Didn't apply for salvage certificate. Easiest way to get rid of car?
May 7, 2014 10:54 PM   Subscribe

My car has been registered in California with a salvage title since 2009. In February 2014 my car was once again declared a total loss, and I retained it but I failed to apply for a salvage certificate within 10 days as I believe is required. (Brake & Light inspection failed and will cost too much to repair.) 1.) What is the easiest and/or cheapest legal way for me to sell/donate/scrap it? (Minimum paperwork for me would be great!) 2.) What exactly do I need to disclose? 3.) Will there be a penalty for not applying for a salvage certificate?
posted by kidbritish to Law & Government (8 answers total)
I may or may not have applied for a salvage title after the 10 days and it may or may not have been no problem.

it was totally fine and there were no penalties, but I don't know if that's normal
posted by jsturgill at 10:58 PM on May 7, 2014

Just be sure to turn your license plate into the DMV in CA and file whatever paperwork to confirm you no longer own the vehicle.

I got dinged for parking tickets and registration on a car that was totalled back in 2004 - took the $$ right out of my bank account without notice - DMV reimbursed me once I provided the documentation. The plates were passed on illegally by the salvage yard, which was how I had gotten parking tickets in a city 400 miles away from where I live.

Sure I untangled that eventually, but don't be me.
posted by jbenben at 11:28 PM on May 7, 2014

Some local charity or public radio/TV station might be begging for vehicles. They probably would know the pitfalls you might fall into, and you could be rid of the vehicle and have a tax write off.
posted by Cranberry at 12:18 AM on May 8, 2014

I used Kars 4 Kids a few years ago in RI to donate my car which wasn't worth repairing or selling at the time - it was super easy from what I remember. Here's the link to their California site.
posted by Shadow Boxer at 5:00 AM on May 8, 2014

You could sell it for scrap. They'll know the ins and outs of it. Call your local scrap yard and ask them. I don't think you need a salvage title if you're going to crush it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:36 AM on May 8, 2014

Echoing Ruthless Bunny: a wrecker will take it without a salvage title. I've done that several times. Depending on the make and model you might have to pay them, or they may pay you.
posted by anadem at 6:23 AM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would call your local public radio station (if your profile location is correct, try KPCC) and ask if they'll take it. They clearly state that they'll take nonworking vehicles and do all the paperwork.

More info:

"Consider donating your unwanted car, truck, or boat to Southern California Public Radio. Our vehicle donation program is a great way to support quality programming AND get a deduction on your taxes.

Here's how it works: Just complete and submit the form below or call toll-free (877) 572-2227 and arrange a convenient pickup time. We'll pick up your vehicle, give you a receipt and you will be able to deduct the gross sales price as an itemized deduction on your income taxes."

Does my car or truck have to be running to qualify for donation?
No, the car must have an engine and be towable. Cars that are in extremely poor condition or far from our tow range may be declined, as the cost to tow them may be more than the value of the vehicle. Call our customer service representative to find out if your vehicle qualifies.

posted by insectosaurus at 1:16 PM on May 8, 2014

Call a scrap company. I've scrapped cars twice (in Michigan, ymmv) and both times the guy picking it up dealt with the title paperwork.
posted by mibo at 4:20 PM on May 8, 2014

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