How To: Reregister a Salvage (Total Loss) Vehicle

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You will need:

You may also need:

Revived Salvage Vehicle

A revived salvage vehicle is a vehicle previously reported to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as a total loss by the owner or insurance company and restored to operational condition. For information on revived junk vehicles, see the How To: Reregister a Junk Vehicle (HTVR 4) brochure.

Most forms/brochures listed in this brochure available at

Requirements for Reregistering a Salvage Vehicle

  • An Application for Title or Registration (REG 343) form signed by all current owners.
    • The vehicle cost must include the cost of labor, even if the labor was done by you.
  • Proof of ownership which is one of the following:
  • A Vehicle/Vessel Transfer and Reassignment Form (REG 262) ( bill of sale/odometer disclosure/ power of attorney) to establish the chain of ownership to you. If you do not need to disclose the odometer reading, you may use a:
  • A vehicle inspection by DMV or, if required, by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). For vehicles that require a CHP inspection:
    • Contact CHP for an appointment at one of the telephone numbers listed at the end of this brochure.
    • Bring proof of ownership, bill(s) of sale for parts and repair receipts to the inspection appointment.
    • CHP issues a Certificate of Inspection (CHP 97C) form that must be submitted with other requirements to DMV to complete the application.
    • A nonrefundable inspection fee is collected by DMV at the time the registration application is presented.
    • Vehicles manufactured with a supplemental restraint system (air bags) must be equipped with working air bags that meet federal motor vehicle safety standards and conform to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Brake/light inspection certificates for most vehicles, except trailers weighing 3,000 pounds or less gross vehicle weight (GVW). To locate California state-licensed brake/light inspection stations, check your local telephone directory.

EXCEPTION: When a California state-licensed brake/light inspection station that inspects specific vehicles, such as motorcycles or large commercial vehicles, is not located within a reasonable distance, DMV will accept a (REG 256) from a California state-licensed repair shop certifying that the brakes/lights are in proper working order.

  • A weight certificate from a California public weighmaster with the unladen or empty weight for trucks and pickups. This certificate may be obtained for a nominal fee. For a list of public scales, check your local telephone directory or the California Department of Food and Agriculture website at
    A weight certificate is not required for:
    • Trucks or pickups previously registered in California when the prior California Certificate of Title or registration show the unladen weight and number of axles, if the vehicle has not been modified to change the weight.
    • Trucks or pickups with an empty or unladen weight of 6,000 pounds or less when the empty, unladen, scale, shipping, or tare weight is indicated on an out-of-state title or registration, if the vehicle has not been modified to change the weight.
    • Two or three-axle trucks weighing 10,001 pounds or more. The estimated unladen weight is required.
    • Autos (unless registered as commercial), trailers, and motorcycles.
  • Declaration of Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)/Combined Gross Vehicle Weight (CGW) (REG 4008) form for commercial vehicles weighing 6,001 pounds or more, except pickups.
  • A smog certification from a California state-licensed smog inspection station, unless your vehicle is:
    • A 1975 or older year model and gas-powered.
    • A 1997 or older year model and diesel-powered.
    • Diesel-powered with a GVW rating (GVWR) of 14,001 pounds or more.
    • Electric.
    • Natural gas or propane-powered with a GVWR of 14,001 pounds or more.
    • A hybrid.
    • Hydrogen fuel cell-powered.
    • A motorcycle.
      — A trailer.
    • Special equipment.
    • A two-stroke engine.
    • An off-highway.
    • Assigned Historical Vehicle License Plates (manufactured prior to 1976 year model).
    • A crane, cement mixer, forklift, golf cart, or street sweeper.
    • Already titled in your name and does not require smog certification for registration renewal. A California Certificate of Title will not be issued if you do not obtain the required certification(s) and reregister your vehicle before moving it out of California. California does not recognize out-of-state salvage vehicle inspection certifications.
  • Fees, such as:
    • Registration
    • CHP
    • Vehicle license(VLF)
    • Weight
    • Commercial Vehicle Registration Act (CVRA) motor vehicle
    • County
    • Cargo theft interdiction program (CTIP)
    • Permanent trailer identification (PTI) service (most trailers)
    • Salvage certificate
    • Duplicate title
    • Penalties (if the registration is expired and not planned nonoperational status)
    • Transfer (not due if already titled in your name)
    • Substitute license plate
    • Service
    • Salvage and dismantled vehicle inspection
    • Prior history
    • Use tax (not due if purchased from a licensed dismantler)
    • Nonresident (if last registered out of state) For registration fees, see the Registration Related Fees (FFVR 34) Fast Facts brochure.
  • Surrender the license plates.

CHP Inspection Appointments

Inspections will not be conducted without an appointment. The addresses are for appointment scheduling only and may not be the actual inspection site. Contact one of the offices in the following section to make an appointment.

For an Appointment Contact:

Northern Division
2485 Sonoma Street
Redding, CA 96001-3026
Phone: (530) 242-4360

Valley Division
11336 Trade Center Drive
Rancho Cordova, CA 95742-6233
Phone: (916) 464-1480

Golden Gate Division
1551 Benicia Road
Vallejo, CA 94951-7568
Phone: (510) 622-4611

Central Division
5179 N. Gates Avenue
Fresno, CA 93722-6414
Phone: (559) 488-4053

Coastal Division
4115 Broad Street #B-10
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-7963
Phone: (805) 549-3006

Inland Division
847 E. Brier Drive
San Bernardino, CA 92408-2820
Phone: (909) 383-4247
Phone: (909) 806-2437

Border Division
1722 East Main Street
El Cajon, CA 92021
Phone: (858) 492-1745

2335 Enrico Fermi Drive
San Diego, CA 92154
Phone: (858) 492-1745

13200 Golden West Street
Westminster, CA 92683
Phone: (714) 892-4426

Southern Division
411 N. Central Avenue, Ste. 410
Glendale, CA 91203
Phone: (323) 644-9593