Congratulations on accomplishing this incredible feat.
You are now one step closer to reaping the benefits of your efforts in the form of convenient transportation for your goods, tools, or even family (to camping trips).
The final step is to register your homemade trailer.
Don’t worry if this is something you’ve never done before; most states’ regulations are friendly, and you should be able to get your homemade registered without too much trouble.
Here’s how to register a homemade trailer to assist you.
How to register a homemade trailer
Before we begin, a couple of points should be made:
To begin, there is no standard procedure, and the exact steps may differ depending on the jurisdiction in which you currently reside.
That is, the instructions below are somewhat general, and you will need to visit the website of your state’s DMV (department of motor vehicles) or its equivalent in your country for specifics.
Another thing to be aware of is the cost—you will be charged some fees, but not in amounts that will cause you to lose sleep.
Now, here’s a step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Confirm the required conditions.
As previously stated, the laws governing the licensing of homemade trailers differ.
As a result, the best way to approach this is to first confirm the actual sequence of steps from the website of your state’s DMV (or the agency responsible for vehicle registration).
Simply search for your state’s DMV website online.
For example, if you live in California, Google “California DMV official website.”
Similarly, if you’re in Nevada, search for “Nevada DMV official website.”
Tip: If you’d rather speak with DMV officials in person, use this link to find your nearest DMV office by entering your zip code/state.
Step 2: Prepare the paperwork
Having complete documentation will, in general, speed up the process.
As a result, it is critical that you prepare all of the necessary paperwork and forms before proceeding with the application.
Overall, you should gather the following documentation (though some states may require a few extra papers):
Bills of sale/receipts for all materials used in the trailer’s construction– the fees you’ll pay are largely determined by the total value of your trailer. This will be calculated using the original receipts that you have in your possession. Keep in mind that you may be required to show the receipts to DMV personnel.
Weight slip for your trailer– the weight of your trailer will be required when filling out the application. Have it weighed at your nearest car weight scale and save the weight slip.
A document revealing how you built the trailer– where required (not all areas), this should be a notarized statement breaking down things like the materials you used to build the trailer, the procedures/techniques, and other relevant construction details.
Photographs of the trailer– take and print high-quality photographs of the trailer from every angle (front, rear, sides, etc.).
Safety inspection report for your unidentified/homemade trailer- In most states, your trailer may not be assigned a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) until it has passed inspection. For more information, visit the official DMV or transport personnel website, and contact your local officials to schedule a trailer inspection appointment (contact information available on the web page).
It should be noted that if your trailer did not pass inspection the first time, possibly due to equipment requirements, you must return for another review.
Some documents are required at the time of inspection in some states. For example, in Washington, officials request Bills of Sale, All Receipts/Invoices (for major components), and a Weight slip (from an authorized scale) for all inspections.
Proof of trailer and car insurance- In some states, your car must have valid insurance as well as the trailer. Purchase trailer insurance from your preferred insurance provider.
The majority of the time, you’ll be asked to show proof of address (a copy of your utility bill or voter registration) and your driver’s license.
Step 3: Complete the application.
Once all of the paperwork is in order, the final step is to apply for a Vehicle/Trailer Identification Number Plate or Verification.
To register and/or title your homemade trailer, the owner must submit the documents listed above, as well as additional forms in most jurisdictions. These should be downloaded and completed as needed from the website of your licensing office (you can also collect them in person from the DMV offices).
At this point, you must also pay the applicable fee.
For example, residents of Missouri must submit the following documents and payments:
A completed and signed Form 108 for Missouri Title & License.
A duly completed Trailer Identification Number Plate/Verification Application (Form 5062).
$25 inspection fee (where the inspection was performed by Missouri State Highway Patrol officials).
Title application and processing fees are $14.50.
Trailer identification number plate and processing fees are $13.50.
It should be noted that in most cases in the United States, you must make copies of the documents and present them in person to the offices.
While some states issue identification number plates to owners at the time of title application, others take a little longer and issue temporary documents.
The good news is that nothing in the law prevents you from using your trailer during this time, as long as you have the temporary documents with you.
When you finally get your hands on it, you’re expected to permanently attach the serial plate to the trailer, usually with rivets/screws.
In some cases, a law enforcement officer may be required to sign a form certifying that you have properly attached the serial plate to the trailer.
Any trailer that is to be drawn on our highways must be properly licensed and have a genuine trailer license plate screwed to the back, clearly displaying the numbers and letters.
You now understand how to register a homemade trailer, and we hope you will begin the process right away.
Keep in mind that your license plates may take a few weeks to arrive in some areas.