Recently Bought a Salvage Car From an Online Car Auction? Read About the Registration Renewal Process First


An insurance company declares a car as a total loss when the cost of repair exceeds the cost of the policy. When the car is titled as salvage, the DMV cancels the registration, restricting the vehicle from being driven on public roads. Many of these salvage cars that are repairable are available through online car auctions, and that’s a good buying opportunity especially for those looking for used vehicles at dirt-cheap prices. If you have recently bought a salvage car or are planning to buy one, the blog post will guide you on how to get the registration renewed and get the car back on road.

A salvage car owner has to visit the DMV for re-registering the vehicle. Make sure you take the following documents to your local DMV office:

  • Government issued photo ID
  • Proof of ownership of the vehicle
  • Application for registration
  • Registration from the previous state
  • Proof of registration fee payment
  • Safety inspection certification

If you have recently immigrated to the new state, the DMV gives a period of 30 days after establishing residency to get your vehicle registered.


All the vehicles have to undergo safety and emission inspections and get a clearance. The registration and inspection of the vehicle are mostly done on the same day and you have to pay the fee beforehand to the Department of Public Safety. The county tax office issues a sticker for registration and inspection that has:

  • License plate number
  • Registration date of the vehicle
  • Name of the counter where the vehicle is registered
  • Vehicle Identification Number

Renewal Fee

The registration renewal fee might vary depending on the types of vehicles. Click here to learn more about the registration renewal fee in different states. Some states require the vehicle owner to pay state portion of the fee or vehicle inspection fee to DPS after the car is registered. The fee may vary based on the type of vehicle, county and type of inspection required.

License Plate

A general issue license plate that is valid for seven years is issued to owners re-registering the vehicle for the first time. If the reflective coating on the plate deteriorates, you can request for replacement at the Tax Assessor’s Office. Transfer of the license plate to a different vehicle is also possible, free of cost, after the DMV issues a new registration sticker.

Final Words

The registration renewal process is simple, provided you have all the important and required documents during the inspection and registration process. We hope that the above-listed guidelines will make it easier for you to renew the registration of the salvage car. If you are still looking for a deal that won’t break your bank, check out the inventory of salvage cars on SalvageBid. To learn more about any of the vehicles listed with us or our bidding process, feel free to reach us at +1 (360) 347-1300.

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