Skip to Content
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 20D: Reconstruction or restoration of total loss salvage motor vehicle

Section 20D. (a) Any owner who reconstructs or restores a total loss salvage motor vehicle to its operating condition which existed prior to the event which caused a salvage title to issue under this chapter or the laws of another state, or who recovers a total loss salvage motor vehicle if stolen, shall make application to the registrar for a certificate of title and an inspection of the vehicle prior to registration or sale of said vehicle. Each application for title and inspection shall be accompanied by the following:

(1) the outstanding salvage title previously issued for the salvage vehicle;

(2) bills of sale evidencing acquisition of all major component parts used to restore the vehicle, listing the manufacturer's vehicle identification number of the vehicle from which the parts were removed, if such part contained or should contain the manufacturer's vehicle identification number;

(3) the owner shall also provide a sworn affidavit in the form prescribed by the registrar which states that: (i) the identification numbers of the restored vehicle and its parts have not been removed, destroyed, falsified, altered or defaced; (ii) the salvage title document attached to the application has not been forged, falsified, altered or counterfeited; (iii) all information contained on the application and its attachments is true and correct to the knowledge of the owner; and

(4) the required inspection fee.

The vehicle identification number of every vehicle for which an application is submitted shall be inspected by an inspector at a location designated by the registrar. In addition, of the vehicles presented for such inspection, a certain number may be selected for inspection of the vehicle's major component parts which have been repaired or replaced as part of the rebuilding process to determine that the vehicle's parts have not been removed, falsified, altered, defaced, destroyed, or tampered with, and that the vehicle information contained in the application and supporting documents is true and correct. The selection of vehicles to undergo said major component part inspection shall be on a random basis, in accordance with criteria and procedures established by the registrar by regulation, which may be changed from time to time as the registrar deems necessary. The inspector may examine the identification number of each part that has been repaired or replaced as a part of the rebuilding process, in addition to the vehicle identification number, and may compare said numbers to the vehicle identification numbers and identification numbers of parts entered into any state, regional, or national computer network that records the vehicle identification numbers of stolen motor vehicles and the identification numbers of stolen parts. Nothing in this section shall establish a presumption, that a part has been removed, falsified, altered, defaced, destroyed, or tampered with by a person submitting a vehicle for inspection, if such part fails to contain a required identification label. The major component inspection shall not be for the purpose of checking road worthiness or the safety condition of the vehicle. No liability shall be imposed on the registrar or the commonwealth or its agents or employees with respect to any act or omission related to said inspection. A person aggrieved by an adverse report issued under this section by a vehicle inspector, may file a written request for reconsideration of the inspector's report with the registrar, within thirty days of receiving a written copy of said report. The registrar shall assign the request for review to a hearing officer, who shall schedule a hearing to be held within thirty days of the date of the request, at a place of the registrar's choosing. The hearing officer may continue the hearing and may remove said hearing to a more appropriate place if necessary. The hearing officer may affirm or overrule the decision of the inspector. A final decision by the hearing officer shall be rendered within fifteen days of the closing of the final date of hearing.

(b) Upon satisfactory inspection results, and receipt of all required documents and fees, the registrar shall issue a new certificate of title in the name of the owner which shall contain the notation ''reconstructed'', or if the vehicle was a stolen vehicle which was subsequently recovered in an undamaged condition, said certificate shall contain the notation ''recovered theft vehicle''.