Texas DMV Issues Proposed Regulations to Correct Street Rod and Custom Vehicle Policy

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

In comments to a proposal issued by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, SEMA commended the agency for removing provisions in the regulations that were in conflict with a 2011 law to provide for the titling of street rods and custom vehicles. Currently, the state does not allow the titling of vehicles that do not have "a body, motor and frame manufactured by a motor vehicle manufacturer."

Kit cars and replicas are often fabricated from the “ground up” with new materials that were not manufactured by a recognized car manufacturer. The 2011 law, a product of SEMA-model legislation, provides that vehicles made to resemble older vehicles, but which have been altered from those older vehicle's original manufacturer's designs, or constructed from non-original materials, may be titled as street rods and custom vehicles. The regulatory proposal to ensure vehicles without an original manufacturer body, motor and frame can be titled under the street-rod and custom-vehicle law is expected to be formally adopted in the near future.

The DMV also clarified that vehicles altered from original steel bodies will not be required to carry a title with a “replica” brand. Under a previous interpretation, it appeared that all street rods and custom vehicles would be required to carry a replica title.

For details, contact Steve McDonald at