Talk to a Live Agent Now

888-629-2137

Onscreen Quote in seconds
No Personal Info Required

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

California State Title Processing Procedures

  1. What form of title must an insurer obtain in connection with the sale of a vehicle that has been acquired through the settlement of a claim?
  2. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a vehicle on a Salvage Certificate?
  3. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a vehicle on a Nonrepairable Vehicle Certificate?
  4. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a recovered theft vehicle recovered substantially intact with no substantial damage, where title is still in the name of the insured?
  5. What steps must an insurer take in California to process an owner-retained vehicle?
  6. What legal duties are imposed upon a lienholder following satisfaction of the lien?


  1. What form of title must an insurer obtain in connection with the sale of vehicle that has been acquired through the settlement of a claim?

    A “Salvage Certificatemust be obtained for any vehicle that meets the California Vehicle Code definition shown below for a total loss salvage vehicle.

    § 544. Total loss salvage vehicle

    "Total loss salvage vehicle" means either of the following:
    1. A vehicle, other than a nonrepairable vehicle, of a type subject to registration that has been wrecked, destroyed, or damaged, to the extent that the owner, leasing company, financial institution, or the insurance company that insured or is responsible for repair of the vehicle, considers it uneconomical to repair the vehicle and because of this, the vehicle is not repaired by or for the person who owned the vehicle at the time of the event resulting in damage.

    2. A vehicle that was determined to be uneconomical to repair, for which a total loss payment has been made by an insurer, whether or not the vehicle is subsequently repaired, if prior to or upon making the payment to the claimant, the insurer obtains the agreement of the claimant to the amount of the total loss settlement, and informs the client that, pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 11515, the total loss settlement must be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles, which will issue a salvage certificate for the vehicle.

    A “Nonrepairable Vehicle Certificate must be obtained on any vehicle that meets the California Vehicle Code definition shown below for a nonrepairable vehicle.

    § 431. Nonrepairable vehicle

    A "nonrepairable vehicle" is a vehicle of a type otherwise subject to registration that meets the criteria specified in subdivision (a), (b), or (c). The vehicle shall be issued a nonrepairable vehicle certificate and shall not be titled or registered.

    1. A nonrepairable vehicle is 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.

    2. A nonrepairable vehicle is 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.

    3. A nonrepairable vehicle is 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.

    Special note regarding stolen vehicles: If a total loss settlement was made by the insurer with the insured AFTER a stolen vehicle has been recovered, a salvage certificate or nonrepairable vehicle certificate MUST be obtained on the vehicle, IRRESPECTIVE of the damage or lack thereof to the vehicle. If a total loss settlement was made by the insurer with the insured PRIOR to the recovery of a stolen vehicle, then a (clean) “Title Only” may be obtained on the vehicle provided that the vehicle DID NOT meet the definitions of a total loss salvage vehicle or nonrepairable vehicle set forth above.

    [California Vehicle Code §§ 431, 544, 4453, 11515, and 11515.2] back to top

  2. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a vehicle on a Salvage Certificate?

    The insurer shall provide Copart with a Certificate of Title or a comparable ownership document issued by another state or jurisdiction (either endorsed over to the insurer or accompanied by a power of attorney), an odometer disclosure statement, and a release of any liens.

    Copart will submit these documents along with an Application for Salvage Certificate (REG 488) and the appropriate fee to the DMV for processing. Copart will also destroy or forward to DMV the vehicle’s license plates.

    Thereafter, the DMV shall issue a Salvage Certificate in the name of the insurer. Copart, acting under a power of attorney for the insurer, will then sell the vehicle at auction and reassign the owner’s Salvage Certificate to the purchaser.
     
    [California Vehicle Code § 11515] back to top

  3. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a vehicle on a Nonrepairable Vehicle Certificate?

    The insurer shall provide Copart with a Certificate of Title or a comparable ownership document issued by another state or jurisdiction (either endorsed over to the insurer or accompanied by a power of attorney), an odometer disclosure statement, and a release of any liens.

    Copart will submit these documents along with an Application for Nonrepairable Vehicle Certificate (REG 488) and the appropriate fee to the DMV for processing. Copart will also destroy or forward to DMV the vehicle’s license plates.

