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How To Reregister a Salvaged Vehicle


You will need...

  • Application for Title or Registration (PDF) (REG 343)
  • California Certificate of Title or Salvage Certificate or Application for Duplicate
  • Verification of Vehicle (REG 343) or CHP Inspection Certificate
  • Brake and Light Adjustment Certificates
  • Appropriate Fees

You may also need… (see details below)

Revived Salvage Vehicle

A revived salvage vehicle is one that was reported to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) by the owner or insurance company as a total loss and now has been restored to operational condition. (For information on revived junked vehicles, see brochure HTVR 4, How To Reregister a “Junked” Vehicle


Reregister a Revived Salvage Vehicle

  1. Application 

    You must submit an Application for Title or Registration (PDF) (REG 343) signed by all listed owners.

  2. Proof of Vehicle Ownership

    To prove your ownership of the vehicle, you must have one of the following:

  3. Vehicle Inspection -

    Revived salvage vehicles must be inspected by the California DMV or if required, by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) before DMV can issue title and registration. When you are sent to CHP for an inspection, you must bring the proof of ownership (previously discussed) and repair receipts to the inspection appointment for review by the inspection officer. A nonrefundable inspection fee will be collected by DMV at the time the registration application is presented.

    CHP conducts inspections by appointment only. You must contact the CHP for an appointment. The CHP addresses and appointment telephone numbers are listed below. 

    Note: Vehicles manufactured with a supplemental restraint system (air bags) need to be equipped with working air bags that meet applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards and conform to the manufacturer’s specifications. 

  4. Brake and Light Inspection Certificates - 

    California brake and light inspection certificates are required for reregistration of most vehicles. Certificates are not required for trailers weighing 3,000 pounds or less gross vehicle weight. For a listing of California state-licensed brake and light inspection stations check your local telephone directory or the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) website, at

    Exception: When an official California brake and light station that inspects specific vehicles, such as motorcycles or large commercial vehicles is not located within a reasonable distance, the DMV will accept a Statement of Facts (REG 256) from a California repair shop certifying that the brakes and lights are in proper working order. 

    Note: California does not recognize out-of-state salvage vehicle certifications.

  5. Weight Certificate 

    A California public weighmaster’s certificate of the vehicle’s unladen or empty weight is required for trucks and pickups. This certificate may be obtained from many moving and storage companies for a nominal fee. For a list of public scales check your local telephone directory or with the California Department of Agriculture . 
    A weight certificate is not required for:

    • Trucks or pickups previously registered in California, when the prior California registration shows the unladen weight, and the vehicle has not been modified to change the weight.
    • Trucks or pickups with an unladen weight of 6,000 pounds or less where the empty, unladen, scale, or tare weight is indicated on an out-of-state certificate of title or registration, and the vehicle has not been modified to change the weight.
    • Two-axle or three-axle trucks weighing 10,001 pounds or more. The estimated weight is required.
    • Autos, trailers, and motorcycles.

    Note: A Declaration of Gross Vehicle Weight/Combined Gross Vehicle Weight (REG 4008) is required for commercial vehicles weighing 6,001 pounds or more, except pick-ups.

  6. Smog Certification 

    Smog certification from an official smog inspection station is required unless your vehicle is:

    • Diesel powered vehicles manufactured prior to 1998 with a Gross Vehicle Weight rating (GVWR) of more than 14,000 lbs  
    • Electric 
    • Natural gas powered and has a Gross 
      Vehicle Weight (GVW) rating of more than 14,000 pounds 
    • Hybrid
    • Motorcycle
    • Trailer
    • 1975 year model or older
    • Already titled in your name and does not require a smog certification for renewal of registration
    Note: A California Certificate of Title will not be issued if you do not obtain the required certifications and reregister your vehicle before moving it out of California. California does not recognize out-of-state salvage vehicle inspection certifications. 

