How do I Register a Salvage Title Motorcycle in San Diego?

How do I Register a Salvage Title Motorcycle in San Diego? thumbnail
Motorcycles with salvaged titles have specific registration requirements.

According to Car Insurance Rates, a vehicle with a salvaged title has been severely damaged to where the insurance company decides the damages are worth more than the vehicle itself. When these vehicles are repaired, they're given salvaged titles so any future owners know what they're buying. In San Diego, California, there are slightly different requirements when registering a salvaged motorcycle than when registering a bike with a clean title. With the correct paperwork, inspections and information, you should be in and out of the DMV in an hour or two.

Things You'll Need

  • Application for Title or Registration (REG 343)
  • Proof of Vehicle Ownership
  • California Brake and Light Inspection Certificate
  • Appropriate Fees (may vary)
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  1. Preparation

    • 1

      Fill out an Application for Title or Registration (REG 343). These can be found at the DMV or online at the California DMV's website (see "Resources").

    • 2

      Locate and make sure you have proof of ownership. The California DMV accepts Certificate's of Title, Applications for Duplicate Titles and Salvage Certificates in your name or to be transfered to your name. You may also need a Bill of Sale, odometer reading and power of attorney to complete the ownership transfer to you, if you haven't already.

    • 3

      Get your vehicle inspected either at the local DMV or by California Highway Patrol (CHP). Your motorcycle will need to pass inspection for title and registration. The DMV may direct you to CHP, who conduct inspections by appointment. If so, contact the CHP to make an appointment (see "Resources"). Take any repair receipts and paperwork regarding the vehicle with you to the inspection.

    • 4

      Get your brakes and lights inspected and certified. California's Bureau of Automotive Repair can help you find the closest place for inspection (see "Resources").

    Visiting the DMV

    • 5

      Collect all the information and paperwork from section one and head to your local DMV. Consider making an appointment; the process usually goes much quicker by appointment.

    • 6

      Go to the information or check-in window to check-in if you have an appointment. Otherwise, take a number. DMVs differ in how they give numbers, some require you to get one at a specific window while some simply require you to take a number from an automated system.

    • 7

      Wait and listen for your number to be called. You may either get called audibly over a loud-speaker or your number may come up on a screen. When called, you'll also be instructed to go to a specific window.

    • 8

      Follow the instructions given by the DMV worker. You'll need to give him all of the information for your motorcycle acquired in section one. You'll also need to pay any applicable fees in order to leave with your registration. After completion, the DMV worker will likely hand you your registration, though in some circumstances the DMV may mail it to you.

Tips & Warnings

  • Study the California DMV's webpage regarding fees (see resources). It'd be wise to take in $100 to $300 more than you think you'll need, just to ensure you don't have to leave and start the DMV process over again.

  • Motorcycles do not need weight or smog certification, as most other vehicles do.

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  • Photo Credit motorcycle image by Goran Bogicevic from

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