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What is Salvage title? US States Rebuilt Title Rules

Vehicle with Salvage Title California: Car Rebuilding and California Car Title Rules

By Mike Richards Updated: 01/31/2023 Posted: 10/28/2015

What does a salvage title mean in CA? In California car title rules it is possible for a salvage vehicle to be given a rebuilt title, thereby becoming a revived vehicle. The only non-repairable vehicles that can’t receive salvage title California (CA) are those that have no resale value, or that have been burned, or stripped of their parts after theft. In those cases, they are only good for parts and scrap metal.

The state of California also allows junk vehicles, vehicles that have been dismantled, to be revived. A junk vehicle that has been restored would be given a revived salvage title, while a salvage car would receive a revived salvaged title California.

Getting a Rebuilt Title and Insurance for a Salvage Vehicle in California

After repairing the vehicle to operable condition, the California DMV requires the driver to have a substantial amount of documentation ready. You will need to have the California title or salvage certificate in your name or an Application for Duplicate form. This proves that you are the owner of the vehicle (not only driver).

You will also need the Application for Title or Registration, which will need to be signed by all owners listed on the vehicle, as well as the Verification of Vehicle or California Highway Control Inspection Certificate. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) certificate is needed for all vehicles that are salvage and being repaired after damage, as this helps to ensure that none of the parts used in the vehicle have been stolen.

California Highway Patrol Rules for Getting Your Salvage Title Cleared on Your Lemon Vehicle

The California Highway Patrol will also need you to provide proof of ownership, along with receipts for the repairs, including the parts that were used in the reconstruction, in order to get your California salvage title. Again, this ensures that all of the parts were obtained legally. California’s current fee for the inspection is $50.

Some of the other documentation that you may need to submit include weight certificates, smog certification, a Statement of Facts, in the event the salvage certificate is not available, and a vehicle history. You will also need to surrender the vehicle’s current plates.

At that point, once you pass the inspection, your salvage title vehicles will be able to receive the new title and get DMV registration for the vehicle. Make sure you also have liability insurance. You must have car insurance to operate on California roads.

Getting a Title for Revived Salvage Vehicle in California

As mentioned, in California it is possible to get a salvage car on the road with a revived junk title, as long as the vehicle has been restored to operating condition after being reported to the DMV.

You will need to have Junk Receipt from the DMV, or a Dismantler’s Bill of Sale. You will need to fill out the Application for Title form or Registration form, the Verification of Vehicle or CHP Inspection Certificate, the Brake and Light Adjustment Certificates, and pay the appropriate fees, just as you would with a salvage vehicle.

In some cases, you will also need to provide the Statement of Facts, Vehicle/Vessel Transfer and Reassignment Form, the bill of sale of the parts used in the reconstruction of the vehicle, the weight declaration, vehicle history, and smog certification form if the vehicle was made in 1976 or earlier. Coverage is on a case by case basis and may require a form. It’s best to call the DMV to clarify.

Keep in mind that the fees for titling and registration can change, so be sure to check out the California DMV to get the latest information on the cost for the title, registration, and inspection as well as the appropriate form.

Find information on Rebuilt Title Laws for Other US States. Explore our Vehicle Auctions and Buying With Us.