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How far do you have to go?

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  • How far do you have to go?

    How would all of you free spirited, anti-establishment
    types interpret this;
    1. Homemade/Shop-built vehicles:
    • The preliminary VIN inspection is performed to verify and document there are no VINs located on the vehicle; and
    • that the vehicle does not appear to be factory manufactured.
    How far do you have to go before your "factory"
    vehicle becomes unrecognizable as factory
    manufactured? Everything on the body, fenders,
    bed, and chassis has been modified on my
    build. In my mind " factory manufactured"
    means exactly as stated. Notice they say
    vehicle, and not individual body parts.

  • #2
    That really depends on where you live. How I might interpret the laws where you live could land you in jail! Different places enforce the written laws with varying determination, some places are pretty lax, but others are hardcore line by line. The inspector that is standing in front of you is the person that makes the decisions on what may or may not be a "factory manufactured" vehicle.

    Where I live, they make you jump through hoops to get your ride titled and get plates for it, but after that, unless your in a crash and kill someone, they don't really seem to care much. But that being said, every once and a while you run into some local cop that has a big chip on his shoulder, and he can make things rough. Here you toe the line to get the title and plates, then can pretty much get away with changing it as you please.

    When the officials require an inspection before they will issue papers, depending on the specific inspector, you may have little choice. Places that require an annual inspection can be problematic if you don't want to follow their rules. Do you want to fight with them and prove you may be right, or do you want a title for your ride?

    One time I took a couple titles into a License Agency to get a combined vehicle titled. I told her I wasn't sure what I needed to do. Her interpretation was pretty simple. "Which one does the finished vehicle most look like?" she asked. "The one with the outer body shell." was my reply. "Then title it as that vehicle. If you were 100 miles from home, and got caught in a speed trap by some local cop, and after running the plates, it came back as a 75 Chevy truck, but looks like a 35 Ford sedan, you and the car will get to sit waiting for some judge to figure out how much to screw you over. If they run plate looks like it could have been a 35 Ford sedan, you just have to deal with the speed trap ticket."
    My interpretation is, if you have a title with numbers that match a number on the car body, and it sort of looks like that, I'd go with the title and numbers. I've received the papers on the last 3 titles I've submitted, in less then 2 months each.

    If you don't have a title with matching body numbers and you have to go with a builders title, document where every part came from, have a receipt showing you paid sales tax and jump through all the hoops they put in front of you. You want a title and plates, they have the power to grant your wish, or not. With some of them, that power goes to their head, but many are just doing a job. Be very polite, and provide whatever they ask for without argument. I have a buddy that thought he shouldn't have to provide something the inspector asked for, and developed a bad attitude. The guy has been waiting, and jumping through hoops for over 5 years now. Gene


    • #3
      Sounds like you're in New Mexico and you have a DMV registration issue. I think I'd be concerned with the first part:
      The preliminary VIN inspection is performed to verify and document there are no VINs located on the vehicle.

      Judging by your other posts, I assume you've mounted a cab from another truck onto your frame? Now you've got 2 VIN numbers! Start messing with VIN's and there could be some legal problems.
      I had to go through the Specially Constructed Vehicle process here in California.

      Here's a definition of our SPCNS code..... Specially Constructed Vehicles

      1. What is a specially constructed vehicle?

      A specially constructed vehicle (SPCNS), as defined in Section 580 of the California Vehicle Code, is a vehicle which is built for private use, not for resale, and is not constructed by a licensed manufacturer or remanufacturer.

      Specially constructed vehicles may be built from any of the following:

      1. A kit;
      2. New and/or used parts;
      3. A combination of new and used parts; or
      4. A dismantled vehicle which, when reconstructed, does not resemble the original make.

      A specially constructed vehicle does not include a vehicle that has been repaired or restored to its original design by replacing parts. Additionally, a vehicle that has been modified, but still resembles the original make is not a specially constructed vehicle.

      Example: A Volkswagen "Beetle" with modified fenders, engine compartment lid, and front end that is still recognizable as a Volkswagen is not considered a Specially Constructed Vehicle.

