How to Register a Custom or Antique Vehicle in Texas
Like most other motor vehicles, custom-built and antique vehicles must be properly registered and titled in the state of Texas. 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 Texas for a first time registration, or if you have custom-assembled a vehicle in the State, you will be referred to a County Tax Office near you.
WHAT ARE ANTIQUE AND CUSTOM BUILT VEHICLES?
- In Texas, a street rod is a vehicle manufactured before 1949 or after 1948 that looks like a vehicle manufactured before 1949.
- A custom vehicle is a vehicle at least 25 years old and of a model year after 1948 or built to resemble a vehicle at least 25 years old and of a model year after 1948.
- The State defines a custom-built/assembled vehicle as any motor vehicle that has been reconstructed using three basic parts (body, frame, motor) and does not look like a known brand. Assembled vehicles are registered with the make as "assembled." The model year will be determined by the year of the body used to build the vehicle. A 'Replica' is an assembled vehicle that uses manufactured prefabricated body and resembles a known brand.
HOW TO REGISTER AN ANTIQUE OR CUSTOM BUILT VEHICLEYou will have to visit a County Tax Office near you to register your antique or custom-built Vehicle. When registering a custom-built or antique vehicle, you will need to bring the following materials to the renewal office:
- A completed and notarized Title Application, when obtaining a title for a new, custom- built/rebuilt vehicle.
- The Certificate of Title or manufacturer's certificate of origin, for antique or custom/rebuilt vehicles that have already been titled.
- A Bill of Sale showing vehicle ownership and also of all components used.
- A completed Builder's Affidavit, for custom-built/rebuilt vehicles. If a motor, frame or body has been changed in an existing vehicle it has to be recorded by correcting the Title certificate. For rebuilt vehicles, you will need pencil tracings of body, motor and frame number, duly filled Form VTR-68-N (for reassigned vehicle identification number), weight certificate, proof of financial responsibility and a vehicle photograph.
- A completed application for Vehicle Identification Number for vehicle located out of Texas.
- An Inspector's Report, certifying that the vehicle is safe to take on the road is required for "classic" vehicles. The Department of Safety's Safety Inspection Stations will provide the report, following the vehicle inspection. Depending on the age of the car, some parts do not have to be inspected unless the original parts have been retained. Rebuilt vehicles will also need safety inspection.
FEESWhen registering an antique or custom-built assembled vehicle, you will be required to pay the appropriate titling fees. Accepted modes of payment are cash, money orders, checks or credit cards ($1 is charged as processing fee for this option).
RENEWING A CUSTOM-BUILT OR ANTIQUE VEHICLE REGISTRATIONYour custom-built assembled 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.
- Auto Insurance is exempt for antique vehicles that meet provisions of restricted use in Texas.
- See also Title Transfers and Registering a Non-Custom Vehicle.
- Antique vehicles are exempt from inspection. "Classic" vehicles have to be inspected annually for safety by the Texas Department of Safety in your county.
- If the vehicle is not owned by you any more or is destroyed/ junked or ceases to exist then apply for a refund on unused part of the registration fee.
- Motor cycles, passenger car, travel trailer and classic light truck can apply for antique license plates.