southcarolinaportal.org is privately owned and is neither operated by, nor affiliated with, any government agency.


Salvage Titles in South Carolina

You may need to get a South Carolina salvage title for cars if it is deemed that the vehicleis damaged beyond repair. When an insurance company declares your vehicle a total loss, the company can take the damaged vehicle as settlement for the claim, or the car can be left to the vehicle owner. Either way, the title must be sent to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) to receive the necessary salvage brand.

For drivers to get a salvage title in SC, they must contact the SCDMV directly by mail. Drivers can also do so in person at any SCDMV branch, but if it is determined that a damaged car cannot be rebuilt, then all of the documents must be mailed to the SCDMV salvage titles department. To get a damaged car title for your destroyed car, you will need to fill out the right applications and pay any fees.

What is a salvaged car in South Carolina?

You may be wondering whether your vehicle meets the requirements for a wrecked car titleif your vehicle has been damaged or totaled in an accident in the state of South Carolina. Whether or not a vehicle meets the qualifications for salvage titlesis determinedby auto insurance providers and not by an individual owner or an auto repair shop. In order to determine whether or not to declare the car a total loss, the insurance company looks at the amount of damage the car has undergone and estimates the cost necessary to fix it.

Once an insurance company brands a smashed caras a total loss and issues the title in South Carolina, that brand cannot be removed, but the type of salvage brand may change in the future. Salvage brands are an important component of a vehicle’s history because they help to establish the fair market value of the car. If a salvage brand is incorrectly added or omitted, it will affect the value of the vehicle. It may also cause the vehicle to be misrepresented to a potential buyer after it has been declared a salvage vehicle, which can lead to issues in the future.

What is considered a total loss in South Carolina?
For an auto insurance company to settle a claim for auto salvage in South Carolina, it must determine the loss percentage of the fair market value of the car before it was wrecked. Vehiclesmustbe considered total losses or salvaged carsif they have been damaged so much that repairs, including materials and labor, would cost 75 percent or more of the fair market value or if the fair market value for the vehicle is determined to be less than a certain amount.

What is not considered a total loss in South Carolina?

Smashed cars in South Carolina are declaredtotal losses and will be marked as “salvaged” unless at least one of the following is true about the vehicle:

  • It is marked as “non-rebuildable.”
  • It has been damaged less than 75 percent and has not sustained either water or fire damage.
  • The value of the vehicle is less than a certain amount.
  • The vehicle has been given the title of an antique vehicle.

Adamaged car canget a salvage title in SC if a request form is submitted, along with the other necessary documents, directly to the South Carolina DMV. Once the SCDMV processes the paperwork, it will send a titlein the mail to the person listed as the owner of the totaled vehicle by the insurance company.

NOTE: In South Carolina, some totaled carscan be salvaged, while others may be branded with a specific title, such as “only for parts.” Vehicles with these brands cannot be driven in South Carolina or most states in the country.

How will I know if my car is considered a total loss in South Carolina?

Before applying for salvage titles in South Carolina, you must understand the requirements that the application involves. After your insurance company has made its decision about your smashed carand declares it a total loss, it must notify the SCDMV. Doing so tells the SCDMV that it needs to update your vehicle title with the appropriate salvage brand. Your insurance company is also going to need to include information stating:

  • Whether or not the vehicle can be rebuilt.
  • If the loss is a result of a crash, fire or water damage.
  • If the vehicle was stolen, including whether or not the vehicle was recovered.

Can I keep my totaled car after a claim is made?

If insurance company has declared your smashed car a total loss but want to keep the vehicle, your insurance agent will need to submit all of the following documents to the SCDMV:

  • An applicant for a salvage title, in the name of the car owner
  • The vehicle title
  • The title fee

Additionally, the insurance company must submit a letter stating that the vehicleis declared a total loss and that it will remain with the owner. If necessary, the company must also complete and sign the request for a salvage title form, which may need to state exactly how the vehicle was damaged.

Note: A specific section of the application must specify whether or not the vehicle can be rebuilt. If the vehicle can be rebuilt, you will need to follow certain steps carefully if you wish to rebuild the car and update the certificate of title accordingly.

How to Get a Rebuilt Title in South Carolina

If your vehicle can be rebuilt, the SCDMV will issue you a rebuilt title with one of the below brands to your insurance company:

  • Salvage
  • Salvage fire
  • Salvage water

If you choose to keep your smashed car in South Carolina, you must rebuild the vehicle once you have received your updated title. Then, you must submit the proper documents to the SCDMV to have the title brand for the vehicle changed to “Rebuilt.” It is essential to note that this step must be completed before you rebuild the vehicle but only after it has been branded a “salvage” vehicle.