MVD banner

Reconstructed and homebuilt vehicles


Vehicle title approval process for specially constructed, reconstructed, replica, and street rod vehicles

For vehicles built by a nonrecognized manufacturer or modified beyond their original state, the Iowa Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Division's Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection must inspect the vehicle for compliance with Iowa law and rules along with validating ownership documents. Prior to building or modifying a vehicle, review Iowa Administrative Rules 761 IAC 400.16 and 761 IAC 450.

Required documents

Retain all ownership documents for essential parts used to construct or reconstruct the vehicle and present those to the investigator during the inspection. Essential parts are those that are integral to the vehicle and removal of such parts would conceal the identity of the vehicle or alters its method or mode of operation. These documents may include the following:
  • Titles
  • Junking certificates
  • Bills of sale
  • Receipts
A bill of sale or receipt should list the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the original vehicle for any used parts purchased for the vehicle; and the name, address, and telephone number of the seller.

Inspection

When the vehicle is complete and ready for inspection, contact the Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection to schedule an appointment by calling 515-237-3050 or emailing invbureau@iowadot.us. All vehicle inspections are conducted at Iowa DOT's maintenance garages by appointment only on specified days throughout Iowa.

The vehicle owner is responsible to have the vehicle present for the inspection. Unregistered vehicles may be driven or towed to the inspection facility provided the operator has an Affidavit to Operate a Vehicle for Inspection completed and carried in the vehicle. In addition, the owner is required to bring a summary listing the total parts and cost to build the vehicle.

Fees

At the time of titling, the fee for new registration is based on the fair market value, minus the tax paid on parts used to build the vehicle. If you have parts that sales tax was paid on, bring evidence of the sales tax paid. Motor vehicles, with the exception of motorcycles and motor homes, will need a scale ticket to show the empty weight of the vehicle. An Iowa assigned VIN is required to be assigned as well (see below).

If the vehicle is approved for titling, the investigator will provide appropriate authorization to the county treasurer's office for the vehicle owner to obtain a title and registration. The vehicle owner is required to complete the Certificate of Compliance during the application


Iowa VIN assignments

For homebuilt vehicles described above, for vehicles with a cab, body, or frame change, and for all vehicles that have the public VIN removed or destroyed, the vehicle is required to be inspected by the Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection and if approved, an Iowa assigned VIN attached. All inspections are conducted at Iowa DOT's maintenance garages by appointment only on specified days throughout Iowa.

When the vehicle is complete and ready for inspection, contact the Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection to schedule an appointment by calling 515-237-3050 or emailing invbureau@iowadot.us.

The vehicle owner is responsible to have the vehicle present for the inspection along with all supporting ownership documents. Unregistered vehicles may be driven or towed to the inspection facility provided the operator has an Affidavit to Operate a Vehicle for Inspection completed and carried in the vehicle.

If the vehicle is approved for the Iowa VIN assignment, the investigator will provide appropriate authorization to the county treasurer's office for the vehicle owner to obtain a title and registration reflecting the new Iowa assigned VIN.