Information about the Salvage Vehicle Examination Program
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. Read more information about the salvage branding process.
The salvage vehicle examination is not a safety inspection, an emissions inspection, or an insurance examination. The salvage vehicle examination is a separate and additional examination conducted by DMV investigators.
The DMV Division of Field Investigations Auto Theft Unit administers the Salvage Vehicle Examination Program.
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, and
- prevents the theft of vehicles and vehicle parts.
What is a salvage vehicle?
A salvage vehicle is a vehicle that was transferred to an insurance company because it was stolen or because it has significant damage. The damage can occur because of a collision, theft, vandalism, or damage from water.
Any vehicle is a salvage vehicle if the cost of the repairs to restore the vehicle are more than 75% of the pre-damage retail value of the vehicle.
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 certificate or registration.
If the proof of ownership for a salvage vehicle is a NYS form MV-907A
(Salvage Certificate); the NYS DMV will not issue a NYS registration or title
certificate without a NYS salvage vehicle examination.
The DMV will not examine or issue a title certificate or a vehicle registration to a rebuilt vehicle that has an out-of-state title certificate that is labeled "parts only", "non-rebuildable", or "non-repairable".
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 form MV-907A that proves ownership.
How to Prepare for the Salvage Vehicle Examination
How can I make sure that my vehicle is prepared for the examination?
Make sure that you have the forms and documents that are required. Make sure that you have the documents and the proofs described on form MV-899 (Application for Salvage Vehicle Examination).
Check the condition of your vehicle. Make sure that your vehicle is safe for use on the road. If the DMV investigator determines that the condition of your vehicle is not safe, the DMV will not examine the vehicle.
Finish the work. Make sure that you complete all the repairs and install all the replacement parts. You must install a new air bag to replace an activated air bag or an air bag that was removed from the salvage vehicle. You cannot install a used air bag from another vehicle.
Provide your sales receipts and proofs of ownership. You must show a sales receipt for each of the replaced parts, or your proof of ownership for other vehicles that you used to supply replacement parts. The proofs must show the complete VIN of the vehicle. The receipts and the proofs must match the correct parts included in the rebuilt vehicle.
Check for stolen vehicle parts. Frequently a person buys a vehicle part and does not know that the part was stolen. NYS law requires the DMV to confiscate a vehicle part if the DMV investigator determines during the examination that the vehicle part was stolen. The DMV can impound the complete vehicle if the stolen part is a major part like the engine or the transmission. If the complete vehicle is stolen, the DMV confiscates the vehicle and returns the vehicle to the legal owner.
Display the vehicle identification number (VIN). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires manufacturers to attach VIN labels to specific parts of specific models of vehicles. If a label is damaged, absent or covered, the DMV can confiscate the part. If a manufacturer made a part on your vehicle that included a VIN label, make sure that the VIN label is attached, legible, not damaged and fully visible. If the DMV investigator determines that the part came from a valid source, the investigator can attach a replacement VIN label and will not confiscate the part. You must pay a total fee of $25 if the DMV attaches one or more VIN labels to the vehicle. Only facilities registered or licensed by the DMV can use a check to pay the fee. All other applicants must use a money order to pay the fee.
How to Apply for a Salvage Vehicle Examination
You can only apply for a salvage vehicle examination by mail. Use these instructions:
- Download and complete form MV-82 (Application for Registration / Title) and form MV-899 (Application for Salvage Vehicle Examination). Carefully read the instructions on form MV-899. Make sure that you provide all the information that is requested on the forms.
- Send the forms, the required documents and the payment to the address listed on form MV-899.
- The required documents include the original proof of ownership for the vehicle and the sales tax receipt (FS-6T) you received at a DMV office. Read the instructions on form MV-899.
- You must pay with a personal check or money order payable to "Commissioner of Motor Vehicles". The DMV does not accept a starter check.
- The fee is $200 if you send form MV-907A (NYS Salvage Certificate) as proof of ownership.
- If you do not send form MV-907A as proof of ownership, the fee is $205.
