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Let’s get ready to sell a salvage car in the Tar Heel State! Selling a salvage car has different rules and guidelines that must be followed, and since the car is a salvage, there are different forms you need to complete and submit to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (NC DMV). Now it’s time to discuss the ins and outs of selling a salvage car in North Carolina.

What is Considered a Salvaged Car in North Carolina?

According to the NC DMV, a salvaged car is a car that has extensive damage and to repair the damages, including parts and labor, would exceed more than 75% of the car’s fair market value.

Salvage-branded vehicles can include the following titles:

  • Flood Vehicle: the car has been partially or completely submerged in water and the body, engine, and/or transmission is damaged.
  • Junk Vehicle: the car has sustained extensive damage to the point that its only value is as a source of parts or scraps. The NC DMV will NOT title or register vehicles that have junk titles.
  • Salvage Rebuilt Vehicle: the car is a salvage but was rebuilt to meet the state’s legal and safety standards, allowing you to retitle and reregister the car.
  • Reconstructed Vehicle: the vehicle’s major components have been removed, added, or replaced.

Your auto insurance provider determines if your car is a salvage and whether it requires special branding. If you have questions or concerns regarding salvage vehicle qualifications, you can contact the NC DMV at (919) 861-3500.

How Do You Sell a Salvage Car in North Carolina?

Selling your car to a salvage yard in North Carolina will be hassle-free if you follow these steps.

Determine if Your Car is a “Total”

As you know, your auto insurance company determines if your car is a total loss. If you have yet to receive a letter from your auto insurance company stating that your car is totaled, you don’t have anything to worry about at this point. If you have received a letter from your auto insurance company, you can move on to the next steps.

Obtain a North Carolina Salvage Certificate

If you accept a partial settlement and keep your totaled vehicle, your auto insurance company will sell the car back to you. Once you endure the negotiation process with your auto insurance provider, you will be required to apply for a duplicate NC car title with the NC DMV. The DMV will brand your duplicate car title as salvaged and mail a paper copy to you, which will serve as your salvage vehicle title. We’ll explain total loss claims late on in this article.

Be advised that your salvage car will always be considered a salvage regardless of the efforts you put into the car to rebuild it and legally operate it on roads and highways. All warranties that were valid on the car before the accident are no longer valid.

Repairing and Retitling the Car

Since your car is a salvage car and not a junk car, you have the option to rebuild your car. You can make the necessary repairs or hire a mechanic. You can also rebuild the car and sell it, which is the more lucrative option.

Selling the Car

So, you’re getting ready to sell your salvage car. Whether you’re selling the car as-is or if you’re selling a rebuilt version of the car, you are required BY LAW to disclose the current and past condition of the car, which means you must disclose to all potential buyers that the car is a salvage.

What is a Total Loss Settlement?

Now we can discuss total loss settlements in North Carolina, as promised! When you have a salvage vehicle, you will file a total loss claim with your auto insurance company.

As part of the claim, you need to decide whether you want to transfer ownership of the salvaged car to your auto insurance provider by satisfying any liens and signing over the title, or retain ownership of the vehicle and apply for the car’s salvage title on your own.

We should note that most auto insurance companies will pay you full damages on the vehicle, after which you won’t have to worry about dealing with the vehicle again.

If you’re going to handle things your way, your auto insurance company will give you a Notification of Owner Retained Vehicle form (Form MVR-4C). You must complete this form, have it notarized, and return it to your auto insurance provider.

Once you have the salvage title, you can sell the car to a junkyard, recycler, or another type of vehicle dismantling business, or to an individual. You can also repair the car so that it meets North Carolina’s safe and legal operating regulations and apply for a rebuilt NC car title.

The best choice for your situation depends on the time and money you can commit to your salvaged car. Make sure to speak with your insurance agent about what they’d suggest, as they’ll know the salvage car process.

How to Apply for a Duplicate North Carolina Car Title

If there are ANY liens on the car’s title, you will need the notarized lien release. The lienholder must complete the bottom portion of the application in the presence of a notary.

You can submit your NC duplicate car title request in person by visiting a DMV office. Otherwise, you can submit your application by mail directly to the Raleigh address that is provided on the form.

Applying for a Lost NC Car Title in Person

To apply for a duplicate NC car title, you must do the following:

  • Complete an Application for a Duplicate Title (Form MVR-4) before a notary. (if you are asked for your title number, chances are, they are referring to your vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • Pay the $21.50 fee for the replacement NC car title (you can pay this fee using a money order, cash, or a personal check).

Make sure you take your valid driver’s license with you to your local NC DMV branch. Also, you will NOT be issued your duplicate title immediately. The NC DMV requires that all duplicate title applications age for at least 15 days.

How is a Salvage Title Different from a Junk Title?

This is one question that we get asked a lot. Although salvage and junk cars have similarities in terms of the damage they sustained, they are NOT the same. Salvage cars can be repaired and junk cars can NOT, which means a junk car will NEVER be able to be legally operated on roads on highways regardless of the repairs you make.

