Registering a vintage car in Indiana and applying for a custom car registration are procedures that can be completed through the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) by owners of these special types of vehicles. In order to obtain an antique vehicle registration for a historic vehicle or a registration for custom cars in IN, applicants will be required to submit a set of documents and fee payments. Note that these special transactions differ in certain regards from the process of registering regular passenger vehicles. Learn how to register a custom car or an antique vehicle by reading the sections outlined below.

Definition of a Custom or Historic Vehicle in Indiana

Prior to applying for custom or historic vehicle registrations in Indiana, applicants must ensure that their vehicle meets the corresponding definition for one of these two types of vehicles, as set forth in the state motor vehicle laws. Antique license plates, for instance, are available for historic vehicles older than 24 years. These vintage vehicles can either be registered as standard historic vehicles or collector’s items. Car owners must apply for standard historic license plates in IN if they plan to operate their vintage vehicles as means of general transportation. Collector license plates, on the other hand, are available for vehicles that will only be driven and exhibited as collector’s items or bought as an investment. The BMV offers custom vehicle registrations as well, which are available for vehicles that were privately assembled and/or modified from their original design by using used or new components.

Steps in the Indiana Registration Process

Applicants can complete the Indiana historic car registration process or the procedure to register custom car projects by submitting the necessary documents and paying the applicable fees to the state BMV. Note that purchasing antique car tags is a transaction that varies in certain steps from the procedure to obtain an IN custom auto registration. To successfully finalize the registration for custom vehicles, for example, applicants will be required to complete the following steps:

  • Submit the vehicle and its major components to a physical inspection conducted by a law enforcement official and obtain the inspection form.
  • Take a picture of the assembled vehicle.
  • Obtain proof of ownership, such as a title certificate or a certificate of origin as well as receipts for the parts used in the vehicle’s construction.
  • Apply for a motor vehicle identification number (MVIN) with the Special Identification Number application (Form 12907), in addition to the items outlined above.

After receiving an MVIN for purposes of registering a custom car in IN, you can finalize the registration procedure for your custom-built vehicle through a nearby BMV branch by submitting the standard registration documents and fee payments.

When applying for collector and historic car tags, on the other hand, vehicle owners will not be required to complete the additional steps that apply to the registration for custom cars procedure. Also, unlike standard IN historic auto registrations and plates, collector tags are available at reduced fees, and they can be obtained by submitting the additional Collector Vehicle Affidavit form.

Fees to Register a Custom or Historic Vehicle in Indiana

One of the final steps during the procedures for obtaining a vintage or custom vehicle registration in Indiana is submitting payment for the applicable BMV fees. The total payment amount may include several types of fees, such as payments for the excise tax and a registration fee, which vary based on the type, class and age of the vehicle. For instance, standard historic vehicle tags for a passenger vehicle are available at a registration fee of $21.35, whereas collector vehicles can be registered for $16.35. Also, depending on whether you are registering custom car projects or historic vehicles, you may also be required to pay certain fees specific to each transaction. For example, applicants for custom vehicle registrations in IN will have to pay a $10 fee for the issuance of their MVI number as well.

Note: Inquire with your local BMV office about the car registration renewal dates and applicable fees for your specific type of vehicle.

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