A salvage vehicle is a vehicle that:
- Has been damaged to the extent that it has been declared a total loss.
- The vehicle’s registered or legal owner, insurance company, or another person acting on behalf of the owner has determined would not be economical to repair.
For more detail, see RCW 46.04.514.
Either you or your insurance company must report that the vehicle has been declared salvage, and surrender your Certificate of Ownership (title) to us.
- The registered or legal owner must surrender the Certificate of Ownership within 15 days of the destruction.
- An insurance company must surrender the Certificate of Ownership within 15 days after the settlement of claim.
For more detail, see RCW 46.12.600
How to report a vehicle is salvaged
When you report a salvage vehicle and surrender the title, you must:
- Give us all of the following information:
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Vehicle license plate number
- Name and address of the registered owner
- Name and address of the legal owner (if applicable)
- Name and address of the insurance company that declared the vehicle salvage (if applicable)
- Provide a statement indicating whether or not the market value threshold amount was met.
- Write the word “destroyed” across the face of the Certificate of Ownership (title).
Market Value Threshold
The vehicle meets the definition of the “market value threshold” if it:
- Is 6–20 years old.
- Its a passenger vehicle, light-duty truck, or sport utility vehicle (SUV).
- Had a retail value of $7,880 or more before being destroyed, damaged, wrecked, or declared a total loss.
Frequently asked questions
Can a vehicle that is declared salvage still be legally driven?
No. The vehicle can’t legally be driven or parked on public highways or roads until a new title has been issued.
What are my options once a vehicle has been declared a total loss?
You have 4 options for what to do next:
- Sell the vehicle to a new owner (include the Notice of Cancellation letter and a notarized bill of sale).
- Keep the vehicle and repair it.
- Keep the vehicle without repairing it.
- Use the vehicle for parts.
To find out more about each of these options, see Insurance Destroyed Vehicle Options.
Will I receive a rebuilt brand on the car?
If a Certificate of Ownership (title) is being reissued on the car, it may be branded as “WA REBUILT” if it:
- Is 5 years old or newer.
- Meets the “market value threshold” criteria.