    Thereafter, the DMV shall issue a Nonrepairable Vehicle Certificate in the name of the insurer.
    Copart, acting under a power of attorney for the insurer, will then sell the vehicle at auction and reassign the insurer’s Nonrepairable Vehicle Certificate to the purchaser.

    [California Vehicle Code §11515.2] back to top

  4. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a recovered theft vehicle recovered substantially intact with no substantial damage, where title is still in the name of the insured?

    The insurer shall provide Copart with a Certificate of Title or a comparable ownership document issued by another state or jurisdiction (either endorsed over to the insurer or accompanied by a power of attorney), a copy of the police report, and a “statement of facts” on insurer letterhead stating that vehicle was stolen and recovered substantially intact with no substantial damage, including dates of loss and recovery, and requesting that DMV issue a clean “Title Only”.

    The insurer must also notify the Department of Justice that the vehicle has been recovered so that the DOJ “stop” may be removed from the vehicle. Copart will submit these documents along with the appropriate fee to the DMV for processing.

    Thereafter, the DMV shall issue a “Title Only” in the name of the insurer. Copart, acting under a power of attorney for the insurer, will then sell the vehicle at auction and reassign the insurer’s “Title Only” to the purchaser.
    Note: If registration on the vehicle expired prior to the date of loss, the DMV fees and penalties shall be due and payable prior to obtaining a new title.

    [California Vehicle Code §§ 11515(f) and 10554] back to top

  5. What steps must an insurer take in California to process an ownerretained vehicle?

    Pursuant to California Vehicle Code, §§ 11515(b) and 11515.2(b), whenever the owner of a total loss salvage vehicle or nonrepairable vehicle retains possession of the vehicle, the insurer shall notify the Department of the retention on a form prescribed by the Department. The insurer shall also notify the insured or owner of the insured's or owner's responsibility to comply with the subdivision. The owner shall, within 10 days from the settlement of the loss, forward the properly endorsed certificate of ownership or other evidence of ownership acceptable to the Department, the license plates, and fees to the Department. The Department, upon receipt of the certificate of ownership or other evidence of title, the license plates, and the fees, shall issue a salvage certificate or nonrepairable vehicle certificate for the vehicle.

    [California Vehicle Code, §§ 11515(b) and 11515.2(b)] back to top

  6. What legal duties are imposed upon a lienholder following satisfaction of the lien?

    Pursuant to California Vehicle Code, § 5753:

    1. (1) Within 15 business days after receiving payment in full for the satisfaction of a security interest and a written instrument signed by the grantor of the security interest designating the transferee and authorizing release of the legal owner's interest, the legal owner shall release its security interest and mail, transmit, or deliver the vehicle's certificate of ownership to the transferee who, due to satisfaction of the security interest, is lawfully entitled to the transfer of legal ownership.

    2. A legal owner or lessor that fails to satisfy the requirements of subdivisions (c) and (d), shall, without offset or reduction, pay the transferee twenty-five dollars ($25) per day for each day that the requirements of subdivisions (c) and (d) remain unsatisfied, not to exceed a maximum payment of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500). If the legal owner or lessor fails to pay this amount within 60 days following written demand by the transferee, the amount shall be trebled, not to exceed a maximum payment of seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500), and the transferee shall be entitled to costs and reasonable attorneys fees incurred in any court action brought to collect the payment. The right to recover these payments is cumulative with and is not in substitution or derogation of any remedy otherwise available at law or equity.

    [California Vehicle Code, § 5753c(1)and (e)] back to top
CALIFORNIA DMV


GET A MORE PRECISE OFFER

Does your car have body damage ?

Number of airbags blown?

Do you have a collision estimate?

What is your insurance deductible?

Is your car drivable?

Do you have the car’s title?

Does the vehicle have a salvage or rebuilt title?

Does the vehicle motor run?

YOUR CASH OFFER!

CASH OFFER FOR YOUR
DAMAGED VEHICLE

$
Fair market value prior to accident $


Sell my damaged vehicle
Check for my vehicle AS-IS

This represents a cash offer for the vehicle as described by the seller.

$
Net Repair Check

Proceeds for repairs that can be used for purchasing a replacement vehicle.

$
Deductible Payment

Amount you save if you sell the car now

$
Cash Toward a New Vehicle
$
Out of Pocket Expenses
($0)