How to Register a Salvage Vehicle in South Carolina

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A salvage vehicle is one that has been declared a total loss by the insurance company. A vehicle is typically declared salvage when damage is over 75 percent. Sometimes these vehicles can still be driven once they are repaired. When that happens, a salvage title is assigned to the vehicle. This means that the car had been declared a total loss but was rebuilt. If you have one of these salvage vehicles in South Carolina, you can easily register the car so that you can drive it in the state.

Step 1

Check your title for the vehicle to make sure that you have a salvage title, which is blue, and not a destruction title, which is red. Vehicles with red titles cannot be registered and can only be sold for parts, but vehicles with blue titles can be registered. If you don't have a title at all, you have to get one.

Step 2

Apply for a salvage title if you do not have a title for the salvage vehicle. To do so, download form TR-3, Request for Salvage Title, from the South Carolina DMV website (see Resources). Fill out the form and send it in to the address listed on the form with the application fee. Also include the original title, the registration papers and a letter from your insurance company stating that the damage to the vehicle is over 75 percent.

Step 3

Take your salvage title to your local DMV office; check the office list on the South Carolina DMV website (see Resources). Fill out the registration paperwork at the DMV office and present it with your salvage title to the DMV clerk, with the required fee.