ClearVin Blog - Salvage Auction Doc Tyles

Title types at salvage car auctions


The title type on a auction listing signifies a vehicle’s ownership document. It’s necessary to check a doc type prior to bidding as it will be transferred to you after purchase. There are a variety of different documents that each state can issue and each type of title conveys certain ownership rights and restrictions. Therefore, you should know the designation and viability of each title type to make sure you can buy, register, or import a vehicle to another country.

Clear Title

A clear title is the most desirable car title at salvage auctions. In short, it states that the vehicle has no outstanding financial burden and doesn’t require costly repair. Nothing can prevent it from being sold. Typically, it’s normal-wear vehicles or donations. However, sometimes they have a large sum of mileage, so be sure you check the odometer reading carefully!

Salvage Title

A Salvage Title indicates that a vehicle may have had some significant damage in the past as a result of collision, flood, vandalism, or theft. In fact, the insurer declares a vehicle as “total loss” when a vehicle’s total damage exceeds 70-90% of its actual value. If so, DMV issues a Salvage Title. Though the extent of damage can vary dramatically, salvage vehicles always require a thorough checkup.    

Rebuilt Title

Salvaged cars mentioned above are not necessarily totally crashed. Sometimes, they can be easily repaired. Of course, most states require them to pass through a standard safety inspection before the motor vehicle agency allows operating the vehicle on public roads and issues a new Rebuilt Title. The “Rebuilt” title means that a car has been completely repaired after being presented with a salvage title. No matter if you’re buying a car from auction or used car dealership, a good idea would be to check what exactly happened to it before it was rebuilt and compare the costs.   

Bill of Sale – Parts Only

Bill of Sale is a certificate of personal property transfer – not proof of ownership. For buyers, it means the car can’t be legally registered and not eligible for export. Basically, you can repair such vehicle only for off-road use, or sell for parts. Although, there is an exception – WA Bill of Sale. In Washington, you can export such vehicles, but it may take about a month to process the docs. Of course, you will have to pay for the associated services from your own pocket.  

Junk Certificate

Junk vehicles are also known as non-repairable, scrapped, or destroyed. One thing you should remember is that vehicles with Junk Certificate can never be registered and have no resale value except as a source of parts or scrap. Most likely, you won’t even be able to bid on a junk car. Usually, they are sold strictly to licensed dismantlers or scrappers.  

Form MV-907A

MV-907A is a pretty common salvage certificate issued by the New York DMV. It’s not a title though, just a certificate. By US law in New York, if a vehicle’s repair costs make up 75% of its pre-accident retail value it will receive this.  So, basically, it can be rebuilt as any other salvage car. However, some vehicles can be marked as “Parts Only”. These types of vehicles are deemed not roadworthy and are available only to scrappers and dismantlers who have a special dismantle license. Read more about MV- 907A Certificate on SalvageBid


Non-Repairable means exactly what it implies. As a rule, such lots are totally destroyed after a collision and cannot be repaired for use on public roads. However, as opposed to junk vehicles, they can be exported before being scrapped or demolished. So, if you’re looking to import a car, you can consider this vehicle category. Nevertheless, we would recommend taking advantage of a professional mechanical inspection and overall vehicle history check to make sure it is worth its money.   

In Conclusion

If you’re looking to import a vehicle, avoid bidding on vehicles with the following doc types: Junk Receipt/ Junking Certificate, Dismantle or Scrap, Scrap Certificate of Title as they can’t be legally exported from the U.S.

Always keep in mind, both clean titles and salvage certificates can simply be the car you desire current vehicle document. So, we would recommend running a car VIN number lookup or performing a license plate number lookup to ensure that the vehicle doesn’t have any hidden problems and blanks in its history.     

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