About the Salvage Vehicle Examination Program

What is a salvage vehicle?

By law, a 'salvage vehicle' is a vehicle that

  • was transferred to or acquired by an insurance company with a Salvage Certificate (MV-907A) because it has significant damage (the damage can occur because of a collision, theft, vandalism, or damage from water)
  • has costs for repairs to restore that are more than 75% of the pre-damage retail value of the vehicle
  • was issued a salvage title from another state and brought to New York
  • was declared a 'wreck' on the back of its New York State title by the owner at the time of sale or transfer

If a salvage vehicle is rebuilt for use on roadways, the DMV must examine it before the DMV can issue a new title certificate or registration. The required examination is part of the NYS Auto Theft Prevention Program. The program includes vehicles that were issued a NYS Salvage Certificate (MV-907A). The program also includes rebuilt salvage vehicles from most other states.

A NYS Title Certificate issued after the date of May 18, 1999 for a rebuilt salvage vehicle displays the brand, 'REBUILT SALVAGE'. Some title certificates issued before May 19, 1999 also show this brand.

The salvage vehicle examination is not

  • a safety inspection
  • an emissions inspection
  • an insurance examination


Why is this examination required?

The NYS law requires the salvage vehicle examination to determine if a rebuilt salvage vehicle is stolen or includes stolen parts. The salvage vehicle examination program

  • protects consumers
  • finds stolen items
  • prevents the theft of vehicles and vehicle parts


What type of vehicle needs a Salvage Examination?

A salvage vehicle that is recovered after a theft or rebuilt after the damage must be examined by the DMV before the DMV can issue a new title.

If the proof of ownership for a salvage vehicle is a NYS Salvage Certificate (MV-907A), the NYS DMV will not issue a title certificate without a salvage vehicle examination.

The DMV will not examine or issue a title certificate for a rebuilt vehicle that has an out-of-state title certificate or a Salvage Certificate (MV-907A) that is labeled

  • 'parts only'
  • 'non-rebuildable'
  • 'non-repairable'
  • 'scrapped'
  • 'destroyed'

These types of vehicles are deemed not roadworthy.

The DMV will not examine or issue a title certificate or a vehicle registration to a rebuilt salvage vehicle that does not have a title certificate or Salvage Certificate (MV-907A) that proves ownership.

Note: If the DMV finds that a recently registered vehicle has a salvage history, the DMV will notify the customer that the vehicle must go through the salvage vehicle process.  The DMV will not issue a New York State title or allow you to renew your vehicle registration until the vehicle is examined and the title is issued. 

Once the vehicle completes the salvage examination process, and a title is issued, the owner can register the vehicle.