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Titling A Kit Car With A New VIN – 50 States

So, you’ve built a unique vehicle in your garage—something entirely new without a pre-existing VIN or chassis. How do you navigate the process of titling and registering it, especially if it’s a one-of-a-kind creation?

California’s Unique Solution: SB100
California presents a solution known as the SB100 program, catering to specially constructed cars, often seen in the movie industry. However, there’s a catch: only 500 slots are available annually, and many are reserved for the movie industry. This means navigating the process is not as straightforward as a typical DMV visit.

The Complex Paper Trail
The journey begins with acquiring the necessary paperwork from the DMV, ensuring meticulous record-keeping of invoices. These documents are vital, as they help authorities understand the car’s construction and are essential for tax purposes.

California Highway Patrol Inspection
To proceed, a thorough inspection by the California Highway Patrol is mandatory. They check for stolen parts, create a new VIN number, and affix it to the car using tamper-proof rivets, ensuring the vehicle’s legitimacy.

Mechanical Inspection and the BAR Exam
Next up is a mechanical inspection to verify the vehicle’s safety, focusing on lights, brakes, and general roadworthiness. This is followed by the BAR (Bureau of Automotive Repair) exam, a comprehensive performance examination covering various aspects, from a Dyno test to checking for safety hazards.

Compliance with California Rules
California emphasizes that vehicles processed through SB100 are not for resale, discouraging commercial enterprises from using this route. Additionally, the process excludes vehicles repaired by replacing parts and mandates adherence to smog regulations and a vehicle verification process.

Nationwide Applicability
While this process is specific to California, it mirrors systems across the United States. Most states have similar programs for assembling vehicles or creating kit cars, catering to those who’ve built a vehicle entirely from scratch in their backyard.

Key Steps for Every State
Regardless of your location, if you’ve constructed a vehicle from scratch, every state typically has a similar procedure. Whether it’s an assembled vehicle, a kit car, or a race car, understanding the local process is crucial for successfully obtaining a title for your unique creation.

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