Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 8 of 38

Chapter 7: Miscellaneous Originals

7.100 Kit Vehicles

A kit vehicle is a vehicle that is built for private use, not for resale, and is not constructed by a licensed manufacturer or remanufacturer.

  • Kit vehicles are often replicas of well-known and expensive classics but can also be commercial vehicles and trailers.
  • A kit vehicle is registered by the kit manufacturer’s VIN (they are exempt from the federal 17-digit VIN requirement) and does not have a model year. The make abbreviation is the kit make followed by the abbreviation KT.
  • All kit motor vehicles and kit trailers weighing 6,001 pounds or more unladen, and vehicles having more than one VIN must be referred to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) for a VIN verification or assignment.
  • A “CAL” number is assigned by DMV to trailers with an unladen weight of 6,000 pounds or less, unless the original unaltered VIN remains on the frame.

Commercial Vehicles Assembled from Kits (VC §580)

Manufacturers of large commercial vehicles sell kits which can be made into complete vehicles.

  • These kits usually consist of a frame, steering gear, cab (complete with wiring and instruments), radiator, hood, front fenders, and in most cases, the front axle and wheels.
  • The installation of an engine, transmission, rear axles, wheel, and tires makes the kit a complete vehicle.
  • The installed components may have been purchased separately in new or used condition or removed from a vehicle which is no longer serviceable.
  • Installation into the kit may have been done at an assembly plant, a truck repair shop, or by an individual.

Commercial Vehicle Kit Make Abbreviations

Use the following chart to make abbreviations for commercial kit vehicles:

White FreightlinerWFTKT

Registration Requirements

  • Completed Application for Title or Registration (REG 343).
    • The REG 343 must include the labor cost, even if provided or done by the applicant.
  • Vehicle Verification (REG 31/REG 343), only if the application is for a trailer and the original trailer VIN is on the frame; or the completed REG 124 from CHP or DMV, if the vehicle is other than a trailer.
    • Do not show a year model for kit vehicles.
  • The Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin or a receipt or invoice identifying the vehicle.
    • The invoice or receipt from the seller may be used in lieu of signatures on the Certificate of Origin or bill(s) of sale.
  • Bill(s) of sale or a junk receipt for the major component parts (engine, frame, transmission, and body).
    • If a Certificate of Origin is submitted, it may be accepted as a bill of sale only for the parts described. However, a Certificate of Origin may be presented as evidence of ownership for a complete vehicle only if it is an unassembled trailer kit.
    • If the vehicle was assembled from parts of a vehicle owned by the applicant, the applicant must have reported the vehicle “junked”.
  • A Motor Vehicle Ownership Surety Bond (REG 5057) if the vehicle value is $5,000 or more and the required receipts for the major component parts are not submitted.
  • A Statement of Construction (REG 5036) completed and signed by the owner. The total value on the REG 5036 must agree with the market value shown on the REG 343.
  • Official brake and light adjustment certificates.
    • When an official brake and light station that inspects specific vehicles such as motorcycles and large commercial vehicles is not located within a reasonable distance, a Statement of Facts (REG 256) from a repair shop attesting that the brakes and lights are in proper working order is acceptable.
    • Brake and light certificates are not required for trailers weighing under 3,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight.
  • Weight certificate for a commercial vehicle weighing less than 10,001 pounds.
    • If the vehicle weighs 10,001 pounds or more, or if the vehicle is a trailer in the PTI program, the estimated unladen weight is required and must be shown on a Statement of Facts (REG 256).
  • Declaration of Gross Vehicle Weight/Combined Gross Vehicle Weight (REG 4008) completed and signed by the owner for a commercial vehicle weighing 6,001 pounds or more unladen.(Not required for pickups).
  • Report of Sale, Used Vehicle (REG 51), if applicable.
  • Smog certification, if appropriate.
  • Fees due.