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It’s time to sell your salvage car! As a New York resident, there are different requirements you must meet to sell your salvage car. The good news is you’ve come to the right place. By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll know how to sell your salvage vehicle in New York. Let’s jump in!

What is a Salvaged Car in New York?

We’re starting with the basics. What is a salvaged car? In New York, the definition of a salvaged car is very specific. In New York, a salvaged car has the model year 1973 or newer and is transferred to an auto insurance company with a salvage certificate because of significant damage due to the following:

  • Collision
  • Theft
  • Water
  • Vandalism

A New York salvaged car can also be a car that has been declared a “wreck” at the time of sale or transfer by the owner who is listed on the back of the car’s title, or a car that was brought to NY after being issued a salvage title in a different state.

Branded Salvage Titles in New York

There is also a branded salvage title in New York. The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (NY DMV) requires cars to have a “branded” salvage if it is up to 8 model years old AND received damage worth at least 75% of their retail value, or was destroyed.

Your auto insurance company determines the damage percentage. However, you may want to better understand how your car’s actual cash value is calculated before speaking with them. Failure to obtain a “branded salvage” title on a car that meets the above-specified qualifications can result in a maximum $2,000 fine or other penalties.

How Do You Sell a Salvage Car in New York?

To sell a salvage car in New York, there are a few things you need to do. We’ll cover the basic steps first, then jump into the nitty gritty with details.

Determine if Your Car is Considered a Total Loss

As you’re aware, your auto insurance company determines if your car is a total loss. If you have a letter from your auto insurance provider that states your car is a total loss, you’ll need to proceed to the next step. If you don’t have a letter, your auto insurance company hasn’t deemed your vehicle a total loss. You need to have this letter from your auto insurance provider before you can continue the salvage car process.

Next, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Get a New York Salvage Certificate
  • Repair and retitle your car (if you’re going to keep or sell it)
  • Sell the car

More about Selling a Salvage Car in New York

The good news is it’s not too much of a hassle to complete the paperwork required to sell your salvage car in a private transaction, which means you are selling the car to another individual and not a dealership. As the car’s seller, you will need to provide the following paperwork to the buyer:

  • Proof of ownership
  • Odometer and damage disclosure statement (ONLY if this information is NOT provided on the back of the title) – if not, you can use an Odometer and Damage Disclosure Statement (Form MV-103)
  • Proof of purchase price or gift
  • Original documentation from the lienholder proving the lien is satisfied (if the car’s title indicates there is a lien on the vehicle) – the NY DMV will remove the lien when a new title is issued

Review the car title carefully for information about unsatisfied liens and to ensure all information that is provided is correct.

Specific Details You Need to Know When Selling Your Salvage Car in New York

When the time comes to part ways with your salvage vehicle, you have a few different options. You can sell the vehicle to a dealership, trade it in for a different car, or sell it to a private party (another individual).

If you sell your salvage car to an individual, you must provide proof of ownership for the vehicle. You will also need to remove the license plates from the car and the registration sticker from the windshield. Removing the license plates is one way to avoid being liable for parking or traffic tickets, or any other circumstances that involve the car.

The new owner of the vehicle is responsible for obtaining a new car title, new registration, and new license plates at a NY DMV branch. As the car’s seller, you are responsible for surrendering the car’s license plates to your local NY DMV office or transferring everything to a different vehicle you own before your auto insurance lapses. Failure to do either can result in a suspended New York driver’s license.

Can You Sell a Car Without the Title?

In New York, you can’t sell a car without the car’s title. Since you are the car’s seller, you are responsible for providing the car’s title to the buyer.

If you have misplaced the car’s title, you must visit a NY DMV branch and apply for a New York duplicate car title by completing and submitting a Vehicle Registration/Title Application (Form MV-82). If you have any questions or concerns regarding acquiring a duplicate car title, you can call Title Services at (518) 486-4714.

How to Sell a Car Without the Car’s Registration

There are different scenarios, all of which apply to the seller, of how to approach a situation if you no longer have the car’s registration.

Lost Registration

If you lost the car’s registration, you need to visit a NY DMV branch and complete a Vehicle Registration/Title Application (Form MV-82)

A Lost Registration That Can’t Be Duplicated

If the registration is lost and can’t be duplicated, you need to request a Certification of NYS Registration for Transfer of Non-Titled Vehicle (Form MV-353) from the NY DMV. This registration form is available at a NY DMV office. You must provide proof of identity and the $10 fee. Before the form is issued, the NY DMV will verify whether the vehicle is registered in your name.

