How to get a title on a homemade trike

Updated March 21, 2017

A motorised three-wheeler, like any other motor vehicle, can't be operated legally until it's registered. To legally register a homemade or custom-built trike, you must follow your state's Department of Motor Vehicle rules. Most states require an inspection of the trike, a manufacturer's certificate of origin, a receipt of sales tax paid on the kit and an odometer statement. A homemade trike, otherwise known as a three-wheeled motorcycle, also may need to pass federal emission laws.

Call the DMV for your state. Look in the government pages in your phone directory or access the DMV website. Search for links that say "Custom Built, Homemade or Kit Motorcycles." Find out the exact requirements to get title for your homemade trike.

Collect all paperwork required by your DMV, such as proof of ownership, any sales receipts for parts and labour that prove ownership and an odometer statement. You can use the manufacturer's kit car certificate of origin or fill out an odometer disclosure statement to satisfy the DMV. A bill of sale may be required if someone else built the trike for you.

Schedule a trike inspection with a DMV employee or police officer, if required by your state. Inspections take time, so call ahead and set up an appointment. Find out where and how to obtain any needed emissions tests; some states conduct them at the DMV, while others let you obtain certification from a local auto repair shop that has emissions-testing equipment.

Pick up any paperwork from the DMV that applies to registration, such as a vehicle identification number, registration and title application. Always ask the fees for the applications. Check the hours of service for your branch office before visiting it.

Ask your insurance company how to insure your trike. Different insurance companies' motorcycle policies vary, so you may want to shop around for the best coverage and rates.

Complete all applications, bring required documents and checks or money orders for fees and go to your local DMV with the trike. Follow its instructions to get the title for your three-wheeled motorcycle.

Things You'll Need

  • State DMV required documents and inspections
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About the Author

Joey Ricardo has written online articles about organic living, gardening and society since 2007. Ricardo won a spring writing contest and was a finalist in the top five entries of a new author's contest. Bernard J. Rossi, author and poet, commended her writing skills and encouraged her to pursue her passion.