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001-14 Revisions to the "Custom Vehicle" and "Street Rod" Program

Registration and Title Bulletin - 001–14

Date: February 27, 2014

To: All County Tax Assessor-Collectors

Subject: Revisions to the “Custom Vehicle” and “Street Rod” Program, Form VTR–852, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Application for Custom Vehicle Plates

Sample ASE Certification Status

Custom Vehicle & Street Rod FAQs

These documents contain text of correspondence sent by TxDMV to the county tax assessor-collectors, statutory agents who provide vehicle registration and titling services for citizens in Texas. This information is provided to apprise the general public of issues affecting the state’s vehicle titling and registration process.

PURPOSE

This is to update information related to the provisions of the “Custom Vehicle” and “Street Rod” program and to change how these vehicles should be titled. We have also revised the ASE Safety Inspection and Application for Custom Vehicle or Street Rod License Plates, Form VTR–852, and “Custom Vehicle and Street Rod FAQs.”

BACKGROUND

House Bill 890, passed by the 82nd Legislative Session in 2011, defined “custom vehicle” and “street rod” in the Texas Transportation Code, Sec. 504.501, and authorized issuance of specialty license plates for qualifying vehicles.

RTB #004–12 outlined the procedures and requirements for obtaining the applicable specialty plates (Custom Vehicle or Street Rod), including the completion of the application (Form VTR–852) that must be signed by an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certified Master Automobile Technician, and branding the title “REPLICA.”

DETAILS

Previously vehicles applying for the Custom Vehicle or Street Rod specialty plates were titled in a manner to reflect the year and make the vehicle resembled. Effective immediately, these vehicles should be titled in the same manner as assembled vehicles. The year of the vehicle must be the year that the vehicle was assembled. The make of the vehicle must be ASVE (Assembled Vehicle) or as shown on the Manufacturer’s Certificate/Statement of Origin (MCO/MSO) for kit vehicles.

As the volume of applications has increased, we have noticed common errors that result in rejections or processing delays. The most frequent errors when applying for Custom Vehicle or Street Rod specialty license plates are:

  • “REPLICA” brand omitted: To receive a Custom Vehicle or Street Rod specialty plate, the title must carry the “REPLICA” brand and reflect the year and make of the replica. The only circumstance in which a “REPLICA” brand would not be applied is when the model year is the true year of manufacturing. Example: A true 1974 Chevrolet Impala, altered from the original manufacturer’s design, is eligible for Custom Vehicle plates and must be titled as a 1974 CHEV. Such vehicles will NOT carry the “REPLICA” brand.

    REMINDER: Unless the model year is the true year of manufacturing, the vehicle must be branded as a “REPLICA.” If a vehicle is currently titled as an assembled or kit vehicle without the “REPLICA” brand, the owner of the vehicle must apply for a corrected title to add the “REPLICA” brand in order to apply for Custom Vehicle or Street Rod specialty plates.

  • Incomplete or missing Form VTR–852: ASE Safety Inspection and Application for Custom Vehicle or Street Rod License Plates, Form VTR–852, is required when applying for either Custom Vehicle or Street Rod specialty plates.

  • Invalid ASE Inspection on Form VTR–852: The inspection required on Form VTR–852 must be completed by an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician.

    NOTE: The revised Form VTR–852 now requires the ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician to provide a printout of their ASE Certification Status with the inspection.

In order to reduce errors and processing delays and ensure the safety of vehicles, the Form VTR–852 was revised. Of particular note, the ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician must now provide the applicant a printout of their certifications (ASE Certification Status) at the time of inspection. Effective immediately, the Form VTR–852 is not valid without the ASE Certification Status printout that includes, at minimum, all certifications A1 through A8 regardless of the form revision date. The A1 through A8 certifications must be current at the time of the inspection. Applicants should immediately begin using the revised Form VTR–852 (Rev. 2/14) that informs the ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician of the requirement to provide their ASE Certification Status printout.

The attached “Custom Vehicle and Street Rod FAQs” document has been updated to assist applicants with the current requirements to obtain Custom Vehicle or Street Rod specialty plates.

COUNTY ACTION

Please continue to follow processing procedures as outlined in RTB #004–12 paying close attention to revised titling requirements and reasons for frequent errors. This information has not changed, and is also located in the TxDMV Registration and Title Manuals. This will reduce the rejections and the processing time of the title and specialty plate application.

Effective immediately, please ensure that Form VTR–852 is accompanied by the ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician’s ASE Certification Status printout. Review the certifications printout to ensure the technician’s certifications include, at minimum, A1 through A8. All eight (8) of the required certifications must be current (unexpired) at the time of inspection. Applications must be rejected if they do not include the ASE Certification Status printout or if the printout indicates missing or expired certifications at the time of inspection.

Attached for your convenience are the updated “Custom Vehicle and Street Rod FAQs” document, revised ASE Safety Inspection and Application for Custom Vehicle or Street Rod License Plates, Form VTR–852, and sample ASE Certification Status printout.

CONTACT

If you have any questions, please contact your local TxDMV Regional Service Center.

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