Custom Built Car Registration in Pennsylvania
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- Registration and Titling Requirements for a Street Rod
In Pennsylvania, the term "custom-built" (also called street rod) refers to any vehicle with a model year of 1948 or older that has been reconstructed through the addition or removal of important components and has a gross weight under 9,000 pounds.
There are also specially constructed cars, and those that have been modified significantly. Though these are unlike most cars in many respects, they all still need to be registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
PennDOT has published a fact sheet about how to inspect and register reconstructed, specially constructed, or modified vehicles. Briefly, here's the process:
- Complete form MV-1 (Application for Certificate of Title). Unlike most PennDOT forms, this cannot be downloaded. This can only be collected at a Driver License Center location.
- Complete form MV-426 (the instructions are included in the file).
- Submit the certificate of title or, if applicable, certificate of salvage.
- Include receipts for parts purchased.
- Include four color photos of your vehicle from four different angles (front, back, and both sides).
- Write a check for the appropriate fee (see below).
Since you'll need to produce the receipts for all the component parts in your custom vehicle, start keeping good records as soon as you begin the project, and make sure to get a receipt or bill of sale for every piece you buy.
Before you submit your paperwork to PennDOT, you will need to get your vehicle inspected at an official inspection station. The inspector will need to complete your application form, so bring along all your paperwork.
Then staple all your documents together and mail them to:
- Department of Transportation
- Bureau of Motor Vehicles
- Special Services Unit
- P.O. Box C69007
- Harrisburg, PA 17106-9007
- Title: $22.50
- License plate: $20
- Registration: $36
Other Topics in This Section
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
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