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  • Custom Built Car Registration in North Carolina

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    Custom-Built Car Registration in North Carolina

    According to the Division of Motor Vehicles in North Carolina, a custom-built vehicle is one that is entirely rebuilt from new or used parts. Glider kits and custom-assembled vehicles also fall under the category of "custom-built." Such a vehicle must be registered with the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

    You should list the make as "custom-built" and the year the vehicle was built should be listed under "year." When you register a custom-built vehicle, the title is branded "reconstructed." The process is similar to the steps you take to register a regular vehicle, but there are some added requirements.

    Continue reading this page to learn more about how to get your custom-built vehicle registered and titled in North Carolina.

    Registering Your Custom-Built Vehicle

    NOTE: If you are registering and titling your custom-built vehicle for the very first time in North Carolina, you'll need to have it examined by a local NC DMV inspector. They will also take photographs of your vehicle.

    Registering and titling a custom-built vehicle is not much different from titling any other motor vehicle.

    To register and title your vehicle, you'll need to visit to a vehicle and license plate renewal office and bring the following:

    • A completed Title Application (Form MVR-1). You will be required to have it signed in front of a notary.
    • An Affidavit for Custom/Replica Built Vehicle (Form MVR-55), which is a notarized statement that describes the vehicle's assembly from new and used parts.
    • An inspector's report, as this special type of vehicle must be inspected for safety and drivability.
    • An odometer reading.
    • A certificate of title or Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin for the frame, engine, and transmission (or an indemnity bond can be filed).
    • A title fee of $40. You may also be responsible for paying a Highway Use Tax at the same time you pay for your title fee.

    For more information on registration procedures, see Car Registration, Title Transfers and License Plates & Placards.

    No Proof of Ownership?

    If you do not have any proof of ownership for your custom-built vehicle, you must have an Indemnity Bond written by a licensed NC insurance company.

    Keep in mind, the bond must be for 1 1/2 times the vehicle's fair market value. You'll also need to submit 2 appraisals, which should be reflected on a dealer letterhead.

    Lose Your Vehicle Title or Registration?

    If you've already been through the registration and titling process for your custom-built vehicle, and lost your registration and/or vehicle title, you'll need to apply for duplicates with the NC DMV.

    If you're replacing your registration card, you can do so online, in person, or by mail. You'll need to have payment for the $15 duplicate fee.

    On the other hand, you'll have to apply by mail or in person to get a duplicate copy of your vehicle title. The fee for a replacement NC title is $15.

    For more information, you can visit our pages about Replacing a Lost Title and Replacing a Lost Registration.