FREAKING DMV.  Went to register (1969 VW).  10 minutes - got my plate, etc.  Call a few weeks later asking for my title and they continued on several occasions to tell me that it takes 4-6 weeks.  Next time i call - they tell me car now has to be vin inspected before they will give me title.  NC DMV sucks.  obviously in most states they wont care, but very concerned that i have a car they are going to make me change into a specialty constructed vehicle, etc.  Problem is I didnt assemble it.  

They make house calls so trying to get an inspector to my home.  The inspection place is about 20 miles from my house.  Not normally a problem but they are only open until 10am...8-10 Tue, Wed and thurs only.  it is 30 degrees here and no way I am driving in that cold freezing my ass off.  Yesterday we had a snow storm...that would have been fun.

Any suggestions on how to take a 69VW and change it to specialty constructed vehicle knowing it was manufactured elsewhere (if they in fact make me do that after seeing car).  

Why give someone plates, etc and then tell them the car has to be inspected for vin.  why not do it all at once.  Learned my lesson.


Original Post

I have done this with other cars here in Indiana. The inspector looked at the vin number to make sure it matches the title and didn't have a clue that the car didn't look like a 69 VW Beetle. This time around the Fiberfab I bought in 2017 came with a title from Florida that has the car make and model as a 2006 Porsche Kit car, the vin number used on the title was the Fiberfab body number shown on a gold plate that came loose with some of the papers the previous owner gave me. When I went to register the car here in Indiana I mounted the Body number plate on the top of the tunnel between the seats under the carpet access flap with 4 rivots. The BMV guys let it fly. It is amazing how some states can make this process a nightmare and others not so much. Another good reason for being a Hoosier I guess.

Speedster Conversion 158


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The biggest reason some states are lenient and others less so is predominantly the skill, experience and ambition levels of the individuals you deal directly with in the process.

That said, I have also learned that there is an association of representatives of ALL state DMVs, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Agencies, and they host various conferences around the country sharing all sorts of info.  Check under Events here:

Over five years ago they began to notice the growth in "kit cars" and "jobber assembled cars" (those built by small shops for resale) and began to follow the lead of California to get a handle on them and get them properly registered.  The impetus behind this was the example of a 356 Porsche "Kit Car" assembled on a VW pan and retaining the original VW VIN as the basis for registration, or a Ford Cobra assembled with parts from a Ford Mustang.

However, the 356 Porsche doesn't resemble the original VW VIN at all, even though it may retain the VW running gear.  If you have an issue where local police are alerted to a stolen car and are given the VIN description (or even the license plate registration info) of a red 1969 VW sedan (as shown on the registration and title) they would totally ignore a white, 57 Porsche Speedster.  See where this is going?  Same thing happens when you get the car inspected, either initially or yearly - The car does NOT reflect the VIN description and will no longer pass inspection in about 30 states and growing because of the collaboration of the AAMVA.

So, bottom line, your VIN and title description (in any state) should reflect what the car appears to be, whether that be a Hot Rod or 356 Porsche - that just makes common sense.  If the car has been altered from original (that '69 VW sedan above) you need to get both title and registration amended by the DMV and titling offices so they both match what the car appears to be - that usually requires a NEW VIN as required by that state (many state's VIN requirements are different).  In most states, that will require you to pass an inspection of the car for visual appearance, safety and a possible (depending on state regs) emissions test.  Some states are tough about this (California), some are really tough (Massachusetts) but most others are ok to deal with, just take your time, ask around for the proper procedure and method to follow (Cobra clubs might help, there) and then ask who is the best person to deal with at each step.  It always comes down to working with the right person.

So to answer your direct question for NC: "Any suggestions on how to take a 69VW and change it to specialty constructed vehicle knowing it was manufactured elsewhere (if they in fact make me do that after seeing car).  "

I would suggest emailing Carey Hines (   to see what they recommend for their cars sent to NC.  I'm sure the NC process is different from Massachusetts, but I have attached my write-up to this post for the Mass. procedure.

  Hope this helps.  Gordon



Number of VIN digits varies from state-to-state.  Massachusetts only requires (including spaces) at least 8 characters.  For example, my Mass. assigned and affixed VIN reads MA XXXXX   (where X = number, no special characters).  Mass. assigned VINs are shorter than "normal" but are recognized in all states as being unique to here (Duh - they start with MA)

South Carolina requires 15 characters (letters and numbers, no special characters)

Rhode Island requires 17 characters (letters and numbers)

Interesting reading: Click here>>> Go to the AAMVA website and read through what's been going on to update DMV laws across the US for replica and reconstructed vehicles, then you'll begin to understand why this is all happening to our hobby so quickly.  

PS:  I have no idea what the hell they're smoking down in Texas.

