How to Obtain a Salvaged Car Title in Pennsylvania

By Rhonda Campbell
Pennsylvania salvage car title laws help to keep the state's roadways safe.

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If your motor vehicle is declared to be a total loss by your insurance company, you might still be able to repair the auto and operate it on Pennsylvania roadways. After you repair your car or truck you will have to get a salvage title. If your auto is already in safe operating condition, you can receive a Pennsylvania salvage title in about three to four weeks.

Contact the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to receive an "Application for Non-repairable or Salvage Certificate." Download the form online at the PennDOT website. Complete and submit the application to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Motor Vehicles as soon as your auto is declared a total loss or salvage. Information that you will provide on the application includes your name, street mailing address, driver's license number and the vehicle identification number (VIN). If the vehicle is damaged due to an auto accident, provide the police report incident number and the officer's name and badge number on the bottom of the application. Pay the $22.50 salvage certificate fee and mail the fee and completed application to:

Pennsylvania Bureau of Motor Vehicles

1101 South Front St.

Harrisburg, PA 17104

717-787-2304

Take your damaged car or truck to a licensed auto repair shop. Ask the repair technician to examine the vehicle thoroughly and to note each area of the auto that is repaired or replaced. Tell the repair technician if the vehicle was damaged due to a flood or other natural disaster. Keep copies of all auto repair receipts. When you apply for your reconstructed salvage title you will need these receipts.

Visit an authorized Pennsylvania auto inspection station. Many gas stations in the state are authorized to conduct the state emissions and vehicle inspections. Get your auto inspected. The auto must pass inspection before Pennsylvania will title it.

Include the bill of sale (if you purchased the vehicle from a previous owner) with your salvage title application. Also include a copy of your auto insurance policy or your insurance card. The vehicle must have liability insurance on it ($15,000 bodily injury to one person, $5,000 property damage, $30,000 bodily injury coverage for injury to two or more persons) before you operate it on Pennsylvania roadways.

Download a copy of the "Application for Reconstructed, Specially Constructed, Collectible, Modified, Flood, Recovered Theft Vehicles and Street Rods" off the PennDOT website. Fill in the date that the auto passed inspection on the top of the application. Include the inspection station number and the current odometer reading on the vehicle. Check off each part of the vehicle that was repaired or replaced (i.e. engine, transmission, front bumper). Pay the $22.50 title fee and mail the fee and completed application to:

Department of Transportation

Bureau of Motor Vehicles

Special Services Unit

PO Box C69007

Harrisburg, PA 17106

About the Author

Rhonda Campbell is an entrepreneur, radio host and author. She has more than 17 years of business, human resources and project management experience and decades of book, newspaper, magazine, radio and business writing experience. Her works have appeared in leading periodicals like "Madame Noire," "Halogen TV," "The Network Journal," "Essence," "Your Church Magazine," "The Trenton Times," "Pittsburgh Quarterly" and "New Citizens Press."

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