2009 Alabama Code
Title 32 — MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC.
Chapter 8 — UNIFORM CERTIFICATE OF TITLE AND ANTITHEFT ACT.
Section 32-8-87 Dismantling, destroying, changing identity of vehicle; certificate requirements; insurance claims; "total loss"; removal of identification numbers, plates, etc.; transfer of salvage vehicles; inspections; "component parts"; rebuilt vehicles; flood vehicles.

Section 32-8-87

Dismantling, destroying, changing identity of vehicle; certificate requirements; insurance claims; "total loss"; removal of identification numbers, plates, etc.; transfer of salvage vehicles; inspections; "component parts"; rebuilt vehicles; flood vehicles.

(a) Each owner of a motor vehicle and each person mentioned as owner in the last certificate of title who scraps, dismantles, destroys, or changes the motor vehicle in such a manner that it is not the same motor vehicle described in the certificate of origin or certificate of title shall as soon as practicable cause the certificate of origin or certificate of title, if any, and any other documents or information required by the department to be mailed or delivered to the department for processing. The department shall, with the consent of any holder of liens noted on the surrendered certificate, enter a cancellation upon its records. Upon cancellation of a certificate of origin or certificate of title in the manner prescribed by this section, the department shall cancel all certificates of origin or certificates of title and all memorandum certificates in that chain of title. A certificate of title for the vehicle shall not again be issued except upon application containing the information the department requires, accompanied by a certificate of inspection in the form and content as specified in this section.

No motor vehicle for which a salvage or junk certificate has been issued by this state or any other state shall be driven or operated on the highways or other public places of this state. A vehicle which is in this state and for which a salvage certificate has been issued, and the vehicle is being restored to its operating condition which existed prior to the event which caused the salvage certificate of title to issue, may be moved to and from repair points as necessary by the rebuilder to complete the restoration or may be moved as permitted by the Department of Revenue for inspection or for any other purpose. A valid Alabama dealer license plate shall be displayed on the vehicle during its movement. A person who violates this subsection shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor and shall be punishable as required by law.

(b) When the frame or engine is removed from a motor vehicle and not immediately replaced by another frame or engine, or when an insurance company has paid money or made other monetary settlement as compensation for a total loss of any motor vehicle, the motor vehicle shall be considered to be salvage. The owner of every motor vehicle in which total loss or salvage has occurred shall, within 72 hours after the total loss or salvage occurs, make application for a salvage certificate of title and forward to the department the certificate of origin or certificate of title to the motor vehicle, whereupon the department shall process the certificate of origin or certificate of title in a manner prescribed by law or regulation. An insurance company which pays money or makes other monetary settlement as compensation for total loss of a motor vehicle shall at the time of payment or monetary settlement obtain the vehicle's certificate of origin or certificate of title and, as soon as practicable after receiving them, shall forward them along with their application for a salvage certificate, to the department for processing. In the event the payment or monetary settlement was made because of the theft of the vehicle, which shall be considered a total loss as defined in this section, the insurance company shall forward the vehicle's properly assigned certificate of origin or certificate of title as provided herein, to the department as soon as practicable after the vehicle is recovered. When a stolen motor vehicle has been reported to the department in compliance with this section and is later recovered, and for which a salvage certificate has been issued, the owner recorded on the salvage certificate shall assign that certificate to the purchaser. A person who violates this subsection shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor and shall be punishable as required by law.

(c) If an insurance company acquires a motor vehicle in settlement of an insurance claim and holds the vehicle for resale and procures the certificate of origin or certificate of title from the owner or lienholder within 15 days after delivery of the vehicle to the insurance company, and if the vehicle was not a total loss as defined by this section, the insurance company need not send the certificate of origin or certificate of title to the department but, upon transferring the vehicle to another person, other than by the creation of a security interest, the insurance company shall complete an affidavit of acquisition and disposition of the motor vehicle on a form prescribed by the department and deliver the certificate of origin or certificate of title, affidavit, and any other documents required by the department to the transferee at the time of delivery of the motor vehicle.

(d) For the purposes of this section, a total loss shall occur when an insurance company or any other person pays or makes other monetary settlement to a person when a vehicle is damaged and the damage to the vehicle is greater than or equal to 75 percent of the fair retail value of the vehicle prior to damage as set forth in a current edition of a nationally recognized compilation of retail values, including automated data bases, as approved by the department. The compensation for total loss as defined in this subsection shall not include payments by an insurer or other person for medical care, bodily injury, vehicle rental, or for anything other than the amount paid for the actual damage to the motor vehicle. A vehicle that has sustained minor damage as a result of theft or vandalism shall not be considered a total loss. Any person acquiring ownership of a damaged motor vehicle that meets the definition of total loss for which a salvage title has not been issued shall apply for a salvage title, other than a scrap metal processor acquiring such vehicle for purposes of recycling into metallic scrap for remelting purposes only. This application shall be made before the vehicle is further transferred, but in any event, within 30 days after ownership is acquired.

