California Salvage Title

In the state of California, insurance companies have the authority to declare a vehicle a total loss if your automobile is in an accident. If your insurance claims the total loss or the word salvage has been stamped on the title, it is illegal to operate your vehicle on any road in California. What this means is that your original registration on your vehicle has been cancelled, and you'll need to remove your plates off your automobile.

If the vehicle is restored, it has to be inspected before a Rebuilt Title will be issued. A rebuilt vehicle with a CA Salvage Rebuilt Title can be driven on the highways. Please note that your vehicle can't be re-titled until it passes a Salvage Inspection.

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1: Get Started with Online Application Assistance

Online application assistance services in California can facilitate the processes involved in many DMV related services by providing invaluable information and step-by-step instruction on how best to proceed. Whether you are looking to renew, replace or get a new CA title, online application assistance services can help with these and many more. Other benefits include one-click access to an entire inventory of official California forms and publications, as well as other useful CA resources.

2: By mail

Some drivers prefer to handle the renewal process by mail, rather than taking advantage of assistance services, visiting the DMV in person, or via available online services. Service by mail is available with limitations. Read below for additional details or visit your local DMV.

3: Via a DMV office

If your specific needs require an in-person visit, most, if not all, driver license services can be handled at your local DMV office. Varying DMV offices sometimes supply different types of services so you will need to check before your visit to make sure the DMV closest to you provides the service you require. In addition, you can call to see if your DMV allows you to make a personal appointment.

California Salvage Certificate (Replacing the Vehicle Title)

In the state of California, a vehicle is deemed a total loss by an insurance company if repairing the vehicle or rebuilding the vehicle is greater than its value. This will result in the issuance of a California salvage Certificate for the vehicle. It becomes a salvage vehicle and can't be driven on the highways or have a valid license plate. If the vehicle is restored, it has to be inspected before a rebuilt title will be issued. A rebuilt vehicle with a CA salvage rebuilt title can be driven on the highways.

To learn more about California Salvage Certificates, read below:

Applying for and Acquiring a California Salvage Certificate

Your original title on your vehicle will be replaced by a Salvage Certificate. This document shows ownership and takes place of a regular vehicle title. To apply for a salvage certificate in California, you'll need to go to your local California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) branch. There you will have to fill out an Application for Title or Registration form signed by all listed owners. This application has to include vehicle cost and labor cost, even if you were the one to repair the vehicle. You also have to show proof of ownership by producing one of the following documents.

  • A Salvage Certificate in your name or endorsed for transfer to your name. If the Salvage Certificate is missing, the insurance company or person who applied for the original must complete an Application for Salvage Certificate or Nonrepairable Vehicle Certificate form and a Statement of Facts form describing the vehicle and disposition of the original Salvage Certificate.
  • The Certificate of Title or an Application for Duplicate or Paperless Title form in your name or endorsed for transfer into your name and a REG 488C.
  • You may also need a Vehicle/Vessel Transfer and Reassignment Form, bill of sale, odometer disclosure, or power of attorney, as necessary, to complete the chain of ownership.
  • A vehicle inspection by the California DMV or California Highway Patrol (CHP).
  • California brake and light inspection certificates.

California Revived Salvaged Vehicles (In place of Rebuilt Title)

A revived salvage vehicle is a vehicle that has been reported to the California DMV by the owner or insurance company as a total loss and now has been restored, repaired or rebuilt to operational condition.

Title an Abandoned Vehicle in California

An abandoned vehicle title in California can be claimed by anyone as long as the owner does not come forward to claim it. To claim an abandoned vehicle, and title it in California, you'll have to contact the CA DMV. You can obtain an abandoned car through a lien sale.Visit your to fill out a Registration Information Request Lien form, and pay a $5 fee. . After you fill complete the request lien form, you'll need to also submit a request for vehicle records. Once you've completed these steps you'll mail copies of your form to each person that shows on the record. If no one comes forward to claim the vehicle, then you'll be able to apply for the title.