Gordon Nichols posted:

. . . . . . .  then ask who is the best person to deal with at each step.  It always comes down to working with the right person. . . . . 


When registering my new build VS here in Colorado last fall, I thoroughly reviewed the registration guidance on this site, and concluded that the best course of action would to be to show up at my local DMV and be patient, polite, assertive, forthright, ask a ton of questions, and provide every inch of documentation that I could come up with (including pictures), etc., etc.

All I got for my effort was heartburn and the most convoluted, contradictory information and instructions imaginable: different DMV representative = completely different answers and requirements. When I went to the local State Trooper’s barracks to get my ‘certified’ VIN verification - during my fifth trip to the DMV I was told that my ‘standard’ VIN verification suddenly wasn’t good enough) - the Trooper doing the inspection completed his checklist then immediately began to quiz me on how much difficulty I had encountered and how varied (and contradictory and difficult) the DMV representatives that I had dealt with had been. After hearing about my frustrating saga, he related a similar level of frustration he encounters on a daily basis when dealing with our DMV.

On his advice, I took my fresh ‘certified’ VIN verification and went to a different DMV location, handed the representative all paperwork or documentation she asked for, and didn’t say a word. I was in and out in ten minutes.  I have a registration that reflects my ‘73 VW pan with collector vehicle plates. The key for me was to also have my insurer (Hagerty’s) adjust the wording on the insurance card to reflect the exact VIN verification documentation, but my insurance card also clearly notes that the car as a ‘replica Porsche 356A’. The Hagerty folks were extremely helpful and cooperative.

The folks at my local DMV, however, couldn’t find their butts with both hands.

good news is i finally heard back from a guy (very different than the woman I had spoken too on several occassions).  He was cool.  I told him about what the situation was and he said how is it registered - 69 VW Beetle.  Whats the VIN - told him.  He said that is all I care about and I will be at your house on Friday at 1.  Now that could go 2 ways.  1 - he may have said that is all I care about (because he did ask if it was modified) so that when he gets here he can say - this is NOT a 69 VW Beetle OR 2 - he could come here and say cool as car looks good you will have your title in a couple weeks.  Either way, at this point I am just glad that it is set up.  I feel good about the guy coming DMV like tendencies (at least over the phone) to be a prick like everyone at the DMV i have ever encountered.  So, Friday will either be a breeze or will start me down the path of having to prove what the car is.  Fingers crossed for easy.  Alan M - got your PM but haven't had a chance to check (and I appreciate you reaching out!).  I am going to see where Friday takes me and go from there.   Stay positive Todd...Stay positive Todd...


Thanks for all the response.  Gordon - your response makes absolute sense.  i just know if they deem this a specialty construction based on year built 2013 then I am screwed as it will have to go through emissions and aint no way in hell a 1969 VW 1915 CC motor that pops and spits and smells like a gas factory is going to get through any emissions inspection.  then I will have bought BACK a very very beautiful paperweight.

Hey, @Carlos G lives in NC.  He registered his 550 spyder.  Maybe he can help with guidance!!!!

I had good luck going to my local DMV and telling the "greeter" that I was trying to do something out of the ordinary (with a short explanation) and could I speak with either a supervisor or the Officer in Charge of that office for guidance (this was after I had read the procedure a bunch of times on the Mass DMV website and outlined it to understand it).  THAT got me the name and number of the head of the Titling office and HE was a hidden gem.  Straightforward, no BS and told me exactly what I needed to do, in what order, with what backup info, and the names of a few other people who knew how to get my change done from a VW sedan to a 57 Porsche Speedster Replica - some were in Boston and others were out closer to me mid-state.  

In the end, I worked with four different offices for different stuff:  Local office for new VIN paperwork (went through two people there until I got a supervisor who had last done one eight years ago), State Police two towns over for the VIN inspection and actual sticker applying, State titling office (Boston) for the title and registration changes and finally the emissions inspection (done by a non-government private company in Mass. one town over).  After all that, I STILL needed to do my yearly inspection, but my emissions waiver was already "in the system" and I breezed right through.

In the entire state of Massachusetts (7 million of us "Massholes"), they often see less than a dozen of these a year (2018 had exactly three and I was one of them) and believe me, NO ONE at most DMV offices have ever processed one of these (in ANY state) so that is why you're getting the run around - they simply don't know what to do. So they try something and if it works they don't see you again, but if it doesn't then the next step catches you/him and you have to regroup and go back a couple of steps and start over.  

To get around that, find a supervisor (you will need an experienced supervisor to do this conversion) who can outline the steps to take and, for each step, ask if he or she can recommend a person and contact info to help you along.  Be polite at all times, impress on everyone that you're just trying to do the right thing and ask for what paperwork (some yours and some from the DMV) is needed at each step.

