How to Register a Home Built Trailer

by Cassandra Tribe
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Interstate Trailers

If you have bought or built a homemade trailer, the process of registering it for road use in your state is slightly more involved then what it takes to register a commercially built trailer. There are slight variations on the procedure from state to state, but the general requirements are the same.

Step 1

Gather all your receipts for any material used in building your homemade trailer. If you used or modified a commercially made chassis, make sure you have all the receipts associated with that work.

Step 2

Take the trailer to your nearest VIN inspection station. You can tow the trailer to the inspection station as long as the vehicle towing it is registered. If you have a commercially built chassis with a VIN number, the officer at the station will conduct a NCIC check that will verify the number was not reported stolen. If your chassis does not have a VIN number, the officer will assign one and affix the VIN plate to the frame and give you the necessary paperwork.

Step 3

Have the trailer inspected, usually the VIN Inspection Station can also do this. During this inspection, the officer will make sure your trailer has the running and brake lights, turn signals and, if the weight of the trailer requires it, a separate braking system. They will also evaluate the weight of the trailer and the load capacity of the chassis you have used to determine the weight limit of the trailer.

Step 4

Go to your vehicle registry with all of the paperwork from the inspections, the VIN assignment, NCIC verification (if applicable) and the receipts from the construction of the trailer. Ask for an application for title and an affidavit of ownership.

Step 5

Fill out the remaining forms and place them on top of your other paperwork with your receipts paper clipped together. The clerk who provides the registration for your homemade trailer will tell you the appropriate fee rates if you have not called and gotten the information before.

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