The North Carolina registration for custom cars procedure and the process of registering a vintage car can be completed through the state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). However, in order to successfully obtain custom or antique vehicle registration documents, applicants must own a qualifying vehicle.

Note that these two special transactions follow steps similar to the standard car registration process with certain additional requirements. Learn how to register a custom car in NC or apply for a historic vehicle registration by reading the sections outlined below.

Definition of a Custom or Antique Vehicle in North Carolina

Car owners can successfully obtain a North Carolina vintage vehicle registration as well as register a custom car only if their motor vehicles meet the corresponding vehicle definition under the applicable state regulations. For instance, antique car registration documents are available for vehicles that were manufactured prior to 1981.

NC custom vehicle registration documents, on the other hand, can be procured by owners of vehicles that were rebuilt or assembled with new or used components. This type of vehicles are classified as specially constructed vehicles under current state law and the documents will display their year of assembly as the official vehicle year.

Note: In addition to custom and historic car registrations, the DMV also issues registration cards for replica vehicles, which are vehicles that were built from a kit for purposes of resembling a certain make and model of an existing vehicle.

Steps in the North Carolina Registration Process

When registering a custom car in North Carolina or applying for a vintage auto registration, applicants will generally be required to abide by the guidelines of the standard vehicle registration process. However, to successfully register custom vehicles or obtain an NC antique auto registration, car owners will also have to meet additional requirements.

Therefore, applicants can finalize the vintage or the custom vehicle registration process by completing the following steps:

  • Submit your vehicle to an examination completed by an authorized inspector through a corresponding local DMV office.
  • Obtain the inspector’s report and several vehicle photographs as proofs that the motor vehicle abides by the state safety regulations.
  • Pay the vehicle property taxes (if required).
  • Prepare the following documents for submission: a copy of your official NC driver’s license, proof of a car insurance policy, the DMV Title Application (Form MVR-1), the Odometer Disclosure Statement and the Damage Disclosure Statement.
  • Submit the standard titling and registration documentation outlined above along with the vehicle title by mail or in person.

When applying for a registration for custom vehicles in NC, applicants will also be required to fill out the Affidavit for Custom/Replica Built Vehicle (Form MVR-55) and submit ownership proof for the vehicle’s major parts. For further information regarding the requirements for a custom or historic auto registration that apply to your specific circumstances, contact a nearby DMV location.

Fees to Register a Custom or Antique Vehicle in North Carolina

An important step in the North Carolina custom vehicle registration process and the procedure to obtain vintage car registrations is arranging payment for several types of fees and costs.

The total cost of an NC registration for custom vehicles or antique cars will typically include several DMV fees as well as payments for the applicable vehicle taxes. For example, in addition to the standard $52 certificate of title fee and a plate fee of $36 for private passenger vehicles, applicants may also be required to pay certain property and county taxes.

Since applicants for custom and antique auto registrations are mandated to submit their vehicle to a DMV inspection, they may be required to pay for additional services as well.

Note: Contact the DMV to learn about the exact costs that apply to your specific circumstances and if and when you are required to pay the car registration renewal fees for these special types of vehicles.

Last updated on Monday, March 9 2020.