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New Mexico 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 branded Salvage?
  3. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a vehicle on a Certificate of Title branded Nonrepairable?
  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?
  5. What steps must an insurer take in New Mexico to process an ownerretained vehicle?
  6. hat 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?

    Pursuant to New Mexico Motor Vehicle Code Section 66-1-4.12:

    A. "nonrepairable vehicle" means a vehicle of a type otherwise subject to registration that:

      (1) has no resale value except as a source of parts or scrap metal or that the owner irreversibly designates as a source of parts or scrap metal or for destruction;
      (2) has been substantially stripped as a result of theft or is missing all of the bolts on sheet metal body panels, all of the doors and hatches, substantially all of the interior components and substantially all of the grill and light assemblies and has little or no resale value other than its worth as a source of a vehicle identification number that could be used illegally; or
      (3) is a substantially burned vehicle that has burned to the extent that there are no more usable or repairable body or interior components, tires and wheels or drive train components or that the owner irreversibly designates for destruction or as having little or no resale value other than its worth as a source of scrap metal or as a source of a vehicle identification number that could be used illegally; B. "nonrepairable vehicle certificate" means a vehicle ownership document conspicuously labeled "NONREPAIRABLE" issued to the owner of the nonrepairable vehicle;

    Pursuant to New Mexico Motor Vehicle Code Section 66-1-4.16:

    C. "salvage vehicle" means a vehicle:

      (1) other than a nonrepairable vehicle, of a type subject to registration that has been wrecked, destroyed or damaged excluding, pursuant to rules issued by the department, hail damage, to the extent that the owner, leasing company, financial institution or the insurance company that insured or is responsible for repair of the vehicle considers it uneconomical to repair the vehicle and that is subsequently not repaired by or for the person who owned the vehicle at the time of the event resulting in damage; or
      (2) that was determined to be uneconomical to repair and for which a total loss payment is made by an insurer, whether or not the vehicle is subsequently repaired, if, prior to or upon making payment to the claimant, the insurer obtained the agreement of the claimant to the amount of the total loss settlement and informed the claimant that, pursuant to rules of the department, the title must be branded and submitted to the department for issuance of a salvage certificate of title for the vehicle;

    Pursuant to New Mexico Motor Vehicle Code § 66-3-4:

    E. If an insurance company makes a total loss settlement on a nonrepairable vehicle and takes possession of that vehicle, either itself or through an agent or salvage pool, the insurance company or an authorized agent of the insurance company shall:

      (1) stamp the face of the title or manufacturer's certificate of origin with the word "NONREPAIRABLE", in letters no less than one-half inch high, at an angle of approximately forty-five degrees to the text of the title or manufacturer's certificate of origin; and
      (2) within twenty days after receipt of title by the insurer, free and clear of all liens, submit a copy of the branded title or manufacturer's certificate of title to the department together with documents explaining the reason for branding, and shall forward a properly endorsed certificate of title or manufacturer's certificate of origin or other evidence of ownership acceptable to the department together with the proper fee to the department. The department, upon receipt of the title or manufacturer's certificate of origin or other evidence of ownership, shall issue a nonrepairable vehicle certificate for the vehicle.

    F. If an owner of a nonrepairable vehicle elects to retain possession of the vehicle, the insurance company shall notify the department of the retention on a form prescribed by the department. The insurance company shall also notify the insured or owner of the insured's or owner's responsibility to comply with this section. The owner shall, within twenty days from the date of settlement of the loss, forward a properly endorsed certificate of title or manufacturer's certificate of origin or other evidence of ownership acceptable to the department together with the proper fee to the department. The department, upon receipt of the title or manufacturer's certificate of origin or other evidence of ownership, shall issue a nonrepairable vehicle certificate for the vehicle.

     Pursuant to New Mexico Motor Vehicle Code § 66-3-10.1:

    A. It is unlawful for a person to sell or otherwise convey ownership of a salvage or nonrepairable vehicle unless the certificate of title or ownership is branded or a comparable title, certificate or ownership document has been issued by another state or jurisdiction.
    B. An owner of a nonrepairable vehicle shall sell or otherwise convey that vehicle only to a licensed wrecker of vehicles or a person licensed by a jurisdiction outside of this state to process vehicles by dismantling, wrecking, shredding, crushing or selling motor vehicle parts or scrap material or otherwise disposing of motor vehicles.
    C. A nonrepairable vehicle shall not be repaired, reconstructed or restored for operation on the roads or highways of this state.
    D. This section does not apply to:

      (1) a person whose motor vehicle has been stolen or taken without that person's consent unless, if the motor vehicle is recovered, it is a salvage or nonrepairable vehicle; or
      (2) a person conveying ownership of a motor vehicle to an insurance company as a result of a total loss insurance settlement. For the purpose of this paragraph, "total loss insurance settlement" means the transfer of ownership of a motor vehicle by a person to an insurance company as a result of a settlement in which the motor vehicle is determined to be salvage or nonrepairable." back to top

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

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

    Upon receipt of the above documents, Copart will stamp the Certificate of Title with “Salvage” unless the insurer has already done so. In addition, Copart will fill out an Insurance Company Notification of Salvage Vehicles or Vessels form and forward same to the Motor Vehicle Division.

