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What is Branded Title?

Title Brands indicate whether a used vehicle has sustained damage or might be potentially unsafe to drive, this information will usually be reflected in the car’s title. If the car has been significantly compromised in any way, it will be assigned a “Branded Title”.

No individuals or private companies can brand titles. Title branding is handled by a state agency and it is tied to the vehicle identification number (VIN) If you have questions about title brands used in your state, we recommend contacting your state’s department of motor vehicles.

Clear title: When a title is issued to an owner with no lien specified

Rebuilt Salvage or Prior Salvage title: A vehicle that has been substantially rebuilt may have a rebuilt title brand issued by an insurance company, body shop, collision center, or licensed rebuilder. A vehicle with a rebuilt title can normally be registered for road use but may have an inspection requirement to verify it is roadworthy.

Salvage title: When a vehicle incurs some type of loss events such as major damage, theft, or repair, the title may be designated as a salvage title. A salvage title, junk title, rebuilt title, or certificate of destruction are almost always permanent brands on the title which cannot be removed.

Junk title: A title that has been sold to a junkyard may incur a junk title designation if the vehicle is intended to be scrapped or parted out. A salvage title, junk title, rebuilt title, or certificate of destruction are almost always permanent brands on the title which cannot be removed.

Bonded title: Obtaining a vehicle title when there is a serious deficiency in the ownership documentation can sometimes be done using a bonded title. The bonded title will have a “Bonded” stamp in it for a period of 3 to 5 years.

Reconstructed title: A vehicle that has been substantially rebuilt may have a reconstructed title brand issued by an insurance company, body shop, collision center, or licensed rebuilder.

Certificate of destruction: When an insurance company has paid a claim for a vehicle and taken ownership from the insured, they have the option of processing the title as a certificate of destruction.

Parts only title: A parts only designation is typically found on a bill of sale or transfer form, not on a title. However, if a parts-only bill of sale is submitted for vehicle title processing, the title may be issued with a salvage brand or other cloud on the title.

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