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Rebuilt Salvage Vehicle Information

A vehicle deemed a total loss (totaled) by an insurance company results in the issuance of a salvage title for the vehicle. It becomes a salvage vehicle and CANNOT be driven on the highways or have a valid license plate. It can be sold as is to an automobile rebuilder to be used either for parts or to be restored (rebuilt). If restored, it must be inspected and ultimately a rebuilt title will be issued for the vehicle. A rebuilt vehicle with a rebuilt title CAN be driven on the highways.

If a salvage vehicle is retained by the owner, the owner must:

  1. restore/rebuild the salvage vehicle “to the condition that existed before” the damage that totaled it
  2. have it inspected by the Department of Revenue Automobile inspection Section to make sure that the salvage vehicle is completely restored and that it contains no stolen parts

Additionally, the vehicle must be restored in Alabama and not in another state.



Does an individual have to be a licensed rebuilder in order to apply for an inspection of their own vehicle which was acquired as part of an insurance claim?
No. Effective June 1, 2010, Act 2010-748 allows an owner of a motor vehicle prior to salvage to apply for inspection and rebuilt title without first obtaining a rebuilder’s license.

Does an airbag (SRS), if deployed, have to be replaced?
Yes. An airbag is considered to be a part of the operating condition of the vehicle. It must be replaced with an operable airbag in order to pass inspection.