Registering a home built trailer (Bexar county, Texas)

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Registering a home built trailer (Bexar county, Texas)

Postby *Inside » Sun Aug 22, 2021 7:22 pm

I tried following the directions in the other post, but some of the information appears to be outdated so here are details about my experience in Bexar county. This information should be generally applicable to everyone in Texas since the final approval of your documentation packet comes from the Texas DMV HQ and not your regional office.

It was a total pain in the ass and took about a month to get everything finalized because I had to make multiple trips to the DMV since I was missing some information.

The DMV has an internal checklist that they use that outlines the process, but for some reason it's not online:

Texas DMV checklist
checklist.png (556.6 KiB) Viewed 163 times

Information you need before you do absolutely anything:

(1) Temporary tag
You're going to tow your trailer to the scales and then to the DMV. You could roll the dice on this to not get pulled over, or you can get a 30-day temporary tag from your local tax assessor's office. Costs about $30 for peace of mind.

(2) Certified weight scale receipt.
This weight scale receipt MUST be of the trailer and the trailer only. I went to multiple CAT scales (I-10 east of san antonio) and they told me my trailer was too light to be weighed by itself so I took a car+trailer receipt to the DMV and they wouldn't accept it. The people at the QT certified scales didn't have any such concerns.

(3) Pictures of your trailer - front, side, rear
However you want - print at wallgreens or print them out at home

(4) Invoices/receipts for material used
I was trying to register just the flatbed trailer (no shell yet) by itself so this was easy -- I provided receipts for: (1) axle, (2) steel tubing, (3) wheels/tires, (4) jack, (5) coupler

(4) (Optional?) Work-in-progress pictures
I ended up providing this information to the DMV because they needed more information for VTR-61 on how the trailer was built.

Once you have that information:
Call your auto theft division. I called the San Antonio Regional Auto Crimes team [(210) 207-7273] and scheduled an appointment. They do inspections once a week at 8am on wednesdays outside the TX DMV Regional Office in San Antonio (Nacogdoches/1604). This place seems to do inspections for the entire region (not just Bexar county).

Forms to bring with you.

I suggest filing them out partially at home and then filling everything in at the DMV with the auto theft officer/DMV clerk.

(1) Form 130-U Application for Texas Title
Your make is "HMDE" (home made). Leave "Body style" blank since it's a 2-letter code that is specific to your trailer. "FB" is flatbed, for example.

(2) VTR-141 Trailer Verification Statement of Fact
Leave width/length blank here since it has to match the officer's inspection report and who knows that they'll put in there.

(3) VTR-61 Rebuilt Vehicle Statement
I had to fill this form out 3 times. The DMV clerk had me write an entire novel in the "Work Performed" section about how the trailer was built (what work was done to it, etc).

What your appointment with the auto-theft officer/DMV will be like:

1) The officer will inspect your frame for a previous VIN. I had an unpainted flatbed with the mfg's stamps on the steel tubing so the inspection took all of 30 seconds.

2) The officer will fill out VTR68-A (Law Enforcement Identification Number Inspection). The size of the trailer will be noted on this form. This has to match your VTR-141

3) The officer will accompany you inside the DMV office and stand in line with you so that you can speak to a clerk. They'll hand the VRT68-A form to the clerk who will review all your documentation. If everything looks good, they will assign a VIN to you trailer. The VIN assignment comes in the form of form VTR-68-N (Notice of Assigned or Reassigned Identification Number). This costs $2 (two dollars).

I didn't have all the documentation at this step! Don't be me! I had to go get a new scale receipt. The DMV clerk said that they would hold onto the VTR68-A form for 30 days.

4) At this point the officer will take the VTR-68-N form and they will stamp your frame with the VIN for you. They will also sign the VTR-68-N certifying that they stamped your frame for you.

I didn't get the frame stamped same day; I had to buy a die stamp kit from Harbor Freight and stamp the frame myself. Kind of a PITA since the numbers did not come out very good.

5) You will take your whole documentation packet back into the DMV office and they will fax it over to the DMV HQ for review..

6) After 1-99 weeks the DMV clerk will call you asking you to come back to the DMV. I've found that the Bexar county office you can show up at 8am and be seen pretty quickly. If everything looks good and HQ has approved your paperwork, you will get a letter that looks like this:

texas dmv letter approving trailer
dmvletter.jpg (110.64 KiB) Viewed 163 times

7) You will then take the entire packet of information to the local Tax assessor's office. They will look at the letter and your Form 130-U and assign you plates. A title will come in the mail in about two weeks. This costs about ~$120 (title, registration, and plates)
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Re: Registering a home built trailer (Bexar county, Texas)

Postby QueticoBill » Mon Aug 23, 2021 7:43 am

DMVs everywhere seem to be a challenge. This is one of the reasons I bought a Northern Tools trailer. It was that or move to Wisconsin. :)
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