Under Florida law, a vehicle involved in an accident becomes a salvage if it is estimated that it will cost 80 percent or more of its value to replace it. In the event that an extensively damaged vehicle is restored, the owner has to acquire a rebuilt title from the Department of Motor Vehicles. The title serves to inform subsequent owners that the vehicle has been rebuilt or assembled from parts.
Salvage Certificate of Title
You must apply for a certificate of title from the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles if you decide to get rid of a salvage vehicle. The application must be accompanied by the vehicle's original certificate of title, the manufacturer's certificate of origin, or an out-of-state title. The purpose of a certificate of title is to attest ownership of the vehicle and confirm it will be completely destroyed. It is against the law to rebuild such a vehicle and sell it after indicating that it's a total loss. You are required by law to apply for a rebuilt title from the Florida DMV if the vehicle does not meet the 80-percent rule to be legally declared a total loss.
Read More: How to Change a Salvage Title to a Rebuilt Title
Salvage Rebuilt Title
It is against the law in Florida to sell or exchange a rebuilt vehicle before the Department of Motor Vehicles administration conspicuously stamps the certificate of title with words indicating that "the vehicle has been rebuilt or assembled from parts, or is a kit car, glider kit, replica, or flood vehicle." The DMV has to conduct a physical examination of the vehicle to ensure its identity and major parts before a certificate of title can be issued. The DMV will then affix a decal indicating that the vehicle has been rebuilt.
Vehicle History Report
Knowingly misrepresenting the status of a vehicle to a prospective buyer is a third degree felony in Florida. To avoid misrepresentation when a rebuilt title is issued, the owner must also receive a decal that is placed on the car clearly showing its rebuilt status. Although misrepresentation is a felony, it does not prevent some vehicle dealers from concealing information about the vehicle's history. Order a vehicle history report, which will show you whether the vehicle is a salvage or not.
Gilbert Manda has written financial news since 2000. He holds a professional diploma from the London School of Journalism, a Bachelor of Science in global business and public policy from the University of Maryland and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University London.