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Whether you’re ready to sell your salvage car or still considering selling your salvage car, we can help. This article gives you all the information you need to sell your salvage car, and if you’re still on the fence, you’ll have the information you need to make a knowledgeable decision about whether you’re going to sell your salvage car or not. Let’s talk about salvage cars in South Dakota!

Table of Contents

What is a Salvaged Car in South Dakota?

South Dakota considers cars that sustain extreme damage due to a collision, vandalism, fire, water, or weather, and the cost to repair these damages would exceed the car’s worth before the damage(s) occurred. Your auto insurance company will determine if your car is a salvage. In general, if the car’s damages exceed at least 75% of the car’s worth, the car will be deemed a salvage.

Be advised that the South Dakota Motor Vehicle Division (SD MVD) only includes cars that are at least 10 model years old or vehicles that exceed 16,000 lbs in the salvage category. Although SD has a Department of Revenue, all transactions involving motor vehicles, such as licensing and titles are conducted by the SD MVD.

What is an Actual Cash Value, and How is it Determined for South Dakota Vehicles?

If you’re like most people, you think your car doesn’t have anything but sentimental value. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Let’s discuss your car’s actual cash value (ACV). The ACV is the equivalent of the car’s replacement cost minus its depreciation. The ACV reflects the car’s accounting value but doesn’t necessarily reflect the car’s economic value. This means that your car can be more or less of value than its ACV when you sell it.

How is a Car’s Actual Cash Value Determined?

There’s a simple equation you can use to determine your car’s ACV. Even if you’re not a math person, we promise you won’t get frustrated when you’re figuring out your car’s ACV.

ACV = purchase price x (expected life – current life) ÷ expected life

Use this equation to help you determine your car’s ACV. In general, the life expectancy of a car is 11 years. The current life of the car is the age of the car, so, if your car is a year model 2021, and the current year is 2023, the current life of your car would be 2 years.

Actual Cash Value vs Replacement Cost

What’s the difference between a car’s actual cash value and its replacement cost? We’re glad you asked! Your car’s ACV will make a difference when you’re purchasing auto insurance. Since you’ll be listed as the policyholder, you’ll make the decisions regarding your car. For instance, we’re going to assume that you would want to be paid the replacement cost of your car instead of your car’s ACV.

If your vehicle is totaled in an accident, and you choose to be paid the replacement cost of your car, you would be able to purchase a new car of the same type. However, let’s take the same situation and say you accept payment for the car’s actual value. In this scenario, you may not have enough money to purchase a new car of the same type due to depreciation, which is a reduction in your car’s value due to time and wear and tear.

Before you rush to sign anything, make sure you read the fine print of the policy. If the auto insurance company tells you they will ONLY pay for the car’s ACV, make sure you’re comfortable with the terms. Once you sign your name on the dotted line, you agree to all the terms of the policy, so make sure you understand them and agree to them, especially the payout terms.

How Do You Sell a Salvage Car in South Dakota?

As a South Dakota resident, you are required to complete the following steps to sell your salvage car:

  • Obtain a seller’s permit from your South Dakota county treasurer’s office. (You must have a valid SD ID card or driver’s license to receive a permit. You must also pay off all liens against the vehicle, if any, and make sure you satisfy all official requirements, such as properly notifying your local county treasurer of the release.)
  • You may be required to complete the damage disclosure and odometer statement that is listed on the back of the vehicle’s certificate of title. Make sure you attach the completed title certificate to your application.
  • You will need to complete the seller information fields and the buyer must complete the buyer information fields
  • Complete a Bill of Sale (Form MV-016), and make sure you include the following information:
    • A full description of the car (including the make, model, year, and serial number)
    • Title number
    • Selling price
    • Date of sale
    • Buyer Information
    • Signatures of both you and the buyer
  • Complete an online Seller’s Report of Sale online(click here) within 15 days of the date of sale

Once you list the required information on the Bill of Sale, you can give it to the buyer. As a precautionary step, you can visit the SD county treasurer’s office with the buyer when the application for a new title is made to ensure the title is transferred properly, and you are no longer legally responsible for the car.

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

Being prepared is one of the best ways to ensure you don’t have any delays in selling your salvage car. One thing you need to make sure you have are the necessary documents, such as the car’s title and the bill of sale. You can download an SD bill (Form MV-016). To give yourself peace of mind, you can go to the SD MVD with the buyer when they get their title to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Why is a Bill of Sale Needed to Sell a Salvage Car in South Dakota?

