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  • Custom Built Car Registration in Washington

    Custom Built Car Registration in Washington

    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 office (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.

    On this page, you'll find out exactly how to get your custom-built vehicle titled and registered in Washington.

    Washington VIN Inspection

    Before you can title and register a custom-built vehicle, it will need to undergo a  vehicle identification number (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. You'll need to 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 does not 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, 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.
    • The required WA title and registration fees. See below for more information. 

    Custom-Built Car Registration Fees

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

  • 4,000 lbs. and under: $43.75.
  • 4,001 to 6,000 lbs.: $53.75.
  • 6,001 to 8,000 lbs.: $63.75.
  • 8,000 lbs. and over: Please see the vehicle weight fee table.
  • Depending on the county you live in, there may be other fees. Contact your Washington DOL office to calculate your fees.

    Emissions Testing

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

    • Clark.
    • King.
    • Pierce.
    • Snohomish.
    • Spokane.

    Additional Information

    You may likely need to bring all  bills of sale documents, a letter from the DOL indicating the need for a VIN inspection, and more.

    If you have more questions about what is required in the VIN inspection process with the State Patrol, you can take a few minutes to read the  State Patrol FAQ page

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