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  • Custom Built Car Registration in Ohio

    Custom-Built Car Registration in Ohio

    While it takes a lot of time and work to custom-build a car, the registration process for your masterpiece isn't nearly as complicated. You'll need to handle several tasks with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). Before you're able to proceed with the OH BMV, you're going to need have your custom vehicle inspected by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

    Continue reading this page to learn about the inspection requirements to get your custom vehicle registered and titled in Ohio.

    Mandatory Inspection for Self-Assembled Vehicles

    The Ohio BMV offers an information page about the required vehicle inspection your car will have to undergo.

    All custom-built cars must be inspected by the Ohio State Highway Patrol to make sure you're the legal owner of all parts and components, and also to make sure your documentation is completely in order. However, the inspection does not measure vehicle safety, quality of workmanship, or even whether the vehicle is fit for public roads. Your vehicle must be completely rebuilt and ready for operation on public highways.

    You must complete the inspection process as follows:

    • Visit your local deputy registrar's branch for an inspection application. Pay the required fee and get a receipt (you'll need to show the receipt at the inspection).
    • Contact your local inspection facility to make an appointment for your mandatory inspection (scroll down on the page for addresses).
      • Be sure to arrive on time. Otherwise, the facility may automatically reschedule your appointment.
    • At your inspection, you'll need to present the required documents:
      • Original titles, receipts, or bills of sale for all components that were replaced or added to the vehicle. Receipts must be notarized if they're from private-party sales.
      • Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin, if applicable (for cars built from kits).

    The inspection will not proceed if any documentation is missing. You may also be required to remove parts from your custom vehicle for closer inspection, upon the inspector's request.

    Once the vehicle has passed the inspection, you'll be given the completed inspection form. Take this document with you to register your vehicle.

    From this point onward, the registration process should match the process for any other car. Please see Car Registration on this site for complete details.

    NOTES

    1. If you happened to purchase your parts casually from a private party, the receipts you provide must be notarized. The inspection station will not accept photocopies of your receipts.
    2. If any parts or components have VIN numbers that happen to match the records of stolen vehicles, your car could potentially be impounded immediately and held as evidence.

    Special License Plates

    The OH BMV gives you the option to order special license plates that are specially manufactured for your vehicle. The additional amount that you'll have to pay for special license plates ranges between $0 and $50.

    You can apply for special license plates online, by mail or telephone, or in person at your local Ohio Deputy Registrar's office. For more information, you can visit our Car Registration and License Plates & Placards pages.

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