Delaware Total Loss Threshold

Delaware-Auto-Total-Loss-Threshold-By-Law 🔗 (pdf)


State Delaware
Rule Total Loss Formula (TLF)
Law 21 Del. C. § 2512

Delaware Total Loss Threshold

Procedures for Owner Retained Salvage Vehicles

The following procedures are provided to customers obtaining a salvage certificate for a total loss insurance settlement when they are retaining ownership of the vehicle. The vehicle cannot be driven until the vehicle has been reconstructed, presented to the Delaware State Police Auto Theft Unit for inspection, passed Delaware safety inspection, and is retitled. The Division can issue a temporary tag when the vehicle has been reconstructed, has passed the Delaware safety inspection, and valid proof of insurance has been presented. See the following procedures:

Step 1:

Over the Counter Process:

 1. Owner must make an odometer disclosure on the back of the Delaware title in Section 1 – “Assignment of Certificate of Title”. Owner must also sign and print his or her name in Section 1 under “Signature of Buyer” and “Printed Name of Buyer.”

 2. The Delaware title and a letter from your insurance company stating the vehicle is a total loss insurance settlement owner-retained salvage. The letter must contain: the signature of an insurance company representative; the name of the owner; the date of loss; the model year, VIN, make, and model of the vehicle. The Delaware vehicle license plate must be presented at the time of request in addition to a fee of $35.00.

 3. The Division will issue a salvage certificate on the vehicle and put the license plate in retention if the vehicle registration is still current.

Mail Process: In order to process by mail, comply with Items (A), (B) and (C) above and mail all documents and the license plate to:

Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles

Title Section

P.O. Box 698

Dover, Delaware 19903

The Salvage Certificate will be processed and returned to you by mail. Please provide a self-addressed envelope to ensure the certificate is mailed to your correct address.

4. If your vehicle passes DMV Safety Inspection, we will issue a temporary tag for no fee until the next scheduled Auto Theft Unit inspection takes place at a location nearest you. (Temporary tags issued for a longer period of time will require a $20.00 fee.)

Step 2: Inspection Requirements

The following procedures must be followed in order for you to title and register a vehicle with a salvage certificate. You must ensure that you comply with the following procedures and present the required items when you bring the vehicle to the Delaware State Police Auto Theft Unit for inspection:

  1. The salvage title must be in your name.
  2. Provide a bill of sale or total loss insurance settlement letter from your insurance company.
  3. You must take color photographs of the vehicle prior to performing any repairs. Two photographs are normally sufficient. Photographs must show the rear and entire left side of the vehicle and the front and entire right side of the vehicle.)
  4. All repairs performed must be documented, and receipts for all parts must be saved. Receipts must have the name, address and zip code of the purchaser and the name, address and zip code of the seller. Receipt must also be dated. Receipts for used parts must have the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the vehicle from which the parts were taken.
  5. The Delaware State Police Auto Theft Unit will require you to provide proof of identity at the time of their inspection.
  6. The salvage title, receipts for all parts and repairs and the bill of sale or total loss insurance settlement letter must be in the same name, whether it’s a dealer or individual.
  7. The Delaware State Police Auto Theft Unit will no longer approve salvage vehicles repaired by a previous salvage owner.
  8. The Delaware State Police Auto Theft Unit’s schedule for inspections is listed below. No appointment is necessary.

Step 3: Retitling and Registration Requirements

  1. The Delaware State Police Auto Theft Unit inspectors will provide you with an “Application for Title” (MV214) when the vehicle successfully passes their inspection.
  2. The vehicle must then be presented to the Division of Motor Vehicles for safety and emissions inspections if this procedure has not already been performed after the vehicle was reconstructed.
  3. When all of the above items are accomplished, present your salvage certificate, State Police “Application for Title”(MV214), proof of valid insurance and Vehicle Inspection Report at any Division of Motor Vehicles facility for titling. There is a titling fee of $35.00.