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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: 08/01/2022 Posted: 10/28/2015

What does a salvage title mean in CA? In California car title rules, a salvage vehicle can have a rebuilt title, becoming a revived vehicle. The only non-repairable vehicles that can’t receive salvage title in California (CA) are those that have no resale value. Or burned, or stripped of their parts after a 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 is restored and is given revived junk title. While a salvage car has a revived salvaged title in California.

Getting a Rebuilt Title for a Salvage Vehicle

After repairing the vehicle to operable condition, the California DMV requires you to have a substantial amount of documentation ready. You will need to have the title or salvage certificate in your name or an Application for Duplicate. This also proves that you are the vehicle’s owner (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. You will need the California Highway Patrol, CHP certificate for all repaired salvage vehicles. This ensures that none of the parts used in the vehicle stolen.

The CHP will also need you to provide proof of ownership and with receipts for the repairs. Including the parts used in reconstruction. Again, this ensures that all of the parts were obtained legally. The 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 vehicle history. You will also need to surrender the vehicle’s current plates.

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

Getting a Title for Revived Junk

As mentioned, in California it is possible to get a junk 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 a Junk Receipt from the DMV or a Dismantler’s Bill of Sale. You will need to fill out the Application for Title or Registration, the Verification of Vehicle or CHP Inspection Certificate, and the Brake and Light Adjustment Certificates. Also, pay the appropriate fees, just as you would with a salvage vehicle.

Also 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, and vehicle history. Also, smog certification if the vehicle is made in 1976 or earlier.

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.

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