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Massachusetts State Title Processing Procedures

  1. What form of title must an insurer obtain in connection with the sale of a vehicle that has been acquired through the settlement of a claim?
  2. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a vehicle on a Certificate of Title (aka “Clear Title”)?
  3. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a vehicle on a Certificate of Title branded as a Salvage Vehicle (aka “Salvage Title”)?
  4. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a recovered theft vehicle recovered substantially intact without substantial damage, where title is still in the name of the insured?
  5. What steps must an insurer take in Massachusetts to process an ownerretained vehicle?
  6. What legal duties are imposed upon a lienholder following satisfaction of the lien?


  1. What form of title must an insurer obtain in connection with the sale of a vehicle that has been acquired through the settlement of a claim?

    Whenever an insurer acquires ownership of a motor vehicle which it has determined to be a total loss salvage motor vehicle, it shall, within ten days from the date of acquisition, surrender the certificate of title to the registrar and shall apply for a salvage title. [Massachusetts Statutes Chapter 90D, § 20]

    A “total loss salvage motor vehicle” is defined as a motor vehicle which has been stolen and unrecovered or which has been wrecked, destroyed or damaged by collision, fire, water, or other occurrence to such an extent that the owner or if the vehicle was insured, the insurer, considers it uneconomical to repair the vehicle and because of this, the vehicle is not repaired by or for the person who owned the vehicle at the time of the event resulting in such damage. [Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90D, § 1]

    However, No salvage title need be obtained for passenger vehicles ten or more years old [Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90D, § 20B]

    According to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, Salvage Titles are further classified into two categories:

      Repairable
      A Repairable Salvage title is assigned to a vehicle that is the subject of a total loss settlement but can be repaired. This title requires an additional sub-brand of Fire, Vandalism, Collision, Theft or Flood.

      Parts-Only
      A Parts-Only Salvage title is assigned to a vehicle that can only be sold as parts due to excessive damage. The vehicle can never be retitled or re-registered. A Parts-Only title does not require a sub-brand and is labeled with a junk status.

    [see MA Registry of Motor Vehicles website at http://www.state.mas.us/rmv/titles /2types.htm] back to top

  2. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a vehicle on a Certificate of Title (clear)?

    The insurer shall provide Copart with a Certificate of Title or a comparable ownership document issued by another state or jurisdiction (endorsed over to the insurer by insured), an odometer disclosure statement, and a release of any liens.

    Copart, acting under a power of attorney for the insurer, will then sell the vehicle at auction and reassign the owner’s Certificate of Title to the purchaser.

    [Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90D, § 15(a)] back to top

  3. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a vehicle on a Salvage Vehicle Certificate of Title (“Salvage Title”)?

    The insurer shall provide Copart with a Certificate of Title or a comparable ownership document issued by another state or jurisdiction (endorsed over to the insurer by insured), an odometer disclosure statement, a release of any liens, an ACV, and a written estimate of damages. (Be advised that Massachusetts will not accept a New York MV-907A salvage title. As a result, if an insurer provides Copart with a New York MV-907A salvage title, Copart must convert the MV- 907A into a Massachusetts salvage title prior to sale).

    Copart will submit these documents along with an Application for Title (RMV-1) and the appropriate fee to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles for processing.

    Thereafter, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles shall issue a Salvage Title in the name of the insurer, with a designation of either “Repairable” (with the sub-brand of either Fire, Vandalism, Collision, Theft or Flood); or “Parts Only”.

    Copart, acting under a power of attorney for the insurer, will then sell the vehicle at auction and reassign the insurer’s Salvage Title to the purchaser.

    [Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90D, § 20A] back to top

  4. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a recovered theft vehicle recovered substantially intact with no substantial damage, where title is still in the name of the insured?

    When a vehicle has been stolen, the insurer shall provide Copart with a Certificate of Title or a comparable ownership document issued by another state or jurisdiction (endorsed over to the insurer by insured), an odometer disclosure statement, and a release of any liens.

    After receipt of these documents, Copart will submit these documents along with an Application for Title and the appropriate fee to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles for processing.

    Thereafter, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles shall issue a Salvage Title in the name of the insurer with a “Repairable” designation and a “Theft” subbrand. Upon receipt, Copart will forward the Salvage Title with to the insurer for safekeeping.

    If the vehicle is recovered, the Salvage Title along with an ACV and a written estimate of damages will be returned to Copart by the insurer in order to obtain a Salvage Title branded either as “Repairable” with a theft sub-brand or as “Parts Only”.

    Copart, acting upon a power of attorney for the insurer, will then sell the vehicle at auction and reassign the insurer’s appropriately branded Salvage Title to the purchaser.

    [Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90D, §§ 1, 15, 20, 20A, 20B, and 33] back to top

  5. What steps must an insurer take in Massachusetts to process an ownerretained vehicle?

    Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90D § 20(b):

    Whenever an insurer makes a total loss settlement on a vehicle which it has determined to be a total loss salvage motor vehicle and the insured owner or claimant retains possession and ownership of the vehicle, the insurer shall notify the registrar of such retention on a form prescribed by the registrar and the owner shall, within ten days of such settlement, surrender the certificate of title to the registrar and shall apply for a salvage title. The insurer shall notify the insured owner or claimant of said owner's or claimant's responsibility to comply with the provisions of this section. back to top

  6. What legal duties are imposed upon a lienholder following satisfaction of the lien?

    Following satisfaction of lien, the lienholder must endorse release of lien on the front of the Certificate of Title. Thereafter, Lienholder delivers to owner Certificate of Title with endorsement. Owner files for new title. (As per DMV) back to top
MASSACHUSETTS DMV


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