How to Register Homemade Cargo Trailers in Indiana

by Kay Majors
Trailer on Grass image by Towards Ithaca from

Indiana residents are required to have a license plate and registration for all vehicles, including homemade cargo trailers, before using them legally on the road. Since your homemade trailer is a newly constructed vehicle, you also need to obtain a title to prove that you own it before you can register the trailer. Check that your trailer will safely haul the desired amount of weight, and check that your turn signals and brake lights work properly. You will need to fill out two state-issued forms during the titling and registration process.

Obtaining a Title

Step 1

Visit any Indiana license branch during business hours and ask for the Application for Certificate of Title - State Form 205. You can also download and print the form from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, or BMV, website, using the link in the Resources section. Fill the form out completely, and return it to the BMV. BMV workers will issue a Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, for your trailer.

Step 2

Stamp the Vehicle Identification Number legibly into your trailer's hitch.

Step 3

Download and print the form Affidavit of Police Officer/Physical Inspection of an Indiana Resident's Vehicle/Watercraft - State Form 39530 from the Indiana BMV website. A link to this form is in the Resources section. Call your local police department and ask for a vehicle inspection. The police officer who inspects your cargo trailer and completes the form can charge a fee up to $5 for this service.

Bring the completed and signed Form 39530 to the BMV, where employees will give you the title for your trailer.


Step 1

Take your trailer to a certified scale for an official gross weight. Scale workers will give you a receipt showing your trailer's weight.

Step 2

Collect the trailer's title, your personal identification documents, scale receipt, and money for registration fees, and return to the BMV office to register and plate your trailer. Trailer registration fees vary, depending on the gross weight of your trailer. Use the link in the Resources section to find a complete list of fees.

License plates are needed for Indiana cargo trailers.

Bolt the license plate securely to the back of your homemade trailer, and attach the registration sticker to the top right corner of the plate.


  • Indiana has allowed cross-county registration since 2001, so you can visit the license branch that is most convenient for you.


  • Indiana requires multiple documents to prove identity. Bring your Indiana driver's license, proof of residency, such as a utility bill, proof of insurance, and Social Security card to the license branch with you to avoid unnecessary second trips.

Items you will need

  • Application for Certificate of Title - State Form 205
  • State Form 39530
  • Certified scale receipt
  • Personal identification documents

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