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Old 02-21-2014, 01:05 PM   #1
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Kansas Salvage Title as New???

I live in Kansas and have heard rumors (from reputable sources, including an RV dealership themselves) that in our state it is possible to get a new clean title on a previously salvaged vehicle. The trick to this is that the buyer of the salvaged vehicle will ask that the seller sell it to them with a claim of "lost title". Then the receiving dealership can file for a new title, repair any damages and sell it as clean.

Our small town has 3-4 RV dealers and repair shops, which seems high. However, we are along a major interstate highway and located between several popular travel destinations.

I know that a shop that I talked to before buying our TT was offering to take our pop-up as a trade in. I told him that years earlier, my parents had owned it and it was totaled by hail damage. He told me that he would most likely just ask that I trade it in without a title, and he would file for a new one. There may be some limitations on length of trailer as well for this "loophole".
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:32 PM   #2
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It happens in Georgia.
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:37 PM   #3
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There is a difference between "loophole" and circumvention ...
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:04 PM   #4
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In most states, I would think all states, once a vehicle has been issued a salvage title, that is indicated in the records against that VIN...and it should be impossible to apply for a "clean" title unless someone deliberately alters the VIN on the title application.
You can buy a salvage title vehicle, and you can drive it, as long as it passes whatever inspection laws your state has, and it's perfectly legal.

Jim
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Lobstah View Post
In most states, I would think all states, once a vehicle has been issued a salvage title, that is indicated in the records against that VIN...and it should be impossible to apply for a "clean" title unless someone deliberately alters the VIN on the title application.
You can buy a salvage title vehicle, and you can drive it, as long as it passes whatever inspection laws your state has, and it's perfectly legal.

Jim
Many years ago before there were so many computers around it might have possible to beat the system but now it is unlikely (not impossible). I think Jim has pretty much nailed it.
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:45 AM   #6
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A salvage title is mostly just another indicator to an insurance company. Assuming the restoration was done competently, the vehicle can be indistinguishable from a non-salvage vehicle. It's actual value can be difficult to determine.

Insuring a Salvage Title Vehicle
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:54 AM   #7
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Always run a Carfax before any used vehicle. It will show if that vehicle has been salvaged or not. Here in FL most salvaged vehicles have been flood damage from Hurricanes and the are never the same. There are tricks that dealers do to take them out of state and get new titles that are not salvaged, then bring them back to FL and get a new FL title. Carfax will catch all of the title changes.
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:01 AM   #8
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Always run a Carfax before any used purchase. It will show if that vehicle has been salvaged or not. Here in FL most salvaged vehicles have been flood damage from Hurricanes and the are never the same. There are tricks that dealers do to take them out of state and get new titles that are not salvaged, then bring them back to FL and get a new FL title. Carfax will catch all of the title changes.
Yup ... after Katrina any panhandle area vehicle was questionable ...

and now Sandy in the northeast ...
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:38 AM   #9
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Always run a Carfax before any used vehicle. It will show if that vehicle has been salvaged or not. Here in FL most salvaged vehicles have been flood damage from Hurricanes and the are never the same. There are tricks that dealers do to take them out of state and get new titles that are not salvaged, then bring them back to FL and get a new FL title. Carfax will catch all of the title changes.
The Carfax report will only show the vehicle has been salvaged if the insurance company, repair shop, or owner voluntarily reports that information to Carfax, or the title submitted to the state has been declared as salvage. In most cases revealing that information is not in the interest of the reporting party. It decreases the value to potential buyers since the buyer now has to jump through several additional hoops to legally get the vehicle back on the road.

Carfax and other similar organizations rely on voluntary information submitted by repair shops, individual owners, and insurance companies. They also search public records like those from the DMV. There is no legal requirement for anyone to submit any information to these businesses.