(e) It shall be unlawful for the owner of any junkyard, salvage yard, or motor vehicle dismantler and parts recycler or his or her agents or employees to have in their possession any motor vehicle which is junk or salvage or a total loss when the manufacturer's vehicle identification number plate or plates, authorized replacement vehicle identification number plate or plates, or serial plate or plates have been removed, unless previously required to be removed by a statute or law of this state or another jurisdiction. A person who violates this subsection shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor and shall be punishable as required by law.

(f) It shall be unlawful for a person, firm, or corporation to possess, sell or exchange, offer to sell or exchange, or to give away any certificate of origin, certificate of title, salvage certificate of title, manufacturer's identification number plate or plates, authorized replacement vehicle identification number plate or plates, serial plate or plates, or motor vehicle license plate or plates of any motor vehicle which has been scrapped, dismantled, or sold as junk or salvage or as a total loss contrary to this section, and every officer, agent, or employee of a person, firm, or corporation, and every person who shall authorize, direct, aid in or consent to the possession, sale or exchange, or offer to sell, exchange, or give away such certificate of origin, certificate of title, salvage certificate of title, manufacturer's vehicle identification number plate or plates, authorized replacement vehicle identification number plate or plates, serial plate or plates, or motor vehicle license plate or plates contrary to this section, shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor and shall be punishable as required by law.

(g) The department is authorized to issue a salvage certificate of title for a fee of $15.00, on a form prescribed by the department which shall provide for assignments of this title. The salvage certificate of title is to replace a certificate of origin or certificate of title required to be surrendered by this section. The department shall prescribe necessary forms and procedures to comply with this subsection.

(h) It shall be unlawful for a person to sign as assignor or for a person to have in his or her possession a salvage certificate of title which has been signed by the owner as assignor without the name of the assignee and other information called for on the form prescribed by the department. A person who violates this subsection, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor and shall be punishable as required by law.

(i) Every owner of a salvage or junk motor vehicle who sells or transfers the vehicle to any person other than to a scrap metal processor for purposes of recycling into metallic scrap for remelting purposes only, shall provide at the time of the sale or transfer a properly executed assignment and warranty of title to the transferee in the space provided therefor on the salvage certificate of title or junk certificate of title or as the department prescribes. A person who willfully violates this subsection shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor and shall be punishable as required by law.

(j) The department may issue a certificate of title to any motor vehicle for which a salvage certificate has been issued by this or any other state, and the vehicle has, in this state, been completely restored to its operating condition which existed prior to the event which caused the salvage certificate of title to issue, provided that all requirements of this section have been met. No certificate of title shall be issued for any motor vehicle for which a "junk" certificate has been issued or for a vehicle which is sold "for parts only."

(k) Every owner of a salvage motor vehicle designated a 1975 year model and all models subsequent thereto which is in this state and which has been restored in this state to its operating condition which existed prior to the event which caused the salvage certificate of title to issue shall make application to the department for an inspection of the vehicle in the form and content as determined by the department. Each application for inspection of a salvage vehicle which has been so restored shall be accompanied by all of the following:

(1) The outstanding salvage certificate or out-of-state title previously issued for the salvage vehicle.

(2) Notarized bills of sale evidencing acquisition of all major component parts (listing the manufacturer's vehicle identification number of the vehicle from which the parts were removed, if parts contain or should contain the manufacturer's vehicle identification number) used to restore the vehicle and bills of sale evidencing acquisition of all minor component parts. Notarization shall not be required on bills of sale for minor component parts; provided that a notarized bill of sale which lists the manufacturer's vehicle identification number of the vehicle from which the parts were removed, if parts contain or should contain the manufacturer's vehicle identification number, shall be required for a transmission.

(3) Evidence that the owner is a licensed motor vehicle rebuilder as defined in Section 40-12-390.

(4) The owner shall also provide a written affirmation which states the following:

a. That the owner has rebuilt the vehicle or supervised its rebuilders, and what has been done to restore the vehicle to its operating condition which existed prior to the event which caused the salvage certificate to issue.

b. That the owner personally inspected the completed vehicle and it complies with all safety requirements set forth by the State of Alabama and any regulations promulgated thereunder.

c. That the identification numbers of the restored vehicle and its parts have not, to the knowledge of the owner, been removed, destroyed, falsified, altered, or defaced.

d. That the salvage certificate document or out-of-state title certificate attached to the application has not to the knowledge of the owner been forged, falsified, altered, or counterfeited.

e. That all information contained on the application and its attachments is true and correct to the knowledge of the owner.

(l) The application fee for each inspection of a restored vehicle shall be $75.00, payable by certified funds to the department, which shall accompany the application.