Remember that in one of the inspections (the State Police visit for me) they'll be looking for stolen parts used in the build so you may ( most likely ) need proof of ownership (bill of sale, invoice, etc.) for major parts.  Ask what they need for satisfaction and then show them what you have or ask for alternatives, like "I don't have an invoice for the engine, but here is a Bill of Sale for the entire car", if that's all you can get.  They'll be looking for proof of ownership on the engine, transmission and original car unless you bought the car already built and completed, then a bill of sale or similar should suffice.

Don't offer too much information - provide exactly what is asked for, no more, no less.


My car was built by Seduction and it had an Arizona title and vin number. I took the tilte to the DMV here in NC, and after an officer came out to the house to inspect it, they gave me a tag. All the officer was looking for, was that it was a real car and it wasn't stolen.

Our county does not require emission testing on anything.

The officer said that if my car hadn't already had a vin number on it, it would've been a long and involved process to get one for it.

I had nothing but trouble with the North Carolina DMV agent in the Charlotte, NC region who was assigned to inspect my new Speedster in 2016.  I did not ask what level of schooling he had, but after inspecting the VIN and papers the builder (Vintage Speedsters) sent to prove it was titled in California as a 1965 Volkswagen, the agent still could not figure out how it should be titled in NC.  Well, after waiting a few weeks the dummy decided it should be titled as a Porsche. . . because to him it looked like a Porsche.  That was when I got wise and contacting the main office of the DMV in Raleigh, NC and got a trained agent on the telephone who had more than a 10th grade education.  Bingo!  The fellow immediately rectified the misunderstanding and I got a clear title for a 1965 VW replica.   

well - this is gonna get tricky.  Much like Cliff - it looks like a Porsche.  They just came and inspected and are making all kind of phone calls now to Raleigh.  First she said - what year was body made.  2013.  Ok well then this is a 2013 Replica.  No it is a replica of a 57 speedster.  If you do that then any state who has a car that would need emissions is not going to pass this.  But here in NC, because it is a "replica" it is exempt from emissions.  Ok...thats good.  BUT - it clearly looks like a Porsche.  Well...if I put VW stickers on my Cayman is that then a VW?  She was going to make some calls.  Worst case - it is a 2013 replica which makes ZERO sense.  Best case it will be a 1957 Porsche replica (not sure what that will do to my property tax.  I only paid so much for the car so assuming they can only charge me based on purchase price).  However, it will at the end of the day probably NOT be a VW.  I just dont know how you can take a VIN for a VW who manufactured the car and say it isnt a VW.  


I am going to wait for the verdict and then start calling Raleigh myself...  Florida - this was a VW...  Cali where car was made...had a Cali plate.  Was a VW.  Here - it is apparently a purple squirrel.

MikelB posted:

Todd, it will be fine. I went through the process  in NC as well, I too got my plates first and took the car to the state registration (State troopers) and they verified the chassis vin for the bug pan and then they came to the house and placed two NC vin tags on the car.

It was a pretty smooth process.

My prayers will be answered if she calls me back and goes this route.  

"First she said - what year was body made.  2013.  Ok well then this is a 2013 Replica.  No it is a replica of a 57 speedster.  If you do that then any state who has a car that would need emissions is not going to pass this.  But here in NC, because it is a "replica" it is exempt from emissions.  Ok...thats good. "

I'll bet she's right, from their point of view of interpreting their laws - It is a replica of a 1957 Porsche Speedster with a year of manufacture (YOM) of 2013.  That YOM is what causes the confusion in the DMVs because, yes, while it was built in 2013, it is NOT a 2013 replica, it is (and this specific wording seems key) a Replica of a 1957 Porsche Speedster with a year of manufacture of 2013.

BUT the engine is built to essentially the same specs as 1957 (just remember that, in 1957 the max displacement was 1,600cc's - that can be an issue, too).  Most DMVs haven't yet grasped that the replication includes, essentially, an antique-like engine.  I'm currently working that issue here in Massachusetts but it is a really slow slog, believe me.  All I get is "everyone else (other states) interprets it this way, so why should WE be different?"  Massachusetts has a way of addressing engines built after 2007, but it's ugly (you don't want that).

Hopefully, someone will interpret it in favor of your position.  The best advice I can offer is for @Cliff Presley - Charlotte, NC to PM you with his contact info for the DMV person in Raleigh.  THAT might make all the difference.

Keep the faith, Todd.


Thanks Gordon.  She actually called me back after she left because i said to her this isnt a 2013 replica.  when she left - she called to ask about that statement for clarity.  I said its when the car was put together, etc but the body and car replicate a 1957 car NOT a 2013...meaning this body was not available in 2013 on any porsche as it is from 1957 (replicating).  I am hoping since she called back that it sunk in.  More to come.  I think she really is going try to make this easy.  if it gets listed as a 2013...I will be screwed for a long time...

