Salvage & Restored Salvage Title Brands
What does "Salvage" mean?
Sometimes cars that have been stripped, damaged in an accident, or flooded are determined to be salvageable. It depends on whether your insurance company considers it more cost effective to repair the car, or call it a total loss and send it to the wrecking yard. If it goes with the latter, the Motor Vehicle Division will brand the vehicle's title as salvage, deeming it unfit for operation on the road. The salvage brand remains on the vehicle's record and cannot be removed, except if the salvage vehicle is restored, crushed, or dismantled, in which case the brand may change.
What does "Restored Salvage" mean?
You can choose to restore the salvage vehicle to make it ready for the road, but it will be the MVD that has the final say. Once you have completed the necessary repairs, your salvage vehicle must be inspected to verify that it is fit for operation on the road.
You will need to make an appointment at one of several MVD inspection facilities to do so. When you go, bring proof of ownership (likely the title), your driver license, $50 to cover the level III inspection fee, and the receipts for the work and parts you have put into restoring the vehicle.
After your car passes the inspection, it can be issued a new title, branded with the term Restored Salvage. This will alert all future owners that it was rebuilt after being severely damaged. The restored salvage brand remains on the vehicle's record and cannot be removed, except if the vehicle is crushed, dismantled, or becomes salvage again, in which case the brand may change.
Buying a Restored Salvage Vehicle
There is risk involved in buying a restored salvage vehicle. While many of the parts may be new, there will be some that are not, and even trained mechanics cannot always gauge the life expectancy of a vehicle. Further, the vehicle will be difficult to resell if you ever choose to. Very few, if any, dealers will take it as a trade-in.
It is for these reasons that the state of Arizona mandates that sellers must disclose that a car has held a salvage title before they sell it to a buyer.
ADOT Inspection Locations (Levels II/III)
Hours for the ADOT ECD Glendale, Tempe, Scottsdale and Mesa offices have been changed to 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. All inspection bays at these locations are closed on Friday. This change only affects the ADOT Enforcement and Compliance Vehicle Inspection bays for levels II and III inspections. For automated information, call 602.712.2340.