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  • Custom Built Car Registration in Washington

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    Registering custom-built vehicles takes quite a bit more work than registering ordinary cars. However, both types of registration are handled by the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL). If your vehicle is homemade, assembled, rebuilt, a street rod, or a kit vehicle, you'll need to add a certificate of inspection to the list of paperwork needed to title and register your creation.

    VIN Inspection

    Before you can title and register a custom-built vehicle, it will need to undergo a VIN inspection by the State Patrol (you'll need to make an appointment). Washington will want to trace all vehicle identification numbers that appear in your new model to make sure no stolen parts were used.

    If you assembled or rebuilt the vehicle, or if you've modified an existing vehicle to the point where it needs to be registered as reconstructed or refurbished, then you'll be asked to provide documentation proving the ownership of the car and its parts. Bring along all bills of sale for every major component part you used to build the vehicle, as these will be reviewed.

    If your homemade vehicle doesn't have a VIN, the State Patrol will assign one and even attach the VIN plates to the car. In the case of a kit car, which combines a chassis with a different frame, engine, and body parts, the State Patrol will use the VIN on the chassis as the vehicle's VIN.

    There is a fee, collected by the DOL.

    How to Register

    To register your custom-built vehicle in Washington, the fee is first calculated by weight (as it is with regular vehicles).

    • Up to 4,000: $43.75
    • 4,001 to 6,000 lbs: $53.75
    • 6,001 to 8,000 lbs: $63.75

    Depending on the county you live in, there may be other fees. Contact your DOL office to calculate your fees.

    In addition, the following Washington counties require emissions testing every 2 years:

    • Clark
    • King
    • Pierce
    • Snohomish
    • Spokane

    To register your custom-built vehicle in Washington, you will need to bring the following documents to a Vehicle Licensing Office:

    • Certificate of VIN inspection from the State Patrol.
    • Current title and registration for the original vehicle or chassis, if applicable.
    • Photocopy or fax of the title from your bank if the vehicle is under a lien.
    • Emissions certificate, if required.
    • Proof of identification.
    • Odometer reading if the vehicle is less than 10 years old, if applicable.
    • Title and registration fees.
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