Consumer Title Resource | Since 2009!

How To Get A Title For A Kit Car

If you’re thinking about buying a kit car or an assembled vehicle, you’ll want to learn how to title it as well. Understanding the process of titling a kit car or an assembled vehicle is important before you commit to building a new ride. The laws for titling these vehicles vary from state to state and there may be special processes that need to be followed. Knowing about these processes will help you to complete the steps needed and avoid any potential delays.

Before registering your vehicle, however, it is important to know whether your vehicle is considered a kit car or an assembled vehicle as this will determine what documents are needed for registration.

What is a kit car?

A kit car is built by the owner or someone else. Kit cars are replicas of certain models of vehicles and are made in small numbers. The pieces are usually shipped to the buyer who assembles the vehicle or they can be purchased pre-assembled from the manufacturer. Vehicles that are made from kits, whether they are assembled by the owner or not, must be titled as a kit car or replica car.

What is an assembled vehicle?

An assembled vehicle is made when someone takes two or more separate vehicles and combines them into one using parts from each vehicle. Assembled vehicles also include rebuilt salvage vehicles where parts from other vehicles have been used to repair the original damaged vehicle after an accident.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

The most important factor to consider when titling an assembled vehicle or a kit car is the VIN. Having a VIN is a prerequisite to getting a title. Before you apply for title and registration, you must have a VIN.

If the VIN is on one of the major components of the assembled vehicle such as the body or frame, you can use that VIN for your vehicle as long as it’s not logged in the NMVTIS database as junk or nonrepairable. If you don’t have the VIN from the body and frame or you have a kit car, you will have to apply for a new VIN from the DMV.

How to apply for a new VIN

  1. Gather all documentation related to your vehicle, including receipts and bills of sale. This documentation should show where every part came from and who sold each part to you.
  2. Fill out an application for a new VIN from your state’s DMV office. Pay any associated fees.
  3. Meet with an inspector from your state’s DMV office at a time specified by them to inspect your vehicle. The inspector will take photos of your vehicle and note its unique characteristics in their records.
  4. Receive a newly-assigned VIN along with registration and title paperwork from your state’s DMV office after inspection

Vehicle Inspections

When you apply for a new VIN, this automatically triggers an inspection of your vehicle. Each state has specific requirements for kit cars and assembled vehicles. If your vehicle meets any of the general criteria, your vehicle may be denied a new VIN.

  • Assembled vehicles cannot be made by constructing two or more vehicle classes.
  • The body and frame cannot be from a nonrepairable or junk vehicle.
  • The electrical and mechanical components cannot be from a flood-damaged vehicle.
  • Parts cannot have rust.
  • Parts must be compliant with safety standards and not aftermarket.

Kit car emission & safety standards

Kit cars are different from the conventional vehicles you drive every day. They are not regulated by the same standards as normal vehicles and have specific emission requirements. If you are rebuilding a kit car that is a replica, you only need to meet the safety and emissions standards of that model year. For example, if you purchase a 1956 ford model car kit, you only have to abide by the safety and emissions standards of that model year.

If your kit car is not similar to an existing vehicle model, then it needs to be inspected for emissions compliance at an approved smog check station after it is assembled and registered by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

If you are looking to get a kit car titled or even an assembled vehicle titled, the best advice is to do your research. Before you take any action, make sure to get your vehicle plans approved by your local DMV. Whether you bought the car from someone, built it yourself, or rebuilt it, if it’s your car, you deserve a title. takes the hassle out of applying for a title for your vehicle. Our team of title experts can help prepare your paperwork for any title recovery method provided.

Want to discuss your complex title problem with a car title expert? Schedule a private, no-obligation consultation with a title expert through×72.jpg

Have Title Questions? Talk to a Car Title Expert.

Book a consultation with a Car Title Expert from to get personalized guidance on your title recovery journey.

Don’t let uncertainty hold you back. If it’s your car, you deserve a title.

Share this article!

Check Your VIN Instantly:

Powered by