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:
- A completed Application for Salvage Certificate or Non-repairable Vehicle Certificate (REG 488C) form.
- Proof of ownership, such as the Certificate of Title from California or another state.
- If you do not have a California Certificate of Title, you must complete and sign a notarized Application for Replacement or Transfer of Title (REG 227) form.
- If you do not have an out-of-state title, you must obtain a replacement title from the state that originally issued the vehicle’s title.
- If you cannot provide sufficient proof of ownership, and the vehicle is valued at $5,000 or more, you must provide a Motor Vehicle Ownership Surety Bond (REG 5057) form or Vehicle, Vessel, or Off-Highway Vehicle Title Deposit Agreement and Assignment (REG 5059) form.
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:
- A completed Application for Salvage Certificate or Nonrepairable Vehicle Certificate (REG 488C) form.
- A Statement of Facts (REG 256) form that describes the vehicle and indicates that the original Salvage or Non-repairable Vehicle Certificate was lost, stolen, or destroyed.
- Applicable fees.
Need something else?
Review registration fees for salvage, non-repairable, or junk vehicles.
Find out insurance requirements for all vehicles operated or parked on California roads.
Salvage/Junk and Revived Junk Vehicles
Looking to rebuild your junk vehicle? Find out how to register the revived junk vehicle here.