Registration or Certificate of NYS Registration Can’t Be Duplicated

If neither the car’s registration nor the Certificate of NYS Registration for Transfer of a Non-Titled Vehicle can be duplicated, you need to provide a different proof of ownership of the car. In this situation, you may have avoided presenting your registration card for the car because it’s expired, but you can still use the registration card.

You can also use an original Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO). If you don’t have either of these documents, you must submit a Statement of Ownership (Form MV-51B).

You Never Registered the Vehicle

If you never registered the vehicle you’re donating, you are required to submit an Affidavit of Sale or Transfer (Form MV-51) to the NY DMV. You are also required to provide the car’s buyer with proof of ownership documentation and the bill of sale.

Salvage Vehicle Disclosure

The NY DMV no longer accepts the MV-899/MV-82TON application. Instead, you must complete a Salvage Examination/Title Application (Form MV-83SAL). This application is the form you need to apply for a salvage vehicle exam. This examination/title application:

  • Must clearly show the fees that apply to you
  • Can be completed online and printed
  • Includes a checklist to help you avoid missing documents

You can include your email address to receive notifications regarding your salvage car exam, which allows you to schedule your appointment sooner.

How to Get a Salvage Car Title in New York

The steps you’re required to take to obtain a salvage car title in New York depend on if the car was declared a salvage by you or your auto insurance company. In either scenario, you must first do the following:

  • Provide proof of ownership, which can be:
    • An NYS Salvage Certificate (Form MV-907A) that was issued by your auto insurance company AND the original title certificate, that indicates the car has been totaled. The original title certificate must be signed by you and the car’s buyer.
  • You can also provide the bill of sale, which must be signed by you and the car’s buyer.
  • Provide proof of identity, which can be shown using:
    • Your NY driver’s license
    • A NY State non-driver ID card
    • Other valid IDs, as provided by the NY DMV (for a list of acceptable documentation, click here).
  • Sales tax payment or purchase price (to pay the sales tax to the NY DMV)

Once you have completed the above-listed steps, the NY DMV will issue you a tax receipt (Form FS-6T). This tax receipt form is only available at a NY DMV branch.

The next step you need to take is to gather the following documentation:

  • A completed:
    •  Salvage Examination/Title Application (Form MV-83SAL) – you and the car’s buyer must sign this application
    • Odometer and Damage Disclosure Statement (Form MV-103) – you and the car’s buyer must sign this form. This statement is ONLY required if the title certificate does NOT include an odometer disclosure.
  • Your sales tax receipt (Form FS-6T) – this form is ONLY available at a NY DMV branch
  • Payment for all applicable NY salvage vehicle fees

If you have the NYS Salvage Certificate form that was issued by your auto insurance company, you will mail the above documents to the address below.

Auto Theft and Salvage, DFI
P.O. Box 2105
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12220

If you have the car’s original title with the car declared “salvage” you will mail the above documents to the address below.

Title Services Bureau
6 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12228

Once the NY DMV receives your documents, they will schedule your salvage vehicle examination.

New York Salvage Vehicle Inspection Requirements

Once you send your title and exam application to the NY DMV, your salvage vehicle needs to be inspected by the NY DMV. The NY DMV will send you a letter with your appointment details that include the following information:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Location

If you don’t receive a letter from the NY DMV, you need to contact your local NY DMV office and ask to schedule your salvage vehicle inspection. Be advised that you will need to pay the $150 inspection fee.

Please note that if you miss your scheduled examination, you must reapply for a new appointment and complete another Salvage Examination/Title Application (Form MV-83SAL). You will also need to pay the $150 reapplication fee.

Preparing for Your Salvage Vehicle Inspection

To arrive at your salvage car inspection, there are specific steps you are required by NY law to take. Salvage cars are not legally operational, which means you can only transport the vehicle under certain circumstances AND the proper documentation.

You can transport your salvage car to the inspection site by doing one of the following:

  • Transporting the car on a flatbed truck
  • Having it towed
  • Using a “dealer” or “transporter” license plate

You need to be aware that a New York salvage vehicle exam is none of the following:

  • A safety inspection
  • An emissions inspection
  • An insurance examination

Why is a New York Examination Required?

The New York State law requires the NY DMV to determine if a rebuilt salvage vehicle is stolen or includes stolen parts. This examination is to do the following:

  • Protect consumers
  • Locate stolen items
  • Prevent the theft of vehicles and vehicle parts

What Type of Vehicles Need a Salvage Examination?

