What’s a Salvaged Vehicle?
California defines a salvaged vehicle as one that has been either totally destroyed or damaged beyond what the insurance company is willing to pay to fix it, so the owner never gets the vehicle repaired.
In the private market, the easiest way to spot a salvage is to look at the title. It will either say “Revived Salvage” or have a Salvage Certificate instead of a title. By taking away the title, California is protecting consumers against buying a salvage vehicle without knowing it.
How to Re-Register a Salvaged Vehicle in California:
Complete an Application for Title or Registration (REG 343)
Provide a bill of sale from a dismantler and any prior bills of sale (Chain of ownership).
Have the vehicle inspected at the DMV or by the CHP.
Obtain the proper equipment certificates and smog inspections, if necessary.
Source: DMV California