A bill of sale is for your records. As the car’s seller, you are required to complete this form so the buyer can transfer the car’s title and register the vehicle. Without the bill of sale, you may be turned away because you do not have the required paperwork that includes the car’s purchase price. Another reason a bill of sale is required is that some MVD agencies use it to calculate the vehicle’s license fee.

A South Dakota bill of sale includes the following essential information:

  • Vehicle information (make, model, year, vehicle identification number (VIN), and current odometer reading)
  • Buyer information (name, address, and signature)
  • Seller information (name, address, and signature)
  • Selling price and date sold

Are There Salvaged Vehicle Restrictions in South Dakota?

When an auto insurance company declares a vehicle a total loss, you can NOT legally operate the car on any road or highway. The SD MVD may also cancel your car’s registration. Your auto insurance provider will send a salvage title to the SD MVD, and you will be required to remove the car’s license plate(s). You can, however, transfer the car’s registration and license plate(s) to a different car you own.

Can You Sell a Salvaged Car Without the Title in South Dakota?

Unfortunately no. You can’t sell your salvaged car without the title in SD. If you have misplaced the car’s title, you must apply for an SD duplicate car title by completing and submitting an Application for Duplicate Certificate of Title (Form MV-010).

Why is the Car’s Title Considered an Essential Document?

The car’s title is also referred to as a certificate of title and an essential, legal document that provides proof of vehicle ownership. The car’s title possesses different information, such as the following:

  • the name(s) of the car owner(s) and the following information:
  • Year, make, and model of the vehicle (may include the body type of the vehicle)
  • Vehicle color
  • Odometer reading
  • The date on which the odometer reading was done
  • Owner or owners of the vehicle
  • Owner’s address
  • The date on which the title was issued

A car’s title can also include the following:

  • Title number
  • The vehicle’s weight
  • The number of cylinders in the engine
  • The engine number
  • The type of fuel used in the car
  • The license plate number

Some states will require information regarding flood damage or a “salvage” label will be included on the car’s title. The “salvage” title can be removed if you repair the car to SD’s safety standards. You will now be eligible to apply for a salvage SD rebuilt car title.

The car’s title should have the signature of one or multiple state officials who are in charge of motor vehicles or revenue collection, such as the Division of Motor Vehicles or Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Department of Transportation (DOT), Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), and similar motor vehicle departments. In South Dakota, you would be looking for signatures from the DMV.

Can You Sell a Salvaged Car Without the Car’s Registration in South Dakota?

The car’s registration is similar to the car’s title. Both the title and registration card are legal documents that prove the legal ownership of a vehicle. However, in most scenarios, you don’t need the car’s registration card to sell a car, salvage or not. Keep in mind that you must have the car’s title to sell it.

How to Get a Salvage Car Title in South Dakota

If you choose to keep your salvage car as part of a partial settlement, you must apply for an SD salvaged title with the SD MVD. You will need to do the following to receive an SD salvage car title:

  • Complete an Application for Motor Vehicle Title and Registration (Form MV-608). Make sure you mark the box “salvage total loss”
  • The car’s title
  • Any paperwork your auto insurance provider gave you for your salvage title application
  • Payment for the $10 title fee

Once you have your SD salvage title, you can legally sell your salvage car, whether you plan on selling the car for parts, to a junkyard or scrap yard, or to an individual. At this time, you can also start the rebuilding process and retitle your car.

South Dakota Rebuilt Vehicle Inspections

After the necessary repairs are made on your salvage car and it meets SD’s safety and legal standards, your car must pass the rebuilt vehicle inspection BEFORE you can retitle and register the car. You must bring the following items to your SD county treasurer’s office:

  • A completed Application for Motor Vehicle Title and Registration (Form MV-608) – you need to check the “rebuilt branded title” option
  • A completed Application for Inspection of Rebuilt Motor Vehicle (Form SD R-2431)
  • The car’s original salvaged title
  • Copies of the bill of sale, receipts, and/or invoices for the parts used to repair the vehicle
  • Payment for the applicable fees:
    • Title: $10
    • Inspection: $25

Your SD county treasurer’s office will give you an inspection appointment in Sioux Falls, Pierre, or Rapid City based on your location and schedule.

