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  1. #3
    Patron Saint of Forum Moderators redneckpunk's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
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    Re: [HELP] DMV Registering a 50/50 Homebuilt Boat Trailer

    I went through this in November with a "custom" built trailer that started as a POS from Craigslist. If the trailer has a VIN# or any sign of prior reg on it it will require lein sale proof. If there is no number, or it for some reason # doesnt "exist", you will have to fill out a statement of facts about how it was obtained or constructed. Reciepts will help. When you get to DMV they will give you the paperwork to fill out while you wait and a number. After all that is filled out and you go to counter they will issue a permit to move the trailer to DMV for inspection. When you bring it back they will then inspect and issue a VIN# and plate.

    Suggestions to help if the trailer has no VIN#
    1. Have reciepts
    2. Anything you dont have reciepts for came from CL, garage sales, auction, etc
    3. Axles, frame, etc. were all purchased seperatly and were never assembled together until you got them. ie "special/custom construction"

    Hopefully, but not likely, you will gat a DMV employee who knows the process and can make it simple for you.


  2. #2
    Team Fish Sniffer AnglingWes's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Fair Oaks, California
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    I registered a fabricated trailer yesterday. If you don't have a cert of origin, then you have to apply for a CA Vin, which basically requires that you have an inspection done at the DMV, they will assign a vin to the trailer, then you can apply for title and registration. Whole process took me 2 hours at the DMV yesterday afternoon, and I walked out with PTI plates and registration for $50. The title will be mailed to you.

    The only glitch you may have is you made need to have a certified scale receipt showing the dry weight of the trailer. I had a build sheet for my trailer from the kit I purchased, and it had the weight info already. Any truck shop can weigh the trailer if necessary. Not 100% sure if you will actually need it thou, so check with DMV first.

    I have been through this process with two trailers now, and it's fairly painless. Hope this helps.

    I would STRONGLY recommend AGAINST towing the trailer without registration. Its only a fix-a-ticket if you get stopped, but in the case of an accident, your insurance can refuse to handle the claim on an unregistered vehicle. That's a bad situation waiting to happen.

    EDIT 2:

    You can't file for title for a 3rd party, so you can register it in someone else's name, but you will have to file for title.

    Sent from my iPhone
    Last edited by AnglingWes; 02-16-2012 at 09:58 AM.

  3. #1
    Senior Member WLShafor's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
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    Question [HELP] DMV Registering a 50/50 Homebuilt Boat Trailer

    A friend and I bought a boat trailer from craigslist: sacramento summer of 2011. The boat trailer was a custom build hack job and never got 100% completed from the original builder. So we decided to buy this project for under $100. It has with no papers only recipes of metal, tires and parts from where the original got their supplies from.

    So the trailer is finally complete with clean welds, fresh paint and trailer hookup + lights. It took about $70 in materials and $100 in beers to complete it. Many hours went into brain storming how we could make this boat trailer work for my friends. It will be holding a 12ft Aluminum Fishing boat. The boat is registered and up to date from DMV.

    So my question is this. What do I need to get the trailer registered? Can I put the trailer in my friend’s name while he is at work and pay for all the fees and show it to DMV? Does he have to be there at DMV to put the trailer in his name? We talked about putting it in both of our names but don’t know how DMV would like that as we are not related only friends.

    Do we/I need to make a appoint to register the trailer or can this be done online? Can we/I drive to DMV with the trailer can go inside grab a number and wait to be called up next to register the trailer? Are there forms online that we/I can fill out to make this a better experience? Can we use the trailer to haul the boat without going to DMV or is this illegal without it being registered? How much will this set him or me back in price range?
    Regard Heaven as your father, Earth as your mother, and all things as your brothers and sisters.

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