must be eligible to receive an MS salvage car title. To qualify for an MS DOR salvage title, the vehicle must be a salvage car by definition, meaning the car must have been damaged by:

  • Flood
  • Fire
  • Accident
  • Collision
  • Theft

Salvaged vehicles have been paid off after their owners submit a total loss claim. Salvaged certificates do NOT apply for vehicles that are more than 9 model years old and valued at less than $1,501. In addition to these requirements, motor vehicles will NOT qualify as a salvage cars if they can be restored by repairing five or fewer minor parts, as we discussed earlier in the article.

Getting a Salvage MS Car Title

The process you’re required to follow will depend on whether you are the owner of the vehicle or your auto insurance company is the owner. In most instances, your auto insurance company will apply for an MS salvage vehicle title. If you’re the owner of the vehicle, you must take the following steps:

  • Obtain the re-assigned original vehicle title
  • Deliver the car title within 72 hours of obtaining it to your local tax collector’s office
  • Fill out the required titling application and odometer disclosure statement
  • Provide a signed statement on the company letterhead with information about the vehicle’s damages and expected repairs
  • Pay all applicable MS titling fees

Mississippi Salvage Rebuilt Car Inspections

Once you rebuild your salvaged car, it will need to be inspected. A state-certified vehicle inspector must perform your car’s inspection. Your vehicle inspection will be performed at the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS). To find your local inspection station, call the MS DPS at (601) 987-1212.

Be advised that driving your salvage vehicle to the inspection site is the ONLY time you’re permitted to operate the car on public roads. Before you make your way to your inspection, you need to make sure you have the following:

  • The salvage car title (your auto insurance company should have signed this over to you)
  • A completed Application for Inspection of a Salvage/Rebuilt Car (Form 78-021) – you are required to attach pictures of the damaged vehicle BEFORE the repairs were made. The application provides instructions on how to take pictures of your vehicle and where to attach them.
  • Bills of sale and/or invoices for each part used to repair your car (sale documents for the replacement of major parts must be notarized)
    • All bills of sale and invoices must include the following information:
      • The seller’s name and contact information
      • The make, model, year, and vehicle identification number (VIN) of the car from which the parts originated, if applicable
  • A certified check made payable to the “Department of Public Safety” for the $75 vehicle inspection fee (this fee is required by the MS DPS whether your vehicle passes or fails inspection, and for each re-inspection, if applicable)

If your salvage vehicle passes the inspection, the inspector will give you a Completion of Vehicle Inspection (Form 78-022). At this time, you are eligible to apply for an MS rebuilt car title. If your vehicle fails the inspection, the inspector will explain the required repairs that need to be made. You must bring your vehicle in for another inspection once you make the required repairs.

Keep in mind that the MS vehicle inspection is not a vehicle safety inspection. The salvaged vehicle inspection verifies that the parts that were used to repair the car are not stolen and that no information has been altered, removed, or destroyed.

Unlike vehicle safety inspections, standard vehicle inspections do not check if your car is roadworthy. Ask the MS DOR or MS DPS if you are required to have an additional safety inspection.

What Major Vehicle Components Are Checked During a Mississippi Vehicle Inspection?

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

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

Why Are Car Inspections Performed in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, inspectors want to make sure the parts that were used to repair your car are not stolen. This vehicle inspection is also performed to ensure you are the legal owner of the vehicle.

How Do You Register a Salvaged Car in Mississippi?

This could be a tricky question, but here’s the bottom line. Salvaged cars can’t be registered in Mississippi. Your car must pass the MS vehicle inspection, then you can apply for an MS rebuilt car title.

Mississippi Vehicle Registration Fees

The vehicle registration fees in Mississippi are as follows:

  • Passenger vehicle registration fee: $14

Mississippi road and bridge privilege tax rates:

  • Passenger vehicles: $15
  • Pickup trucks: $7.20
  • Motorcycles: $8

As a Mississippi resident, you may also be charged ad valorem, sales, and use taxes. These specific taxes are based on the vehicle’s type and value, and your town or county of residence. You can contact your county tax collector to get help with determining the taxes you owe.

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

This is a question that gets asked a lot. Because a salvage title car and a rebuilt title car have many similarities, they are often confused with one another. Salvage title cars are not deemed roadworthy until they have been repaired and passed an inspection. One inspection that is required is the MS vehicle inspection, which is NOT a safety inspection. Cars that have a rebuilt car title have been repaired and passed the vehicle inspection to make sure the parts that were used to repair the car were not stolen.

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

Salvage titles and junk titles are also similar, but different. Salvage title cars can be repaired and given new life. Junk cars, however, can not. Once a salvaged car is repaired, it can be inspected. If it passes inspection, you can obtain a rebuilt car title and drive it once again on the roads and highways. Junk cars do not have this option.

Junk cars can be sold to a junkyard, scrap yard, or recycling company. Cars that have a junk title don’t have the option of being restored/repaired and driven again.

Who Buys Salvage Cars Near Me in Mississippi?

You’ll find a lot of different salvage yards in Mississippi. We’ve done some of the work for you to help you get started. Below you will find a handful of scrapyards in Mississippi that have good reviews. It’s best to try to find a scrapyard that’s local to you.

B&S Auto and Salvage Yard
1301 Gardner Blvd.
Columbus, MS 39702
(662) 237-1111
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 4 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

City Auto Salvage
808 Highway 35 N
Carthage, MS 39051
(601) 267-4593
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

4000 Interstate 55 South
Jackson, MS 39211
(601) 949-8490
Sunday – Thursday (9 AM – 4:30 PM)
Friday and Saturday (8 AM – 4:30 PM)

Randy’s Body Shop & Salvage Yard
3441 Simpson Highway 28 W
Mendenhall, MS 39114
(601) 847-4084
Monday – Friday (9 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

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

You won’t be able to obtain auto insurance for your salvage car until it passes a vehicle inspection and you have an MS rebuilt car title for the car. Once you have a rebuilt car title, you can get an auto insurance policy on the car.

