A salvage inspection in New York is required to get a new title for your rebuilt or salvaged vehicle. An application, fee, receipts and other documentation are required for an inspection examination.

Once you receive an examination date and time from the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, you’ll need to decide how to transport your vehicle to the inspection site. If your vehicle passes the salvage inspection in New York, you should receive a salvage title in three to five weeks.

Key Highlights

  • A salvage vehicle examination is required in New York to get a new title certificate and registration.
  • The salvage inspection in New York is conducted by the DMV’s Division of Field Investigations Auto Theft Unit.
  • The inspection ensures that no stolen parts were used in rebuilding the salvaged car.

What is a salvage vehicle exam in New York?

You can only get a new title certificate and registration for a rebuilt salvage vehicle in New York once the car passes a salvage vehicle examination. This inspection is also required for rebuilt salvage vehicles coming from most other states. The examination process is conducted by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and requires an application, a fee, proof of ownership and additional documentation.

According to the New York DMV, the salvage vehicle examination is not a safety inspection, emissions inspection or insurance examination. Instead, it is a separate and additional examination conducted by DMV investigators and administered through the state’s DMV Division of Field Investigations Auto Theft Unit. The salvage vehicle examination is done to determine if a rebuilt salvage vehicle is stolen or includes stolen parts.

The salvage vehicle examination program also does the following:

  • Protects consumers
  • Locates stolen items
  • Prevents the theft of vehicles and vehicle parts

Applying for a salvage vehicle inspection

To prepare your vehicle for inspection, first make sure that you have the documents and the proof described on form MV-83SAL (Application for Salvage Vehicle Examination).

Also, make sure that your vehicle is safe for use on the road. If the DMV investigator determines that the condition of your vehicle is not safe, the DMV will not examine the vehicle. Additionally, be sure to complete all the repairs and install all the replacement parts. For example, you need to install a new airbag to replace an activated airbag or an airbag that was removed from the salvage vehicle. A used airbag from another vehicle cannot be installed.

You must also show a sales receipt for each of the replaced parts or your proof of ownership for other vehicles that you used to supply replacement parts. These proofs must show the complete VIN of the vehicle and must match the correct parts included in the rebuilt vehicle.

You can only apply for a salvage vehicle examination by mail. Follow the instructions below:

  1. Download and complete form MV-83SAL (Salvage Application/Title Application). This form replaces forms MV-899 (Application for Salvage Vehicle Examination) and MV-82, which were previously used by the DMV.
  2. Carefully read the instructions on form MV-83. Make sure that you provide all the information that is requested on the forms.
  3. Fill out the form online, print it and submit it with the required documents and payment to the Albany, New York address provided on the form. The required documents include the original proof of ownership for the vehicle and the sales tax receipt (FS-6T) you received at a DMV office.
  4. Make your personal check or money order payable to “Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.” The fee is $200 if you send form MV-907A (NYS Salvage Certificate) as proof of ownership. If you do not send form MV907A as proof of ownership, the fee is $205.

Transporting your vehicle to a salvage inspection in New York

Once you have applied for the salvage inspection, the New York DMV will mail you a letter that provides the date and the time of your examination appointment and the location. The letter also includes a mailing address and a telephone number if you must contact the DMV before your examination. You can also include an email in your application, which allows for an appointment to be set up more quickly.

Once your appointment is set up at the examination facility you will need to legally transport your vehicle to the examination facility for your salvage examination. To drive your vehicle to the examination facility, you must have a driver’s license, a valid registration, liability insurance and a temporary transport permit.

Other legal methods for transporting your vehicle to the examination include: 

  • Towing the vehicle
  • Transporting the vehicle on a flatbed truck
  • Using a dealer plate or transporter plate that complies with the laws that regulate them

If your vehicle arrives at the examination facility and has illegal vehicle plates or an illegal vehicle registration, you can receive a ticket, and the DMV will hold the vehicle until you can transport it legally. Also, do not arrive more than 30 minutes late or your appointment may be rescheduled.

carinsurance.com/state/New-York-car-insurance.aspx(opens in a new tab)

Typically, if your salvage vehicle passes the examination, you will receive the title in three to five weeks. Since May 1999, any New York state title certificate issued for a rebuilt salvage vehicle displays the brand “Rebuilt Salvage.”

Resources & Methodology


New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. “Prepare for a Salvage Vehicle Examination.” Accessed November 2022.

New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. “Transport a Vehicle to a Salvage Vehicle Examination.” Accessed November 2022.

New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. “Salvage Examination Application.” Accessed November 2022.

— Michelle Megna contributed to this story