How to Register a Newly Restored Car In California

How to Register a Newly Restored Car In California

Sometimes due to wrecks, it might not always be possible to restore cars to a usable condition with ease. Such vehicular impacts translate to the fact that you also need to consider a salvage title other than the vehicle’s physical damage. It is necessary to demystify automobile lingo.

Accordingly, a salvaged car in it’s a car that an insurance company deems to be a total loss. Or in other words, as per the firm’s assessment, it will take more significant financial sums to repair the vehicle to the driving condition than the worth of the car. The exact formulas that determine such titles vary as per the relevant state. A salvage title will pose a stiff challenge to you while selling or using the vehicle again.

The term “salvage title” refers to a car’s title or branding as a total loss by an insurance company.

Options Open To You Regarding A Salvage Title Vehicle

As per the legal regulations in most US states, it is illegal to drive salvaged cars or even acquire insurance for such a vehicle. Naturally, you will rarely find insurance companies agreeing to insure salvage cars. They are likely to restrain from financing the purchase of such cars too. Most car dealers with an outstanding reputation are not expected to accept salvage cars for trade-in offers.

The question that emerges is how a car owner can clear a car with a salvage title. The answer is that you can’t, but things are not that simple, as there are ways out in the form of legal grey areas.

It is essential to clarify that hiding a car’s records and don’t adhere totally to legal guidelines regarding salvage titles is illegal. They are guilty of title washing or title laundering, which is considered a serious crime. Of course, this depends on the state and the valid legal statutes, in states that let you rebrand them, special DMV helps car dealers deal with salvaged vehicles in these states. You need to accordingly learn the registration requirements, which vary from state to state, besides titling rules before you try to do something with your salvaged car.

The Rebuilt Salvage Option

The rules that govern the reuse of salvaged vehicles are, however, by and large, the same. Usually, you can’t go back to standard titles after a car has been branded as salvage. That being said, there is also the legal option to rebrand your vehicle as reconditioned or rebuilt salvage or assembled. The actual term to refer to your car’s condition depends on the state we are talking about. To get such a title for your vehicle, you need to repair it and submit it to the DMV or Department of Motor Vehicles to inspect the same. The car will get a special rebuilt status only if it passes the rigorous process. 

That, however, means you won’t be able to hide the car’s history. Doing so is illegal, and it is almost impossible as well.

Steps To Take To Register A Restored Car

The entire process of acquiring a restored car consists of four steps, which are as follows:

Step 1- Purchase The Salvaged Vehicle

The ease with which you can purchase salvaged vehicles is something that depends on the relevant US state. Some allow only rebuilders equipped with suitable licenses to own or buy cars with salvage titles. There you can own the vehicle only after repairing and inspecting the same.

Step 2- Repair And Restore The Vehicle

You need to ensure a suitably skilled and certified mechanic does the repair work. Make sure that you pay attention to all relevant paperwork. Also, remember to take plenty of vehicle snaps both before and during the repair.

Step 3- Undergo The Vehicle Inspection

Before you are ready to register your vehicle, you need to have it undergo a DMV inspection. You would need to fill up forms before this, and the paperwork and the snaps you took earlier will play an essential role in this process. The documentation you usually need to provide the DMV include:

  • Bill of sale
  • Salvage title
  • Photos

Once you submit all the necessary documents, the DMV will schedule an inspection. You need to tow your vehicle to the DMV salvage vehicle inspection site. Typically, it is illegal to drive salvaged cars. If your vehicle passes the inspection, the inspector will attach a decal to the vehicle.

Step 4- Do The Final Paperwork

Now you need to apply a title rebranding. This will require you to fill out and submit additional forms and pay additional fees. Finally, you will end up with the rebranded statement on the vehicle’s face.

The last thing to mention is that you might need to have your car inspected in the state where it was deemed as salvage. It is something that depends on the state laws. Your registered and restored vehicle is now ready.