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Texas Laws

Post by Stalker Guru on Sat May 02, 2015 11:38 pm

Texas Laws
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My process for TX Titling & Registration

Post by XL22 on Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:10 am

Just yesterday, I successfully Titled & Registered XL #22.  The visit to the tax office was incredibly painless, and I wasn't challenged on any paperwork, amazingly.

All of the requirements are pretty well covered in the "Texas Assembled Vehicle Manual", in Chapter 4 called "Replicas".

Here is what worked for me:

My end goal was to walk out with "Custom Vehicle" license plates.  Why "Custom Vehicle" plates?  Because with those, no annual DPS inspection is required...ever!  Don't ask me why, but this is the way it is (as of today).  In order to qualify for "Custom Vehicle" plates, the Title must reflect that the car is a Replica.  The object of the game is to first get the Tax Office to agree that you do, in fact, have a New Replica, and then secondly, get the Custom Vehicle plates.

In terms of vehicle categorization, the term to use when talking to the Tax Office is "New Replica", which is also a sub-category of "Assembled Vehicle".  

A critical piece of info is that your Kit's number, as shown on the Bill of Sale from Stalker, will be the vehicle's VIN to use on all the forms.


  1. You need a Bill of Sale for each of the following: Stalker Kit, Motor, and Transmission
  2. On all your state forms, the Year will be the year shown on your kit's Bill of Sale.  The Make will be 'ASVE', which stands for Assembled Vehicle.  The Model can be blank.  The Body Style can be abbreviated 'RD' for Roadster.  If any form has a 'Seller' section, just write 'Assembled' in the Seller's name field and leave the other seller fields blank.  Nowhere on any of the forms do the words "Stalker" or "M-Spec" appear as a means to identify the vehicle.
  3. On form 130-U, the Application for Title, nowhere do you write the word, "Replica".  The Tax Office folks will add the "Replica" term to the Remarks section in their computers so that the actual title certificate indicates that it's a Replica.
  4. I made two VIN plates, one attached to the frame and one fiberglassed to the inside of the hood.  Using a tip from jtminehart, PetsMart has a little kiosk where you buy some powdercoated tags and it laser engraves them with text of your choosing.  The best part is that the machine automatically adjusts the font size as you type, both left to right, and vertically as you add lines.  I ended up with 4 lines of text and it's all quite readable.  It now occurs to me that I probably should have used "Stalker Cars" instead of "Brunton Auto", but oh well.  I might change it out later.

  5. As an aside, I also chose to die-stamp the Kit#/VIN on a spot in the frame that is hidden; this is mostly for theft recovery since the VIN plates can be removed.  My local HW store had a 1/8" steel stamp kit with numbers & letters for like $20, and used a 5 lb mini sledge to stamp each character.
  6. Call your local police department and ask for their Auto Theft unit.  Make an appointment with a law enforcement officer (LEO) who can fill in form VTR-68-A.  If you don't want to trailer it to them, ask if they can come to your house or wherever your build is.  They made a house call in my case, which was great.  Now, one point to call out on the VTR-68-A: this form is to get Assigned or Reassigned number, like a VIN, but you're not actually getting a reassigned number, and you won't turn this form into the Regional Tax Office as the form's instructions indicate.  You're simply using this as evidence that the frame, motor, and serial number aren't stolen.  The LEO will verify your Bills of Sale for the kit, motor, and transmission against the VIN plates on the hood & frame, the motor serial number, transmission serial number, and the die-stamped frame number.  Meaning, make sure that all of these numbers are accessible, which likely means some of your panels cannot be installed yet, such as the passenger side tunnel panel because it would cover up the metal tab with the transmission serial number.
  7. Take pictures of both VIN plates, motor serial number, and transmission serial number.  You'll submit these to the tax office later.
  8. After the LEO visit is complete and you have your official VTR-68-A filled out, note that you now have only 30 days to get to the tax office to file this form with everything else.  Also, now you can actually finish putting all the panels on and complete the build.  
  9. Get the car weighed.  I called the Tax Office's Vehicle Registration dept and asked if they had any referrals, and they were happy to provide the number for a nearby scrap metal place who has a public scale.  Any truck stop with scales works too, apparently.
  10. Find a shop with an ASE Master mechanic to do the road-worthy inspection, using form VTR-852.  Form VTR-852 is the "Custom Vehicle" plates form plus the inspection form for the ASE Master mechanic to fill out.  Make sure that the ASE Master mechanic provides a print out of his valid certifications.  There are instructions in the form for him/her to do this.  You'll submit both the form VTR-852 and the ASE Master's certification evidence to the Tax Office.
  11. Fill out form VTR-63.  This is the Component Bill of Sale.  Fill in the motor & trans serial numbers, and fill in the kit number as both the 'frame' and 'passenger vehicle body'.  The 'Seller' field can simply be the word "Assembled"
  12. Fill out form VTR-61.  This is the Rebuilt Vehicle Statement.  On the "Work Performed" section, I just wrote, "Assembled the motor, frame, and body".  Ignore the "Inspection Information" section.  On the "Component Parts - Engine, Frame, and Body" section, I noted Stalker's address for both the frame & trans since I bought both from them.  I noted my motor supplier's address.  Below, in the "Component Parts - Other" section, I left blank.
  13. I chose to also submit VTR-270, but it's not necessary if you provide pictures of the aforementioned serial numbers & VIN plates.  I erred on the side of caution here.
  14. Get the car insured and take a copy of the insurance card to the Tax Office
  15. Take pictures of the front, side, and rear of your car.
  16. Provide a picture of a 1962 Lotus Seven, such as this:

  17. Based on the current rules, if you're going for the Custom Vehicle plates, you don't need any 'regular' DPS safety inspection.  If you're challenged on this by the tax office personnel, show them the VTR-852 form where it clearly states, "Once the vehicle is approved for Custom Vehicle or Street Rod license plates, the vehicle is exempt from the annual Texas Department of Public Safety vehicle safety inspection requirement (Transportation Code §548.052)."
  18. Triple check what you have vs what the Assembled Vehicle Manual indicates.  You might even print out Chapter 4 from the manual and take it with you to the tax office.

Once you have all of that, head to the tax office and politely announce to the nice person across the desk that you want to, "Title & Register a New Replica vehicle with Custom Vehicle plates".  Be prepared to wait 30-45 mins; Keep in mind that the tax office probably sees one of these every 6 months, which means expertise within the office on it will be very limited.  It's very likely that you now know more about the process than they do; you may need to politely educate them, and if you are challenged, don't be afraid to politely ask for a supervisor.

XL22

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