How To Get a Rebuilt Title in Michigan

How to Get Rebuilt Title in Michigan

If you have plans for buying and driving a salvaged vehicle in Michigan, you need to get a rebuilt title. The only way you can achieve this is by getting familiar with the laws and related processes of getting a rebuilt title.

Rebuilt titles are usually referred to as titles given to salvaged cars that were restored and built to roadworthiness after insurance companies declared it a total loss. However, the application of this definition varies for different states, and certain laws prevent or limit the ease of getting a rebuilt title.

But can you get a rebuilt title in Michigan? Sure, yes, you can. All you need to do is determine your vehicle's eligibility, complete the paperwork, pass the inspection, and pay the appropriate fees.

Here's a rundown of all you need to know about how to get a rebuilt title in Michigan.

Does Michigan Have a Rebuilt Title?

Yes, Michigan has provisions for drivers to get rebuilt titles. However, the eligibility varies for different vehicles. In Michigan, not all badly damaged vehicles qualify for a rebuilt title.

To get a rebuilt title in Michigan, you’ll need to start by confirming if your vehicle is eligible for one and ensuring that you follow due process to get the title. Drivers who need a rebuilt title in Michigan will get one after application, payment of fees, and the car passes inspection.

What Does a Rebuilt Title in Michigan Mean?

In Michigan, a rebuilt title refers to vehicles that are restored after they were declared salvage. These titles are called “Rebuilt Salvage Titles.’ This implies that in Michigan, for a vehicle to get a rebuilt title, it must first pass for a salvage title.

These vehicles usually incur major damages that increase the cost of repairs, making insurance companies declare them a huge loss. When a vehicle is declared salvaged, with up to 75% damage, a driver might decide to purchase and fix them. But for these cars to be able to hit Michigan roads again, the driver will need to get a rebuilt title.

According to Michigan state laws, rebuilt titles are only issued to vehicles that pass roadworthiness tests and meet standard safety protocols. Upon receipt of a rebuilt title, the car’s inscription must boldly read “REBUILT SALVAGE.”

What Does a Rebuilt Michigan Title Look Like?

A rebuilt Michigan title has an orange color. This is the same color for salvage vehicles. Green colors are reserved for cars with regular ‘clean’ titles. In Michigan, scrap titles have a red color.

You can easily identify a rebuilt Michigan title by the color. Salvage and rebuilt titles are very similar as they have the same color. However, a rebuilt title has ‘REBUILT VEHICLE” clearly written on the brand/legend space at the top right corner of the certificate of title.

A rebuilt Michigan title will specify your name, address, your vehicle’s identification number, car make and model, title number, and issue date.

What Type of Vehicle Is Eligible for a Rebuilt Title in Michigan?

The only type of vehicle that is eligible for a rebuilt title in Michigan is a salvage vehicle. In Michigan, salvage vehicles are cars that will have you spending up to 75% (or more) of the value on repairs and restoration. However, the repair cost will not exceed 91% of the car's initial value.

The law permits cars in this category to be rebuilt for on-road use. Most times, getting a rebuilt title is not exclusively reserved for damaged cars. Still, you can also get a rebuilt title if a major component of the car is missing/stolen, in a condition where a replacement will amount to up to 75% of the initial cost of repairs.

Here's a list of cars that are eligible for rebuilt titles in Michigan:

  • Damaged, wrecked, or destroyed cars with an estimated repair cost of up to 75% or more of the car's initial value.
  • Late-model cars with stolen, missing components will demand an estimated repair cost of 75% of the car's initial value.

What Types of Vehicles Are Ineligible for a Rebuilt Title in Michigan?

A few categories of vehicles can’t get a rebuilt title in Michigan. One of these types of cars is scrap vehicles. In Michigan, cars with a scrap title cannot be rebuilt, restored, or repaired for on-road use again.

The only use for a scrap vehicle is for their parts to be used as scrap metals. A vehicle is classified as scrap if the estimated repair cost goes up to 91% or more than the initial value of the vehicle.

How To Get a Rebuilt Title in Michigan

Here are five easy steps to getting a rebuilt title in Michigan.

