Car icon Motor Vehicles Salvage Titles

When an insurance company acquires a salvage vehicle through payment of a total loss settlement due to damage, a Salvage Certificate of Title must be issued in the name of the insurance company. If the insurance company is unable to obtain a properly assigned certificate of title from the previous owner, special provisions have been made, refer to Insurance Company Affidavit for Affirmation of Ownership of a Salvaged Vehicle Obtained in Settlement of a Total Loss.

If, after the insurance company has paid a total loss settlement on a vehicle meeting the definition of salvage, the owner (insured) of the damaged vehicle chooses to retain ownership, the insurance company must notify the Department of Motor Vehicles electronically.  In order to do so, insurance companies should contact with full insurance company name, FEIN, and NAIC# to obtain access to eServices where they may electronically mark vehicles as Salvage.

The insurance company is also required to notify the insured of their responsibility to obtain a Salvage Certificate of Title within thirty (30) days after the settlement of loss. Once the Salvage Certificate of Title has been issued, prior to operating the vehicle on public roads, the insured is required to have a Vehicle Inspection performed and a title branded “Previously Salvaged" issued.  This brand must be carried forward on any subsequent titles.

After the Previously Salvaged Certificate of Title has been issued the insured must make application for a new vehicle registration.

A salvage vehicle is a late model vehicle that has been wrecked, damaged, or destroyed to the extent the estimated total cost of repair to rebuild and restore the vehicle to its condition immediately before it was damaged exceeds 75% of the retail value of the vehicle at the time it was damaged.

Late model vehicle is a vehicle that:

  • is 7 years old or less, as determined by the manufacturer's model year designation, or
  • has a retail value of more than $12,000 until January 1, 2025, when it increases to $12,500.

Cost Of Repairs:

The estimated or actual retail cost of parts needed to repair a vehicle, plus the cost of labor computed by using a customary and reasonable hourly labor rates and times. Retail cost of parts and labor rates may be based upon collision estimating manuals or electronic computer estimating systems customarily used in the automobile insurance industry.

Retail value means the actual cash value, fair market value, or retail value as:

  • set forth in a current edition of any nationally recognized compilation, including automated data bases, or;
  • determined according to a market survey of comparable vehicles with respect to condition and equipment.

The salvage designation also applies if the owner of a vehicle voluntarily obtains a salvage branded Certificate of Title on the vehicle, regardless of the damage, age or value of the vehicle.

If an Out-of-State title is presented with any indication of damage, the brand will be carried forward along with the name of the jurisdiction who issued the previous title, on the Nebraska Certificate of Title. This includes, but is not limited to, the following notations:

  • Damaged
  • Flood
  • Junked (in those states where this is not a death certificate)
  • Manufacturer Buyback
  • Non-Highway Use (not eligible for registration)
  • Previously Salvaged
  • Rebuilt
  • Reconstructed
  • Repaired
  • Total Loss
  • Any other language indicating damage

Once a vehicle with a Salvage Certificate of Title has been repaired, a Vehicle Inspection must be performed and a Vehicle Inspection Certificate must accompany the application for title, before a new title can be issued and the vehicle can be registered. The new title is required to have the words “Previously Salvaged” branded on the face under the designation, Legends. All brands must be carried forward on any titles issued thereafter and will also appear on any initial and subsequent registrations issued for the vehicle.

A Salvage Certificate of Title is obtained by submitting the salvage vehicle's Certificate of Title and a properly completed Application for Certificate of Title to any County Treasurer (refer to the County Treasurer Listing for contact information).

The fee for a Salvage Certificate of Title is $10.00. Please contact the County Treasurer where the application for title is submitted for information regarding acceptable methods of payment.


Questions regarding Salvage and Previously Salvaged Certificates of Title for Motor Vehicles may be addressed by email or by phone at (402) 471-3918 .