How to Get a Custom Car Inspected

by Jim Thompson | Last Updated: January 11, 2021

There’s something thrilling about putting together your own custom car at home, but the DMV in your state probably won’t find it as exciting as you do. They will be worried about whether or not this custom vehicle is safe, and there’s only one way to find out: a comprehensive inspection that looks over the vehicle to ensure that it will safely get you down the road and not cause others to get into an accident.

What Makes This Inspection Different?

A kit car inspection is generally more expensive than a standard inspection, and it will cover more safety items than what you would have to pay for with a standard vehicle. Look around for inspectors in your area that handle this type of work and make sure that you find out exactly how much it’s going to cost you. Once you have an inspector that you know you can work with, set up an appointment and start the process to get your vehicle legally inspected. It’s certainly more complicated than getting a standard vehicle ready to go on the road, but it’s not overly complicated or difficult when you understand the process.

Finding an Inspector

The easiest way to find an inspector for a custom car is to contact the DMV and ask them for a list of inspectors that you can use. You’ll usually be provided with a few local options that you can rely on. Head over to one of these inspectors and have them take a look at the vehicle for equipment safety and operation as well as a quick check to avoid any problems with the VIN.
At the time of the appointment, you need to make sure you know what paperwork you’ll need to bring along to the inspection. That way, you don’t have to head home for a form that you forgot.

You Need Part Receipts

Many kit car builders don’t realize just how important it is to keep all the receipts for the parts used to assemble the vehicle. It’s essential, though. Every single part of the vehicle must be accounted for. Otherwise, the authorities don’t know if you stole them from another vehicle or not. Any part that isn’t accounted for will have to be explained about in detail, and that’s a huge hassle that you could avoid with simple documentation.

Registering the Car

After you go through the tough inspection process, there are still more steps involved to get your custom vehicle on the road. You still have to register it with your state. To do that you need to make sure you have a good VIN number and you’ll need to show proof that you passed the safety inspection. When you can do that, you can register the vehicle at the DMV and legally drive it on the road without issue. The process is a bit cumbersome, but if you want to drive around that custom creation that’s sitting in your garage, you’ll have to go through the steps to ensure that you can legally do so.