Once the DMV gets a title for a vehicle that has been declared as salvage it's, difficult to have it retitled as road worthy. The repair shop has to have the vehicle inspected and prove the damage has been repaired before a new title can be issued. That's why some unscrupulous dealers and repair shops claim the title was lost. They often buy vehicles at auction before the titles have been submitted to the state. If the vehicle has a salvage title it is often resold in another state with the claim that the original title has been lost.

Very few states communicate this information so it's not that difficult to get it retitled without an inspection or a title search.

I wouldn't trust a CarFax or any other company to be able to report everything that's happened to a vehicle. The best course of action is to have the vehicle inspected by a trusted repair shop.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:00 AM   #10
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I just found out the eye opening truth about the "car fax" system, it is not worth the paper it is printed on! Short story: My buddy had a jeep wrangler leased, 5 trips to the dealer for wet floors over a 2 year period of time, could not get it to stop leaking, floors soaked, he traded it in 3 months early and had to pay a extra $1200.00 early return fee, but he wanted rid of it cause of the water leaks, the Chrysler dealer where he trade it in at had it listed on their web site, 9 car fax's on it...........not one listed mentioned anything about water leaks and all the roof and door gaskets being replaced several times and the last time he picked it up, the dealer flat out said ...we can't fix it. I will never use car fax again! The selling dealer only put the good things on the car fax! They only listed inspections, tire rotation, oil changes, washed it......nothing about the water/seal problem, how would you like to read this car fax and buy this jeep?
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:02 AM   #11
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The Carfax report will only show the vehicle has been salvaged if the insurance company, repair shop, or owner voluntarily reports that information to Carfax, or the title submitted to the state has been declared as salvage. In most cases revealing that information is not in the interest of the reporting party. It decreases the value to potential buyers since the buyer now has to jump through several additional hoops to legally get the vehicle back on the road.

Carfax and other similar organizations rely on voluntary information submitted by repair shops, individual owners, and insurance companies. They also search public records like those from the DMV. There is no legal requirement for anyone to submit any information to these businesses.

Once the DMV gets a title for a vehicle that has been declared as salvage it's, difficult to have it retitled as road worthy. The repair shop has to have the vehicle inspected and prove the damage has been repaired before a new title can be issued. That's why some unscrupulous dealers and repair shops claim the title was lost. They often buy vehicles at auction before the titles have been submitted to the state. If the vehicle has a salvage title it is often resold in another state with the claim that the original title has been lost.

Very few states communicate this information so it's not that difficult to get it retitled without an inspection or a title search.

I wouldn't trust a CarFax or any other company to be able to report everything that's happened to a vehicle. The best course of action is to have the vehicle inspected by a trusted repair shop.
X2 on the bold. This would be my experience as well. Run a Carfax if it will make you sleep better, but if it comes back clean, it doesn't mean a thing, and there are certainly no guarantees attached to that fact. Carfax (and similar companies) will not be held accountable for missing or inaccurate info. That's a fairly widely publicized fact....
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:31 PM   #12
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Basically what I am hearing is that this is indeed possible. In some states it would be even be considered easy. I feel like Kansas is one of those states. I know there was an RV "shop" here on main street that always had a fifth wheel or two parked in the lot that were really messed up. I stopped in to talk to the guys working on it and they said that it was damaged and they were rebuilding it to be sold. So it wasn't an insurance claim. This and the fact that when I was thinking of trading in my pop-up he told me not to bring the title, makes me very suspect of ANY used camper.

We decided to buy new and I don't regret it a bit.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:36 AM   #13
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I would never purchase a salvaged vehicle due to the decreased value of such a vehicle. That being said, vehicles are totaled based on a percentage of cost of repair vs. value of vehicle. Does not necessarily mean that the vehicle can't be fixed properly. It means that its cheaper for the insurance company to payout on the value of the vehicle vs. repairing it. If one can pick it up cheap enough and repair it themselves or at a low cost, it might be a deal. I would never buy anything with flood damage.
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