After your vehicle passes inspection, the inspector will give you a certificate of inspection. Make sure you don’t lose this document! You’ll need this certificate to apply for a rebuilt car title with the SD MVD.

What Major Components of a Vehicle Are Looked at During the SD Vehicle Inspection?

During a South Dakota salvage rebuilt vehicle inspection, a car’s major components are inspected, and this  includes the following parts:

  • Cowls
  • Transmission
  • Frames
  • Engines
  • Doors
  • Trunk lids
  • Front and rear fenders
  • Quarter panels

Why Are Car Inspections Performed in South Dakota?

Salvage-rebuilt car inspections in South Dakota are performed to ensure your car was not repaired with stolen parts and that the vehicle itself is not stolen.

South Dakota Vehicle Safety Inspection Failures

If you fail the rebuilt salvage car inspection, you will need to fix the issues that caused your car to fail the inspection and have the reinspected. This inspection is likely a time-sensitive matter, so make sure you make the necessary repairs and have your car reinspected as soon as possible.

How Do You Register a Salvaged Car in South Dakota?

Since SD salvage cars are deemed unroadworthy, you won’t be able to register the car. However, you can register a salvage rebuilt car. Once you rebuild your salvage car and pass the vehicle inspection, you’ll be able to register the car.

South Dakota Vehicle Registration Fees

In South Dakota, when you register your salvage car, you’ll be required to pay the following fees:

  • Motor vehicle excise tax fee: 4% of the purchase price
  • Title fee: $10
  • Lien notation fee: $10
  • Late title application fee: $1 penalty fee for every week past your 45-day grace period
  • Duplicate title fee: $10

How is a South Dakota Salvage Title Different from a Rebuilt Car Title?

In South Dakota, a salvage title car has extreme damage and needs to be repaired before it can be deemed roadworthy. If you plan on driving a salvage car again, you must make the necessary repairs and have the car inspected by a certified inspector. Cars with a rebuilt car title have been repaired and passed the inspection and emissions test, which means they are roadworthy once again and can be driven on any road and highway.

How is a South Dakota Salvage Title Different from a Junk Title?

Cars that have an SD salvage title still have life left. If you want the opportunity to drive this car again, you must make the necessary repairs and have the car inspected to obtain a rebuilt salvage title, allowing the car to be driven again. Cars with an SD junk title can NOT be driven ever again and will never have a different title. Junk cars must be sold to a vehicle recycling company or junkyard, and will not have the option to obtain a rebuilt title status. Junk cars will remain unworthy and illegal to operate on roads and highways.

Who Buys Salvage Cars Near Me in South Dakota?

There are different options when it comes to salvage yards in South Dakota. Although we couldn’t list each salvage yard in SD, we’ve listed a handful of them to help point you in the right direction.

Mardian Scrap Recycling, Inc.
609 6th Ave SW.
Aberdeen, SD 57401
(605) 225-4080
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 4 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

Millennium Recycling Inc.
305 E. 50th St. N
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
(605) 336-1744
Monday – Friday (6 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

601 S. Lyons Ave.
Ste 400
Sioux Falls, SD 57106
(605) 271-5575
Monday – Friday (9 AM – 4:30 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

Barti Metal Processing
1969 Old Highway 14 NW.
Huron, SD 57350
(605) 352-2072
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday (8 AM – 12 PM)
Sunday (Closed)

When Can I Get a South Dakota Auto Insurance for My Salvage Car?

Since salvage cars can’t be registered, you won’t be able to obtain an auto insurance policy for a car with a salvage label. Before you can get auto insurance for your car, you must make the necessary repairs, pass the SD vehicle safety inspection, and obtain a rebuilt salvage title for the car. Once you complete these steps, you’ll be able to obtain an SD auto insurance policy.

Can I Salvage My Car Without a Title in South Dakota?

You will need a title to salvage your car in South Dakota. If you don’t have the car’s title, you’ll have to complete and submit an Application for Motor Vehicle Title and Registration (Form MV-608). You may have to wait to receive your title in the mail once you pay all applicable fees. If so, you may also have the option to obtain a rush title for an additional fee.

Will a Rebuilt South Dakota Title Affect My Car’s Value?

