Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 20 of 38

Chapter 19: Salvage – Nonrepairable – Junk Vehicles

19.015 Definitions

Abated Vehicle (VC §22660)—A vehicle determined to be a public nuisance because it was abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, or inoperative and was removed by ordinance of a city or county.

Junk Vehicle—A junk vehicle is one which has been dismantled because it was wrecked, abandoned, or inoperable.

Nonrepairable Vehicle (VC §431)—A vehicle that meets one of the following criteria and has no resale value except as a source of parts or scrap metal:

  • Surgical Strip—A vehicle completely stripped when recovered from theft.
  • Complete Burn—A completely burned vehicle.
  • Owner Declared—A vehicle irreversibly designated by the owner solely as a source of parts or scrap metal.

Once declared nonrepairable, the vehicle cannot be titled or reregistered.

Nonrevivable Junk—A vehicle valued at $500 or less that was abandoned and the removal and disposal by a licensed dismantler or scrap iron processor was authorized by a peace officer or any designated employee of a public agency (Example: an abated vehicle). Once declared nonrevivable, the vehicle cannot be titled or reregistered.

Owner Retained Total Loss Salvage or Nonrepairable Vehicle (VC §§11515 and 11515.2)—A total loss salvage or nonrepairable vehicle that the owner retains as a portion of the settlement with an insurance company.

Salvage Pool (VC §543)—A person engaged exclusively in the business of disposing of total loss salvage vehicles, nonrepairable vehicles, or recovered stolen vehicles received from, or on behalf of, insurance companies, authorized adjusters, leasing companies, self-insured persons, or financial institutions.

Self-Insurer (VC §16052)—Any person in whose name more than 25 vehicles are registered and who has obtained a Certificate of Self-Insurance (SR 27) from DMV.

Total Loss Salvage Vehicle (VC §544)—A vehicle that has been wrecked, destroyed, or damaged, to the extent that the owner or insurance company considers it uneconomical to repair and, because of this, the vehicle is not repaired for the owner. A salvage certificate is issued instead of an ownership certificate for a total loss salvage vehicle and becomes the ownership document. This certificate can only be issued in the name of the registered owner or insurance company. An unrecovered stolen vehicle is not a total loss salvage vehicle.