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Salvage and Nonrepairable Vehicles

Citizens, insurance companies, auto recyclers (salvage dealers, demolishers, rebuilders, or scrap metal processors), salvage pools, and vehicle removal operators are required to obtain a salvage certificate, nonrepairable certificate, or certificate of title for each salvage or nonrepairable vehicle in their possession. If the vehicle is demolished or processed by removing parts, the licensee must also notify DMV of this action.

A vehicle that is declared salvage cannot be operated on the highways of the Commonwealth and may not be registered as long as there is an active salvage certificate.

It is lawful for:

  • A salvage dealer to sell vehicle components or parts to unlicensed persons.
  • An individual to dispose of a salvage vehicle that was acquired for their own use if it was acquired in good faith and not to avoid the provisions of the salvage laws.

It is unlawful for:

  • A salvage pool to sell a salvage vehicle to any person who is not licensed as a salvage dealer, rebuilder, demolisher, scrap metal processor, vehicle removal operator, or motor vehicle dealer.
  • Any person to sell a nonrepairable vehicle to any person who is not licensed as a salvage dealer, demolisher, scrap metal processor, or vehicle removal operator.
  • Any person to sell a rebuilt vehicle without first having formally disclosed in writing that the vehicle was rebuilt by providing the buyer with a Rebuilt Vehicle Discloser Statement (VSA 59).
  • A scrap metal processor to sell a vehicle or vehicle components for parts.
  • An auto recycler (salvage dealer, demolisher, rebuilder, or scrap metal processor), salvage pool, or vehicle removal operator to demolish or scrap a motor vehicle without reporting the vehicle's disposition to DMV.


The Commonwealth of Virginia has statutes related to salvage and nonrepairable vehicles. These statutes:

  • explain how certain vehicles become classified as salvage or nonrepairable
  • provide for specific ownership documents for those types of vehicles and title branding
  • contain requirements that are applicable to citizens, insurance companies, and the salvage industry
  • explain how those involved in the salvage process are licensed
  • explain how vehicles progress through the salvage process
  • identify a vehicle's history through the salvage process
  • assist law enforcement in combating vehicle theft and fraud, and
  • inform customers as to a vehicle's status through branding

Contact Information

For assistance, please contact us.

Additional Information

Declaring a Vehicle Salvage
Declaring a Vehicle Nonrepairable
Rebuilt Vehicle Examinations
Salvage General Licensing Information
Filing a Salvage Dealer Complaint