How to Sell a Salvage Car in North Dakota

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Do you have a salvaged vehicle sitting around? Maybe in your garage, driveway, or shed? Maybe your vehicle was recently deemed a “total loss” by your auto insurance carrier. In either scenario, you can keep and rebuild the vehicle or sell it. Let’s talk about selling your salvage car in North Dakota.

How Is a Salvage Vehicle Defined in North Dakota?

The North Dakota Department of Transportation (ND DOT) considers vehicles that sustain damages that exceed 75% of their actual cash value a salvaged vehicle. If your vehicle meets this criteria, your auto insurance carrier will determine if the vehicle meets the criteria for a total loss. If so, your auto insurance provider will ask you to file a total loss claim. If your vehicle is branded as a salvage, you must have a salvage certificate of title.

What Are Auto Insurance Settlement Claims?

An auto insurance claim will be an option if your auto insurance carrier declares your vehicle a “total loss”. In this scenario, you will have the option to claim a full or partial settlement. Accepting a settlement is the first step in your salvage car-selling journey. We’ll talk about both settlements so you know the difference between the two settlements and which settlement may work best for you.

Full Settlements

If you accept a full settlement, your auto insurance carrier will keep the vehicle and pay you the vehicle’s actual cash value minus the deductible. Unless you are required to provide proof of lien satisfaction, the vehicle will be your auto insurance provider’s responsibility.

Partial Settlements

If you accept a partial settlement, you keep the car, and your auto insurance provider will pay you the actual cash value of the vehicle minus the deductible and the vehicle’s value as a salvage. Since you are keeping the car, you are still responsible for it.

You must apply for a salvaged car title. Once you have the salvage title, you can sell your car for parts or have it inspected and obtain a rebuilt car title.

The best settlement depends on your unique circumstances and the amount of time and money you can commit to the salvaged vehicle. Speak with your auto insurance representative to learn more about your options, so you can make an informed decision on the next steps you’ll take.

North Dakota Salvage Title Eligibility Requirements

Vehicle owners in North Dakota who plan on applying for a salvage title may be required to meet specific eligibility criteria to be allowed to begin the process of obtaining an ND salvage title. First, you must be the salvage (total loss) car’s legal owner to apply for a salvage title.

The vehicle must have sustained damages that account for at least 76% of its predetermined retail value. Once these requirements are met, you will be eligible to apply for a North Dakota salvage certificate.

Actual Cash Value or Replacement Cost?

Actual cash value (ACV) and replacement cost can be confusing, but we’ve got an easy way to look at things. The ACV and replacement cost are both methods that can be used to compensate for the loss of a vehicle. By definition, the ACV is the market value of your vehicle minus depreciation. The vehicle’s replacement cost is the amount it would cost to purchase a new vehicle of the same make and model. In general, ACV policies usually have lower premiums than replacement cost policies. However, ACV policies also pay less in the event of a claim.

So, if you’re interested in replacing your total loss vehicle with the same make and model, you’ll want to accept the replacement cost, which is a full settlement. If you would prefer to rebuild your vehicle, you’ll accept the ACV, which is a partial settlement, keep your car, and be able to rebuild the car and obtain a rebuilt car title.

Can You Sell a Salvaged Car in North Dakota?

You can sell a salvage car in ND as long as you’re the legal owner of the vehicle. Any vehicle (car, truck, pickup), or unconventional vehicle that is less than 9 years old and has an ND vehicle title is required to have a Damage/Salvage Disclosure Statement (Form SFN 18609).

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

Although North Dakota does NOT require a bill of sale to sell a vehicle in a private party transaction (selling a vehicle to another individual and NOT a business), this document is good to have as a receipt of the transaction.

As the salvage vehicle’s owner, you can complete and sign a Seller’s Certificate and Vehicle Bill of Sale (Form SFN 2888). If you choose to use a North Dakota bill of sale (which we recommend), make sure the following information is on the document:

  • Contact information for the buyer and seller
  • Accurate description of the vehicle
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • The vehicle’s final selling price

Avoiding Salvage Title Fraud

Salvage title fraud isn’t as tricky as it may sound. However, getting caught up in salvage title fraud is a nightmare. You can face multiple fees and fines when you are caught. How do you avoid salvage title fraud?

