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If you’ve never sold a salvage car, you probably don’t know how to start the process, the documents you need, and where to submit the documents. You’re in luck because we’re here to save the day. This article will tell you everything you need to know about selling your salvage car in Oregon.

What Criteria Do Cars Need to Meet to Be Considered a Salvage in Oregon?

The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (OR DMV) classifies cars that are either covered by auto insurance, but the insurer declares the vehicle a total loss or a car that is not covered by auto insurance and the repair costs exceed at least 80% of the car’s fair market value a salvage car.

In general, auto insurance companies base their decision to deem a car a salvage based on the car’s fair market value and how much it would cost to repair the car to operating condition. The bottom line in this situation is, your auto insurance provider will determine whether your vehicle qualifies as a salvage, also referred to as a total loss vehicle.

If My Car is Deemed a Salvage, Does That Mean My Car Is a Junk Car?

Junk cars can only be sold for scraps or parts. Since your car is a salvage, you can legally sell your car when the proper information is disclosed. Junk cars can’t obtain any other car title, including a salvage title.

Common branding that junk cars have can include the following:

  • Non-repairable
  • Non-rebuildable
  • Dismantled
  • Scrap
  • Parts only

Oregon Salvage Car Regulations

Salvage cars can’t be registered in Oregon. Cars that have a salvage title also can’t be driven on roads and highways, and you can’t obtain auto insurance for these cars. However, you can repair the car to proper working order and obtain an Oregon rebuilt car title. Unlike other states, Oregon does not require salvage cars to go through an inspection before a salvage title is received. However, if you’re going to rebuild your car to drive it again, it must pass an Oregon safety inspection. Once the inspection is passed, you can apply for an Oregon rebuilt car title.

What Do I Do If I Want to Drive My Salvage Car Again?

If you want to drive your salvage car again, you’ll have to repair the car so that it’s operable, and obtain a rebuilt car title. You will also have to pay all applicable fees at this time. Make sure you have the car’s title and other required documentation, such as your Oregon ID or driver’s license.

If you’re mechanically inclined, you make the necessary repairs or hire a mechanic to make the repairs. The car must pass a safety inspection before you will receive your rebuilt car title, allowing you to drive the car again.

How Do I Get My Car’s Salvage Title?

To obtain an Oregon salvage title, you must apply for one at your local OR DMV branch. To apply, you will need the following:

  • A completed Application for Salvage Title (Form 735-229)
  • The original car title or another proof of ownership (such as the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO)
  • Proof of interest release from any former vehicle owners, such as lienholders or lessors
  • An odometer disclosure (if the vehicle is 20 years old or newer) – You can use the back of the car title to obtain a Secure Odometer Disclosure from your local OR DMV branch.
  • Payment for the $27 salvage title fee

You can submit these documents in person at your local OR DMV branch or by mail to the following address:

DMV – Salvage Titles
1905 Lana Avenue N.E.
Salem, OR 97314

If you need assistance or have questions or concerns regarding the salvage title process in Oregon, call the Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division at (503) 945-5122.

Once you receive your salvage title, you can start making the necessary repairs to your salvage vehicle. When the OR DMV issues your salvaged title, the car’s registration will be canceled. You won’t be able to renew the registration or purchase or display license plates on the car with a salvaged title. To transport the vehicle to be repaired, you must purchase a trip permit.

What is a Trip Permit and Why Do I Need One?

A trip permit allows you to temporarily operate an unregistered vehicle on Oregon roads or operate a registered vehicle differently than the current vehicle registration allows. Trip permits are available for the following:

  • Passenger vehicles
  • Light trailers
  • Travel trailers
  • Campers
  • Motor Homes
  • Snowmobiles
  • Motorcycles
  • Mopeds

You can use the DMV2U site to purchase your trip permit. Be advised that trip permits are non-refundable. You can purchase other trip permits from the Commerce and Compliance Division for the following:

  • Heavy Motor Vehicle/Over-Dimension
  • Heavy Trailer; or
  • Registration Weight

How Do I Apply for an Oregon Trip Permit?

To apply for an OR trip permit, you must provide the following information and payment for all applicable fees:

  • Your name and address
  • Driver’s license or ID card number and the state that issued it
  • The year, make, and model of the vehicle
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN) – If the OR DMV doesn’t have a record of the vehicle, you must provide a copy of your auto insurance card or policy, registration card, sales contract, or a pencil tracing of the VIN.
  • Auto insurance company name and policy number (for motor vehicles ONLY)
  • Any additional requirements listed for the type of trip permit for which you are applying
  • Payment for the trip permit fee

How Long is a Salvage Title Valid?

A salvage title does not expire. Your car will maintain a salvage title unless you repair the car and receive a rebuilt car title. Once your car has a salvage title, it will still retain a salvage title of some sort. For example, obtaining a rebuilt car title allows you to legally operate the car on roads and highways again, but it is not a “clean” title, meaning the car has not sustained severe damage or been totaled.

Can I Keep My Salvage Title Car?

Yes. Keeping your salvage car is an option. You will make this decision in your total loss claim. You can go over everything with your auto insurance representative and make the decision that best suits you.

