Salvage and Rebuilt Vehicles

What you need to know about Salvage and Rebuilt Vehicles.

The purpose of the New Hampshire Salvage Title Law is to prevent title fraud, provide consumer protection and reduce insurance fraud on any "Salvage" vehicle. A salvage vehicle is any vehicle that has been deemed a total loss by an insurance company as a result of damage or theft. Once a vehicle is declared a total loss, a new title identifying it as a salvage vehicle must be issued.

Apply for a Salvage Title

When an insurance company declares a non-exempt vehicle as a total loss, the company must submit the following documents to the Title Bureau at the DMV in Concord:

A "Salvage Title" certificate will be issued and sent either to the insurance company or directly to the vehicle's owner at the insurance company's request. The salvage title certificate will serve as proof of ownership and will be branded "Salvage", indicating that the vehicle has been declared a total loss. Once a salvage title has been issued for a vehicle, the vehicle cannot be registered or titled until it has been rebuilt for road use and has undergone a salvage inspection.

Salvage Inspection

Salvage inspections are available by calling the Title Bureau at (603) 227-4150 to make an appointment. A $50.00 fee must be paid when scheduling an appointment (Visa or MasterCard only). Please see our list of specific locations and available days and hours. The inspection of the vehicle will include verification of the vehicle identification number (VIN) and verification that the damage listed on the insurance adjusters report has been repaired.

At the salvage inspection location, the vehicle's owner must present the following:

  • The vehicle needing a salvage inspection.
  • Proof of ownership (salvage title properly transferred), or a letter from the DMV.
  • Insurance adjuster's report/appraisal report itemizing damages.
  • Proof of repair of salvage items.
  • Any other documentation which shows that the vehicle had been declared a total loss and that the vehicle has been rebuilt and is safe for highway operation.

The vehicle can be either driven to the salvage inspection location using a 20-day temporary plate or carried on a flatbed tow truck.

Once the vehicle is inspected and approved, a salvage decal is permanently attached to the vehicle; the owner is issued a salvage vehicle identification number verification report (DSMV 547). The owner can then go to his or her town/city clerk's office to register the vehicle and apply for a new title. All subsequent titles issued for that vehicle will bear the legend "Rebuilt Vehicle".

Safety Inspection Required

A salvage inspection is not the same as a safety inspection; a salvage vehicle will still need to undergo a separate safety inspection within ten (10) days of being registered. Please review the Salvage Repair requirements to get a complete list of items that are included in the salvage inspection and other important information.

Vehicles Recovered After Theft

If a vehicle is deemed "Salvage" due to theft, the salvage title is retained by the insurance company, pending possible recovery of the vehicle. Should the vehicle be recovered, the insurance company may then proceed to transfer ownership of the vehicle. The vehicle must be inspected at a Salvage Inspection location, and if the vehicle is intact with no damage as stated on letterhead from the insurance company, the New Hampshire title will be marked "Recovered Theft".