Good question! You MUST disclose that you are selling a salvage vehicle to avoid salvage title fraud. A lot of people think they can get more money for their vehicle by cutting corners and neglecting to tell potential buyers the vehicle has a salvage title. Be advised that salvage title fraud is a crime! There are laws, such as the Lemon Law, that protect buyers who unknowingly purchase a salvage-branded vehicle.

Are There Salvage Vehicle Restrictions in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, you can’t operate a salvage vehicle on roads and highways. To operate the salvage car again, the car must be repaired to North Dakota’s safety standards and inspected. If the vehicle passes inspection, you will be eligible to apply for an ND rebuilt car title.

Can You Sell a Salvaged Vehicle Without Its Title in North Dakota?

The ND DOT states that you can’t sell a vehicle in ND if you don’t have the title certificate. If you lost or damaged the car’s title, you must request a duplicate car title before you can complete the transfer of ownership.

Can You Sell a Salvage Car Without Its Registration?

Yes, you should be able to sell your salvage vehicle without the car’s registration. If you don’t have the car’s salvage title, you may be able to use the car’s registration card as proof of ownership. However, in most situations, the car’s registration is not required.

How Do I Get a Salvage Car Title in North Dakota?

To obtain a North Dakota Salvage Vehicle title, you are required to return the car’s original title to the ND MVD within 10 days of your auto insurance carrier declaring your vehicle a total loss. The ND MVD will issue your salvaged vehicle title after you pay the $5. If you have questions, or concerns, or need assistance with obtaining your car’s salvage title, contact the ND MVD at (701) 328-2725.

North Dakota Salvage Car Inspections

Once you repair your salvage-branded vehicle, it is required to pass an ND inspection before you will be eligible to apply for a rebuilt car title in ND with the ND MVD. Your repaired vehicle can be inspected at most local repair shops. However, the shop MUST be registered with the North Dakota Secretary of State (SOS) and not the same shop that repaired your salvage vehicle. You can use the SOS business records search to confirm the shop’s ND registration.

The vehicle inspector will complete a Certificate of Vehicle Inspection (Form SFN 2486) to indicate whether specific vehicle parts of your rebuilt or reconstructed vehicle meet ND’s safety standards. This inspector may ask to view vehicle repair-related documents, including the following:

  • Bills of sale for replacement components
  • Receipts for parts used to reconstruct the vehicle
  • Invoices for the repair services performed on your vehicle

It’s a good idea to contact the inspection station for help with determining the paperwork you must take to the inspection. If you have questions about getting your salvage vehicle to ND’s safety standards, call the ND MVD at (701) 328-2725.

North Dakota Vehicle Registration Fees

In North Dakota, you can expect to pay the following fees:

  • Registration fee: $49 to $274
  • Title fee: $5
  • License plate transfer fee: $5

You can use the North Dakota Fee Calculation System provided by the MVD to calculate your registration fees. Be advised that these fees are subject to change. You must have the ND title number of the vehicle, or the vehicle’s year model and the year you initially registered the vehicle, which will be within 1 year of the car’s model. Depending on the type of vehicle you’re calculating fees for, you may be required to provide the shipping or gross weight of the vehicle. You will also need to provide the following:

  • Vehicle’s purchase price
  • Date the vehicle was acquired
  • Make, model identification number, year
  • Allowance of trade-in vehicle

Apportioned vehicles can’t be calculated using this fee system, and all fees will be recalculated by the MVD. These fees are subject to change.

Do I Have a North Dakota Salvage Title or a Junk Title?

We’re glad you asked. When some people hear “salvage title”, their minds automatically think of junk title. However, these titles are NOT the same. Your car has a salvage title, which means your auto insurance provider declared your vehicle a total loss. With a salvage car title, you can repair/rebuild your vehicle and if it passes inspection, you can apply for an ND rebuilt car title.

Junk car titles however do not work the same. If your car has a junk title, you won’t be able to repair the vehicle and obtain a rebuilt car title. The only thing you can do is sell it to a junkyard or scrap yard. It is illegal to sell a junk car.

Who Buys Salvage Cars Near Me in North Dakota?

You have a few options if you want to sell your vehicle to a salvage yard in North Dakota. We didn’t list all the salvage yard locations, but we did, however, list a handful of these locations to get you started.