Can I Salvage My Car Without a Title in Mississippi?

You won’t be able to salvage your car without the title. If you’ve lost the title or the title is damaged, you will need to apply for an MS duplicate car title by completing an Application for Replacement Certificate of Title (Form 78-006).

You can apply for a replacement car title by mail or in person at your local MS DOR branch. As we stated above, you’ll need to complete an Application for Replacement Certificate of Title and make sure you have the $9 payment to cover the duplicate title fee. You will mail the application and the payment to the following address:

Department of Revenue
Title Bureau
P.O. Box 1383
Jackson, MS 39201

You can also drop off your application and payment at any MS Tax Collector’s Office. Once the MS DOR receives the replacement title application, it can take up to 4 weeks to process your request.

Be advised that if the name on the application differs from the name on the title, or will be mailed to someone besides the owner, you must have a copy of power of attorney.

Mississippi Fast Track Title

If you’re in a hurry to receive your MS duplicate title, you can complete a Fast Track Application for Replacement Certificate of Title (Form 78-026). The DOR processes car titles within 72 hours using the fast-track title option. You’ll need to write a check for $9 plus the fast-track title fee of $30.

You must mail everything to the following address:

Mississippi Fast Track Title Program
P.O. Box 22845
Jackson, MS 39225

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

Having a car that has a rebuilt title means that you can once again drive the car on roads and highways. However, having a rebuilt car title does affect your car’s title. For example, a car that is the same make and model as your car without damages or a salvage title will be worth more than your car.

You may be wondering how your car can decrease tremendously in value. The truth is, your car loses value once you drive it off the lot because of depreciation. Since your vehicle was once a salvage and needed extensive repairs, your car’s value will likely plummet. However, your car still has value, just not as much value as a car that has little to no damage, and no salvage title.

How Can I Make the Most Money From Selling My Salvage Car in Mississippi?

Everyone wants to get the most bang for their buck, and that’s understandable. The amount of money you can make depends on the selling method you choose and the amount of time and effort you’re willing to put forth.

Selling Your Salvage Car in a Private Sale

Most people prefer to sell their salvage car in a private sale, which means you will be selling your car to another person and not a business. This selling method is perfect if you’re not in a rush to sell your car.

If you’re willing to wait for your ideal person to look at your ad and check out your car, selling your car in a private sale would be the best option. Cars often hold sentimental value, and with that, you want to make sure your car goes to someone who will put in the time and effort to make the necessary repairs.

Selling Your Car to a Salvage Yard or Junkyard

If you’re in a hurry to sell your salvage car and want to make a few bucks, selling your car to a salvage yard or junkyard is your best option. With this selling method, you don’t have to worry about waiting for someone to be interested in your car.

Most of the time, the junkyard will pick up your car for free and pay you on the spot. However, check with the junkyard you plan on using and ask about their towing policy. Selling your car to a junkyard or salvage yard also offers convenience. Most junkyards allow you to handle the required paperwork online, including scheduling the pick up of your car.

Selling Your Salvage Car for Parts

Parting out your car is one way you can potentially get a lot of bang for your bunch. You may need the help of a mechanic to help you choose the car’s parts that are the most valuable. Parting out a car can be time-consuming, but if you’re willing to put in the effort, it could be the most rewarding.

Selling Your Salvage Car As-Is

Selling your salvage car as-is, is your best option if you don’t want the hassle of making repairs or doing anything to your car. If you want the car out of your face, you should sell your car as-is. Once you sell your car, all responsibilities that are associated with the car belong to the new owner.

Difficulties You May Encounter When Selling Your Salvage Car

Selling any car can be difficult. When you’re selling a salvage car, you will likely face more difficulties. Providing an accurate description of the car is essential and required by law. Buyers will want to know more about a salvage car than a new car because they want to know about the repairs that need to be made and ready themselves that make the repairs.

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

You are required by Mississippi to disclose that the car you’re selling is a salvage. Buyers are protected by the Lemon Law, which means if they purchase your car and you didn’t tell them they’re purchasing a salvaged car, you could face different fines and penalties.

It’s in your best interest to disclose as much information about your car as possible. It will help if you include pictures of the car, so buyers can view the damage and the repairs that need to be made. In the description, tell buyers about the life the car has had and how it became damaged.

Make sure you have all the required paperwork to avoid delays in the selling process. Buyers understand that your car is a salvage, but they will always have a lot of questions, so be patient. Buyers want to know what they’re getting into, such as the time and effort they’ll need to put into the car to obtain a rebuilt car title and make it fully operable again.

How Do You Apply for a Rebuilt Car Title in Mississippi?

To apply for your rebuilt car title in MS, you’ll need to visit your local tax collector’s office and provide the following:

  • A completed Application for Inspection of a Salvage/Rebuilt (Form 78-021)
  • The Completion of the Vehicle Inspection (Form 78-022) – this form is issued by the inspector. You will receive this forom once your repaired vehicle passes inspection.
  • All bills of sale and/or invoices you presented for your MS salvage inspection
  • Payment for the $9 title fee

Once you complete these steps, you can submit everything, and you’ll be on your way to receiving your MS rebuilt car title. Congratulations! If you have questions or concerns while you’re gathering the required information, call the MS DOR at (601) 923-7200.

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

Give the MS DOR at least 4 weeks to process your rebuilt title application and send it to you. This may seem like a lengthy process, but the information you provided must be verified and entered into the MS DOR database. However, you may be able to apply for a rush title for an additional fee.