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Washington 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?
  3. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a vehicle on a Bill of Sale?
  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 Washington 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?

    Washington Admin. Code § 308-56A-460, set forth below, provides guidance regarding the processing of vehicles acquired by insurers through the settlement of a claim:

      (1) What is a destroyed or wrecked vehicle? For the purposes of this section:

        (a) A destroyed vehicle means vehicles of any age that have been reported wrecked or destroyed by the owner, licensed wrecker, scrap processor or insurance company and includes salvage vehicles as defined in RCW 46.12.005; and

        (b) A wrecked vehicle is defined in RCW 46.80.010(4).

      (2) Who may report destroyed or wrecked vehicles and how are those vehicles reported to the department? Destroyed vehicles may be reported to the department by:

        (a) Insurance companies. A vehicle becomes insurance destroyed under RCW 46.12.070 when:

          (i) An insurance company in possession of a certificate of ownership to a destroyed vehicle submits to the department the current certificate of ownership indicating the vehicle is "DESTROYED," the insurance company name and address and the date of loss; or

          (ii) The Total Loss Claim Settlement form (TD 420 074) completed in its entirety is received by the department (settlement is defined in subsection (4) of this section).

        (b) through (d) [intentionally omitted]

      (3) After the certificate of ownership has been surrendered, how do I sell my destroyed vehicle? After the certificate of ownership has been surrendered, you may sell your destroyed vehicle in the following ways:

        (a) After the vehicle has been reported destroyed under RCW 46.12.070, the insurer using a bill of sale instead of a release of interest on a certificate of ownership may sell the vehicle. The bill of sale shall be signed by a representative of the insurer and provide their title of office. The representative's signature need not be notarized.

        (b) and (c) [intentionally omitted]

      (4) When is an insurance claim considered settled? For the purpose of this section, those vehicles described in RCW 46.12.070, the settlement of an insurance claim as a total loss, less salvage value shall mean the date on which an insurance company actually makes payment to the claimant for the damage.

      (5) through (9) [intentionally omitted]

    Pursuant to the Revised Code of Washington, § 46.12.070:

    Any insurance company settling an insurance claim on a vehicle that has been issued a certificate of ownership under this chapter or a certificate of license registration under chapter 46.16 RCW as a total loss, less salvage value, shall notify the department thereof within fifteen days after the settlement of the claim. Notification shall be provided regardless of where or in what jurisdiction the total loss occurred.

    Pursuant to the Revised Code of Washington, § 46.12.005(2):

    "Salvage vehicle" means a vehicle whose certificate of ownership has been surrendered to the department under RCW 46.12.070 due to the vehicle's destruction or declaration as a total loss or for which there is documentation indicating that the vehicle has been declared salvage or has been damaged to the extent that the owner, an insurer, or other person acting on behalf of the owner, has determined that the cost of parts and labor plus the salvage value has made it uneconomical to repair the vehicle. The term does not include a motor vehicle having a model year designation of a calendar year that is at least six years before the calendar year in which the vehicle was wrecked, destroyed, or damaged.

    Pursuant to the Revised Code of Washington, § 46.80.010:

    "Wrecked vehicle" means a vehicle which is disassembled or dismantled or a vehicle which is acquired with the intent to dismantle or disassemble and never again to operate as a vehicle, or a vehicle which has sustained such damage that its cost to repair exceeds the fair market value of a like vehicle which has not sustained such damage, or a damaged vehicle whose salvage value plus cost to repair equals or exceeds its fair market value, if repaired, or a vehicle which has sustained such damage or deterioration that it may not lawfully operate upon the highways of this state for which the salvage value plus cost to repair exceeds its fair market value, if repaired; further, it is presumed that a vehicle is a wreck if it has sustained such damage or deterioration that it may not lawfully operate upon the highways of this state. back to top

  2. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a vehicle on a Certificate of Title? The insurer shall provide Copart with a Certificate of Title, an approved form in lieu of title, or a comparable ownership document issued by another state or jurisdiction (either endorsed over to the insurer or accompanied by a power of attorney), an odometer disclosure statement, a release of any liens, and an ACV.

    Copart will submit these documents along with an Application for Title and the appropriate fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles for processing. Thereafter, the Department of Motor Vehicles shall issue a Certificate of Title in the name of the insurer.

    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 to the purchaser. [See Revised Code of Washington, §§ 46.12.070; 46.12.030] back to top

  3. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a vehicle on a Bill of Sale?

