Salvage theft examinations
Iowa law requires all vehicles designated "salvage" or vehicles that have a "salvage" title to be physically examined by a peace officer who has been certified by the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy to conduct inspections prior to issuance of an Iowa vehicle registration. The applicant must present to the officer an Iowa salvage title in the applicant's name, or a properly assigned title is acceptable. The fee for the salvage theft examination is $50.
The purpose of the salvage theft examination is to physically verify that no stolen parts were used to rebuild a vehicle and to authenticate the vehicle being rebuilt. A typical salvage theft examination takes approximately 45 minutes, but may take several hours if the vehicle identification numbers are not easily accessible or there are problems with the ownership documents. It’s important to maintain all receipts, invoices, and documentation for parts used to rebuild the vehicle and to bring these to the inspection as the officer will need to verify this information.
Please note, if during the repair of the salvage vehicle the cab or frame was changed, or if the public VIN was damaged or removed, you will need to contact the Iowa Department of Transportation, Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection to schedule an appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-237-3050.
Salvage vehicle theft examination process
Once the vehicle has been repaired and is ready for inspection, you will need to complete electronically the Affidavit of Salvage Vehicle Repairs form. This form also includes payment for the inspection. An online instruction guide is available to aid in completing this information. To schedule a salvage vehicle inspection, contact a certified law enforcement agency nearest you.
A permit to drive the vehicle to the inspection site is included online when you have completed the affidavit of repairs and made payment. This permit allows you to drive the vehicle to and from the inspection site only on the day of inspection.
The applicant must present to the examining officer an Iowa salvage title in the applicant's name along with all receipts, invoices, and documentation for parts used to rebuild the vehicle.
The $50 exam fee must be paid online by credit card to complete the approval process prior to inspection.