How to Sell a Salvage Car in New Mexico

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Need to sell a salvage car in New Mexico? We can help! Selling a salvage car requires specific paperwork. If you plan on keeping your vehicle, you’ll still need specific paperwork and you’re required to pay certain fees. We’ll discuss everything you need to know to sell your salvage car in New Mexico.

How Is a Salvage Car Defined in New Mexico?

The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (NM MVD) defines a salvage as a vehicle that has been severely damaged. Also referred to as a total loss, a salvage title means the vehicle is considered uneconomical to repair.

What Does Uneconomical to Repair Mean?

In this sense, when your car is declared a total loss, it is uneconomical to repair, which means it would cost more money to repair than the car’s fair market value before the damage occurred.

My Car Has a Fair Market Value?

Yes. The fair market value of a vehicle is the price your vehicle would sell for on the open market. The term fair market value is purposely different from similar terms, such as the appraised value or market value because fair market value considers the economic principles of free and open market activity.

Full vs. Partial Insurance Settlements in New Mexico

Your car’s fair market value is important when it comes to auto insurance settlement claims. You have the choice of accepting a full or partial insurance settlement. If your auto insurance carrier declares your vehicle a salvage or total loss, you will file a total loss claim. Let’s discuss both types of claims.

Full Insurance Settlement

If you accept a full insurance settlement, your auto insurance company keeps the car and assumes ownership of the vehicle. You will be paid in full for the damages the car sustained. You may be required to complete lien satisfaction paperwork before you can sign over the car’s title to your auto insurance carrier. Once the lien satisfaction paperwork is complete, you no longer have to deal with the car.

Partial Insurance Settlement

If you accept a partial insurance settlement, you will maintain ownership of the car, and your auto insurance provider will pay for partial vehicle damages. You must stamp or write “Salvage”, or “Non-repairable” in letters that are at least ½ inch tall at a 45-degree angle to the title text WITHOUT covering the vehicle’s description. You and your auto insurance carrier must complete and submit a Notice of Owner Retained Vehicle (Form MVD 10651).

Once you accept a partial insurance settlement, you can sell the salvage or non-repairable vehicle to a junkyard, recycler, or other business that handles dismantling total loss vehicles for parts or scrap. Since you’re keeping the car, you can repair the vehicle after you apply for a New Mexico salvage car title.

If your repaired vehicle passes the NM inspection, you will be eligible to apply for an NM rebuilt car title, which means you’ll legally be able to drive your car again! However, this option ONLY applies to salvaged vehicles.

Certain non-repairable vehicles will NOT qualify for an auto insurance settlement depending on your auto insurance policy and the damage your vehicle sustained. We’ll discuss this next!

No Auto Insurance Settlement

When your non-repairable vehicle is not included in your auto insurance settlement, you must apply for a non-repairable certificate within 20 days of the loss.

To do this, you must submit a properly signed vehicle title or the manufacturer’s certificate of origin (MCO) and pay all applicable fees to the NM MVD. Call the NM MVD at (888) 643-4636 for information regarding fees and where you should deliver the above-required items.

Types of Salvage Titles in New Mexico

There are different types of salvage titles in New Mexico, and they include the following:

  • Reconstructed
  • Rebuilt
  • Homemade/shop-built vehicles
  • Gliders and glider kits
  • Reconstructed kits
  • Reconstructed vehicle with dismantler notification
  • Salvage and non-repairable vehicles
  • Salvage certificate of title or reconditioned title
  • Multiple records, multiple VINs
  • Assigned VINs for stolen recovered vehicles with no P VIN and other acceptable law enforcement purposes

Be advised that this list does not include every type of salvage-branded vehicle in New Mexico. If you need more information regarding these salvage-branded titles, contact the NM MVD directly.

Can You Sell a Salvage Car in New Mexico?

It is not illegal to sell a salvage car in New Mexico. However, you must have the correct paperwork to sell the vehicle. As the car’s owner, you are also required to disclose the salvage condition of the vehicle.

Don’t Get Caught Up in Salvage Title Fraud!

Salvage title fraud is easy to get involved in. However, it is also easy to avoid. It’s as simple as saying, “The vehicle I’m selling has a salvage title”, or something along those lines. As long as potential buyers know that your car is a salvage, you’re in the clear.

Is a Bill of Sale Required to Sell a Salvage Vehicle in New Mexico?

You must have a bill of sale to sell a salvage vehicle in NM. The NM MVD requires a bill of sale (Form MVD 10009) when you don’t have the car’s certificate of title. A completed bill of sale, the Certificate of Title, and other ownership documentation must be taken to your local NM MVD branch to have the vehicle titled and registered in the buyer’s name. If you don’t have the car’s title, you’ll also need to complete an Application for a Duplicate Car Title (Form 10901).

