Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Salvaged Vehicle Regulations | DMV.ORG

Collisions, floods, theft—they can all leave you with a salvaged car, or what the insurance business calls a total loss. You can’t legally drive a salvaged car (even if it still starts!), but the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has a few ways for you to deal with it.

What Is a Salvaged Car in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, a salvaged car is one that’s so damaged it would cost more to repair than the car’s worth immediately before the damage occurred (i.e. its fair market value). Generally, your insurance provider determines whether your car is a salvage, also referred to as a “total loss.”

Total Loss Settlements

When your car becomes severely damaged, typically your first step is to file a total loss claim with your insurance company.  If your company determines the car is indeed a total loss, you’ll choose between accepting a:

  • Full settlement, in which:
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How to Transfer Your Car Title in Pennsylvania

How to Complete an Auto Title Transfer in Pennsylvania
  • The buyer and seller will go together to a DMV title office to fill out the back of the title.
  • The buyer will submit the title, an application, ID, and proof of insurance.
  • The buyer will pay the applicable title transfer fees, sales tax, and registration fees.
  • Continue reading for details about car title transfers in Pennsylvania.

Buying and Selling a Vehicle


NOTE: When you buy a vehicle from a Pennsylvania motor vehicle dealer, they will usually handle your car title transfer and registration paperwork for you. Make sure you have PA car insurance, which is required for registration.


In a
private vehicle sale, both the buyer and seller are responsible for completing a DMV title transfer through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).


The
seller AND buyer must go to

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Pennsylvania License Plates & Placards Information

Read below for information about getting your Pennsylvania license plates and tags.

Interested in special interest plates? OurTypes of Specialty Plates page has more information. Learn more about applying on our Specialty Plate Applications page.

Do you qualify for disabled parking? Find application and eligibility information on our Disability Plates and Placards page.

Types of Pennsylvania License Plates

Motor vehicles in PA must have a license plate issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) displayed on the back.

You will also be issued a validation sticker that shows when your registration expires.

The standard Pennsylvania tag has a white background with blue lettering. It has a blue stripe at the top and a yellow stripe at the bottom.

Specialty License Plates

PennDOT also issues specialty license plates, including personalized plates and organizational plates. More information about license plate options is available on our Types of PA Specialty

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Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

The Latest Guidance

The following counties will move to the yellow phase on May 29:
Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lebanon, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, and
Schuylkill. 17 counties will move to green on May 29: Bradford, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Montour, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Venango and Warren.



Counties currently in yellow include: Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Carbon, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Cumberland, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lawrence, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Potter, Snyder, Somerset, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Venango, Warren, Washington, Westmoreland, Wyoming, Wayne, and York.

Pennsylvania is utilizing a three-phase matrix to determine when counties and/or regions are ready to begin easing some restrictions on work, congregate settings, and social interactions. View Governor’s Wolf’s
phased reopening plan for Pennsylvania. View
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