Specially Constructed Vehicles & Titles

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What Is a Specially Constructed Vehicle?

Any vehicle that is built for private use from various parts of different makes and models, and has not been constructed by a licensed manufacturer, is considered to be a specially constructed vehicle. Typically, a specially constructed vehicle does not resemble any make or model vehicle of the past or present and uses a combination of new, used, and homemade parts.

As outlined by most state DMVs, any vehicle that qualifies as a specially constructed vehicle must be issued a specially constructed vehicle title.

Examples of Specially Constructed Vehicles

Also referred to as a homemade vehicle, a few examples of specially constructed vehicles include:

  • A vehicle assembled from parts of multiple vehicles not of the same make or model.
    • Using the chassis from a Chevy vehicle and the body of a Dodge would qualify.
  • Building a vehicle using various vehicle kits.
    • A car that's built using the chassis from a Ford and an after market fiberglass kit for the body would qualify.
  • A motorcycle constructed from various parts.
    • Even if all the parts used are from a Honda motorcycle, it will need a specially constructed vehicle title because the vehicle was not assembled by the original manufacturer.
  • Glider kits.
    • Used to reconstruct diesel vehicles by replacing the frame, front axle, and body with parts not supplied by the original manufacturer.
  • Homemade trailers.

Applying for a Specially Constructed Vehicle Title

Each state has its own requirements that will determine how you'll need to apply for a specially constructed vehicle title. Though the steps below are similar to what you'll need to do in most cases, it is a general guide that may vary according to your state.

Step 1: Complete the required forms.

The forms you'll need to complete and submit vary by state. In most cases, you'll need the following (or similar forms) from your local DMV:

  • Application for vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • Applications for title and registration.

Contact your local DMV to find out which specific forms they require.

Step 2: Provide proof of address.

To show proof of address, the following documents are usually acceptable:

  • An employer-issued payroll stub.
  • A W-2 form.
  • A current monthly bank statement.
  • Utility bill.
  • A voter registration card.
  • A driver's license.
  • A deed or mortgage.

Step 3: Submit ownership documents.

You will most likely be required to submit a bill of sale or ownership documents for each of the following parts:

  • Frame.
  • Body.
  • Engine and drive train.
  • Any cab/glider kits.

For motorcycles, proof of ownership must also be shown for the transmission and front-end assembly in addition to the requirements above.

If the vehicle was previously salvaged, proof of the salvaged title must be shown.

Step 4: Get a notary.

  • Depending on your state, you may be required to provide a statement detailing how the vehicle was constructed and have it signed by a notary.
  • Provide pictures of the vehicle after it has been completed.
    • Most states require pictures of the front and rear of the vehicle as a minimum, though some may require more.

Step 5: Pay the fees.

The cost of fees will vary according to state. In most cases, expect to pay fees for the:

  • VIN plate.
  • Vehicle inspection.
    • Inspections are normally required to ensure the vehicle is in safe working order.
    • Emissions fees may also apply in some states.
  • Title.
  • Motor vehicle sales tax.
  • Registration.

Step 6: Submit your documents.

After you've completed the steps mentioned above, bring or mail all documents and fees to your local DMV.