    In the cover sheet, the insurer will either request 1) that the current Certificate of Title branded Salvage be re-assigned or 2) that a new Certificate of Title be issued in the insurer’s name.

    Thereafter, depending upon what the insurer requests, Copart will either 1) use the existing Certificate of Title branded “Salvage” or 2) submit these documents along with an Application for Vehicle Title and Registration and the appropriate fee to the Motor Vehicle Division for processing, and they will issue a Certificate of Title branded Salvage in the name of the insurer.

    Copart, acting under a power of attorney for the insurer, will then sell the vehicle at auction and reassign the Certificate of Title to the purchaser. Note: If all reassignments have been completed, the vehicle will be sold on a Dealer Bill of Sale. [New Mexico Motor Vehicle Code §§ 66-3-10.1; 66-1-4.16; New Mexico Admin. Code §§ 18.19.3.52; 18.19.3.53] back to top


  3. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a vehicle on a Certificate of Title branded Nonrepairable?

    The insurer shall provide Copart with a Certificate of Title or a comparable ownership document issued by another state or jurisdiction (either endorsed over to the insurer by insured or endorsed by insurer accompanied by a power of attorney from insured to insurer), an odometer disclosure statement, a release of any liens, an ACV, and a document explaining the reasoning for the branding.

    Upon receipt of the above documents, Copart will stamp the face of the title with the word "NONREPAIRABLE" unless the insurer has already done so, in letters no less than one-half inch high, at an angle of approximately forty-five degrees to the text of the title, and submit a copy of the branded title to the Motor Vehicle Division together with documents explaining the reason for branding, an Application for Nonrepairable Certificate (MVD-10005), and a properly endorsed certificate of title with the proper fee. The Motor Vehicle Division shall issue a nonrepairable vehicle certificate for the vehicle.

    Copart, acting under a power of attorney for the insurer, will then sell the vehicle at auction and reassign the Nonrepairable Certificate of Title to the purchaser. [New Mexico Motor Vehicle Code §§ 66-3-4; 66-1-4.12; New Mexico Admin. Code §§ 18.19.3.52; 18.19.3.53] 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 Title or a comparable ownership document issued by another state or jurisdiction (either endorsed over to the insurer by insured or endorsed by insurer accompanied by a power of attorney from insured to insurer), an odometer disclosure statement with last known mileage, a release of any liens, and a police report.

    After receipt of these documents, Copart will submit these documents along with an Application for Vehicle Title and Registration and the appropriate fee to the Motor Vehicle Division for processing.

    Thereafter, the Motor Vehicle Division shall issue Certificate of Title in the name of the insurer. Upon receipt, Copart will forward this Certificate of Title to the insurer for safekeeping.

    If the stolen vehicle is recovered with no or minor damage, a new title can usually be obtained without the “salvage" brand provided that the vehicle is inspected upon its recovery by a practicing automotive mechanic who reports the result of the inspection in writing to the motor vehicle division. The inspection must cover all major components of the vehicle and must summarize the estimated cost of repair of each major system and the vehicle as a whole. If the total damage exceeds fifty percent of the average value according to the Official Used Car Guide, Mountain States Edition published by the national automobile dealers association, or equivalent publication, for vehicles of like age, make and model at the time of recovery, then the salvage-branded title will not be replaced.

    If the vehicle is recovered, the Certificate of Title branded “Salvage” along with a Police Report, Recovery Report, and Appraisal from insurer will be returned to Copart by the insurer. If the vehicle qualifies for a non-branded title pursuant to the criteria above, then Copart will forward these documents to the Motor Vehicle Division for the issuance of a non-branded Certificate of Title.

    Copart, acting upon a power of attorney for the insurer, will then sell the vehicle at auction and reassign the insurer’s Certificate of Title, or Certificate of Title branded “Salvage” to the purchaser. [NM Admin. Code §§ 18.19.3.51, 18.19.3.52] back to top

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

    ursuant to New Mexico Motor Vehicle Code § 66-3-4 F.:

    If an owner of a nonrepairable vehicle elects to retain possession of the vehicle, the insurance company shall notify the department of the retention on a form prescribed by the department. The insurance company shall also notify the insured or owner of the insured's or owner's responsibility to comply with this section. The owner shall, within twenty days from the date of settlement of the loss, forward a properly endorsed certificate of title or manufacturer's certificate of origin or other evidence of ownership acceptable to the department together with the proper fee to the department. The department, upon receipt of the title or manufacturer's certificate of origin or other evidence of ownership, shall issue a nonrepairable vehicle certificate for the vehicle.

    Note: If vehicle deemed a total loss is owner-retained, the insured must obtain a non-repairable title for the vehicle. back to top


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

    Pursuant to New Mexico Motor Vehicle Code § 66-3-112:

    A person holding a lien or encumbrance as shown upon a certificate of title for a vehicle may release such lien or encumbrance or assign his interest to the owner without affecting the registration of said vehicle. The division, upon receiving a certificate of title upon which a lienholder has released or assigned his interest to the owner, or upon receipt of a certificate of title not so endorsed but accompanied by a legal release from a lienholder of interest in or to a vehicle, shall issue a new certificate of title as upon an original application.

    Pursuant to New Mexico Statutes §§ 66-3-113, it is a misdemeanor for any person to fail or neglect to properly endorse and deliver a certificate of title to a transferee or owner lawfully entitled thereto. back to top




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