A salvage vehicle that is recovered after a theft or rebuilt after the damage must be examined by the NY DMV BEFORE the NY DMV can issue a new title. If the proof of ownership for a salvage vehicle is a New York State Salvage Certificate (MV-907A), the NY DMV will NOT issue a title certificate without a salvage vehicle examination.

The NY DMV will NOT examine or issue a title certificate for a rebuilt vehicle that has an out-of-state title certificate or a Salvage Certificate that has any of the following labels:

  • Parts only
  • Non-rebuildable
  • Non-repairable
  • Scrapped
  • Destroyed

Vehicles with the above-listed labels are deemed not roadworthy. The NY DMV will NOT examine or issue a new title certificate or vehicle registration for a rebuilt salvage vehicle that does NOT have a title certificate or Salvage Certificate (MV-907A) that proves ownership of the vehicle.

Be advised that if the NY DMV finds that a recently registered vehicle has a salvage history, the DMV will notify you that the vehicle must endure the salvage vehicle process. The NY DMV will NOT issue a New York State title or allow you to renew your vehicle registration until the vehicle is examined and the title is issued. Once the salvage examination process is completed and the title is issued, you can register the vehicle.

What Happens at a New York Salvage Car Inspection?

The NY salvage car inspection can be a pain, but it’s necessary. There is a lot of paperwork involved in the salvage car inspection process. You can find a checklist that has the required forms, documents, and identification types you need to take with you to the salvage inspection on the Salvage Examination/Title Application (Form MV-83SAL).

Make sure you arrive on time for your scheduled inspection. Showing up more than 30 minutes late for this appointment requires you to reschedule the exam and pay an additional salvage exam fee. As for your salvage car, it will need to have working airbags and a clearly visible vehicle identification number (VIN).

At the salvage inspection, you must do the following:

  • Pay the NY salvage inspection fee
  • Open all of the vehicle’s doors, hood, and deck lid
  • Describe the repair work
  • Point out the parts of the car that were replaced

This exam should last approximately 30 minutes. The NY DMV should send your salvage car title in the mail within 5 weeks of the car passing the examination. Once you receive the title, you need to re-register the salvage car.

How to Register a New York Salvaged Car

To be able to legally operate your salvage car, it needs to be registered. Once you have the car’s salvage title, you must visit your local NT DMV branch. Make sure you take your salvage vehicle title with you! To register your salvage car, you will follow the same steps you need to take to register a car in New York. Once you register your salvage car, you can hit the streets of New York and any other state in your salvage car!

New York Salvaged Car Fees

The NY DMV charges the following fees for salvaged cars:

  • Application fee (varies according to proof of ownership):
    • NYS Salvage Certificate: $200
    • All other proofs of vehicle ownership: $205
  • NY inspection fee: $150
    • Missed exam re-application fee: $150

You can pay the above fees by money order or check made payable to the “Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.” You may also be responsible for the following costs:

  • Titling fees
  • Registration fees
  • Sales tax

If you have any questions or concerns about the New York fees for salvage vehicles, you can contact your local NY DMV branch for more information.

How is a New York Salvage Title Different from a New York Junk Title?

That’s a good question, and it’s one we get often. Cars that have a New York salvage title can be repaired or rebuilt to meet New York’s safety standards and driven again. On the other hand, New York junk cars can NOT be repaired or legally operated on roads and highways.

Who Buys Salvage Cars Near Me in New York?

There are tons of salvage yards in New York. We’ve created a list of salvage yards throughout the state of New York to give you a jump start on getting your salvage car sold. It’s best if you choose the salvage yard that’s closest to you. Although we can’t list every NY salvage yard, we made a list of salvage yards in New York that has excellent reviews.

Ace Auto Salvage
1335 Castleton Ave.
Staten Island, NY 10310
(718) 273-4100
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday (8 AM-1:30 PM)
Sunday (Closed)

Anton Junicic Ent. Inc.
776 3rd Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11232
(718) 768-8884
Monday – Friday (8:30 AM – 5:30 PM)
Saturday (8:30 AM – 5:30 PM)
Sunday (Closed)

D&D Salvage Corp
85 E 2nd Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 473-2045
Monday – Friday (7 AM-3:30 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

Can You Insure a Salvage Title Car in New York?

You can’t insure a salvage car in New York. You can, however, insure a salvage/rebuilt car. To obtain auto insurance for your salvage car, the car needs to pass the NY safety inspection. Next, you need to re-title the car. Once you complete these steps, you can obtain auto insurance.

