Understanding The Basics Of Custom Car Registration

For some car enthusiasts, buying a stock vehicle just isn't enough. If you're one of those people who has been building a custom car in the garage, you may be wondering what's in store for that ride once it's all done. After all, in order to make it street-legal, you'll have to register it and get a set of license plates. While this is simple when you're buying a car from a dealer or a private sale, it isn't as straightforward when you're dealing with a custom car. Here are some things you should know about custom car registration.

Why Are Custom Cars Different?

Much like antique cars, custom cars aren't built to the same types of specifications as a traditional factory-built car. Because of this, the registration process is more complex. The additional requirements set forth for custom car registration are designed to ensure safety, since these cars can be equipped with most any body features, engine modifications or other changes that you wouldn't find in a stock vehicle. In fact, when you go to register your custom car, registration isn't necessarily guaranteed. You'll have to apply for registration and see if your car meets the requirements.

What Happens When You Register a Custom Car?

When you apply for registration, the Department of Motor Vehicles needs to inspect the car thoroughly. In addition to the routine inspection that's required of all vehicles in your state, you'll also need a thorough evaluation for a Vehicle Identification Number assignment. Every car must have one, including custom cars.

Every state has their own requirements for safety inspection standards. One of the best things you can do is to reach out to your Department of Motor Vehicles when you first start building your car to find out what the requirements are to meet your state's guidelines.

What Paperwork Is Required to Register a Custom Car?

When you register a factory car, you'll typically have a bill of sale, a title application and other documentation from the dealership or the previous owner. Custom cars don't come with that kind of documentation. Instead, you'll have to provide proof of ownership to the Department of Motor Vehicles. In most places, that means you'll need a builder's affidavit. In addition, you'll need the inspection certificate, the application for the Vehicle Identification Number and a certificate that indicates the gross vehicle weight of your new car. You may even have to have an emissions certification that shows that the car passed your state's emissions testing.

You'll also have to pay the registration fees and any surcharges for custom car registration. Your local Department of Motor Vehicles, such as B & K Auto Tags, can tell you how much you'd expect to pay.