    The insurer shall provide Copart with a Certificate of Title, an approved form in lieu of title, or a comparable ownership document issued by another state or jurisdiction (either endorsed over to the insurer or accompanied by a power of attorney), or a Total Loss Claim Settlement Form (TD 420-074), an odometer disclosure statement, a release of any liens, and an ACV.

    If the insurer has not stamped the Certificate of Title “destroyed”, Copart, acting as their agent, will stamp “Destroyed” on the Certificate of Title. Copart, acting under a power of attorney for the insurer, will then sell the vehicle viaBill of Sale to the purchaser.

    Thereafter, Copart will submit these documents along with the appropriate fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles for processing. [See Washington Admin. Code § 308-56A-460; Revised Code of Washington, § 46.12.070] 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, an approved form in lieu of title, or a comparable ownership document issued by another state or jurisdiction (either endorsed over to the insurer or accompanied by a power of attorney), an odometer disclosure statement with last known mileage, and a release of any liens. After receipt of these documents, Copart will submit these documents along with a Vehicle Title Application and the appropriate fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles for processing.

    Thereafter, the Department of Motor Vehicles shall issue a Certificate of Title in the name of the insurer. Upon receipt, Copart will forward the Certificate of Title to the insurer for safekeeping.

    If the vehicle is recovered, the Certificate of Title along with an ACV will be returned to Copart by the insurer in order to sell the vehicle on the appropriate ownership documents.

    Copart, acting upon a power of attorney for the insurer, will then sell the vehicle at auction either on a Bill of Sale if the vehicle is considered “destroyed” or on a Certificate of Title. back to top

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

    Pursuant to Washington Admin. Code § 308-56A-460:

      (1) What is a destroyed or wrecked vehicle? For the purposes of this section:

        (a) A destroyed vehicle means vehicles of any age that have been reported wrecked or destroyed by the owner, licensed wrecker, scrap processor or insurance company and includes salvage vehicles as defined in RCW 46.12.005; and
        (b) intentionally omitted

      (2) Who may report destroyed or wrecked vehicles and how are those vehicles reported to the department? Destroyed vehicles may be reported to the department by:

        (a) Insurance companies. A vehicle becomes insurance destroyed under RCW 46.12.070 when:
          (i) An insurance company in possession of a certificate of ownership for a vehicle that has been destroyed submits to the department the current certificate of ownership indicate the vehicle is destroyed, the insurance company name and address and the date of loss; or
          (ii) The Total Loss Claim Settlement form (TD 420 074) completed in its entirety is received by the department (settlement is defined in subsection (4) of this section).
        (b) intentionally omitted
        (c) intentionally omitted

      (3) After the certificate of ownership has been surrendered, how do I sell my destroyed vehicle? After the certificate of ownership has been surrendered, you may sell your destroyed vehicle in the following ways:

        (a) intentionally omitted
        (b) After a vehicle has been reported destroyed under RCW 46.12.070 and the registered owner retains the vehicle, the vehicle may be sold in its present condition using a bill of sale. The bill of sale must be signed by the owner and the owner's signature must be notarized.
        (c) intentionally omitted

      (4) When is an insurance claim considered settled? For the purpose of this section, those vehicles described in RCW 46.12.070, the settlement of an insurance claim as a total loss, less salvage value shall mean the date on which an insurance company actually makes payment to the claimant for the damage.

      Pursuant to Revised Code of Washington § 46.12.070:

      Upon the destruction of any vehicle issued a certificate of ownership under this chapter or a license registration under chapter 46.16 RCW, the registered owner and the legal owner shall forthwith and within fifteen days thereafter forward and surrender the certificate to the department, together with a statement of the reason for the surrender and the date and place of destruction. Failure to notify the department or the possession by any person of any such certificate for a vehicle so destroyed, after fifteen days following its destruction, is prima facie evidence of violation of the provisions of this chapter and constitutes a gross misdemeanor. back to top

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

    Whenever there is no outstanding secured obligation and no commitment to make advances and incur obligations or otherwise give value, the secured party must assign the certificate of ownership to the debtor or the debtor's assignee or transferee, and transmit the certificate to the department with an accompanying fee of one dollar and twenty-five cents in addition to all other fees. The department shall then issue a new certificate of ownership and transmit it to the owner. If the affected secured party fails to either assign the certificate of ownership to the debtor or the debtor's assignee or transferee or transmit the certificate of ownership to the department within ten days after proper demand, that secured party shall be liable to the debtor or the debtor's assignee or transferee for one hundred dollars, and in addition for any loss caused to the debtor or the debtor's assignee or transferee by such failure. [See Washington Admin. Code § 46.12.170] back to top



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