Nonrepairable Vehicles

What is a nonrepairable vehicle?

A nonrepairable vehicle is a vehicle of a type otherwise subject to registration that meets the following criteria:

  • A vehicle that has no resale value except as a source of parts or scrap metal, and which the owner irreversibly designates solely as a source of parts or scrap metal.
  • A completely stripped vehicle (a surgical strip) recovered from theft, missing all of the bolt on sheet metal body panels, all of the doors and hatches, substantially all of the interior components, and substantially all of the grill and light assemblies, or that the owner designates has little or no resale value other than its worth as a source of scrap metal, or as a source of a vehicle identification number that could be used illegally.
  • A completely burned vehicle (burned hulk) that has been burned to the extent that there are no more usable or repairable body or interior components, tires and wheels, or drive train components, and which the owner irreversibly designates as having little or no resale value other than its worth as scrap metal or as a source of a vehicle identification number that could be used illegally.

Do I have to register my nonrepairable vehicle?

No. A nonrepairable vehicle is issued a nonrepairable vehicle certificate and the vehicle, the vehicle frame, or unitized frame and body, as applicable, are not titled or registered.

What is a nonrepairable vehicle certificate?

A "nonrepairable vehicle certificate" is a vehicle ownership document issued to the owner of a nonrepairable vehicle. A nonrepairable vehicle certificate is conspicuously labeled with the word "nonrepairable" across the front.

How do I obtain a nonrepairable vehicle certificate?

The requirements are:

  • Application for Salvage Certificate or Nonrepairable Vehicle Certificate (REG 488C) completed and signed.
  • Proof of ownership. This is usually the Certificate of Title (California or another state).
  • Surrender any license plates belonging to the vehicle.

How many times can a nonrepairable vehicle be transferred?

Ownership of the vehicle may only be transferred two times on a nonrepairable vehicle certificate.

What do I have to do to retain possession of my nonrepairable vehicle?

If you retain possession of the vehicle after the insurance settlement or the vehicle is not the subject of an insurance settlement, you must apply for a "nonrepairable vehicle certificate" within 10 days of the loss or settlement of the loss. You will also need to complete a Nonrepairable Vehicle Notice of Retention by Owner (REG 480). For faster service, make an Appointment(s) before you visit a DMV office.