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  • Custom Built Car Registration in South Carolina

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    The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has two designations for custom-built cars―those that are homemade, and those made from kits.

    Homemade Cars

    Homemade cars include vehicles built from raw materials. The model of the car is determined by the year the car is actually built, not the age of the parts. If applicable, the title will be based on the previous title if there ever was one. The previous title must be assigned to only you; any liens must be cleared or released.

    When applying to title your homemade car, you'll need to provide:

    • A Form 4038, available online using the free Adobe Reader.
    • Proof of identity.
    • Salvage Title, if you don't have the original title.
    • Bill of Sale or receipts for parts used.
    • The assigned Vehicle Identification Number (VIN); an authorized agent from the DMV will inspect the vehicle and assign the VIN.
    • A receipt for paid property taxes for the current year.
    • Title and registration fees, if applicable.

    You'll register and tag this vehicle just like you would a regular car. Along with Form 4038, you will also need to complete Form 400.

    Kit Cars

    Kit cars are manufactured to resemble other vehicles already made, but at a lower cost. Some kits require you to purchase the chassis elsewhere, whereas some are complete with their own chassis.

    These kit cars come with a Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin, which you will need to present when you register and tag your vehicle. The title issued to you will designate that the car is a kit car.

    You won't need any special forms to register and tag your kit car, but you will need to complete Form 400 to apply.

    License Plates

    With a custom car, you may want to put a special license plate on it, so be sure to explore all the plate options available.

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