(1) When an insurance company acquires a salvage vehicle through payment of a total loss settlement on account of damage, the company shall obtain the certificate of title from the owner, surrender such certificate of title to the county treasurer, and make application for a salvage branded certificate of title which shall be assigned when the company transfers ownership. An insurer shall take title to a salvage vehicle for which a total loss settlement is made unless the owner of the salvage vehicle elects to retain the salvage vehicle.
(2) If the owner elects to retain the salvage vehicle, the insurance company shall notify the department of such fact in a format prescribed by the department. The department shall immediately enter the salvage brand onto the computerized record of the vehicle. Beginning on the implementation date designated by the director pursuant to subsection (3) of section 60-1508, the insurance company shall report electronically to the department using the electronic reporting system. The insurance company shall also notify the owner of the owner's responsibility to comply with this section. The owner shall, within thirty days after the settlement of the loss, forward the properly endorsed acceptable certificate of title to the county treasurer in the county designated in section 60-144. Upon receipt of the certificate of title, the county treasurer shall issue a salvage branded certificate of title for the vehicle unless the vehicle has been repaired and inspected as provided in section 60-146, in which case the county treasurer shall issue a previously salvaged branded certificate of title for the vehicle.
(3) An insurance company may apply to the department for a salvage branded certificate of title without obtaining a properly endorsed certificate of title from the owner or other evidence of ownership as prescribed by the department if it has been at least thirty days since the company obtained oral or written acceptance by the owner of an offer in an amount in settlement of a total loss. The insurance company shall submit an application form prescribed by the department for a salvage branded certificate of title accompanied by an affidavit from the insurance company that it has made at least two written attempts and has been unable to obtain the proper endorsed certificate of title from the owner following an oral or written acceptance by the owner of an offer of an amount in settlement of a total loss and evidence of settlement.