Salvage Titles in Arizona

A salvage vehicle title in Arizona is issued on a car that was involved in a serious accident, suffered water damage or was recovered after being stolen. There is more than one type of salvage title in AZ and vehicle owners need to be aware of which one they need. One type of salvage title deems a vehicle unsafe for the road, but after going through a detailed repair and inspection process, Arizona may deem a salvage-titled vehicle safe and issue the second type of salvage title. While these salvage titles are great for owners who are uncertain what to do with their wrecked or theft-recovered vehicles, understanding how to get a salvage title can be overwhelming for some. The process for each salvage certificate application has multiple steps and requires careful documentation to successfully complete each one. Continue reading to learn how to obtain an Arizona salvage title or download our comprehensive guide for in-depth details on the process.

What is a salvage certificate in Arizona?

An Arizona salvage title applies to any vehicle that was recovered from theft or experienced damages that made it uneconomical to repair. For example, an owner may apply for an Arizona salvage certificate if the vehicle has $5,000 worth of damage but is only valued at $2,000. An application for a salvage certificate can be completed by the vehicle’s owner, the leasing company, the financial company or the insurance company. If the finance or insurance company is the one who deemed the vehicle a total loss – beyond repair – and applied for a salvage title, then the owner may be able to purchase the vehicle back from the company. Generally, this happens when the owner wants to restore the salvage-titled vehicle back to drivable condition and go through the restoration process for a salvaged vehicle.

How to Apply for an Arizona Salvage Certificate

If the insurance or finance company filed for the salvage title, then it will obtain the salvage title and the owner will have to contact the company and inquire about obtaining the title and keeping the vehicle. If the vehicle is not financed and the owner declines a payout from the insurance company, then applying for a salvage title is not much different than applying for a normal title. The owner must first gather all the documents needed to prove ownership of the vehicle in question. The owner will also need to bring his or her driver’s license. The owner can then download, complete and print Arizona’s title and registration application. When completing the application, the owner must check the “Salvage” box at the top.

While the owner can fill out the salvage certificate application form in the MVD, having it filled out beforehand will expedite the process, as the owner will have all the information in front of him or her and can gather any additional information he or she may not have immediately available. The owner can then take the completed salvage certificate application, the current title, his or her driver’s license and evidence of ownership such as a bill of sale to the MVD office. The representative at the MVD office will help the owner through the rest of the submission process.

What is a restored salvage vehicle in Arizona?

There is a second type of salvage vehicle title known as a restored salvage title. This is for a vehicle that the Arizona MVD issued a salvage title for but has been restored back to safe driving condition. To receive this type of title, the owner must perform all the repairs required to make the vehicle safe again or have a repair facility perform the necessary repairs. During the repair process, the owner must retain all receipts and invoices to prove the components were replaced or repaired. These receipts must include the description of the vehicle that donated used parts, including the vehicle identification number, title number, year, make and model. They must also contain the name, address and signature of the company or person who sold the parts and any private parts seller’s driver’s license number. After obtaining all the required information, the owner must submit the vehicle to an inspection before he or she can receive a restored salvage title. Download our detailed guide for more information on restoring a salvage-title vehicle back to legal driving condition in Arizona.

What inspections are required for a restored salvage title in Arizona?

To ensure a restored salvage vehicle is safe to drive, the Arizona MVD requires an in-depth inspection before certifying the vehicle for use. This salvage vehicle title inspection is the most in-depth inspection the Arizona MVD offers. It is only available at select inspection locations and requires a small fee. During this inspection, the inspector will check all the salvage vehicle’s major components, including the front-end assembly, engine, transmission, airbags, suspension, body panels and the rear-end assembly in trucks.

The owner can bring the salvage vehicle in for inspection or have someone else can bring the vehicle in. The only requirement is whoever brings the salvage vehicle in has his or her driver’s license and shows the proof of ownership and the repair receipts or invoices. If the owner provides ample proof of ownership and the salvage vehicle passes level III inspection, then it is eligible for a restored salvage vehicle title. At this point, the owner can register the vehicle and legally drive it by getting an emissions-compliance certificate (if needed) and then return to the MVD office to surrender the current AZ salvage title, submit a new completed Arizona title and registration application with the inspection report and pay any associated fees.