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Can a "salvaged" title be fixed?

My '76 came to me with a "salvaged" title. Although the car has been repainted once, there is no evidence of body work anywhere and all the numbers match. One working theory I have is that the car may have been stolen at some point and was later recovered after insurance had paid it off as a total loss. This would result in the car becoming the property of the insurance company. For those of you in California, does anyone know about a process to officially delete "salvaged" from the title?
Old 11-07-1999, 09:53 AM
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I don't know about The Gold Coast but in Minnesota, If a title is stamped thats it. The title is branded for ever. One other possible senerio could be that the car could have received minor body damage. The cost to repair a minor side swipe could have exceeded the 70% (of book value)state mandated limit. Any damage exceeding this limit would require an insurance company to collect and stamp the title. These vehicles are often retained by the insurance company and resold to recover a percentage of the claim settlement.Just because your car has a stamped title doesn't mean it was rolled in a ball. If there isn't any obvious signs of damage I wouldn't worry about it.
Old 11-07-1999, 11:28 AM
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The salvage title route of insurance companies with respect property taken in the claims process is the practice in my region (KY, IN, OH). Insurance companies seem to think this is the best way to go and it does avoid licensing the car and paying taxes, maybe even delinquent taxes. They do not have to because, absent some extraordinary expense, they could simply register the car as "title only". I think once a title passes thru a third party the salvage language "launders" off, but anyone running the title thru NCIC will pick up the salvage history in the chain. Hal
Old 11-07-1999, 04:15 PM
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As you may infer from the previous posts, the process differs from state to state. There are states where there are hoops you can jump through to get the "salvage" taken off the registration. But I think that fact does show up on a thorough investigation of the title, though.

Best advice is to research the local motor laws in your area.

--DD
Old 11-07-1999, 07:23 PM
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In California, after seven, yes 7, years the title is cleaned if the car has not been registered. When I say cleaned I mean wiped off all DMV and other systems. So if ya got the time ;-)

[This message has been edited by Rich Hilgersom (edited 11-08-1999).]
Old 11-08-1999, 09:09 AM
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There are other states that do not issue Salvage Titles. They can be re-registered and a new title will be issued w/o the dreaded salvage term on the ownership papers.

Dateline did a piece on this issue a few months ago, I think New Jersey and few other east coast states do this. The issue that Dateline was *****ing about was the unscrupulous dealers picking up newer model, flood damaged/wrecked/totaled cars, transporting them to other states clean the owner papers by registering them in that state and fixing them. They would then sell them w/o disclosing the write off history to the new owners.

A number of these cars were fixed with major faults hidden behind nice paint and were found to be highly unsafe. Major accidents were attributed to the shoody repairs, etc. Do it fast, because many states are closing the loop hole on these titles.

Good Luck.

[This message has been edited by mikez (edited 11-08-1999).]
Old 11-08-1999, 10:04 AM
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Try checking the CA DMV web site for the straight poop: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/
Old 11-08-1999, 10:44 AM
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Well, it looks like its only 4 years now. ;-)
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/howto/htvr14.htm
Old 11-08-1999, 01:33 PM
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