- Learn how to transport your vehicle to the examination facility.
The DMV mails you a letter that provides the date and the time of your examination appointment, and the location and the directions to the examination facility that you selected.
What important information do I need to know about the day of the examination?
Make sure that you arrive on time for your examination. If you arrive more than 30 minutes after the scheduled time of the examination, the DMV will not examine your vehicle. You must pay another examination fee of $150 and schedule another examination.
- The examination normally takes approximately 30 minutes.
- Make sure that your vehicle does not block any driveways or roadways at the facility.
- You or your authorized representative must drive the vehicle into the examination facility.
- You or you representative must open all the doors, the hood, and the deck lid of the vehicle.
- You or your representative must describe the repair work and the parts that were replaced.
- You or your representative must provide the original receipts for the replacement parts. (Provide any additional photocopies if they are available. The receipts are returned to you.)
- Any vehicle identification number that appears damaged or altered can cause a delay with the examination. The DMV can require you to return for another examination on another date.
If your vehicle passes the examination, the DMV Title Services Bureau mails your title certificate in approximately 15 business days. By law, the DMV must send the title certificate by mail.
You must take the title certificate to a DMV office to apply for a registration.
Learn how to register your vehicle.
Note: If you have a physical disability and you require special accommodations, contact the examination facility. The telephone number is provided on your appointment letter and in the list of salvage vehicle examination facilities.
How to Transport Your Vehicle to the Examination Facility
Can I drive my vehicle to the examination facility?
You cannot drive your vehicle to the examination facility if it does not have a valid registration and liability insurance. You must transport the vehicle legally. If your vehicle arrives at the examination facility and has illegal vehicle plates or an illegal vehicle registration, you can receive a ticket, and the DMV will hold the vehicle until you can transport it legally. The person who drives the vehicle to the examination facility must have a valid driver license.
These are the only legal methods that you can use to transport the vehicle to the examination:
- tow the vehicle
- transport the vehicle on a flatbed truck
- use a dealer plate or a transporter plate that complies with the laws that regulate them
- apply for a Temporary Transport Permit from the DMV.
How do I apply for a Temporary Transport Permit?
Get proof of a safety inspection. Use a legal method to transport the vehicle to an inspection station to get a safety inspection. The inspection station completes the inspection information on form MV-899.
Get insurance coverage for the vehicle and a NYS insurance card (FS-20).
Send the documents with your application. Include the FS-20 insurance card with form MV-899 and the other required documents when you apply for your examination. Attach a note to the front of your application to request a Temporary Transport Permit.
Display your Temporary Transport Permit. The DMV mails your appointment letter and includes the permit. Attach the permit to the left-hand side of your rear window. If the vehicle is a trailer or motorcycle, carry the permit with you. The person who drives the vehicle to the examination facility must have a valid driver license.
How to Change or Cancel Your Examination Appointment
You can change or cancel your appointment by telephone or by e-mail.
You can call the DMV at (518) 486-6560. Use this phone number only to cancel or change a salvage vehicle examination appointment. You must advise the DMV at least two business days before the date of your scheduled examination.
You can change or cancel your scheduled examination one time per application.
You can write to the Division of Field Investigations by e-mail. Use this e-mail address only to change or cancel a salvage vehicle examination appointment. The DMV must receive your e-mail message at least two business days before the date of your scheduled examination.
You can change or cancel your scheduled examination one time per application.
You must include all of this information in your e-mail message:
- The name of the person on the letter from the DMV.
- The date of the scheduled appointment.
- The location of the appointment.
- The Case Number.
- The last five digits of the vehicle identification number (VIN).
- A daytime telephone number.
Send the e-mail message to email@example.com. Use this e-mail address only to change or cancel a salvage vehicle examination appointment. The DMV will not reply to other e-mail messages sent to this e-mail address.
Directions, Addresses and Telephone Numbers for Examination Facilities
The DMV includes directions to the examination facility in your appointment letter. The letter also includes a mailing address and a telephone number if you must contact the DMV before your examination.
See the list of directions to examination facilities.