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Salvage Certificates and Rebuilt Vehicles

How to Obtain a Salvage Certificate

Each month, approximately 6,000 vehicles are deemed a total loss by the owner of the vehicle.  If your vehicle has been deemed a total loss (more than 75 percent of the retail value), and it is less 10 years old, you may apply for a salvage certificate or a non-repairable certificate.

To get a certificate,  complete the Application for Salvage or Non-Repairable Certificate. Send the completed form and the outstanding certificate of title to:

Tennessee Department of Revenue
Special Investigations Division
Anti-Theft Unit
44 Vantage Way, Suite 160
Nashville, TN 37243-8050

For more information, call the Anti-Theft Unit at (615) 253-7246.

How to Obtain a Rebuilt Title

Each month, approximately 1,700 salvage type vehicles are rebuilt in Tennessee.  Although it is possible to rebuild a salvage vehicle for road use, a passenger motor vehicle for which a salvage title has been issued cannot be registered for use on the roads unless it has been issued a title with the brand of rebuilt vehicle.

The first step in obtaining a rebuilt title is to complete an Application for Motor Vehicle Identification Certification.

A fee of $75.00 is charged for each conversion of a vehicle salvage document to a rebuilt title.  Each vehicle that has been approved by the Anti-Theft Unit for a rebuilt title will have a notation in the remarks field of the title stating “Rebuilt Vehicle - Anti theft Inspection Passed.”  There will also be a decal affixed to the driver’s door jamb with the same statement. 

How to Obtain a New Title for a Wrecked Vehicle

When applying for a title in this situation, you will need to present:

  • the salvage certificate
  • receipts on parts
  • color photographs of the vehicle before and after the work performed
  • the Application For Motor Vehicle Identification Certification, completed in its entirety by the rebuilder of the vehicle
  • required fees indicated on the form.

Please note that, at the discretion of the Department, an inspection of the vehicle may be required before a certificate of title is issued.