Oregon Total Loss Claims in Oregon

In most scenarios, the first step with a salvage car in Oregon is completing a total loss claim with your auto insurance provider. Your car could be deemed a total loss based on the car’s fair market value, the amount of damage the car sustained, and how much it will cost to repair the car to safe operable status.

If your auto insurance company determines that your car is a total loss, you can accept a full settlement or a partial settlement. It’s your choice, but we’ll give you information on both types of settlements so you can make an educated decision about the settlement that fits you based on your circumstances.

Full Settlement

In a full settlement, your auto insurance provider pays you the full amount for damages, and you sign over the car title to the provider. At this time, the vehicle is no longer your responsibility. As part of assigning the vehicle ownership to your auto insurance provider, you may be required to provide proof of lien satisfaction. This will not apply to everyone.

Partial Settlement

With a partial settlement, your auto insurance provider pays for partial damages and you keep your vehicle. You can check Oregon’s information on settlement payments to get an idea of how much compensation you will receive if you decide to keep your car.

If you keep your car, you can sell it to a scrapyard, dismantle, or recycler, or repair the car and apply for a rebuilt car title.

What is Salvage Title Fraud and How Does it Affect the Way I Sell My Salvage Car?

Salvage title fraud is knowingly selling your salvage title car to someone without disclosing that the car is a salvage. You could also be penalized under Oregon’s Lemon Law. In Oregon, and most other states, you are required to disclose that the car you’re selling is a salvage. Failure to do so could result in different penalties and fines.

The following are terms other than “salvage” that indicate a car is a salvage:

  • Warranty returned
  • Totaled
  • Reconditioned
  • Junk
  • Non-repairable
  • Reconstructed/Rebuilt
  • Flood damaged
  • Damaged payback

What Documents Are Required to Sell a Salvage Car in Oregon?

You’ll need the following documents to sell your salvage car in Oregon:

  • A signed and notarized title transfer form
  • An odometer reading (this may be located on the back of the title)
  • Having a bill of sale helps, but is optional
  • Access to the DMV2U website to notify the OR DMV of the sale of your vehicle

What Information Should I Include On the Bill of Sale?

If you choose to use a bill of sale, make sure you include 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

The bill of sale is good to have because it’s a legal document that proves the sale of a vehicle. This document acts as a receipt for you and the buyer, and it’s proof that you are no longer the owner of a vehicle. With a bill of sale, the buyer can clear the car’s title and registration for a rebuilt car title once they repair the car.

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

No. You must have the car’s title to sell a salvage car in Oregon. Attempting to sell a car without the title is a Class A misdemeanor in Oregon. If you are selling a car in Oregon, you must comply with the requirements under ORS 803.025 and 803.045. Since you are selling a salvage vehicle, you must follow the requirements of ORS 819.016. If you’ve lost your Oregon salvage car title, you must complete an Application for Salvage Title (Form 229), and submit it at your local OR DMV branch.

Do I Also Need to Have the Car’s Registration to Sell My Salvage Car in Oregon?

The car’s registration is not necessary to sell your salvage car in Oregon. Once you sell the car, it’s the buyer’s responsibility to register the car.

Oregon Salvage Car VIN Inspections

Whenever drivers verify their car’s VIN in Oregon, they must also complete the Oregon vehicle process. This inspection includes different tests that specific vehicles are required to pass. These tests include the following:

  • Onboard diagnostics test: this test inspects the onboard diagnostics computer of a car, which ensures that the pollution control equipment is functioning properly. This test is performed on vehicles that were manufactured in 1996 or later.
  • Tailpipe emissions test: this emissions test ensures that the emissions from the vehicle’s tailpipe do not exceed the regulated standards. In general, vehicle inspection is only required for cars that were manufactured in 1995 or earlier.
  • Other tests: there are other methods that drivers can use to complete the Oregon car inspection process that is required for their vehicles, such as the following:
    • Self-service test – available for models from 1996 and younger
    • Car dealership – available for models 1996 and younger
    • DEQ Too Test – available for models from 2005 and younger

What is the Process for Registering a Salvaged Car in Oregon?

If you want to register your vehicle, you’ll have to repair it and get a rebuilt car title. You can’t do much with a salvage car except sell it or scrap it. When your car passes inspection, you can apply for a rebuilt car title and register your car.

Oregon Vehicle Registration Fees

The following are the vehicle registration fees in Oregon. View the chart below to help you determine how much you can expect to pay when you register your vehicle.

​Fee Type​When Fee is Due for Passenger Vehicles​​Fee
Plate​Vehicle does not have Oregon plates  ​$25.50
​Registration/Renewal*​​Vehicle year is 1999 or older​$126
​Vehicle year 2000 or newer, has a combined rating of 0-19 MPG​$126
​Vehicle year 2000 or newer, has a combined rating of 20-39 MPG​ $136
​Vehicle year 2000 or newer, has a combined rating of 40 MPG or higher**​ $156
​Vehicle is all electric**​​$316
County​You reside and/or the vehicle stays in Multnomah County​ $112
​​You reside and/or the vehicle stays in Washington or Clackamas County​$60​  
Transfer Plates​Moving Oregon plates onto another vehicle (you will also owe the registration/county fees if you do not own the vehicle the plates were removed from)​$6

You are required to pay these fees when the vehicle no longer has Oregon license plates or the Oregon plates are expired. If you enroll in OReGO, you will pay the $86 registration fee. This fee is doubled if the vehicle is new. You can submit a copy of your enrollment email to the OR DMV. If you leave the OReGO program, the OR DMV will bill you for the full registration fee.

