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How to Register a Custom or Antique Vehicle in Maryland

Like most other motor vehicles, custom-built and antique vehicles must be properly registered and titled in the state of Maryland. However, the process of registering an antique or custom-built vehicle is different from registering a regular vehicle. If you have brought an antique or custom-built vehicle into Maryland for a first time registration, or if you have custom-assembled a vehicle in the State, you will be referred to a Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) office near you.

WHAT ARE ANTIQUE AND CUSTOM BUILT VEHICLES?

  • In Maryland, an antique vehicle is also called a Historic Vehicle as is defined as any motor vehicle that was manufactured at least twenty years ago and is used as a collector's item and has not been changed from its original design. If a vehicle is more than twenty-five years old and has gone through major changes from the original design, it is called a Street Rod.
  • The State defines a custom-built vehicle as any motor vehicle that has been assembled or completely reconstructed using new or used parts. Custom vehicles are registered with the make as "custom-built" and include kit cars, glider kits, homemade trailers, homemade motorcycles and reconstructed vehicles.

HOW TO REGISTER AN ANTIQUE OR CUSTOM BUILT VEHICLE

You will have to visit an MVA office near you to register your antique or custom-built vehicle. Before visiting the MVA office, you will have to get the vehicle inspected at the MVA headquarters and obtain a VIN, if needed, for the vehicle. Once inspected, you will need to bring the following materials to the MVA office:
  1. A completed Application for Title, when obtaining a title for a new, custom-built vehicle.
  2. The Certificate of Title or manufacturer's certificate of origin, for antique or custom vehicles that have already been titled.
  3. Registration Application Form for a Historic Vehicle or a Street Rod.
  4. Bills of sale for all parts used.
  5. Odometer Disclosure statement.
  6. A safety inspection report, certifying that the vehicle is safe to take on the road.
You will receive your registration tags immediately, while the title will arrive by mail.

FEES

When registering an antique or custom-built vehicle, you will be required to pay the appropriate registration and titling fees. You may also have to pay additional excise tax, check with the MVA. The Maryland Motor Vehicles Administration accepts cash, money orders or checks.

RENEWING A CUSTOM-BUILT OR ANTIQUE VEHICLE REGISTRATION

If your historic vehicle is more than 60 years old, then the registration is permanent and does not need to be renewed. Your custom-built or antique vehicle's registration will clearly indicate when it will expire. The process for renewing the registration on a custom or antique vehicle is the same as renewing the registration on a regular motor vehicle.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Auto Insurance is required for all custom vehicles operated in Maryland.
  • See also Title Transfers and Registering a Non-Custom Vehicle.
  • Historic Vehicles and Street Roads can apply for special license plates.
  • Historic Vehicles more than 60 years old cannot apply for special plates as they need to be renewed annually.
 

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