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After the flood, be alert for damaged trade-ins

April 26, 2013
With widespread flooding following the April 17 downpours, questions about flood-damaged vehicles have been directed to the CATA.
It is important to remember the rules for defining flood-damaged vehicles and what procedures dealers should follow when accepting such vehicles in trade.
The Illinois Vehicle Code [625 ILCS 5/3-117.1(b)] defines a flood damaged vehicle thusly: “A flood vehicle is a vehicle that has been submerged in water to the point that rising water has reached over the door sill or has entered the passenger or trunk compartment.”
The following procedures are part of Illinois law:
1. For vehicles that meet the definition of a “Flood Vehicle,” applications must be filed to obtain Salvage Certificates. Such applications must indicate in the Rebuilt Vehicle field the word “Flood.” The word Flood is to be conspicuously entered just beneath the “yes” box in the Rebuilt Vehicle field, which is located to the right of the purchase date field.
2. The Illinois Secretary of State form named “Affirmation Supporting Salvage Certificate” must accompany all Salvage Certificates that are surrendered with an application for a regular Certificate of Title.
3. All applications filed to obtain a regular Certificate of Title for a vehicle that has been designated as a flood- or water-damaged vehicle, by any state or jurisdiction, must indicate in the Rebuilt Vehicle field the word “Flood.”
4. Applications filed with the word “Flood” in the Rebuilt Vehicle field will, once approved, generate Salvage Certificates or regular Certificates of Title with the word “Flood” in the legend area on the face of the title.
Violators of these codes face penalties of $1,000 to $5,000 for a first offense. Second-time offenders are subject to a Class 4 felony.
The forms mentioned above can be requested from the secretary of state’s office at (217) 782-7132.