California Vehicle Code
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 the vehicle, the vehicle frame, or unitized frame and body, as applicable, and as defined in Section 670.5, shall not be titled or registered.
(a) 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.
(b) 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.
(c) 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.