(1) All application fees received by the department shall be applied toward the personnel and maintenance costs of the vehicle inspection program and the vehicle inspection program shall be conducted by the office of investigations and inspections of the department. Upon receipt of the application for inspection, application fee of $75.00, its supporting documents, and title fee of $15.00, payable by certified funds to the department, the department shall require an inspection to be made of the title and the vehicle by qualified agents or law enforcement officers of the department.

(2) The inspection and certification shall include an examination of the vehicle and its parts to determine that the identification numbers of the vehicle or its parts have not been removed, falsified, altered, defaced, destroyed, or tampered with; that the vehicle information contained in the application for certificate of title and supporting documents is true and correct; and that there are no indications that the vehicle or any of its parts are stolen. The certification shall not attest to the roadworthiness or safety condition of the vehicle.

(m) Component parts are defined as:

(1) PASSENGER VEHICLES.

a. Major components:

1. Motor or engine.

2. Trunk floor pan or rear section and roof.

3. Frame or any portion thereof (except frame horn), or, in the case of a unitized body, the supporting structure which serves as the frame, except when it is a part of the trunk floor pan, or rear section and roof.

4. Cowl, firewall, or any portion thereof.

5. Roof assembly.

b. Minor components:

1. Each door allowing entrance to or egress from the passenger compartment.

2. Hood.

3. Each front fender or each rear fender when used with a rear section and roof.

4. Deck lid, tailgate, or hatchback (whichever is present).

5. Each quarter panel.

6. Each bumper.

7. T-tops, moon roof, or whichever is present.

8. Transmission or trans-axle.

(2) TRUCK, TRUCK TYPE, OR BUS TYPE VEHICLES.

a. Major components:

1. Motor or engine.

2. Transmission or trans-axle.

3. Frame or any portion thereof (except frame horn), or, in the case of a unitized body, the supporting structure which serves as the frame.

4. Cab.

5. Cowl or firewall or any portion thereof.

6. Roof assembly.

7. Cargo compartment floor panel or passenger compartment floor pan.

b. Minor components:

1. Each door.

2. Hood.

3. Grill, except on one ton or smaller trucks.

4. Each bumper.

5. Each front fender.

6. Roof panel and rear cab panel.

7. Each rear fender or side panel.

8. Pickup box.

9. Body or bed.

(3) MOTORCYCLE: COMPONENT PARTS.

a. Engine or motor.

b. Transmission or trans-axle.

c. Frame.

d. Front fork.

e. Crankcase.

(n) A salvage vehicle which has been restored in this state to its operating condition which existed prior to the event which caused the salvage certificate of title to issue shall be issued a certificate of title which shall contain the word "rebuilt."

(o)(1) Each salvage vehicle restored or rebuilt in this state which is required to be inspected by the department pursuant to subsection (l) and for which a certificate of title may be issued pursuant to subsection (n) shall be issued a decal, plate, or other emblem as prescribed by the department to reflect that the vehicle is rebuilt. The decal, plate, or other emblem shall be attached to the vehicle in a place and in a manner prescribed by the department.

(2) A person who willfully removes, mutilates, tampers with, obliterates, or destroys a decal, plate, or other emblem issued and attached to a salvage vehicle pursuant to this subsection is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor punishable as provided by law.

(p) Each person who sells, exchanges, delivers, or otherwise transfers any interest in any vehicle for which a title bearing the designation "salvage" or "rebuilt" has been issued shall disclose in writing the existence of this title to the prospective purchaser, recipient in exchange, recipient by donation, or recipient by other act of transfer. The disclosure, which shall be made at the time of or prior to the completion of the sale, exchange, donation, or other act of transfer, shall contain the following information in no smaller than 10 point type: "This vehicle's title contains the designation 'salvage' or 'rebuilt'."

(q)(1) Any motor vehicle for which an insurance company has paid a total loss due, in part, to being damaged by water shall be deemed a flood vehicle. The motor vehicle's certificate of title and every subsequent certificate of title shall contain the designation "flood vehicle."

(2) Each person who sells, exchanges, donates, delivers, or otherwise transfers any interest for which a certificate of title bearing the designation "flood vehicle" has been issued shall disclose in writing the existence of this designation to the prospective purchaser, recipient in exchange, recipient by donation, or recipient by other act of transfer. The disclosure shall be made at the time of or prior to the completion of the sale, exchange, donation, delivery, or other act of transfer and shall contain the following information in no smaller than 10 point type: The certificate of title of this motor vehicle contains the designation "flood vehicle."

(Acts 1973, No. 765, p. 1147, §41; Acts 1985, No. 85-650, p. 1010, §2; Acts 1987, No. 87-806, p. 1581, §1; Acts 1988, 1st Sp. Sess., No. 88-730, p. 127, §3; Acts 1989, No. 89-863, p. 1724, §1; Acts 1995, No. 95-406, p. 848, §1; Act 2006-213, §1.)

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