What is a Rebuilt Title

A rebuilt title is issued when a salvage title car gets repaired, and fully inspected where it is deemed safe to be back on the road again.

What is a Rebuilt Title

A rebuilt car title is earned when a salvage title car is repaired and deemed worthy and safe to go back on the road. So if you have a salvage title car, not all is lost. A salvage title means the car has undergone a significant event which rendered it worth less than it would cost to replace. This can happen when the car is stolen and the insurance company needs to replace it, before it’s miraculously found again, or when the car is so badly damaged in an accident that the cost to repair is more than the car is worth.

Rebuilt Titles in California

In California, a rebuilt car title is called a “revived” title. These are not without peril though, as some repair shops will fix the cars with old or damaged parts, or could complete the services while cutting a lot of corners. In fact, the DMV reports more than 150,000 salvage vehicles are returned to the streets without a proper inspection. This is a massive concern, as it contributes to an unsafe road environment.

If you’re about to get a rebuilt title car, have it inspected beforehand. The mechanic can tell you if the car is safe, or has been repaired properly. If purchasing a salvage title vehicle that has yet to be registered as salvage, as in the owner hasn’t had a chance to register it as a salvage yet and was actually honest with you, you’ll have to have it inspected for road safety or else the DMV won’t let you register it.

How to Revive a Salvage Title in California

If you have a salvage title car, not all hope is lost. There are steps you can take to revive the car.

  • You’ll need the title to prove that you're the owner of the vehicle
  • A signed application for registration (Reg 343)
  • An inspection certificate from CHP or DMV
  • Brake and light adjustment certificates from a certified repair shop
  • Title, registration and inspection fees
  • Depending on the car you may need a valid smog certificate

If the title is missing, you will need a statement of facts, and you’ll have to give the existing plates to the DMV, along with a copy of vehicle history.

The bottom line is, rebuilt title cars can be a good thing because it shows the damage done to cause a salvage title has been addressed in one way or another, but they can also be bad news. You don’t know how the damage was repaired, so to minimize your risk, it’s best to take the car to a certified mechanic that can identify if whether or not the car has been repaired properly and is safe for the road.

Used Car Buying Tips
Julia MakJulia Mak

Marketing @ Instamotor. Dog lover, NBA fan, nerd at heart.