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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
I just finished my 3 wheel Electric build of 10 years and lots of pain. Ran into a huge Colossal problem 3 weeks ago. VIN Number Verification with the California Highway Patrol. You see I was lead to believe that I could build my car/motorcycle from scratch, like the Doran plans I purchased all those years ago, with the Specially Constructed Vehicle registration process from the DMV. The CHP Officer won't even look at the vehicle because a manufacturer didn't make the frame and it won't comply with (FMVSS) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. What do I do now?????? How have others gotten their scratch built cars and motorcycles VIN numbers and Registration????
 

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Nice vehicle; there would not be an issue in AU; a certificate could be obtained from a NCOP approved engineer. Can we blame the Donald for this too?
 

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I have no personal experience with this, but I am curious about why there would be an issue.

This appears to describe the process:
Registration Requirements for Home Made Specially Constructed or Kit Vehicles

Where are you in this process? It sounds like you were at the vehicle verification, but do you have the completed application? Was it clear to the CHP officer from that application (or other DMV paperwork) that this is a home-built vehicle - if so, maybe this officer is just not properly trained? Does it have a VIN assigned and marked on the vehicle?
 

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Nice vehicle; there would not be an issue in AU; a certificate could be obtained from a NCOP approved engineer.
The process in California (and at least most U.S. states and Canadian provinces) is quite different.

Can we blame the Donald for this too?
Not likely. Trump cancels regulations, he doesn't add them. More importantly, this is a state issue (not federal), and it probably hasn't changed for many years.
 

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I have found that in CA, location is everything. Santa Monica sucks, Apple Valley is friendly as all get out, but you might be there answering questions about your vehicle the rest of the day. Oddly Bakersfield is automatically "NO, you can't do that"..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No on the Donald, California could just be tough on this but it's hard to say until you actually go through the process in another state.
 

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Hey Brian
I followed that DMV link to a T with all of my forms filled out and even went and paid $2411 for registration fees before I got shut down on the CHP Verification process. So now they have my money and I am stuck in the dark. Currently reading up on the Requirements for manufacturers of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment Handbook that the NHTSA sent me, which is great but, I am not a manufacturer selling cars. This is my car and will not be produced.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
piotrsko
Yeah I am doing it in the Santa Clarita Valley, DMV people are friendly but seemed unaware of how to approach this, and immediately referred me to Officer Stevens who is the only one in the area that knows anything about VIN inspections. He is incredibly unhelpfully and doesn't care that I dropped 2400 to the DMV and has no clue on how I need to proceed to get this Holy (FMVSS) federal motor vehicle safety standard scratch and sniff sticker!
 

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I have heard of this problem with uncommon procedures, that individual DMV offices may or may not know how to process valid applications properly... or may just not want to bother. It is not unique to California. I suggest going to another DMV location.
 

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Currently reading up on the Requirements for manufacturers of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment Handbook that the NHTSA sent me, which is great but, I am not a manufacturer selling cars. This is my car and will not be produced.
While interesting reading, this should not be required for your vehicle. I think you need to first find a useful DMV office and CHP officer (I'm sure they're out there), then follow up on any real requirements that you may need to meet.
 

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Nice Job! I am all too familiar here in VT. I built my tadpole on a snowmobile frame. If it had a VIN from anything that was road worthy it would not have been a problem it seems. Two inspectors came to see it and hemmed and hawed and went back to their captain who allowed me to get an exhibition plate. Theoretically, I was only allowed to go to club shows, exhibitions etc. Once I had the plate no one bothered me. I'll have it for sale soon as I bought a Volt.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hey Ironworks,
Yea it's not a fun process, would love to see a picture of the tadpole. I contacted the NHTSA and got a very VERY informative manual on how to conform to all FMVSS so as to get a Manufacturers sticker that indicates you do comply with all FMVSS. NHTSA does not police this and relies on the honor system of manufacturers, like us, to comply on their own. Since they are so adamant about home builders being Manufacturers, then I guess as long as we can prove that CFR 571 subpart b is complied with then we can have our own federal safety labels made and attached to our fine vehicles. And if you really want to get crazy you can buy a program for $300 that will generate a VIN for you. Of coarse you have to notify the NHTSA about your business and how to decode your VIN. Also you need to let the SAE Know if you will be producing less than or more than 1000 cars per year and they will issue you with the first 3 digits of your VIN number based on this. That's it as far as I know at this point. More to follow after I get my scratch and sniff sticker installed and report back to the Highway patrol to get my VIN from them. wish me luck!!!
 
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