How to Register a Custom-Built Car in Georgia
Most vehicles are produced by major manufacturers around the world according to specific design plans which have been approved by the DDS for their safety and performance. When you register one of these cars, you are required to list the specific make, model, and year of creation. All this information allows the DDS to keep better track of exactly what you are driving and how it is composed.
Some auto aficionados and enthusiasts opt not to use a major car manufacturer to create the car they will be driving. They either build one themselves from custom parts, or hire a qualified mechanic to do it for them. These “custom-built” cars have every right to be on the road with factory-produced vehicles, but the process of registering them is a little bit different due to their individual particularities.
What is a Custom-Built Car?
A custom-built car is defined as either a car built entirely from scratch, or an existing car modified significantly for either performance or appearance reasons. This often consists of just a few major changes such as a different engine or transmission, but custom-built cars can also be modified from the ground up. People typically modify cars to improve performance, appearance, or resemble classic antique cars. When done properly by someone with the expertise to do so, they are just as safe as regular cars on the road, and most of them look awesome.
How Do I Register a Custom-Built Car?
Custom cars which are less than 25 years old are treated just like regular cars in Georgia. Custom cars old than 25 years will be considered antiques, and qualify for a special plate. You will need to bring your drivers license, proof of insurance, and enough money to cover the fees involved to your local tax collector’s office. If the car already has a title, be sure to bring your certificate of title with you, otherwise you will have to apply for one. The car will have to be inspected by an official inspection station, after which you will receive an inspection report to verify that it is safe to drive.
Expect to pay various registration and titling fees for tags depending on your county. Your custom-built car will need to pass a vehicle emissions test and be inspected by the DDS to ensure it meets the safety standards met by manufactured cars. The DDS doesn’t want poorly-built cars falling apart on the highways and endangering other drivers.
Registration Periods in Georgia
Depending on what county you live in, there will be a different timing system for when you need to register your car for the following year. Most counties follow a year-round system, where your registration date falls within a month before your birthday. Some counties like Calhoun, Clay, Randolph, Stewart, and Turner extend this period up to four months before your birthday, giving you plenty of time to get your registration in. Additionally, Talbot county uses its own system which requires you to register during the first month of the three-month period in which your birthday falls. Don’t forget to register at the appropriate time for your county, or you could have a hard time driving your custom-built car.