How do I obtain a salvage title in West Virginia? West Virginia

First, check with your insurance company to make sure the vehicle has sustained enough damage that it’s considered a salvage vehicle.

It might just be that your vehicle sustained enough outside damage to make it a cosmetic total loss but not make it illegal or unsafe to operate on WV roads, in which case you’ll use Form DMV-SV-5 to apply for a Cosmetic Total Loss Certification. The cost is $10.

However, if you find out your vehicle is indeed a salvage, you must either apply for a salvage title or go the rebuilt auto route. Read on.

Applying for a West Virginia Salvage Title

Most folks apply for salvage titles if they plan to sell the vehicle to another person or as scraps/parts to a junkyard. To apply for a salvage title:

  1. Print and complete Form DMV-SV-1, the Salvage Title Certificate.
  2. Find the vehicle registration and original title.
  3. Gather the cash or write a check or money order to cover the $15 salvage title fee.
  4. Bring everything to your local WV DMV Regional Office.
The DMV clerk will take it from there.

Repairing a Salvage Vehicle in West Virginia

If your vehicle is a salvage one but you want to repair it, you’ll need to complete a Reconstruction Title Packet. These packets aren’t available for download; you’ll have to visit your local DMV or call DMV headquarters in Charleston at (800) 642-9066 or (304) 558-3900 to request one.

The packet will explain everything you need to know about rebuilding the vehicle, required documentation such as a receipt or bill of sale for each part used and before and after photographs, required inspections, and fees.

Obtaining a Vehicle History Report

Whether you’re the buyer or seller, if you’re in the used cars market, it pays to obtain a vehicle history report (VHR). A VHR tells the entire vehicle history – a huge bonus for folks at risk for purchasing WV vehicles that might have suffered salvage-worthy flood damage over the past several years.

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