Total Loss Salvage & Non-Repairable Vehicles

If your vehicle has been wrecked or damaged and insurance declares your vehicle a total loss salvage, DMV can issue a Salvage Certificate. 

What is a Non-Repairable Vehicle?

A Total Loss/Non-Repairable Vehicle meets one of the following criteria:

  • The vehicle has been declared by the owner solely as a source of parts or scrap metal.
  • The vehicle has been completely stripped (surgical strip).
  • The vehicle is a completely burned shell with no usable or repairable parts.

Once this certificate is issued, the vehicle cannot be titled or re-registered for use as a Junk/Revived Salvage. California Vehicle Code (CVC) §431

To get a Non-Repairable Vehicle Certificate, you will need:

Frequently Asked Questions

Both a vehicle owner (who is self-insured) and an insurance company can legally apply for a Salvage Certificate or a Non-Repairable Vehicle Certificate, depending on the circumstances.

If you receive a settlement from your insurance company, then the insurance company is responsible for getting the certificate within 10 days from the date of the settlement. CVC §§11515 11515.2

If you have a total loss salvage vehicle, and you do not receive an insurance settlement, then you (as the vehicle owner) are responsible for getting the certificate.

If a Salvage Certificate was issued to you, but it was lost, stolen, or destroyed, you can apply for a duplicate certificate.

To apply for a duplicate Salvage or Non-repairable Vehicle Certificate, you need:

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