The bill of sale is legal documentation that proves the sale and transfer of personal property, such as your vehicle. Make sure the following information is included in the New Mexico bill of sale:

  • The date of the sale
  • The names and addresses of the buyer and seller
  • The purchase price of the item
  • A description of your vehicle (this must include the make, model, year, and vehicle identification number (VIN)

You and the car’s buyer are required to sign the New Mexico bill of sale.

Does New Mexico Have Salvaged Vehicle Restrictions?

Yes. In New Mexico, you are prohibited from selling or transferring ownership of a salvage vehicle or a non-repairable vehicle without a branded certificate of title or ownership document. It is also illegal to operate a salvage vehicle unless the car has passed a vehicle inspection and the owner obtains a rebuilt car title.

Can You Sell a Salvage Vehicle Without the Title in New Mexico?

No. To sell a salvage vehicle in New Mexico, you must have the car’s salvage certificate of title. If you have lost the car’s title, you must complete an Application for Duplicate Certificate of Title (Form MVD 10901) and submit it at your local NM MVD branch.

Why Is the Car’s Certificate of Title Required When Selling a Salvage Vehicle?

A salvage car’s title is a type of certificate that proves ownership of the vehicle. Although these vehicles can’t be safely operated and legally driven on public roads, if you’re selling a salvage vehicle, the Certificate of Title protects buyers and sellers. Sellers know and acknowledge they are selling a salvage-branded vehicle, and buyers are aware the vehicle they are buying has a salvage-branded title.

Can You Sell a Salvage-Branded Vehicle in New Mexico Without the Car’s Registration Card?

While the car’s registration card is an essential document that can prove vehicle ownership, it’s not required to sell a salvage-branded vehicle. In some instances, you may be able to use the car’s registration card to sell your salvage vehicle to a scrap yard or junkyard if you no longer have the car’s Certificate of Title.

How Do I Get a Salvage Car Title in New Mexico?

To apply for a Salvage title in New Mexico, you must provide the following:

  • The vehicle title or MCO that is correctly branded with “Salvage” after you accepted a partial settlement.
  • A completed Salvage Vehicle or Vessel Notification (Form MVD 11103)
  • Payment for all applicable New Mexico salvage title fees

For details regarding exact fees and the necessary paperwork, or where to submit your salvaged application, contact your auto insurance carrier and the NM MVD at (888) 683-4636. Once you have your salvage car title, you can start the repair/rebuilding process and have it inspected. If your car passes inspection, you can hit the road once more!

New Mexico Vehicle Inspections

Once you rebuild your salvage car, you are required to complete a VIN check from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database if your vehicle has different VINs on the factory chassis, cab, and/or engine.

Most NM MVD locations perform VIN checks as well as certified VIN inspectors across the state of New Mexico. Call ahead for information about scheduling the inspection and ask about the required documents and fees for the inspection.

At the VIN inspection, the inspector will provide the required Affidavit of VIN forms that you must have to apply for a New Mexico rebuilt car title.

What Is the Process for Registering a Salvage Car in New Mexico?

Registering a salvage vehicle is not possible because, at this time, your vehicle has not passed the VIN inspection and is considered unsafe to operate legally. Your car must pass the inspection. Once the inspection is passed, you can apply for a rebuilt car title, and then register your rebuilt vehicle.

New Mexico Vehicle Registration Fees

New Mexico has vehicle registration fees you are required to pay to get your car ready to get back on the road. The registration fees for passenger vehicles are based on the vehicle’s weight, year, and model.

  • Passenger vehicles: from $27 to $62 (for a 1-year registration)
    • $54 to $124 for a 2-year registration
  • Trucks that have a declared gross vehicle weight (DGVW) of no more than 26,000 lbs.: $38 to $207 (1-year registration)
    • $76 to $414 (2-year registration)

What’s the Difference Between a New Mexico Salvage Title, Rebuilt Title, and Junk Title?

This is a great question. These titles are often confused with one another because they have a few similarities. However, these titles are not the same. You’ll receive a salvage title once your vehicle is deemed a total loss by your auto insurance carrier. A rebuilt title is the title you will apply for once you repair your vehicle and it passes the VIN inspection.

Junk titles, however, do not have any options. You can’t rebuild or sell a junk vehicle unless you are selling the junk car to a salvage yard or junkyard. Junk-titled vehicles can’t be driven.

Who Buys Salvage Cars Near Me in New Mexico?

If you’re selling your salvage vehicle in New Mexico, you can sell it to a salvage yard. Here are a handful of salvage yard locations in New Mexico.

