Understanding Vehicle Titles: Types and What They Mean

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Discover the different types of vehicle titles and what each one signifies. This guide will help you navigate the complexities of vehicle ownership and ensure you make informed decisions.

Clean Title

A clean title means the vehicle has never been in a major accident or suffered significant damage. It's the most desirable type of title for buyers.

Salvage Title

A salvage title indicates that the vehicle was damaged to the extent that the insurance company deemed it a total loss. While these cars can be repaired, they often come with risks.

Rebuilt Title

A rebuilt title is given to a vehicle that was previously a salvage but has been repaired and inspected to meet safety standards. These vehicles can be a good deal but require careful inspection.

Bonded Title

A bonded title is issued when there's no proof of ownership available, but the vehicle needs to be legally registered. It requires a surety bond as a guarantee of the vehicle's legitimacy.

Lemon Title

A lemon title is assigned to vehicles that have been repurchased by the manufacturer due to unresolved defects. These cars might have ongoing issues despite repairs.

Certificate of Destruction

This title means the vehicle is only suitable for parts and scrap. It can't be legally driven again. Be cautious if a vehicle with this title is offered for sale.


Understanding vehicle titles helps you make smart choices whether buying or selling a car. Always check the title status to ensure you're getting a safe and reliable vehicle.

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