Can I Salvage My Car Without a Title in New York?

Documents often get lost. So, if you no longer have the car’s title, you can scrap the car with the registration card. Either document must be presented to the scrap yard to show proof of ownership of the car. Although these documents can be used in other situations as documentation for car transactions, the following documents can NOT be used to show proof of ownership:

  • A bill of sale (this is a document that can be forged easily)
  • Proof of insurance (it’s easy to insure a vehicle that is NOT in your name)
  • Cash and bribery (this one goes without saying, but just in case, cash and bribery won’t work because the salvage yard is responsible for reporting every car they obtain).

Depending on the car’s condition, the offer for your salvage car can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars! You will receive your funds once the tow truck driver inspects the car and checks the VIN to ensure the correct car is picked up.

Getting More Money for Your Salvage Car

If your goal is to get more money for your salvage car, you can part out the car by selling it for parts. You can take the car to a mechanic to help you remove parts of the car that are the most valuable.

Selling Your Car As-Is

Selling a salvage car can sometimes be a hassle because a lot of buyers are skeptical of the car’s reliability, especially if you rebuilt the car. If you don’t want the hassle of making the required repairs to rebuild your car, you can also sell your car as-is, which is a great option for mechanics who are looking for a DIY project. There are different online marketplaces you can use to sell your car, such as Craigslist and groups on social media, but be mindful of the platform’s selling fees and any other fees that may apply to selling your car with them.

Disclosing Information

Although you’re getting rid of your salvage car, until you sign the car’s title over to another individual, you are responsible for disclosing ALL information regarding the car’s condition and all repairs and modifications that have been made, including information about the parts that were used to restore the car, and any other paperwork that is required before actually selling the car.

You must keep the receipts for the parts that were purchased, the fees to repair the car (if the car was repaired by a mechanic), and information about the parts that were used to restore the car. This essential information is required by law, and not disclosing this information can result in having to pay multiple NY fees and penalties.

How Do You Apply for a Rebuilt Car Title in New York?

To legally operate your rebuilt salvage vehicle in New York, you must apply for and obtain a New York rebuilt car title. In New York, cars that are 8 years old or newer and the owner of the car received an auto insurance claim payout of at least 75% of the car’s value are considered salvage. Cars that meet these criteria are issued a salvage certificate and are illegal to operate until you apply for and receive a New York rebuilt car title.

To receive a rebuilt New York title, you need to fix your car and pass the NY state’s salvage vehicle inspection. You can NOT apply for a New York rebuilt title if your vehicle has an out-of-state title or a salvage certificate with one of the following labels:

  • Non-rebuildable
  • Parts-only
  • Non-repairable
  • Destroyed
  • Scrapped

Important Documents to Include with Your New York Rebuilt Title Application

To ensure your Salvage Examination/Title Application is not rejected, make sure you sign the bottom of the MV-83SAL form and enclose a check for the appropriate amount. You will also need to include the following documentation:

  • Proof of identity
  • Original lien/lien release (if applicable)
  • Original proof of ownership
  • Sales tax receipt (follow the instructions on Form FS-6T)
  • Original bill of sale

To pass the NY salvage exam, you must present receipts for any parts that were used to repair your vehicle and each of these receipts must be included in the vehicle identification (VIN) of the car from which they were originally taken.

During the exam, the inspector will ensure your vehicle is safe for road operation and verify that the repairs match what’s written on the insurance claim and that you haven’t used stolen parts to repair your vehicle.

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

The amount of time it takes to receive your NY rebuilt car title depends on how long it takes you to repair your vehicle. Once you initiate this process with the NY DMV, you can expect your rebuilt car title in approximately 3 to 5 weeks between the time you submit your Salvage Examination/Title Application and your examination appointment. After you pass the salvage exam, you will receive your rebuilt title in approximately 15 days.

New York Vehicle Registration Fees

You are required to pay registration fees and taxes on your vehicle. NY registration fees include sales tax, vehicle license plate fees, title certification fees, and vehicle use tax in some NY counties.

  • Plate fee: $25
  • Title certificate fee: $50
  • Sales tax of your jurisdiction

Be advised that there is also a 2-year fee of $32.50 if you operate an electric vehicle or a car that has at least 6 cylinders. Other New York vehicle registration fees vary based on your vehicle’s weight and cover a 2-year period. You can access the New York DMV fee page to get a general idea of what it will cost to register your vehicle.

You’re done! You now know how to sell a salvage car in New York. Congratulations!