Idaho Transportation Department
About Us Travel Services DMV Get Involved News and Information
Printer-Friendly Version
ITD Home News and Info Contact Us

DMV HomeOn-Line ServicesNew to Idaho?Driver ServicesVehicle ServicesMotor Carrier Services / Ports of EntryDriver Licensing OfficesVehicle Licensing OfficesCounty WebsitesOther State DMV LinksInformation for Idaho Military PersonnelManualsLinksRecent LegislationIdaho Motor Vehicle LawsAdmin. RulesVoter RegistrationDMV Historytrucking.idaho.govContact Us
ITD Logo

Salvage Vehicles

ITD Logo

Print Version

This fact sheet provides basic information regarding salvage vehicles, and provides instructions for applying for salvage certificates and subsequent branded titles with the Idaho Transportation Department.


Rebuilt Salvage Vehicle: A vehicle previously declared salvage that has been rebuilt or repaired using like make and model parts and visually appears as a vehicle that was originally constructed under a distinctive manufacturer. [Section 49-123(2)(l), Idaho Code]

Salvage Vehicle: Any vehicle: (1) having a salvage certificate, salvage bill of sale, or other documentation showing evidence that the vehicle has been declared salvage; (2) which has been damaged to the extent that the owner or an insurer or other person acting on behalf of the owner, determines that the cost of parts and labor minus the salvage value makes it uneconomical to repair or rebuild; or (3) for which an insurance company has paid money or made other settlement as compensation for a total-loss vehicle. [Section 49-123(2)(o), Idaho Code]

Theft Recovery: A vehicle acquired by an insurance company in the settlement of a theft claim that has been recovered and is not damaged to the extent that it is a salvage vehicle. [Section 49-524(11), Idaho Code]

Total Loss Vehicle: Every vehicle deemed uneconomical to repair. A total loss shall occur when an insurance company or any other person pays or makes other monetary settlement to the owner when it is deemed to be uneconomical to repair that damaged vehicle. The compensation for total loss does not include payments by an insurer or other person for medical care, bodily injury, vehicle rental, or for anything other than the amount paid for the actual damage to the vehicle. [Section 49-123(2)(r), Idaho Code]

Owner-Retained Salvage: A vehicle declared a total loss that is being retained by the titled owner following the settlement.

Salvage Pool: A licensed vehicle dealer engaged primarily in the business of disposing of salvage vehicles, recovered stolen vehicles, or both. [Section 49-120(4), Idaho Code]
  • A salvage certificate will be issued for any vehicle that meets the definition of “Salvage Vehicle” (see definition above). A salvage certificate shall also be issued when an insurer has acquired a vehicle in the settlement of a theft claim.

  • The salvage certificate serves as the legal ownership document for the vehicle and will take the place of the previous title or manufacturer's certificate of origin (MCO).

  • If the vehicle was declared a total loss and an insurance company paid damages to the owner, and received the certificate of title or comparable ownership document and vehicle, the insurance company or salvage pool must apply for a salvage certificate of title prior to resale of the vehicle. They must submit to the department an application for salvage certificate, the properly released ownership document, VIN Inspection Certification (form ITD 3403) (Only required if the ownership document was issued by a jurisdiction other than Idaho); and a $14 salvage certificate fee within 30 days of receipt of the properly released ownership document. [Section 49-524(5),(6), Idaho Code]

  • Salvage transmittal (form ITD 3206) should also be completed when submitting multiple salvage certificate applications.
If the insurer or salvage pool is unable to obtain a properly released title or comparable ownership document for a salvage vehicle within thirty (30) days after the acceptance by the owner of an amount in settlement of a total loss, then the insurer or salvage pool may apply for a salvage certificate without having first obtained the properly released title or comparable ownership document. Within ten (10) days of the issuance of a salvage certificate to the purchaser, the insurer or the salvage pool shall submit to the department the following:

[Section 49-524(9), Idaho Code]. The owner may not sell or otherwise dispose of the vehicle until he has been issued a salvage certificate.