Who Buys Salvage Cars Near Me in Oregon?

Our guess is that you haven’t been interested in salvage yards until now. We’ve done some of the work for you. We’ve listed a handful of Oregon salvage yards. Using the salvage yard that is local to you is best.

B&R Auto Wrecking
64154 N. Highway 97
Bend, OR 97701
(541) 382-1987
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday (9 AM – 4 PM)
Sunday (Closed)

Journey’s Salvage
135350 Riverview St.
Crescent, OR 97733
(541) 420-1730
Sunday – Wednesday (Closed)
Thursday – Saturday (9 AM – 5 PM)

Indian Creek Dismantlers
1098 SE M. St.
Grants Pass, OR 97526
(541) 479-7203
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday (9 AM – 2 PM)
Sunday (Closed)

Bert’s Auto Salvage & Towing
30775 Baggett Ln.
Hermiston, OR 97838
(541) 567-5159
Open 24 hours

What is the Waiting Period for Obtaining Auto Insurance for My Salvage Car in Oregon?

You won’t be able to get auto insurance for a salvage car. Like trying to register a salvage car, you can’t obtain auto insurance until you repair the car and get a rebuilt car title. Once your car passes the VIN inspection, you can apply for an Oregon rebuilt car title.

Can I Salvage My Car Without the Title in Oregon?

No. You can’t do anything without the car’s title. First things first. If you don’t have the car’s title, you can apply for a duplicate title by completing an Application for Salvage Title (Form 229). You must have the car’s title to complete the salvage car process if you plan on repairing and rebuilding the car or selling the car.

How Can I Sell My Salvage Car in Oregon?

There are different ways you can sell your salvage car in Oregon. The selling method you choose depends on the time, money, and effort you’re willing to put into selling the car.

Salvage Yard or Junkyard

Selling your salvage car to a junkyard, salvage yard, or scrap yard is the quickest and possibly the easiest way to sell your salvage car. If you’re not too excited about waiting to find a buyer and complete different forms, you’ll want to sell your salvage car to a salvage yard or junkyard.

Private Sale

If you choose to sell your salvage car in a private sale, you may have to play the waiting game. Although there’s always someone looking for a salvage car to repair as a hobby, you’ll have to wait for someone to be interested in your car, then complete the buying process. You may get more money for your salvage car by selling it in a private sale.

Selling As-Is

Selling your salvage car as-is, is another selling option you have. When you sell your car as-is, you do not plan on repairing the car or obtaining a rebuilt car title. Also with this selling option, once you sell your salvage car, the responsibility of repairs and any other tasks that are associated with the car are no longer yours. The buyer will be responsible for repairing the car and providing the required forms to the OR DMV.

Selling for Parts

Selling your salvage car for parts is known as “parting out” your car. If you choose this selling option, you will remove the most valuable parts of your salvage car and sell them. If you don’t know your way around cars and car parts that well, a mechanic can help you.

Common Difficulties That Can Occur When Selling a Salvage Car in Oregon

You may notice that selling a salvage car is more difficult than selling a car that doesn’t have a salvage title. The secret to selling your salvage car is being honest. Let potential buyers know what they’re in for if they purchase your salvage car.

Yes, buyers know your car is a salvage, but provide more details about the car, such as the repairs it needs, repairs that may have already been made, and how the car became damaged. Keep in mind that failure to disclose to all buyers that your car is a salvage is a Class A misdemeanor.

How Do I Apply for a Rebuilt Car Title in Oregon?

To obtain a rebuilt car title in Oregon, you need to visit your local OR DMV branch and submit the following:

  • A completed Application for Title and Registration (Form 735-226)
  • The car’s salvaged title
  • An odometer disclosure statement (if your vehicle is under 20 years old). You can use the back of the car title or a Secure Odometer Disclosure, which is available at the OR DMV.
  • Original release and bills of sale for the major parts used to rebuild the car and from any previous owners of the car.
  • Payment for the following fees:
    • VIN inspection: $7
    • Reconstructed title: $27
    • Registration fees that are applicable to your vehicle

The rebuilt title process can be complicated and frustrating. If you need help completing this process, call the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division at (503) 945-5000. Be advised that the VIN inspection will be performed during your visit when you apply for a rebuilt car title.

How Long Does it Take to Receive My Oregon  Rebuilt Car Title?

The time it takes to receive your Oregon rebuilt car title depends on how long it takes to repair the car and have it pass inspection. It can take as long as one month to receive the rebuilt car title. On the bright side of this,  the sooner you complete these tasks, the quicker you can apply for your rebuilt car title.