Dakota Wrecking & Salvage
420 41st St. SE
Minot, ND 58701
(701) 838-2842
Monday – Friday (9 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

Swartwout Auto Salvage
3301 153rd St. NE
Surrey, ND 58785
(701) 728-6572
Monday – Friday (9 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday (10 AM – 3 PM)?
Sunday (Closed)

B&F Salvage
200 36th Ave. NE
Minot, ND 58703
(701) 852-5011
Call for business hours

When Can I Get Auto Insurance for My Vehicle?

You won’t be able to get an auto insurance policy while your vehicle has a salvage title. However, after your vehicle passes the ND inspection, you can apply for a rebuilt car title. Once you have the rebuilt car title, you can get auto insurance.

What Selling Options Do I Have for Selling My Salvage Car in North Dakota?

If you’re selling your vehicle and not rebuilding it, you have a few options. Remember that these options depend on your goal of selling the vehicle. Keep in mind that you are required by law to disclose that you are selling a salvage-branded vehicle. Stay clear of salvage title fraud! Let’s take a detailed look at your North Dakota salvage vehicle selling options.

Private Sale

Private sales are common for salvaged vehicles. In a private sale, you’re selling your vehicle to another person and not a business, such as a salvage yard or junkyard. Selling your vehicle in a private sale is not a bad idea. However, can take time for a buyer to purchase your vehicle. In this instance, you’ll want to provide as many details about the car as possible, and include pictures of the vehicle from all angles so buyers can see the damage the car sustained, and some of the repairs that need to be made.

Selling for Parts

You can also sell your car for parts, which can be lucrative. When you “part out” your vehicle, you’ll remove the valuable parts of the car and sell them. If you need help, that’s okay! A mechanic can help you identify the car parts that can be sold and remove them.

Selling As-Is

Selling your vehicle as-is, is a great option if you don’t want to put any time and effort into repairing your salvage vehicle. The good news is that someone else will be willing to rebuild the vehicle, complete the paperwork, and obtain a rebuilt title. In this scenario, once you sign over the car’s title, you are no longer responsible for anything that pertains to that vehicle, including fees and other liabilities. The responsibility of the car will fall upon the new owner.

Salvage Yard or Junkyard

Selling your car to a salvage yard or junkyard is another option for getting rid of your salvage car. This is a good option if you want cash in hand and quickly! You’ll need the car’s title, so make sure you have that.

You can often junk your car online. You’ll need the car’s information, such as the VIN, make, model, and year, and you’ll need to tell the salvage yard or junkyard about the damage the vehicle sustained. These facilities often offer free towing, however, check with the location to ensure free towing is available.

Common Difficulties That Can Occur When Selling a Salvage Car in North Dakota

Selling a salvage car will be difficult, but it can be done. Selling any car can be frustrating, but selling a salvage car can be even more frustrating, especially if you’re not prepared. Salvage cars are specific, meaning that it’s a specific type of vehicle. It’s not a new car or a used car. It’s a salvage, so try to find platforms that specialize in selling salvage-branded vehicles. These platforms will have awesome selling tools that will help you sell your salvage vehicle.

How Do I Apply for a Rebuilt Car Title in North Dakota?

After your vehicle passes the ND inspection, you can apply for a rebuilt ND car title. To begin, mail the following items to the ND MVD:

  • An Application for Certificate of Title & Registration of a Vehicle (Form SFN 2872)
  • A Certificate of Vehicle Inspection (Form SFN 2486). This form should have been completed at your salvage inspection.
  • The salvage vehicle title
  • Payment for the $5 title fee

Send the above documentation to the following address:

Motor Vehicle Division
ND DOT
608 E. Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58505

BEFORE you put your application in the mail, contact the ND MVD at (701) 328-2725 for details regarding additional paperwork and other required steps. Once your application is approved by the MVD, you will receive your rebuilt ND car title with the words “previously salvaged” on the front. Now you can hit the road again. Congratulations!

How Long Will It Take to Receive a Rebuilt North Dakota Car Title?

Once the ND MVD receives your rebuilt car application, it will take at least 10 days to receive the title. Make sure the information you provide is correct before mailing the application. Incorrect information on the application will delay this process, and it will take longer to receive your rebuilt car title.

You now know different ways to sell your salvage car or rebuild it in North Dakota! Take what you’ve learned and get back on the road.