How To Get a Rebuilt Title in Illinois
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In Illinois, you have to go through the IDOT to get a rebuilt title that overrules the salvage title on your car. You don’t fix the salvaged car - the IDOT tells you the licensed rebuilder to do that for you, after which you can get a rebuilt title for the vehicle.
This is quite different from how it’s been done in most other states in the US. Most times, rebuilding a totaled car can be much more expensive than getting a new one of that same car, but some people are willing to do that anyway.
When you revive a wrecked car, you need a rebuilt title to drive it legally again. A rebuilt title is your “bypass” to register a once-wrecked vehicle that has been revived to roadworthy condition.
This article will look at how to get a rebuilt title in Illinois!
Table of Contents
Rebuilding a Salvage Car in Illinois
If you live in Illinois and your car gets damaged beyond repair - conferring it with an SOS status, which means it’d be more expensive to fix the car than getting a new one, to drive that car again, you have to rebuild it through an IDOT-licensed rebuilder. Vehicles with an SOS status in Illinois are conferred with a salvage title issued by the state’s DOT.
The moment a car gets the “salvage” title, it becomes illegal to still drive the car on the roads of Illinois. If you must drive the said car, you have to apply for a rebuilt title, which costs $95 for the title only (the cost of repairing the damaged car is not included).
However, in Illinois, an individual cannot reconstruct a once-totaled vehicle with a salvage title.
Note: According to Illinois state law, a salvage vehicle is any vehicle that has sustained damage equal to or more than 33.3% of its fair market value.
To revive a salvaged car in Illinois, you have to go through a licensed rebuilder in the state. The rebuilder will provide a quote for fixing the damages to the car, after which the state’s DMV will inspect the vehicle. This is the very first step to getting a rebuilt title in the state of Illinois.
It doesn’t stop with getting the car rebuilt by a licensed rebuilder. The car would also have to pass two tests - conducted separately at different times - before you could legally drive the car. The first test is a safety inspection by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), and the state’s police department does the second.
How To Get a Rebuilt Title in Illinois
Getting a rebuilt title in Illinois is quite different and costlier than in California and Colorado; in Illinois, you’re not eligible to fix the salvaged car you want to get a rebuilt title for - a state-licensed rebuilder must do the repair.
Note: If the wrecked car doesn’t have a salvage title yet, you must get it first before proceeding. It costs around $20 to get salvage titles in Illinois.
Step One: Rebuild the Car
Find a licensed rebuilder that would offer the best price to fix all identified damages to the salvaged vehicle. These licensed rebuilders charge no fixed price, so you may want to check out a few of them and go with who’s offering what seems to be the best price to revive your wrecked car.
Step Two: Go for the First and Second Inspection
After the rebuilder is done, you need to take the car to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Safety Testing Lanes, where it must pass the safety inspection before you can proceed with the rebuilt title process.
If the car passed the IDOT safety test, it’d have to pass another test by the police department. This second test is for vehicles over eight years old; the test is to confirm that the vehicle or the parts used to rebuild it are not stolen (it is not a safety test).
Your vehicle rebuilder is the one to drive the rebuilt vehicle to the police department for inspection. According to the Secretary of State Police, a salvaged car cannot be driven until it is duly registered with a valid dealer plate, has a 72-hour permit from the Secretary of State Police, or a 7-day permit from a Secretary of State Driver Services facility.
Note: The inspection fee in Illinois is $94
Step Three: Submit Documents for the Rebuilt Title Processing
You need to submit some documents and pay a fee of $95 for the title processing. The documents to provide include the following:
- A salvage certificate from the licensed rebuilder
- Completed and signed rebuilt title application form
- A salvage affirmation that details every repair done on the car to rebuild it
- Receipts, invoices, and other payment documents
- A valid driver’s license
- IDOT vehicle inspection report and sticker
- Two checks or money orders with respect to the $94 inspection fee and $95 title fee.
Note: The salvage certificate and application must be in the name of the licensed rebuilder that worked on the car.
After you have fulfilled the steps above, you should then wait for the rebuilt title to be issued to you - this takes a couple of weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I rebuild my salvaged car in a body shop in Illinois?
No, you can’t. Rebuilding a salvaged car to get a rebuilt title is only valid when you go through a state-licensed vehicle rebuilder, who would take care of all the repairs, as well as drive the car to inspections at the IDOT office and police department.
How much does it cost to get a rebuilt title in Illinois?
The title fee is $95 in Illinois. However, there are other fees you will pay throughout the application process, including a $94 inspection fee. You must present proof of these fees as part of the vital documents to kickstart your rebuilt title processing at the state’s IDOT office.
Can I drive my rebuilt car in Illinois?
Yes, sure, you can. However, some rules apply. First, the rebuilt car must have passed the safety inspection by the IDOT and also pass the police inspection (for older cars). You cannot drive a rebuilt car in Illinois until it is given a valid dealer plate to prove its registration, or you have a 72-hour permit from the Secretary of State Police.