Titling a Reconstructed, Specially Constructed, or Replica Vehicle
Every person who owns a reconstructed vehicle, specially constructed vehicle, or replica vehicle must obtain a certificate of title and registration for the vehicle before it is operated on any highway. All liens held against the vehicle must be shown on the Virginia title.
A reconstructed vehicle is any vehicle that has been materially altered from its original construction by the removal, addition, or substitution of new or used essential parts. (VA Code § 46.2-100)
A specially constructed vehicle is any vehicle that was not originally constructed under a distinctive name, make, model, or type by a generally recognized manufacturer of vehicles and which would not be otherwise defined as a reconstructed vehicle. (VA Code § 46.2-100) For example, a vehicle constructed using a Mercury frame and a Chevrolet body.
A replica vehicle is any vehicle not fully constructed by a licensed manufacturer, but either constructed or assembled from components. Such components may be from a single vehicle, multiple vehicles, a kit, parts, or fabricated components. The kit may be made up of major components, a full body, or a full chassis, or a combination of these parts. The vehicle must resemble a vehicle of distinctive name, line-make, model, or type as produced by a licensed manufacturer or manufacturer no longer in business and is not a reconstructed or specially constructed vehicle. (VA Code § 46.2-100)
Major components are any one of the following subassemblies of a motor vehicle: (i) front clip assembly, consisting of the fenders, grille, hood, bumper, and related parts; (ii) engine; (iii) transmission; (iv) rear clip assembly, consisting of the quarter panels, floor panels, trunk lid, bumper, and related parts; (v) frame; (vi) air bags; and (vii) any door that displays a vehicle identification number. (VA Code § 46.2-1600)
How to Apply
Follow these steps when applying for a title for a reconstructed, specially constructed or replica vehicle.
- Submit the following completed forms:
- Application for Assigned Vehicle Identification Number (VSA 22), if required NOTE: Vehicles such as reconstructed or specially constructed motor vehicles may have existing vehicle identification numbers (VINs) that are no longer appropriate because the vehicle has been fundamentally altered to be an entirely different vehicle for titling purposes. In order to title these types of vehicles, DMV will assign vehicle identification numbers. If the vehicle is a replica built on a manufactured chassis or a chassis from another vehicle, a VIN usually will not have to be assigned by DMV because the Manufacturer's Certificate (or Statement) of Origin (MCO or MSO) will provide an acceptable VIN for the vehicle. A replica vehicle built on the chassis from another vehicle may use the VIN from the existing chassis, as long as the new vehicle is a replica of the vehicle from which the chassis came. However, DMV must assign a VIN to any replica vehicle that otherwise does not have one, or if the replica does not appear to be the vehicle from which the chassis came. Any vehicle owner seeking an assignment of VIN from DMV must establish ownership of the vehicle by submitting all titles or other ownership documents for any parts acquired for use in constructing the vehicle. Each type of vehicle has certain components that must be accounted for with a bill of sale, title, certificate of origin and/or a notarized affidavit. These documents must show any identification numbers, sale price, and be properly assigned to the applicant. Any vehicle, for which an application for a VIN has been made, will be subject to inspection by DMV ("VIN inspection"). In addition, all reconstructed, specially constructed, and replica vehicles must be inspected by DMV's Law Enforcement Services prior to titling, even if the vehicle has an existing, useable VIN. DMV charges a fee for the inspection, verification, or identification of the serial number or VIN of any vehicle.
- Application for Certificate of Title and Registration (VSA 17A)
- Credit Card Charge Authorization (FMS 99), if applicable
- Submit proof of address
- Submit properly assigned ownership documents or bills of sale for the following:
- Engine and Drive Train (component parts consisting of engine, transmission and rear axle)
- MCO or MSO for cab/glider kit, if applicable (A glider kit is a new cab and front axle used to replace a wrecked or retired cab and front axle. Motor vehicle sales and use tax is not required; however, you must provide proof that you paid retail tax.)
- For replica vehicle, MCO or MSO of the chassis, if specially manufactured or the title for the chassis if it came from another vehicle
- Transmission, if applicable
- Front-end assembly
- Submit the following documents:
- A detailed notarized statement stating how the vehicle was constructed
- Multiple pictures of the completed vehicle (You must show at least the front and side of the vehicle.)
- Submit the following fees:
- $5 VIN Plate Fee, if applicable
- $125 Inspection Fee
- $10 Title Fee
- 3% Motor Vehicle Sales and Use Tax NOTE: If the vehicle weighs 26,001 pounds or more, you are exempt from paying sales and use tax. If you paid retail sales tax on any parts at the time of purchase and you are providing proof of payment, no motor vehicle sales and use tax is required.
- Registration Fee, if applicable NOTE: In order to operate your vehicle on Virginia highways, the vehicle must pass a state motor vehicle safety inspection. You must pay the local vehicle registration fee to the locality and display the local sticker or decal on the windshield, if applicable.
- Submit all documents and fees to:
- Mailing Address
- Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
- ATTN: Vehicle Branding Work Center
- P.O. Box 27412
- Richmond, VA 23269
- Physical Address
- 2300 W. Broad Street
- Richmond, VA 23269
NOTE: The estimated turnaround time for this process is 3 weeks, if you submit all required documentation. You must completely assemble the vehicle prior to submitting your original paperwork to DMV for processing. A DMV Investigator will contact you to schedule an appointment to inspect the vehicle and install the VIN plate, if applicable.
Please note the following:
- Replica vehicles may not be driven more than 5,000 miles each year (VA Code § 46.2-602.1).
- A state inspection must be performed on the vehicle and the state inspection sticker must be displayed on the windshield, if applicable.
- The locality sticker/decal must be displayed on the windshield, if applicable. NOTE: Some localities do not require the display of a sticker/decal on a vehicle; however, payment of the local registration fee is still required. Check with the appropriate locality for requirements.