Since your car is a rebuilt salvage, the car’s value will be affected. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Your car still has value, just not as much as the same type of car that has a clean title. A clean title is what cars that have no damage have. Since your car is a rebuilt salvage, this title means your car has sustained extensive damage, but has been repaired. The good news is your car is roadworthy and can be driven on roads and highways.

How Can I Get the Most Money for My Salvage Car in South Dakota?

You want your money and you want it now! There are different methods you can use to sell your salvage car, but it’s up to you how you choose to sell it. However, there are a few factors you need to take into consideration when you’re selecting a selling method, such as the time and effort you’re willing to commit to selling your car.

Selling Your Salvage Car to Another Individual (Private Sale)

If you’re considering selling your salvage car in a private sale, you have to embrace playing the waiting game. People who are selling their salvage car in a private sale usually want to find their ideal buyer. An ideal buyer is someone that you want to sell your car to for different reasons, such as the level of care or repairs the car needs and other factors. You may want peace of mind knowing that the car will be taken care of. Sometimes selling a salvage car using this method can take a while, so sit back and relax.

Selling Your Salvage Car to a Salvage Yard or Junkyard

Maybe you’re considering selling your salvage car to a junkyard or salvage yard, which is the perfect option if you want cash-in-hand, don’t want to wait for someone to be interested in your car, and aren’t looking for the highest price. Junkyards and salvage yards pay you cash on the spot. A lot of the time, you can sell your salvage car to a junkyard or salvage yard online, and schedule the car to be towed. If everything checks out when the tow driver arrives, you’ll receive your funds. Be advised that you will still need the car’s title if you choose to sell the car using this method.

Selling Your Salvage Car for Parts

Selling your salvage car for parts is another option. This selling option is referred to as “parting out” your car. With the parting out method, you will sell the parts of your car that are valuable. A mechanic can help you point out which parts are valuable and help you remove the parts. This selling method takes time and effort, so if you’re willing to spend the time to remove the car’s parts, it could be a big payout for you.

Selling Your Salvage Car As-Is

If you don’t want the hassle of making repairs to your salvage car, your best option is to sell your car as-is. This selling method can take a while, or your car can sell quickly. It depends on the car you have and the buying market for your car. Any repairs that need to be made will be the responsibility of the car’s new owner.

The Difficulties of Selling a Salvage Car in South Dakota

Selling a salvage car isn’t as easy as you may think. A lot of individuals who are looking for a car will be weary of purchasing a car with a salvage or rebuilt salvage title because of the damage the car sustained. Be advised that not disclosing that your car is a salvage is illegal. You must disclose the current condition of the car. Failure to do so could result in penalties and fines. However, some people won’t shy away from a challenge, such as a mechanic or DIY guru who’s looking for a side project.

The Importance of Disclosing Information

As we previously mentioned, it’s illegal to sell a salvage car without disclosing the current condition of the car. As the seller of a salvage car, regardless of the selling method you choose, you are responsible for disclosing all information about your salvage car. Disclosing information is one of the most important steps in selling a salvage car.

In the car’s selling description, make sure you tell potential buyers about the damages the car sustained. If you have made any repairs to the car, you should also include this information in the description. Make sure you keep all receipts or invoices as proof that the repairs were made.

Buyers understand that your car is a salvage, but they want to know how much time and effort they have to put into it, such as making repairs, before it can be roadworthy again. Give buyers peace of mind by having the proper documents ready and available to view.

How Do You Apply for a South Dakota Rebuilt Car Title?

After your car passes the SD vehicle inspection, you will be eligible to receive an SD rebuilt car title and new registration through the SD MVD. You need to provide the following information at your SD county treasurer’s office:

  • The Certificate of Inspection
  • Payment for all applicable registration fees and taxes (you already made the necessary payment for a rebuilt title when you applied for the car inspection) – You’ll receive a refund for any sales tax you paid on the parts used to repair the vehicle.

Once everything is approved, you will receive your SD rebuilt car title. Congratulations! Your once-salvaged car is ready to hit the road.

How Long Does it Take to Receive a Rebuilt Title in South Dakota?

The suspense is getting to you! We understand. Once your paperwork is approved, it has to be processed by the SD MVD. You should receive your rebuilt SD car title within 2 weeks by mail.

You just learned different ways to sell your salvage car in South Dakota! Good luck on your new road adventures.