  7. Fees That May Be Due - 
    The types of fees that may be collected are: 


    Service Fees

    • Salvage and Dismantled Vehicle Inspection Fee
    • Prior History Fee
    • Non-Resident Fee (if the vehicle was last registered out of state)

    Transfer Fee

    Use Tax (not due if the vehicle was purchased from a licensed dismantler or was already titled in your name)

    Substitute Plate Fee

    NOTE: For registration fees, see the brochure, Registration Related Fees (FFVR 34). Because fees are subject to change, for the most current information call DMV toll free, at 1-800-777-0133.

CHP Inspection Appointment Scheduling

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

CHP Inspection Appointment Numbers

Northern Division 
2485 Sonoma Street 
Redding, CA 96001-3026 
Phone: (530) 225-2120

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

Golden Gate Division 
1551 Benicia Road 
Vallejo, CA 94991-7568 
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

Altadena Phone: (626) 296-8100

Monterey Park Phone: (323) 980-4600

Torrance Phone: (310) 516-3355

Valencia Phone: (661) 294-5540

Woodland Hills Phone: (818) 888-0980


Specially Constructed

Registration Requirements for Home Made Specially Constructed or Kit Vehicles

A "home-made, specially constructed, or kit vehicle" is a vehicle that is built for private use, not for resale, and is not constructed by a licensed manufacturer or remanufacturer. These vehicles may be built from a kit, new or used parts, a combination of new and used parts, or a vehicle reported for dismantling (junked) that, when reconstructed, does not resemble the original make of the vehicle that was dismantled.

A specially constructed vehicle (SPCNS) does not include a vehicle that has been repaired or restored to its original design by replacing parts or a vehicle modified from its original design.

Example: A Volkswagen "Beetle" with modified fenders, engine compartment lid, and front end, but still recognizable as a Volkswagen is not considered a specially constructed vehicle.

NOTE: The registration requirements for kit commercial vehicles are the same as for specially constructed vehicles.

The Registration Requirements are:

A completed Application for Title or Registration (REG 343).
A vehicle verification done by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). You must start your application process with the DMV prior to contacting the CHP for a vehicle verification. DMV verifies trailers with an unladen weight of 6,000 pounds or less.
A completed Statement of Construction (REG 5036).
Proof of ownership, such as invoices, receipts, manufacturers’ certificates of origin, bills of sale, or junk receipts for the major component parts (engine, frame, transmission, and body).

NOTE: A motor vehicle bond is required when proof of ownership cannot be obtained for parts valued a $5,000 or more.
Official brake and light adjustment certificates. When an official brake and light station that inspects specific vehicles such as motorcycles and large commercial vehicles is not located within a reasonable distance, DMV will accept a Statement of Facts (REG 256) from a repair shop attesting that the brakes and lights are in proper working order. Brake and light certificates are not required for off-highway vehicles or trailers weighing less than 3,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.
A weight certificate for commercial vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or less.
An emission control inspection (smog check) by a Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) Referee Station. Click here for information on SPCNS Certificates of Sequence . To make an appointment at a BAR Referee Station, call 1-800-622-7733.
All fees due.
Visit your local DMV to begin the application process, make an Appointment(s) for faster service.


Re register a Salvaged Vehicle Checklist


Re register a Salvaged Vehicle Checklist

The requirements for re-registering a vehicle previously reported as a total loss (salvaged) are:

A completed Application for Title or Registration (REG 343).

The California Salvage Certificate. The Salvage Certificate must be signed or endorsed for transfer if someone other than the owner named on the certificate is to be the owner.

A vehicle inspection by an authorized DMV employee or the California Highway Patrol.

Official Brake and Light Adjustment Certificates.

A weight certificate from a California Certified Public Weighmaster, if the vehicle is a pickup or truck.

Smog certification, if the vehicle is a 1976 or newer year model.

Total Loss Salvage Vehicle and Dismantled Vehicle Inspection Fee.

Prior History Fee.

Substitute Plate Fee

Transfer Fee, if ownership is being transferred

Registration renewal fees, if due.

Additional information regarding re-registering a salvaged vehicle.

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