what is a salvage vehicle

What is a Salvage Vehicle?

What is a salvaged vehicle? Can I insure a salvaged vehicle?How can I register a salvaged vehicle? A salvaged vehicle is typically a motor vehicle that has been branded as being damaged and/or deemed as an absolute loss by an insurance company that paid a claim on the said vehicle. In the state of California, a salvaged vehicle is defined as one that has, “been wrecked or damaged to such an extent that it is considered too expensive to repair.”There are different types of Salvaged titles, such as: Salvaged Car, Revived Salvage, and Junk Car. In fact, a revived Salvage is a previously salvaged motor vehicle that has been fixed into an operating manner and has once again been registered under the DMV.

Salvage Titles

A junk car according to salvaged titles, is a car that has been disassembled by the owner, etc. In California, the Department of Motor Vehicles requires the following to register a salvaged vehicle:

  • The basic registration fee of $46
  • Highly likely fee of $50 [Salvage and Dismantled Vehicle Inspection] + $2 [Prior History Fee]
  • Application for title and/or registration (REG 343)
  • California certificate of title or salvage certificate or application for duplicate
  • Verification of Vehicle (REG 31) or CHP Inspection Certificate

DMV may also require the following:

  • smog certificate
  • weight certificate
  • vehicle/vessel transfer and reassignment form (REG 262)
  • statement of facts (REG256)
  • declaration of gross vehicle/ combined gross vehicle weight (REG4008)
  • permanent trailer identification (PTI) Application/Certification (REG 4017)

In order to insure a revived salvage title car in the State of California, the vehicle must first be deemed drivable once again by either the insurance company and/or owner of the auto, despite it once being seen as a total loss. Therefore, The Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) requires:

  • An application for title or registration that has been signed by all the listed owners
  • Proof of auto ownership such as: application of duplicate title, certificate of title & salvage certificate under your name
  • Vehicle Inspection by the DMV, and possibly the CHP before the DMV, depending on the type of motor vehicle
  • Brake and Light inspection certificate
  • A weight certificate for certain trucks, etc
  • Smog Certificate for most vehicles, usually not for hybrids, electric, and motorcycles

What is a Salvage Vehicle? – FEES

  • $46 Registration Fee
  • $24 CHP Fee
  • VLF (based on the value of the motor vehicle)
  • Weight Fee
  • CRVA Fee
  • $1-$19 County Fee (different for each county)
  • $3 CTIP
  • $7-$20 PTI Fee
  • $20 Salvage Certificate Fee
  • $20 Duplicate Title Fee

Verification of vehicle (REG 31) or CHP Inspection Certificate

  • $20 Substitute Plate Fee
  • $50 Salvaged & Dismantled Vehicle Inspection Fee
  • $2 Prior History Fee
  • Possible $20 fee if the vehicle has an out-of-state registration
  • Transfer or tax fees

To summarize, insuring a Salvaged Vehicle with full coverage tends to be difficult, most places will insure the vehicle with minimum coverage or won’t insure it at all. That is why one must take certain precautions when buying a car with a salvaged title. For one, one must get a trusted mechanic to look at the vehicle before purchasing, receive an auto history report, check with DMV for salvage title laws, and check-in with your insurance company to see what coverage may be possible, and lastly, check the NMVTIS.