To obtain a salvage certificate, the applicant needs to submit the following to the department at the address indicated on the application: If the owner who has retained the salvage vehicle following payoff sells the vehicle before it has been repaired/rebuilt for highway use, the purchaser may apply for a salvage certificate. In addition to submitting the items above, sales tax on the purchase price must also be submitted.

If the owner of a retained salvage vehicle fails to surrender the title and be issued a salvage certificate, or sells the vehicle and does not tell the buyer that the vehicle is totaled, he is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six (6) months in jail, a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) or both [Section 49-524(8), Idaho Code].

The insurance company making the payoff for an owner-retained vehicle must notify the department of the payoff within 30 days. [Section 49-524(9), Idaho Code].


After a salvage vehicle has been repaired to meet the equipment requirements of Title 49, Chapter 9, Idaho Code, the owner may take the salvage certificate to his county assessor’s motor vehicle office to apply for a branded title, and to register the vehicle. There, he will need to complete a Salvage Vehicle Statement (form ITD 3311), and pay a $14.00 title fee. Vehicles with salvage certificates cannot be registered until an application for title has been completed and submitted. The owner may apply for title and register it at the same time.


After a salvage certificate has been surrendered with an application for title and other pertinent forms and fees, the title will be issued with the brand “Rebuilt Salvage”. The brand will appear in the “Other Pertinent Data” section of the title, just below the vehicle description and to the right of the owner information. The brand will remain on the title for the life of the vehicle.


If a salvage vehicle is acquired in a state or jurisdiction which does not require the surrender of the title or comparable ownership document, the purchaser must surrender the title and apply for an Idaho salvage certificate within 30 days of receipt of the title. [Section 49-524(12), Idaho Code]

If a vehicle titled in Idaho becomes a salvage vehicle (according to Idaho’s definition) in another state, the owner or insurer must notify the Idaho Transportation Department and any purchaser in writing of the salvage status. If the vehicle returns to Idaho, it will be branded “Rebuilt Salvage”, or a comparable brand on an out-of-state title will be carried forward. (IDAPA


If an insurer acquires the properly released title or other comparable ownership document for a vehicle in a settlement of a theft claim, the insurer shall immediately surrender it to the department along with an application for salvage certificate in the name of the insurer, the salvage certificate fee, and other documents as required by the department for processing. [Section 49-524(10), Idaho Code]

If the vehicle is subsequently recovered and is not a salvage vehicle due to damage, the insurance company must complete an Indemnifying Affidavit (form ITD 3410) stating these facts, and deliver this form and the salvage certificate to any purchaser. When the documents are submitted with an application for title, the subsequent title will carry the notation “Theft Recovery” in the “Other Pertinent Data” section of the title. Section 49-524(11), Idaho Code]


Any vehicle declared a salvage vehicle that is required to be titled must comply with salvage requirements explained in this fact sheet. Vessels required to be titled or which have been optionally titled which have been declared salvage must also comply with these requirements. [Section 49-501A, Idaho Code]


All forms referenced in this fact sheet are available at your local county assessor’s motor vehicle office. They are also available in a fillable format on the Internet at

This fact sheet has been provided by:
Idaho Transportation Department • Vehicle Services • Post Office Box 7129 • Boise, Idaho 83707-1129

The Idaho Transportation Department is committed to full compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and all related regulations.
For more information call the EEO Office at (208) 334-8884.
Page Last Modified: 7/30/2013 9:39:43 AM

Division of Motor Vehicles / Vehicle Services Section
Vehicle Titles: (208) 334-8663Vehicle Registrations (Special Plates): (208) 334-8649Dealer Licensing: (208) 334-8681

About Us | Traveler Services | DMV | Projects | News And Info | Reader-Friendly | Privacy & Security
Idaho Transportation Department
3311 W. State Street · P.O. Box 7129
Boise, ID 83707-1129