1. Determine Eligibility.

The first step to getting a rebuilt title is to determine the vehicle's eligibility. You can do so by determining if it is a salvage vehicle or a scrap. Only vehicles with a salvage title are eligible for a rebuilt title.

So it is clear that you’ll need to visit the Michigan secretary of state to confirm your vehicle's eligibility while having original copies of your salvage title with you.

2. Proceed With Application and Documentation.

After confirming eligibility, the next step is to proceed with the application and documentation. During this process, you will need to apply for an inspection and, at the same time, fill out all the necessary forms as specified by Michigan state laws.

To get your Michigan rebuilt title, you will need to sign the following forms:

  • TR-13A Form (Application form for Salvage Vehicle Inspection)
  • TR-13B Form (Salvage Vehicle Recertification form)

When you complete these forms, submit the original copy to any local the Michigan Secretary of State branch near you.

3. Complete Repairs.

Repairing the salvage vehicle goes in hand with submitting your TR-13A Form. Michigan state law demands that to get a rebuilt title, only certified and properly certified mechanics are permitted to work on those vehicles.

You will need to list the mechanic in the TR-13A form and have them fill out part 4 of the form. This will certify the repairs carried out on the cars, ensuring that they were done in a professional manner.

We will advise that you only use certified mechanics for the utilized body, structural repair, and collision-related repair. Do not use a mechanic whose specialty doesn’t revolve around this.

4. Gather Receipts.

After repairs, the next thing that you will need to do is to gather all receipts related to the repairs. This includes receipts of all major components/parts purchased for the repair or replacement of the salvaged vehicle. These receipts will help confirm ownership of all parts used to repair the vehicle.

5. Schedule Inspection.

You’re almost halfway through the process of getting your rebuilt title. All that you have to do now is to schedule an inspection. The inspection will require a certified inspector to verify and validate your TR-13A form, original copies of your salvage title, and receipts of all major components used, and also ensure that the repairs and restoration meet safe and roadworthy standards.

Here are processes that are carried out during rebuilt title inspection in Michigan:

  • Validation of your vehicle identification number and identification numbers of all parts used.
  • Confirmation and validation of proof of ownership of all repair parts used.
  • Confirmation that the vehicle meets stipulated vehicle standards of the code.
  • Confirmation that repairs were professionally done by a certified and licensed mechanic and repairs meets certification as stated on the TR-13A form and as demanded by the state.

Failure to achieve optimal results in any inspection process will lead to a failed inspection.

6. Pay Fees and Finalize.

If you’re lucky to have passed the inspection, then you can proceed with paying the required fees and finalizing the process. The overall cost of getting a rebuilt salvage title in Michigan is $115. You will pay $15 as your salvage title fee and $100 for inspection.

Title fees in Michigan can rise to $16, especially if you are adding or removing a lien holder.


Getting rebuilt titles in Michigan isn't an entirely bad idea. You get cars cheaper than normal, although you’ll have to battle with the paperwork and repairs. As long as you can handle those, you’re good to go.

Always make sure that you use certified mechanics to get your rebuilt title.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get an instant title in Michigan?

Yes. You can get an instant title in Michigan, but it is important to mention that you can’t do this online. To get an instant title in Michigan, you must visit a Michigan Secretary of State branch near you. You must appear in person, and an agent cannot represent you for the instant title service.

Is it hard to insure a rebuilt title in Michigan?

Yes. Insuring a rebuilt title in Michigan is hard, but this is not just peculiar to Michigan. Insuring a rebuilt title is harder and costlier than what it costs for cars with a clean title anywhere in the world.

You will face difficulty finding an insurance company that will accept insuring your rebuilt vehicle. In most cases, they will only offer you a liability policy and not full insurance coverage.

Can you get a rebuilt title clean in Michigan?

No. You cannot get a rebuilt title clean in Michigan. Do not listen to anyone promising to do this for you. Clean titles in Michigan are only reserved for cars without any prior salvage status.

Rebuilt titles permit you to hit the road again with your once-salvaged car, but there’s no hope of turning it into a clean title. It is criminal to attempt to do so.