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Custom-Built Car Registration: Required Forms and Documents

Date posted: 07/31/2012

by Nadia Ibanez on
in Registration & Titling

2878 Custom Built Car Registration: Required Forms and Documents

For those of you who are creative visionaries, making and owning a custom-built car is bar none the only way to cruise the city. Understanding the mechanics of a car and finding the most aesthetically pleasing parts is one of the perks of custom-built cars.

However, the car registration process – especially the related documentation – of these special vehicles is just as in-depth as any other vehicle. Here are some of the required forms and documents necessary for custom-built vehicle registration.

What Exactly is a Custom Kit Car?

In layman’s terms, a custom-built car is a vehicle that you build on your own, whether it is from the use of kits, or parts from a salvaged vehicle or other car.

In some states, this special vehicle is defined as something you also do not plan on reselling and is intended for your personal use only.

Apart from the documents to show proof that you own the vehicle, such as receipts and bills of sale, your local DMV or vehicle registration department will have their own documents necessary for registration. Depending on where you live, the process can be lengthier than the registration from a normal vehicle.

For example, in California, you will need to:

  • Complete an application.
  • Complete a statement of construction.
  • Provide proof of ownership.
  • Provide vehicle verification.
  • Show a brake and light adjustment certificate.
  • Get and provide proof of a smog check.
  • Pay applicable tax and registration fees.

Other states simply require a safety inspection and proof of ownership. Some states may also require a new VIN for the vehicle, which adds on a couple extra steps to the registration process.

Keeping Up With All the Kit Car Paperwork

Because a homemade vehicle is difficult to date or even to determine ownership, the registration process can be hellish if you don’t have the right documentation. If you’re working on a custom car, make sure to keep up with all:

  • Owner documents
  • Invoices
  • Manufacturer’s certificates
  • Used part receipts
  • Bills of sale
  • Junk receipts

What kind of custom-built car are you working on?

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About Nadia Ibanez

Since 2006, San Diego resident Nadia Ibanez has inspired others with her words. She has created content and edited copy for luxury print magazines and digital business magazines. She has written about multi-million dollar homes, local artisans, music festivals, travel destinations, health and wellness, and so much more. She has interviewed CEOs of major enterprises and has covered breaking news stories in American technology, social media, retail, hospitality, food, among others. More articles by Nadia Ibanez

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