Owners of custom-built vehicles or antique cars who wish to obtain a custom car registration will need to address their state motor vehicle department and submit the required paperwork at a local DMV office. However, motorists who need to finalize the procedure of registering custom car projects must note that this process generally differs from a typical vehicle registration. When registering a custom vehicle or antique car, drivers are typically obliged to provide documents such as photographs of the vehicle in question, in addition to the standard registration paperwork.

Payment for the appropriate custom car registration fees and any potential taxes may be necessary as well, otherwise the procedure may not be completed. Applying to register custom car projects may prove to be more complicated and demanding, however, this is a step that should not be avoided, as owners of such vehicles have invested their time and money into obtaining or building one, therefore, they must ensure they have the proper documentation on hand. For state-specific information about how to register custom car projects and what kind of vehicles fall into this category, please visit your state’s page:

Select a state to begin:
Select a state to begin:

How to Register a Custom or Antique Vehicle

Obtaining a custom vehicle registration is a procedure that is administered by state motor vehicle departments. In order to register a custom car or antique vehicle, motorists are typically obliged to visit a nearby DMV location to provide the necessary paperwork.

Though the documents required to obtain a registration for custom cars usually differ depending on the county of residence, drivers will generally need to complete the following steps to finalize the procedure:

  • Fill out and submit a custom car registration application form. State DMVs may require applicants to complete a specific form for registration of custom and antique vehicles, or provide a standard application for title and registration.
  • Submit a certificate of title/origin/bill of sale form.
  • Present proof of auto insurance (if required).
  • Submit photographs of the vehicle in question (if applicable).
  • Arrange payment for the applicable fees.

Aside from the aforementioned requirements to register a custom vehicle, certain U.S. states may also require drivers to submit an inspection report, proving that their custom auto meets the safety and equipment criteria as set by motor vehicle laws.

Drivers will also need to check whether their vehicle should be subject to emissions testing, as this requirement also differs from state to state. Note that addition documents may also apply.

Prior to initiating the procedure of registering custom vehicles, it is best to contact a local DMV office and inquire about the necessary paperwork, as well as the available application methods.

Fees to Register a Custom or Antique Vehicle

Registering a custom vehicle with the motor vehicle department may not be completed unless you provide payment for the set fees and additional costs. Custom auto registration rates will also vary based on the state, and they may include title and registration fees, as well as additional taxes.

The fees to register a custom car may also be listed on the application form, which is usually available on the official websites of state DMVs. Motorists in Florida applying for a registration for custom vehicles or antique cars, for instance, will be required to complete a separate application form, which includes the exact prices to finalize the procedure.

Currently, a fee in the amount of $46.50 applies for obtaining a permanent antique motor vehicle registration. Note that Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) does not require payment for the initial registration fee on vehicles that are 30 years old or older.

Since fees are subject to change without notice, contact a local DMV branch and ask about the exact prices and additional costs pertaining to your case.

Definition of a Custom or Antique Vehicle

In order to request a custom car registration, applicants must first familiarize themselves with the specific regulations that may apply to such vehicles, and make sure their vehicle falls into the category of custom or antique rides.

The difference between a standard vehicle and a custom car is generally based on the vehicle’s manufacture/model year, but this definition may also vary from state to state. Motorists in Florida and Texas, for example, may obtain a registration for custom cars provided they own a modified vehicle of a model year after 1948, which is 25 years old or older.

In addition to this, the vehicle must have been altered from the original design or have a body constructed from non-original materials.

Last updated on Friday, March 6 2020.