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Old 07-24-2009, 08:00 PM
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Getting a hot rod titled in Wisconsin

I recently posted this to the "title" wiki but thought it might be good to have it here as well so someone can find it doing a search. This applies to Wisconsin residents who need to title a hot rod in this state. I've done this three times now with "scratch built" hot rods, and I'm finally learning to get it done painlessly and efficiently.

Depending on the exact nature of your project, you will most likely be titling your car as either a "Street Modified" or "Replica". (Whatever you do, stay away from the designations of "reconstructed" - which applies to officially junked cars being rebuilt and "homemade". Both of these designations require meeting safety standards in effect as of the date you complete the car.)

Wisconsin is well known for having a very decent hot rod title procedure. Unfortunately, the DMV web site is not all that great for telling you exactly what you have to do and how to do it. It is not overly difficult, but I can tell you from experience it can be a nightmare if aren't dealing with the right people in the right department.

My recommendation is to stay away from your local DMV office and from the State Police. I have dealt with both in the past and they simply do not know the correct procedure...which isn't all that surprising since they seldom deal with hot rod titling questions.

Instead, I highly recommend that before you fill out a single form, pick up the phone and call the state (Madison) DMV office and talk to the Research and Information Office. 608-267-2103 should get you there and if not, just ask to be transferred to "Research and Information". Their snail mail address is Research and Information, WI Dept. of Transportation, P.O. Box 8070, Madison, WI 53078.

These are the folks that not only know what their talking about when it comes to titling a hot rod, but they will also handle you title application personally. I have found them to be helpful, courteous, and sharp. On the other hand, if you go through your local DMV or even the main office of the Madison DMV, your application can sometimes end up in la la land and you'll have to start the process all over again. These folks can also misdirect you down a lot of blind alleys, which I have learned the hard way.

And finally, if you are just starting this process in WI, feel free to PM me with any questions. I'll be glad to try to help if I can.

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Old 07-25-2009, 07:49 AM
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I learned the very same thing when trying to title my 34 in Texas. The people at the local offices are totally clueless and will have you jumping though all kinds of hoops that you do not need to.

Vince
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Old 07-26-2009, 02:17 PM
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Wisconsin has two types of plates that could go on a modified car. The main one is called a Hobbyist plate. This is intended for any vehicle that has been modified from original. My title on my '48 Chevy Coupe does not designate it to be anything different from original, but being a street rod, it qualifies for hobbyist plates. This means the car must be at least 20 years old and modified from original.

The other plate that sometimes is used is the Collector plate. It is supposed to be used for vehicles at least 20 years old that are all original, or appear to be all original. I just saw a 40 Plymouth street rod last week that had Collector plates on it. I knew the owner, and asked him how he got to use that plate. The DMV told him it was O.K. to switch it over from the 75 Corvette that it was on to begin with. This car looks original on the outside, but when you open the doors or the hood, it is obvious it is not original. The moral is that even the DMV doesn't know their own rules!

The advantage to both of these plates is that they are $200 for the first car and $150 for each additional car and the plates never expire. I have 3 cars that qualify as "collector" cars, and 2 that qualify as "hobbyist" cars. All of them will get new plates this year for the last time. The only drawback is that the plates are ugly. The collector plates are medium blue with red numbers, and the hobbyist plates are medium green with yellow numbers.

We also have an "antique" plate that can go on cars from 1945 or before.

Minnesota has an actual "street rod" plate, which I wish we had.
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Old 07-26-2009, 02:28 PM
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Just linking up the wiki article: How to title a hot rod. Which, by the way, is getting enormous . The Aussies and Kiwis have even been contributing hot rod registration details for Australia and New Zealand. Eventually, that article will have to be separated out into 50 different articles for each state, and then 1 or more articles for each non-US country. The wiki format allows for easy adjustment over the years as the various policies for each jurisdiction change.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:14 PM
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title questions in wi

I brought a 39 Packard coupe building a hot rod the car has a title looks like old title problem is the cowl tag is missing can i take title in and get put in my name and get car plates
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:28 PM
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As long as you have a valid title from any state, you can just take the title to the DMV and they'll give you a new Wisconsin title and tags. My title for my 48 Chevy Coupe (hot rod) was from Minnesota, and there was no problem as long as there is a vehicle number on the title. Get a collector plate (blue w/red numbers), or a hobbyist plate (green w/yellownumbers). Both of them are $200 for life, and any additional cars after the first one are $150 for life.
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:58 PM
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How to title a hot rod in Missouri

Does anyone know how to title a hot rod in Missouri?
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:08 PM
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From Jon's wiki link.

Quote:
Missouri

The state of Missouri apparently remains committed to the idea that a vehicle with a lost title can never have one again, at least not by the state of Missouri. It doesn't matter if the vehicle has all the VIN and cowl tags in place, if they have no record of it, it doesn't exist. They will allow a "551 inspection" done by select Highway Patrol officers, but only if the vehicle is 'finished', IE, runs and drives and passes inspection and looks like new inside and out. There is no meaningful legal way to own or title it before then. If the vehicle is built from parts, even if the shell you start with has tags on it, they want copious amounts of documentation on the origins of every nut and bolt apparently, if it didn't come from that car to start with.
The state of Missouri has updated their website to include new information about titling classic vehicles. The procedure apparently goes like this: seek out your local county circuit court, and file for a "Declaratory Judgement" telling the judge your story and why the car belongs to you. If he/she decides in your favor and issues the judgment, send this form and a standard title application to the state and apparently they will issue title.
Note- You may not be able to get an appointment to "see the judge". You may have to hire an attorney and present a case and go through the whole legal (read bureaucratic) system.
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:22 PM
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Here's the missouri law: Section 301-132 Street rod and custom vehicle certifica
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:31 AM
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Missouri specifically allows 'blue dot' lights...interesting
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:53 AM
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I have blue dot lights on my 48 coupe.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:11 PM
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MN also allows blue dots, we got the law past with the help of the MSRA.

Dan as far as using titles from any state, it is good as long as it is for your car, the days of buying titles on line or wherever are past. We can also apply for a lost title, and if you have all the paper work you can get the plates right away.

We have had street rod plates for years, and not too many years ago we got a law past so we only had to run with one plate, now we don't have to run with a front plate.

MSRA has a lobbiest and people in the club that watch all bills that are neg, to our hobby, we are well known in both houses.

we also get along good with all the police deptments around the TC which does not hurt either.

Bob
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:55 PM
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Hey Bob: I meant that my car had been titled in Minnesota, and there was no problem getting a Wisconsin title by using the MN title. I was in no way suggesting anyone should buy a title.
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Old 08-04-2014, 02:30 PM
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Getting a Title in Wisconsin

My husband is building a T Bucket from scratch. He does have a frame he bought that does not have a vin number on it, a fabricated t bucket body and the engine is a 35 60 HP flathead. The rest of the parts he is using are from other vehicles or new. Do you think that would be considered a Replica or Street-modified in Wisconsin? Also, if it is a Replica - what is it a Replica of?
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Old 08-04-2014, 02:39 PM
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They're only concerned with getting your money and preventing any stolen vehicles from being sold. When your husband is done with the build, I'd just take pictures of it into the DMV and ask them how to title it. They are remarkably easy to deal with now.
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