FWIW, California DMV registers specially constructed vehicles the same as the NC DMV person is stating.  My SAS replica is registered as a 2013 special construction, the year of build.  In California, owners have the option of registering specially constructed vehicle in two ways: 1) by the year model the replica represents (1957), or 2) by year of engine manufacture (2008). 

Everyone I know chooses option 1, so that smog testing is never required.  Not sure how it works in NC, but I hope the above info is helpful.  At least it would be worth a question to NC DMV if their process is similar.  Best of luck.

My title says:    Year Model - 1955      Make -  Pors     Body Style - CP

My registration says the same.

The Arizona title also said the same.

When they gave me my tag, I ran out of that place like I had stolen it. I was going to get a personalized tag right off the bat, but I didn't want to complicate the issue.

I don't know if my car has a chassis number stamped anywhere on it, I only have the  Arizona VIN number in the door jamb. Where is your chassis # @DannyP located?

We pay our taxes on what our vehicle's are worth to the DMV when we register our vehicles every year here.

Danny - im telling you...if you have not, come look at Waxhaw, NC.  Far enough out of city, small town feel, lots of cars and coffee and big stuff to do...very low cost of living, great scenery, and the people here are fantastic.  30 minutes south of Charlotte my back yard (100 yards away) is SC border.  Would love to have you all here for a weekend if you are ever up to it.  Could show you around a bit...

I had a ton of issues in Maryland. The one owner before me was a dealer and never titled the car. All I had was was the MSO. Maryland wanted to add a VIN plate because there weren't enough numbers and register the car as a class B vehicle, meaning emissions testing, bumpers, hazard lights, etc. 

In the end, I got 50 year street rod tags and registered as a 55 Beck Spyder. 

Lane wrote: "At least they didn't try to tag it as a mobile home like SC did to me.  What a bunch of maroons!"

Back in 1968, when nobody knew what the heck a Dune Buggy was yet, I managed to register mine as a "Camper".

Times have changed.  Don't think I could get away with that, now....

Now that literally all states are talking together about "best practices" in registering different class types of vehicles, they are all following the same guidelines so, yes, that is the best outcome for Chris' car.  Pretty much the same route I took in Massachusetts and now even have a very low-number Massachusetts VIN!

So - I got new vin on the car now.  two stickers.  Thank god they didnt want to rivet them in.  I could only imagine the carnage.  Went to DMV to turn in paper work.  This is what I hear after they asked me to have a seat while they called Raleigh.

Lady 1 - what do i need to say

Lady 2 - tell them it is a vin change and they have to lift the title restriction so you can change

Lady 1 - but that doesn't make sense

Lady 2 - just do it.  Prey you get Miles on the phone and no one else

Lady 1 - Hi Jill, I need help

Burble, Burble, Burble

Lady 1 - ok thanks

Lady 2 - good luck with that.  That was not how that was supposed to go and he will be lucky to ever get the title this year.

Lady 1 - why didn't you just make the call then.  Geezus

Lady 2 - not mine to make

Todd please come to counter.  

Lady 1 - ok.  Here is your receipt.  

Todd - soooo what was that all about.  

Lady 1 - just getting some info.  Should be all set.  Expect title in mail

Lady 2 - Good luck with that.  See you back here in 8 weeks when it hasn't shown up.

Hmmm....This just doesn't stop in NC.  

I, too, have two VIN numbers:  one from the original pan (which has been "retired" and no longer valid for the registration, but not a sticker - it's stamped on the tunnel), and a new, "Made-in-Massachusetts" VIN which is a stick-on in the door jamb.

Technically, the State Cop Sargent who did the inspection was supposed to apply the sticker but his words were something like "you've done such a beautiful job building this car, I don't want to screw anything up, so YOU can put this on when you get home - It goes right there," (pointing to the door jamb).

I guess I have a third ID number, which is the original CMC body plate (essentially showing the sales order number of the car, but what the heck) and that is right above the Mass VIN.  The cop didn't have a problem with it being there, and I attached it with tiny brass screws (the plate is gold-toned).

Anyway, my only suggestion would be if/when you return to that office in 8 weeks or so if your title doesn't show up, find Lady #2 and get HER to call Miles.

Or, better yet, go back there, find either of them and get Miles' office phone number and ask him to make sure your title is going through the system OK and, if not, what do you need to do to make it so he can fix it.

Continued good luck!

yeah she was funny - made me open the door and close it...didnt want to touch the car.  One sticker on door jam and other in trunk behind battery.  My original is stamped in tunnel as well but as you said that is now retired.  I am confident i will get the title in a couple weeks as promised.  I call raleigh about every other day anyway just to stay on top of it.

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