Cervantes A&A Auto Salvage
111 Hill St. SE
Albuquerque, NM 87105
(505) 242-9358
Monday – Saturday (9 AM – 7 PM)
Sunday (Closed)

Highway 64 Truck & Auto Salvage
4551 US Unit 64
Farmington, NM 87401
(505) 598-5584
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 6 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

Capital Scrap Metals, Inc.
1162 Cooks Ln.
Santa Fe, NM 87507
(505) 471-0740
Monday – Saturday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Sunday (Closed)

Hooker Salvage
96 Arlene Dr.
Estancia, NM 87016
(505) 384-3192
Call for business hours

How Long Do I Need to Wait to Get Auto Insurance for My Salvage Car?

You won’t be able to get auto insurance for a car that has a salvage title. However, since you have plans on driving the car again, you can repair the car and have it inspected. After the car passes inspection, you can apply for a rebuilt car title. Once you have the rebuilt car title, you can apply for an auto insurance policy.

What Are My Options When I’m Selling My Salvage Vehicle?

You have different selling options in New Mexico for selling your salvage vehicle. The selling option you choose should depend on the time and effort you’re willing to put into getting the vehicle sold. Regardless of the selling method you choose, make sure you have the car’s salvage Certificate of Title and that you disclose you’re selling a salvage vehicle to avoid different penalties and fees!

Private Sale

In a private sale, you will sell your salvage car to another individual instead of a business, such as a salvage yard. It’s in your best interest to use car-selling platforms, such as Craigslist, to possibly sell your vehicle quickly. Other salvage car-selling websites will work as well. Make sure you take pictures of the vehicle to show the damages the vehicle sustained, and it doesn’t hurt to include a little information about how the car was used before it became a salvage or tell what happened to the vehicle that made it a salvage.

Salvage Yard or Junkyard

The quickest way to sell your vehicle is to sell it to a salvage yard or junkyard. You’ll be required to provide information about the car, such as its make, model, year, and vehicle identification number (VIN), especially if you’re completing the paperwork online. Some junkyards and salvage yards will want to know about the damages the vehicle sustained and which parts of the vehicle are working or not working, such as the headlights and taillights.

Selling for Parts

You can also sell your car for parts, which is one way to make the most money from selling a salvaged vehicle. You or a mechanic can remove the car’s parts and sell them individually, which is known as parting out your car.

Selling As-Is

Selling your car as-is, is a what you see is what you get kind of deal. This is an ideal selling option if you don’t want the burden and expense of repairing the car, having it pass inspection, and applying for a rebuilt car title. Once you sign over the car’s title, you are no longer responsible for anything that involves the car, such as fees, penalties, insurance, or anything else.

Common Difficulties People Having When Selling a Salvage-Branded Car in New Mexico

Selling a salvage car requires more time and effort than selling a clean-titled car, but don’t get discouraged. Getting rid of your salvage car is possible. Some buyers will hesitate to purchase a salvage-branded vehicle, which is understandable because not everyone wants something they have to repair before they can use it. However, there are car gurus who will jump at the chance of a side project!

How Do I Apply for a New Mexico Rebuilt Car Title?

To apply for an NM rebuilt car title, you must provide the following items/documents at an NM MVD branch:

  • A completed:
    • Affirmation for Specially Constructed or Reconstructed Vehicle (Form MVD 10015)
  • The Affidavit of VINs for each inspected vehicle identification number on the factory chassis, cab, and/or engine.
  • The car’s Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) or title
  • Invoices and bills of sale for each part used to repair or rebuild the vehicle
  • Proof of a valid NM auto insurance policy
  • A weight certificate (to assess the applicable registration fees)
  • Payment for all applicable NM titling fees and excise taxes

Depending on your unique circumstances, you may be required to submit additional or fewer documents. Call the NM MVD at (888) 683-4636 for specifics regarding the fees you owe, where to submit the rebuilt title application, or to address other concerns or questions.

How Long Does It Take to Receive a New Mexico Rebuilt Car Title?

It can take 1 to 2 weeks to receive your NM rebuilt car title. Make sure you review the application to ensure the information you provided is correct. Once you apply, your information will be reviewed. If there is incorrect information on the application, the rebuilt car title process will be delayed, and you may have to pay additional fees.

What Type of Auto Insurance Policy Can I Get for My Salvage Vehicle?

This is another great question. After you receive your rebuilt car title, you can obtain auto insurance for the vehicle. Remember that although you rebuilt your car and it passed inspection, your vehicle still has a salvage-branded title, which means you will likely only be able to obtain an auto insurance policy for New Mexico’s minimum insurance coverage policy.