Who Buys Salvage Cars Near Me?

There are different salvage yards in North Carolina. Although we can’t list every salvage yard in NC, we made a list of the NC salvage yards we found that have excellent reviews.

High Point Auto Salvage
2711 W English Rd.
High Point, NC 27262
(336) 889-9062
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

Wagner’s Auto Salvage Inc.
4115 Alston Ave.
Durham, NC 27713
(919) 544-1729
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday (9 AM – 3 PM)
Sunday (Closed)

Dunn Auto Salvage
989 Antioch Church Rd.
Dunn, NC 28334
(910) 892-7785
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5:30 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

All-Star Auto Parts of Winston Salem
7224 Old Lexington Rd.
Winston Salem, NC 27107
(336) 785-1730
Monday – Friday (9 AM – 9 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (9 AM – 11 PM)

Can You Insure a Salvage Title Car in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, you can’t insure a car that has a standard salvage title. You can, however, you can insure a car that has a rebuilt salvage title. Once you complete the necessary repairs, the car will need to be inspected to ensure it passes NC’s safety and operation standards. After the car passes inspection, you need to re-register and re-title the car. When you complete these steps, you can obtain North Carolina auto insurance and legally operate the car on roads and highways.

Can I Salvage My Car Without a Title in North Carolina?

Yes. You can scrap your car without having the title in North Carolina. However, you must have a document that proves you are the legal owner of the car, such as the car’s registration card. Keep in mind that the following documents can NOT be used to prove ownership of the car:

  • 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 have your funds the same day the tow truck driver picks up your car.

If you want to put a few more extra dollars in your pocket, you can part out your 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.

You also have the option to sell your car as-is. There are different online marketplaces you can use to sell your car. Keep in mind that you are responsible for notifying potential buyers about the car’s history. However, many buyers will be hesitant to purchase a car that doesn’t have a standard car title because of the repairs that need to be made but don’t give up! Having the receipts and information about the parts that were used to repair the car can help you get rid of it quickly.

How Do You Apply for a Reconstructed Car Title in North Carolina?

A reconstructed car title in NC is also referred to as a rebuilt car title. To obtain a reconstructed car title, you must do the following:

  • Have the inspector’s report(s) that states your vehicle passed the required inspection(s)
  • The vehicle’s salvage title
  • A Rebuilder’s Affidavit that includes the following:
    • Parts replaced or used in repairing the vehicle
    • Replaced parts
    • Hourly labor rate and number of hours of labor it took to repair the vehicle
    • Cost of replacing the airbag restraint system
    • Presence of the “Total Loss Claim Vehicle” sticker in the doorjamb (if possible)
    • The total cost of repairs
  • Proof of auto insurance
  • Your NC driver’s license
  • Payment for all applicable title fees

How Do You Register a Salvage Title Car in North Carolina?

You can register your vehicle in person or by mail. Before you head to your local NC DMV to register your salvage car, make sure you have an active auto insurance policy for the car.

Registering Your Car in Person

If you’re registering your car in person, you need to visit your local NC DMV branch and present the following:

  • Your valid NC driver’s license or ID card
  • Proof of a valid auto insurance policy
  • A notarized vehicle title (if the lienholder has the vehicle title, you must present your current out-of-state registration and odometer reading. If there are co-owners on the vehicle, all required documents must be submitted or completed with all owners present.
  • A lien release (if applicable)
  • The following forms must be completed:
    • Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form MVR-180) – required for vehicles less than 10 years old.
    • The bill of sale
  • Cash, check, or money order for the plate fee of $38.75, and all other applicable state fees and taxes

Registering by Mail

You can also register your salvage car by mail, which is a popular option if you are currently out of the state. You need to provide all the documents listed above and a copy of your driver’s license, and mail everything to the following address:

Vehicle Titles/Liens, Duplicate Registration
3148 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27697

Registration Stops

North Carolina can stop the registration process for different reasons. If you have any of the following issues, they must be settled before you will be eligible to register your vehicle:

  • Debt to the NC DMV – all debts must be paid to the NC DMV BEFORE you can register a vehicle
  • Credit Warning – if you have ever given the NC DMV a bad check, you need to contact the NC DMV at (919) 715-7000 to clear the stop.
  • Unpaid Child Support – you need to contact the Department of Health and Human Services at (919) 855-4800 if you have failed to pay child support.
  • Issues with Vehicle Documents – Your registration will be withheld IF there are any discrepancies or problems with the vehicle title, vehicle identification number (VIN), loans, application, etc.
  • Unpaid County Taxes – county taxes must be paid before you can register your car
  • Drunk Driving Charge – any individual who has lost their license as a result of a DWI must contact the Administrative Office of Courts at (919) 890-1000.
  • Lack of Insurance – you are required to provide proof of insurance to register your vehicle
  • Stolen Vehicle – if your vehicle has been reported as stolen, you need to contact the NC DMV License and Theft Bureau at (919) 861-3141 to clear the report

That’s it! You now know how to sell a salvage car in North Carolina. Congratulations!