Chapter 8, Section R:
Stolen and Unrecovered Vehicles - Salvage Brand not Required

Revised March 22, 2010


 

“Title Only” for stolen and unrecovered vehicles

 

The Motor Vehicle Division may issue a “Title Only” to an insurance company for a stolen and unrecovered vehicle. The insurance company pays only the title fee.

 

For issuance of title only to an insurance company for a stolen and unrecovered vehicle, the following documents are required:

  • Certificate of Title – current title with the assignment properly filled out.
     

  • Release of Lien – as needed.
     

  • Police Report – a copy of the stolen vehicle report from law enforcement agency.
     

  • Written Statement – from the insurance company that the vehicle is unrecovered.
     

  • Title Only – process transaction as “Title Only” with only the title fee assessed.

To justify title-only issuance, make a notation in "Remarks" that the “Vehicle is a stolen and unrecovered vehicle."

 


Salvage brand not required
for stolen and unrecovered vehicles

 

It was previously required that an unrecovered stolen vehicle be branded salvage when the insurance company declares the vehicle a total loss and takes title to it. However, the applicable rule (18.19.3.51 NMAC) now specifies that, "A salvage-branded title need not be issued to a stolen but unrecovered vehicle."

 

However, if the vehicle is recovered and found to meet the statutory definition of a salvage or non-repairable motor vehicle, the owner must then obtain a salvage title or a non-repairable certificate.

 


Salvage-titled stolen vehicles later recovered

 

If a stolen and unrecovered vehicle for which a “Salvage” title was issued is recovered at a later date, and the insurance company wants MVD to issue a title without the "Salvage" brand, the following documents are required:

  • Certificate of Title – applicant must surrender the Salvage-branded title.
     

  • Statement from a licensed auto repair mechanic - that the vehicle has minimal damage, or does not have chassis damage, undercarriage damage, or damage to the running gear
     

  • Statement from the insurance company - that the vehicle was "Stolen and Unrecovered" but has now been recovered, and that there was no damage, or that damage did not exceed the vehicle's retail value
     

  • Police report – indicating that the stolen vehicle has been recovered.
     

  • Fees – Process as a “Title Change.”

In any such situation, when the salvage brand needs to be removed because a previously stolen and unrecovered vehicle has been recovered, the title transaction must be processed by the Vehicle Services unit in Santa Fe. All documentation should be delivered or mailed to Vehicle Services at the following address:

 

Vehicle Services, Attn: Supervisor

Motor Vehicle Division

Joseph M. Montoya Building

1100 S. St. Francis Drive

P.O. Box 1028

Santa Fe, NM 87504-1028