Everything is bigger in Texas! If you’re considering selling a salvage car in Texas, there are some things you need to know and consider before you can sell the car. Let’s discuss selling a salvage car in Texas.
What is a Salvage Car in Texas?
Texas vehicles with a salvage title are damaged and have repair costs, such as labor and materials, that exceed their worth before the damage. A car is usually deemed a salvage by insurance companies. Only businesses with a salvage title dealer license in Texas can legally dismantle, refurbish, or sell a vehicle under this classification.
All salvaged-titled vehicles have a salvage title certificate. This certificate’s purpose is so everyone knows the vehicle’s history. Salvaged vehicles must be reconditioned to meet the Texas Department of Public Safety standards, AND their title must be reissued as a “rebuilt salvage/damaged” to be driven legally.
If the vehicle is not reconditioned, it is ONLY eligible for a salvage, non-repairable, or disposal title. As the owner of a salvage Texas vehicle, you must apply for a salvage title BEFORE transferring the salvaged vehicle to another individual using Application for Salvage or Nonrepairable Vehicle Title (Form VTR-441).
The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) vehicle history report lists salvaged brand classifications, which are:
- Fire Damage – the vehicle sustained damage from a fire.
- Owner-retained – an insurance company has deemed the vehicle a title loss. However, the individual still maintains ownership and possession of the car.
- Salvage Retention – the VMVTIS has branded the vehicle as salvage and it has been kept by the owner
- Salvage/stolen – an insurance claim is paid on a vehicle that has been reported as stolen.
- Salvage/Damage or Not Specified – this described a car that has been damaged, destroyed, or wrecked, and its repair costs, including labor and materials, exceed a specific percentage of its retail value as defined by its reporting jurisdiction. This also includes vehicles that have been acquired by an insurance company or one with an owner who wants to designate it as salvage.
You can sell your salvage vehicle in Texas in different ways. You can choose to repair the vehicle. If you fix your car and have it inspected, it is possible to obtain a Texas rebuilt car title. If you obtain a rebuilt title for your salvage car, you will be able to drive it again, which also makes it easier to sell your car.
You can also sell your car for parts. Junkyards or scrapyards will pay you a flat fee (which is determined by the business) for your car. You can choose to sell parts of your car to private buyers. You must make sure you let these buyers know the status of the vehicle that the parts are coming from.
You may choose to sell your car as-is. Keep in mind that you will not receive the full value of your vehicle. Selling your car as-is means you do not make ANY repairs or other alterations to the car. It’s not uncommon for potential buyers to try to talk you down on the price of the car, so set your price accordingly.
Salvage and junk titles are often confused with each other. A salvage title is given to cars that can be rebuilt to Texas’ safety standards and operated again on roads and highways. A junk title, however, is given to cars that can NOT be rebuilt or repaired, have no value, and can ONLY be scrapped or junked.
There are a lot of different salvage yards in Texas, so we won’t be listing all of them. However, we will list a handful of these salvage yards to get you started.
Recyclers Depot “Scrap Yard” Metal Buying Center
7090 Lamar Rd
Reno, TX 75462
Monday – Friday (9 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday (9 AM – 1 PM)
Auto Salvage Yard
3577 E. State Hwy 204
Jacksonville, TX 75766
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday (8 AM – 3 PM)
Texans Metal & Scrap, Inc.
9975 Sheldon Rd.
Houston, TX 77049
Monday – Thursday (7 AM – 5 PM)
Friday (7 AM – 4 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)
Apache Iron Metal & Auto Salvage
1001 W Kennedale Pkwy
Fort Worth, TX 76140
Monday – Friday (8:30 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday (8:30 AM – 4 PM)
No. You can NOT insure a salvage title car in Texas. However, you CAN insure a car that previously had a salvage title, but you rebuilt the car to meet Texas’ safety standards. You must make the necessary repairs to the car before you have it inspected.
You must also keep the receipts from the parts you purchase and repairs that are made. You should have a list from your insurance company regarding the parts or items that must be repaired on the car. If you don’t have one, you can call the company and request one. It’s a good idea to use this list as a guideline for the repairs that need to be made.
Once you make the necessary repairs, you must have the car inspected. The car must be inspected by an authorized inspecting agent. Once the car passes the safety inspection, you will be able to drive the car on roads and highways. On this note, you will need to have the car towed. Although the car is in operational order, the car is still considered a salvage car at this point, and still illegal to drive.
Also, during the rebuilding process, you need to make sure you have a Rebuilt Vehicle Statement (Form VTR-61). Whoever is repairing the vehicle must list any parts that are used to rebuild the car on this form. You will also need the receipts from any parts used for repairs. Be advised that ONLY an authorized Texas Department of Public Safety inspection station can inspect the car.
Once your vehicle passes the anti-theft inspection, the inspector will write an authorization code on your Rebuilt Vehicle Statement to prove that your car has been inspected. You must have this code to retitle your reconstructed car.
You might be able to salvage your car without a title in Texas. If you don’t have the car’s title, you may be able to use the car’s registration card. If you don’t have the car’s title but need one to salvage the car, you will need to apply for Texas salvaged title.
You need to mail the following to the Department of Motor Vehicles:
- A completed Application for Salvage or Nonrepairable Vehicle Title (Form VTR-441)
- The car title, properly assigned to you
- Any lien releases, if applicable
- A personal check, cashier’s check, or money order for the $8 salvage title fee – make the check or money order payable to “Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.” You will need to add $2 if you need a certified copy.
You can send the above-listed items by standard or express mail:
Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
Vehicle Titles and Registration Division
ATTN: Tutke Control Systems
P.O. Box 26450
Austin, TX 78755
Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
Vehicle Titles and Registration Division
ATTN: Title Control Systems
4000 Jackson Ave.
Austin, TX 78731
You need to allow the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) at least 6 business days from receiving your application to mail your Texas salvage title. If you have additional questions regarding applying for a Texas salvage title, you can call the Texas DMV at (888) 368-4689.
In the state of Texas, it is illegal to operate a salvage vehicle, which means you can’t register the car. You must first rebuild the car. Cars that are declared as salvages are unsafe for travel on public roads, and because of this, your car will not be able to obtain auto insurance that meets Texas’ state minimum requirements. Since your car doesn’t meet the state’s requirements, you will NOT be able to register your car.
Now that we’ve got the nitty gritty covered, here’s what you need to do to register your car in Texas. You must submit the following items and documents to your county’s tax assessor office:
- A completed:
- Application for Texas Title and/or Registration (Form 130-U)
- Rebuilt Vehicle Statement (Form VTR-61) This form must also include the authorization code from the anti-theft inspection
- The salvage car title
- Proof of the following:
- Financial responsibility for the vehicle (must be in your name)
- Lien satisfaction (required if you’re selling or transferring ownership of the vehicle)
- Payment for the following applicable fees:
- Title application: Either $28 or $33 (the price depends on your county tax assessor)
- Rebuilt title: $65
- Registration: Registration fees depend on vehicle type, registration period, and local county fees
Once your application is processed and approved, you’ll receive your Texas rebuilt vehicle title from the TX DMV. Your salvage car is now a roadworthy vehicle that can be driven. Congratulations!