Thanks very much to everyone who has been contributing to this thread (and James for recommendations on inspection shop!). I thought I'd update this post with the steps I just completed registering my SLC in Travis, County, TX. I live just outside Austin proper. The whole process seems to vary depending on who you happen to get for each step and which office you go to, so don't be surprised if your experience is different. I chose to go the Mercedes C9 replica route to avoid future annual inspections. As it turned out, they did NOT charge me state sales tax (see below).
A few key learnings:
A few key learnings:
- Schedule way in advance. Of course, Covid scheduling processes / appointment wait times made the process much longer than it really needed to be. I thought I made all of my appointments far enough in advance, but got caught on the tax office appointment and had to reschedule.
- Some have stated that the DMV only required a subset of the info I outlined below, but in my case they wanted everything which necessitated rescheduling a few things including the tax appointment. Hence, just get everything done before going to the DMV to be safe.
- Stamp the RCR-issued MSO number on the chassis (I stamped mine on the square tube that extends behind the driver). Without that (and pictures of it), the Sherrif's and DMV appointments would have taken much longer or failed. They just used that number as the final VIN. Worst case, I would have gotten a stamped plate and installed it over my stamped MSO.
- Should go without saying, but be respectful and patient at all steps. Most of the people I interacted with had never or rarely gone through this process so they were learning along with me. That +Covid +having to deal with Karens all day = potential shit storm if you're rude or impatient
- Fill out your paperwork:
- Complete the New vehicle registration form (form 130-U)
- Complete the Rebuilt Vehicle statement (form VTR-61) , being fairly detailed on what you assembled, and the component parts/SN's, etc.
- Print out pictures of your car from front, rear, sides, engine, interior, and MSO # stamping. If you're going the replica route, print pictures of that car as well.
- Complete component bill of sale forms (VTR-63 for chassis, trans, engine) Chassis and trans for me was one form since I bought both from RCR. I put my name/signature under seller, since I didn't have access to them to get their signatures, but all of the inspectors were fine with that. Attach copies of paid Purchase receipts to each of those forms.
- Obtain Sherriff's inspection form (form VTR-68a). You can't download this one, they compete it and give it to you. Each county is different, but in Travis, I had to schedule mine 2 or 3 months in advance since they only conduct these every couple of months. Bring all of the above paperwork (they may or may not ask for any of it) and your license. The deputy was very cool about the process in my case and I was in and out in 15 mins. NOTE: these forms are only valid for 30 days so you have to get everything else ready for the DMV appointment quickly!
- Take everything under #1 (just to be safe) in to an ASE-certified mechanic to obtain:
- Texas Safety inspection form (form VTR-852 if you're going the replica route or VTR-64 if not). I had them complete both just in case since I wasn't sure if I'd get approved as a replica. This was pretty easy as well -- mostly just talked cars and they just checked the basic stuff, wheels, fuel lines, brakes, lights, wiper, etc.
- State inspection report (the same inspection you get for any car every year)
- A copy of the ASE-certified mechanic's license
- Obtain Certified weight receipt from any state-certified weigh station (CAT scale). This was pretty funny hauling the car to the truck stop, unloading it, then getting in line with the trucks, explaining to the remote operator that was weighing a car, not a rig.
- Registration approval from the DMV. Bring #1, 2, 3, 4, the RCR MSO, your driver license, and check book or $2 cash to the DMV. In Travis county, at least, they are partially open for walk-ins or you can schedule a slot online. They will review all the docs and give you a signed letter of approval and checklist of documentation that you'll need for the Tax/title office. In my case this review took 4 weeks because the one guy who does those reviews was out. I called them once a week to check. They will mail it back to you by default, or just let them know if you want to pick it up yourself.
- Title/registration. In Travis county, they are scheduling appointments 2 months out and even then it's hard to find one. Check on-line early mornings and you should be able to find something. Take the full packet from #5 along with your checkbook, ID, and proof of insurance to your appointment. In my case the guy was very nice but was unfamiliar with the process so had to ask for help (be patient). They had a question about the fact that RCR hadn't signed my MSO, but since I had the copy of the paid invoice, they said it was fine. They only charged me $104 total for new vehicle registration and plates -- no sales tax. They called over a guy with the tax code book who said since I purchased an 'incomplete kit' and assembled it myself, I was exempt from sales tax. As you've seen in the above thread, different people have had different outcomes here. Since I didn't go for custom plates, I walked out of the appointment with my plates, window sticker, and registration with Title arriving in 7-10 business days.