Registering a custom car in New York and obtaining antique vehicle registration and plates are procedures that can be completed by meeting a specific set of requirements set forth by the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). During the custom and historic vehicle registration processes, applicants will be required to complete certain steps that do not apply to the standard car registration process.

Learn how to obtain a custom car registration as well as antique license plates in NY for these special types of motor vehicles by reading the sections outlined below.

Definition of a Custom or Historic Vehicle in New York

In order to successfully apply for New York custom vehicle registrations or get historic car tags, applicants are required to prove that their vehicle qualifies for one of these special types of documents. The NY antique vehicle tags are termed as historical license plates under the current motor vehicle laws and are available for vehicles 26 years or older.

Car owners who apply for historic car registrations and plates can only use their vehicles as collector’s items during exhibition events. Historical vehicles can also be registered with vintage license plates in NY, which are original tags produced in the same year as the vehicle’s production year.

A registration for custom cars, on the other hand, can be issued to vehicles classified as homemade under state law. These types of cars must have been assembled with new or used components by individuals other than a licensed manufacturer. Homebuilt vehicles can be used as a personal means of transportation by the owner.

Steps in the New York Custom Vehicle Registration Process

The steps in the New York custom auto registration procedure differ from those that apply to the process of registering a vintage car. However, to obtain either a custom or an antique car registration in NY, applicants will be required to submit certain documents and pay certain DMV fees.

The process of registering a custom vehicle, for example, is comprised of the following steps:

  1. Order the DMV application package for an NY custom car registration by mail or by phone.
  2. Submit your vehicle to a weight inspection and obtain the certified weight ticket.
  3. Take front, back and side photographs of your assembled vehicle.
  4. Send the DMV equipment certification form, the weight certificate, the photographs, and copies of the ownership proofs, such as bills of sale and receipts to the DMV Vehicle Safety Technical Services (VSTS).
  5. Forward the DMV Application for Vehicle Identification Number (Form MV-272.1), the proofs of ownership and the applicable VIN fee to the DMV Division of Field Investigation.

After receiving your documents for a registration for custom cars, the Division of Field Investigation will schedule your vehicle examination for purposes of assigning you a new vehicle identification number.

If your car passes the inspection, you will receive the new VIN and the MV-272.1 form, which must be mailed to the VSTS in order to obtain the VS-103 Notice of Registration Acceptability. The final steps in process of registering custom car projects include obtaining a safety inspection certificate and submitting it to a local DMV office along with the remaining paperwork and fee payments.

The department will issue an NY custom auto registration only to applicants who submit the VS-103 form, the MV-272.1 form, the DMV Vehicle Registration/Title Application and proofs of identity, car insurance, vehicle ownership and sales tax payment. The original weight certificate must also be included.

Steps in the New York Historic Vehicle Registration Process

Car owners registering an antique vehicle in New York will be required to complete fewer steps than those that apply for registering custom vehicles.

Furthermore, NY historic license plates can be obtained by submitting the standard application for a registration and title (Form MV-82) and the Historical License Plates application (Form MV-440H). In order to process your request for an antique auto registration and plates, the DMV also requires a copy of your driving license, proof of ownership and proof of a valid auto insurance coverage.

Depending on your circumstances, the DMV may also require you to submit a sales tax receipt. To finalize the process of obtaining historic license plates in NY, deliver the items outlined above along with the fee payment by mail to the DMV Custom Plates Unit or in person through any DMV location.

Fees to Register a Custom or Historic Vehicle in New York

The DMV will process applications for New York antique car tags as well as custom vehicle registrations only after confirming the payment for the applicable fees. The cost of obtaining historic car registration and plates varies from the cost of registering custom cars, as applicants will be required to complete different steps.

For example, registering a historic vehicle and obtaining standard antique plates costs $53.75, whereas personalized historic tags are available at a price of $113.75. Applicants who already have a valid registration, however, will be required to pay a smaller fee. Note that, if you are required to obtain a car title for your historic vehicle, you will have to pay an additional titling fee of $50 as well.

Applying for a custom auto registration in NY, on the other hand, is a procedure that may potentially cost more than the process of registering a historic car due to the number of steps that must be completed. For instance, prior to submitting a request for a registration for custom cars, you will be required to apply for a VIN at the cost of $25.

Additional postage fees and inspection fees may also apply at this stage. When submitting the official custom car registration application, you will be asked to pay the fees for the registration card, the vehicle plates, the certificate of title and the sales tax, which vary based on the type and weight of the vehicle and your county of residence.

Note: Owners of these special types of vehicles will also be required to pay a regular car registration renewal fee.

Last updated on Monday, March 9 2020.