Custom-Built Car Registration in North Carolina
Registering a car is usually a very simple and straightforward process. However, there is a growing trend of people creating custom-built or “kit” vehicles, and the process of registration for these can be different. Owners and builders of custom vehicles need to be aware of the requirements they face for maintaining legal registration of their cars.
What is a Custom-Built Vehicle?
A custom-built vehicle is one that has been created out of individual old or new parts, or a manufacturer vehicle which has been rebuilt using custom parts. The frame of the vehicle may be homemade, or it may be from a previous vehicle. Custom-built vehicles pose a potential safety hazard because they have not been built according to the rigid safety standards upheld by major automobile manufacturers. Someone who does not know what they are doing or is unfamiliar with North Carolina road safety standards could inadvertently create a vehicle which falls apart on the road or is impossible to control.
How to Register a Custom-Built Car
It is required that a state-approved inspector investigate the safety and reliability of your custom-built car before registration can be attempted. When this report is complete, bring it, along with the following, to your local license renewal office to complete your initial registration:
- Notarized application for title
- Affidavit for Custom-Built Vehicle, which is essentially a report detailing your car’s assembly and parts
- Certificate of title for the original frame, engine, and transmission used (if applicable)
- Title fee
You’ll now be free to legally drive your custom-assembled car on the street, so long as you remember to re-register it every year and update the license plate stickers. Fortunately, re-registration can be done more easily by mail or online than the initial in-person registration. Neglecting to keep your car registered in North Carolina can result in heavy fines and suspension of your license until the car has been registered. You don’t want to put all the work into building your own car just to lose the ability to drive it, so be diligent about your responsibilities and you’ll have many years of joyful driving ahead of you.