How to Register a CA Salvaged Vehicle.

Driving a salvage vehicle is like rescuing a car. Its comeback takes a lot of work to pull off.

First of all: What is a salvaged car?

There are different types of salvage vehicle defined by California’s DMV:

  • Salvaged car: Has been wrecked or damaged to such an extent that it is considered too expensive to repair.

  • Revived salvage: A salvage vehicle which has been repaired and registered.

  • Junk car: A car that has been reported to the DMV as being dismantled.

The official definitions are slightly different, the process to re-register and title a junked car is similar to titling and re-registering a salvaged car. The differences will be explained below.

CA Salvage Certificate

Once a total loss settlement has been agreed upon, the insurance company (or its representative Salvage Pool) or the owner of the car must apply for Salvage Certificate within 10 days.

To apply for a Salvage Certificate you have to submit:

  • A completed Application for Salvage Certificate or Nonrepairable Vehicle Certificate(Form Reg 488C).

  • Proof of ownership with a properly endorsed:

  • Certificate of title.

  • Application for Duplicate or Paperless Title (Form REG 227).

  • Any available bills of sale.

  • Odometer disclosure (if there is no room on the title certificate).

  • License plates. If you don't have them, provide an explanation on the application.

  • Vehicle verification, if the title is from out of state.

  • Payment for the $21 Salvage Certificate fee.

Registering a Salvaged Car in CA

To register a salvaged car in CA, you will need ALL of the following:

  • A completed Application for Title or Registration (Form REG 343), signed by all owners.

  • Incorporate the cost of labor into the vehicle cost—even if the labor was performed by you.

  • Proof of vehicle ownership, to include: A Salvage Certificate OR an Application for Salvage Certificate (Form Reg 488C), completed and/or submitted with/within:

  • 10 days of the settlement with your insurance company.

  • A Statement of Facts (Form REG 256).

  • The $2 record collection fee.

  • The vehicle title OR an Application for Duplicate or Paperless Title (Form REG 227).

  • EITHER a completed: Vehicle/Vessel Transfer and Reassignment (Form REG 262), IF you need to submit an odometer reading. Pick this up at your DMV office. Or Bill of Sale (Form REG 135) AND Power of Attorney (Form REG 260), if you do not.

A vehicle inspection performed by either:

  • The California DMV, using a Verification of Vehicle (Form REG 31) or:

  • The California Highway Patrol (CHP), using a CHP Certification of Inspection (Form CHP 97C).

  • An official Brake and Light Adjustment Certificate from a licensed repair shop. See below for more information.

  • The appropriate fees (listed below).

If you're re-registering a junked car, you'll need a completed:

  • Application for Title or Registration (Form REG 343).

  • Bill of Sale (Form REG 135).

  • Power of Attorney (Form REG 260).

  • A vehicle inspection with the DMV or CHP.

  • The official Brake and Light Adjustment Certificate.

  • The appropriate fees.

Salvage Vehicle Inspections

Getting your salvaged car inspected is a mandatory part of reviving your vehicle for use in California. While there, make sure to bring:

  • Proof of ownership of the vehicle. (See above for acceptable documents.)

  • The bill of sale, if relevant.

  • Receipts for any repairs done on the car.

  • The $50 inspection fee.

You will also need to obtain an official Brake and Light Adjustment Certificate from a state-licensed repair shop. Specific vehicles, such as motorcycles and large commercial vehicles, may require a certificate from a specialty repair shop. Contact us for more information. All of this is indeed a lot of work and it is all very confusing, we know, that is why you can take what you need from this blog entry or you could just come to us, we'll get it done for you.

Call us if you have any questions or if you wish to start a Salvage Revival process with us:

Or visit any of our offices:


1310 Chamberlain Ave.

Suite A

Bakersfield, CA 93305


1420 High St.

Suite E

Delano, CA 932151


497 E. Center Ave. Suite A

Earlimart, CA 93219


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Perris, CA 92570

2560 Perris Blvd. Suite J2

Perris, CA 92571


917 7th St.

Wasco, CA 9328

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802 Navajo Rd #B

Perris, CA 92570



1420 High St #E

Delano, CA 93215


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1310 Chamberlain Ave #A 

Bakersfield, CA 93305



917 7th St

Wasco, CA 93280


497 E Center Ave 
Earlimart, CA 93219


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Auto  International Insurance Agency Inc is licensed by the state of California OL License Number #80629. Auto International Insurance Agency Inc. is not owned and operated by any government agency. Tito Placas Is Trademarked.  We are not the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV)