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Salvage Vehicles


What is a salvage vehicle?

A salvage vehicle is a vehicle that has been wrecked, destroyed or damaged to such extent that the insurance company considers it uneconomical to repair it.

These vehicles can be repaired and re-sold in certain circumstances.  All salvage vehicles must be titled in New Jersey, regardless of whether you restore them.

Salvage titles usually display the word “salvage” across the title to distinguish them from a regular title.

Salvage title processing: locations

Requests for salvage titles can be processed only at selected motor vehicle agencies.  You may visit the following locations to conduct a transaction for a salvage title:  Eatontown; Flemington; Manahawkin; North Bergen; Runnemede; Salem; Somerville; and Washington.  A list of these agencies and addresses is available for download.  No appointment is needed.

For additional information on salvage titles available only by mail, please contact the Special Title Unit at 609-292-6500 ext. 5063.

Salvage title processing:  required documents

To request a salvage title, you must have the following items:

  • New Jersey title assigned to an insurance company with the company’s New Jersey sales tax-satisfied stamp.
  • $60 title fee and $25 penalty fee, if applicable.
    • The penalty is applied if the request is received 10 days after the date of sale shown on the back of the New Jersey title (excludes weekends and holidays).
  • Insurance listing sheet (BA-28) and statement from insurance company as to how the vehicle was acquired.  The insurance listing sheet must also include:  actual cash value; type of loss; damage estimate; and year, make and serial number.
  • If there is a lien on the face of the title, it must be properly satisfied prior to the issuance of the salvage title.

Salvage requests

Read through the following types of requests to determine which applies to you, and ensure you have the proper documentation prior to visiting a motor vehicle agency or submitting your request through the mail.

Requesting a salvage title with a “stolen” stop

The following documentation must be submitted:

  • An insurance listing sheet (BA-28) or letter, on insurance company letterhead, explaining that the vehicle for which a salvage title is requested is an unrecovered theft, and that a salvage title must be issued in order for the insurance company to close the claim associated with the loss.
  • The insurance listing sheet (BA-28) or letter must be signed by an authorized representative of the insurance company and must include:  type of loss (unrecovered theft); the vehicle owner’s name; and the year, make, model, and serial number of the vehicle reported as being stolen.
  • Actual cash value of the vehicle should be included on the insurance listing sheet (BA-28).
  • A copy of the police report issued by the police department listed on the stolen stop.
  • An original New Jersey title, with all areas properly filled out.

Requesting a salvage title submitted by an insurance company for an out-of-state vehicle (only those authorized to do business in New Jersey)

The following items must be submitted:

  • Out-of-state title properly assigned to the insurance company.
  • Insurance listing sheet (BA-28) with statement from the insurance company as to how the vehicle was acquired
  • Letter from the out-of-state insurance company on their official letterhead for each vehicle, stating they are licensed to do business and write policies in New Jersey.  The letter must also include: year, make, and model of the vehicle; Vehicle Identification Number (VIN); and an explanation as to why you are requesting an out-of-state title.
  • Completed Application for Salvage Certificate of Title (Form ISM/SS-61) with New Jersey Sales Tax-Satisfied stamp.
  • $60 title fee – there is no penalty fee on an out-of-state title.  If there is a New Jersey Dealer Reassignment with a late date, the fee is $25.
    • The penalty is applied if the request is received 10 days after the date of sale shown on the back of the New Jersey title (excludes weekends and holidays).
  • If there is a lien on the face of the title, then it must be properly satisfied prior to the issuance of the salvage title.

Requesting conversion of a salvage title to a standard title on a vehicle eight year or older that does not need an inspection

The following items must be submitted:

  • Salvage title;
  • $60 title fee;
  • Before and after photos of the vehicle- all sides;
  • Receipts for parts with full vehicle description, year, make and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN);
  • Work order; and
  • Damage report from the insurance company.
  • All of the above required items must be submitted to the following address:

    New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
    Special Title Unit
    PO Box 017
    Trenton, NJ 08666-0017
    Note:  process time for this type of transaction is a minimum of three weeks.

Requesting a salvage title – insurance company (by mail only)

  • Follow the information contained in the MVC procedure Salvage Title Issuance for Vehicle Insurance Company’s Possession (OS/SS-37A).  This procedure is used for requesting that a certificate of ownership be issued in the salvage processor’s name.   Submit required documentation to:

    New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
    Special Title/Salvage Unit
    225 East State Street
    PO Box 017
    Trenton, NJ 08666-0017

Salvage requests:  rejections

The following are possible reasons why your request for a salvage title may be rejected:

  • Incomplete assignment
  • Improper fees and/or penalties
  • Alternations, erasures, etc.
  • Improper signatures on the Power of Attorney form
  • Incorrect or missing supporting documents, e.g., police reports.
  • Note:  The MVC does issue titles to out-of-state residents.

How to restore a title on a salvage vehicle

After a salvage title has been issued, you will need to make the required repairs before scheduling an inspection.

Before your vehicle undergoes repairs, you must take photographs of the vehicle.  The photographs must clearly show each side of the vehicle.

For detailed instructions on salvage vehicle inspection and restoring a salvage title, download the MVC’s guide:  Salvage Vehicle Information (OS/SS-4).  This document includes tips for taking before and after photographs.

Notice for auto auctions

An original Power of Attorney (POA) is required to remain on file with the motor vehicle agency with whom you choose to manage your business.

Contact the Special Title Unit

If you have questions regarding any of the information provided on salvage titles, please call the MVC’s Special Title Unit at 609-292-6500 ext. 5063.