Title Types and Definitions

Title and Salvage Vehicles

Massachusetts classifies titles into types with sub-brands. A sub-brand is a secondary status that must be attached as a defining characteristic to a title to specify, as in the case of salvage vehicles, the occurrence that caused the damage.

Clear Title

A Clear Title is issued to a vehicle with no previous salvage notations, sub-brands, or legends.

Salvage

A Salvage Title is issued to a vehicle that has been declared a total loss resulting from collision, theft, fire, vandalism, salt, flood, or other occurrence. Salvage Titles are broken down into two categories:

  • Repairable -A Repairable Salvage Title is issued to a vehicle that has been declared a total loss, but can be repaired. This title type requires at least one sub-brand of collision, theft, fire, vandalism, salt, flood, or other.
  • Parts Only - A Parts-Only Title is issued to a vehicle that has been declared a total loss and also un-repairable due to extensive damage. The vehicle can never be re-titled or registered in Massachusetts. A Parts-Only Title does not require a sub-brand.

Reconstructed

A Reconstructed Title is issued to a vehicle that was previously titled as Salvage-Repairable, has been repaired, and has passed a salvage inspection. This title requires at least one sub-brand of collision, theft, fire, vandalism, salt, flood, or other.

Recovered Theft

A Recovered Theft Title is issued to a vehicle previously titled as Salvage-Repairable with a theft sub-brand. These vehicles must have minimal damage. This title always requires the sub-brand of theft and may also have other sub-brands (if applicable).

Owner-Retained

An Owner-Retained Title is issued when an insurance company deems a vehicle to be a total loss and the owner chooses to retain possession of the vehicle. The vehicle must have an active registration and be capable of being legally driven.

Memorandum

A Memorandum Title is a non-negotiable title issued when a vehicle is brought from out-of-state to Massachusetts, has a lien, and the lienholder is in possession of the out-of-state title. A Memorandum Title is not transferable unless accompanied by the out-of-state title.