      What I did with the roadster was tell them it was a roadster pickup that originally came with a truck bed. I removed the bed and replaced it with a turtle deck (amongst a million other things). Essentially, putting two cars together to make one. It worked!
      Why don't you tell us exactly what you're trying to accomplish so we can help. Pics would be good!


      • #4
        Click image for larger version

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        • #5
          Mounting this....
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Won't be a problem with the chassis, hope you have receipts. The Dodge or Plymouth cab originally had a serial number screwed to the door post. Many of those were missing the serial number tag. Lots of guys thought they looked cool and pulled them off for souvenirs. Look it over good and be sure someone hasn't put a tag someplace else, I've seen tags on the firewalls before. Your merging an "unknown cab" with a home built chassis, should fit right into a builder category. Still going to depend on the inspectors opinion, be really nice to him. I'd probably pull the fenders off and hide them out back for the inspection. Gene


            • #7
              Hello Gene and 2.3Turbo-T,
              I can't begin to express how much your
              input has helped to relieve my stress levels.
              Believe it, or not, I've been working on this
              build on and off for 27 years. I' m a mechanical
              designer by trade (45 years and now retired).
              Myself, with input from a fellow engineer designed
              the chassis. It's homebuilt, and I have photo
              documentation along with all the receipts for
              the build.
              My main concern has been with the missing
              body serial number tag. I have a "parts only"
              bill of sale. No numbers recorded. To your best
              guess, Is this going to hamper my abilities trying
              to get this truck titled? The body has been
              pieced together with body parts from different
              vehicles. If I pull the fenders, what to do with the headlight buckets? Thanks again for your input.


              • #8
                I think as long as you have receipts for the body parts from different sources, so the inspector doesn't think it was all from one truck, I think your going to be OK. You have receipts proving you have built a truck from a pile of parts, that is what a builders title is suppose to be all about. Gene


                • #9
                  Thanks, Gene.
                  My 45 year career as a mechanical designer
                  ingrained the literal directive. "does not
                  resemble" means exactly that. The rear
                  fenders have been shortened,along with
                  the running boards. The bed is "homebuilt"
                  from an old Ford pickup bed trash trailer
                  that I had (it's been years since it was titled).
                  The cab firewall has been cut to accommodate
                  Mopar"s largest. The front grille is built from
                  an old set of patio furniture. It's unfortunate
                  that those at any DMV are adamant about
                  how they interpret the definitions written.
                  My main goal is to eliminate the level 3
                  Vin inspection by the state police due to
                  the missing vin tag. I certainly don't want
                  to risk jail time, or have 27 years of work,
                  go right down the tubes, because some
                  idiot thought a vin tag was cool, and
                  stole it.


                  • #10
                    What Gene said ^^^!
                    Photo documentation rocks! A picture is worth a thousand words. When I went to title the roadster under SPCNS, I gave the inspector a link to my build thread. He pulled it up and that pretty much sealed the deal!

                    With all your photos and receipts, you should be good. Anyone can see your truck isn't 'factory manufactured'.
                    Looks like you used a lot of 'outside the box' pieces to build your truck. The front grill is made from an old set of patio furniture! I luv it! I myself used a lot of washing machine sheetmetal to form panels and lots of old junk to make other pieces. Keep us informed of what happens.


                    • #11


                      • #12
                        Don't see anything other then 2 little squares. Suppose to be pictures maybe? They take forever to load these days. Gene


                        • #13
                          Gene, 23Turbo_T,
                          There are times when I have the luck of the Irish.
                          I just bought a 1941 one ton Dodge pickup. The
                          lucky part is, it's less than a mile from my house,
                          and paid less than a grand for it. I'm keeping all
                          the body stuff, but will sell all the drivetrain
                          It kinda sucks to have to change out cabs at
                          this point of the build, but you gotta do what
                          you gotta do. Talked to DMV today and they
                          said the truck is subject to being impounded
                          with no vin on the cab. Sure don't want to risk
                          that. Thanks for your input.


                          • #14
                            The serial number tag on the door post is the only identifying numbers on the cab. If the cab on the truck you just bought has that ID plate with a number that match the paper work in your hand, I think I would start the "rebuild" process by moving the ID tag and making sure no one has put any other ID tag number on your current cab. Gene