California DMV Antique Vehicle Registration


How to Register a Custom or Antique Vehicle in California. Registering a custom or antique vehicle in California takes a few additional steps in comparison to registering a regular car or truck in the state of California.

If you're a Californian, you probably have a flashy car. And looking cool in this state comes at a price. That custom or antique vehicle means you need to deal with the DMV a bit more than the rest of us. And secretly, we're happy that you have more of a hassle since our old clunkers look even worse next to your fun cars on the road. At least we don't have to pay up for having an old sedan (well, we do, but not as much, okay?).

This is How to Register a Custom or Antique Vehicle in California

First of all, an antique car is not one that came out last year. An antique car is defined as a car that was originally manufactured at least 39 years ago, according to California law. A custom built car is one that was completely manufactured with custom parts and the make will have to include 'custom built' in the name to show this off even more.

Unfortunately, you can not simply go online and get your antique or custom car registered. You need to make an appointment with the DMV offices. Here, you will need to begin a sort of verification process. You will need to have documents indicating proof of ownership, bills of sale for major vehicle parts such as the engine, transmission, etc. - or invoices will work too. A motor vehicle bond is required if proof of ownership can not be obtained and parts are valued at over$5000.

More documents? Of course. A completed Statement of Construction and a completed Application for Title or Registration will be necessary to fill out and bring with you. Note too that you will need the CHP (California Highway Patrol) verify your car at some point, though you need to start this process at the DMV first.

A weight certification might also be necessary if the car is less than 100,000 pounds - of course, you probably don't have a scale at home that tells you this. You don't, do you?

Fees and Other Fun in How to Register a Custom or Antique Vehicle in California

The fees for your customer or antique vehicle registration will vary depending on the age, make, model, residence, phase of the moon, etc. But expect to pay a few hundred dollars in most cases.

Thankfully, California doesn't make you work too hard when you need to renew your registration. That works the same way for mere mortal cars as it will for you.

Choose Your State

Q:I have recently moved to California. What are the various steps involved in registering a previously registered U.S. vehicle in California?

A:The first thing that you have to do is fill out the Application for title registration or the REG 343 form. You need to make sure that you include the names of all the registered owners in the same manner that they appear in the out-of-state title as well as having them all sign the new form. Please go through more links on our site for additional details.