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Tag and Title Your Classic With SEMA'S Help

SEMA’s Tag & Title Toolbox is an invaluable tool when registering a hobby car. Words: Mike Aguilar


Registering a classic car, especially if it’s been reclaimed from a junkyard or rescued from someone’s barn or back 40, can be a trying experience. Red tape abounds. Does it qualify for historical or heritage plates? What year is the cutoff in your state for that? What special considerations must you take to register a classic that’s sat forgotten for 20 or more years? SEMA’s Tag & Title Toolbox can help you cut through all the red tape and questions and make tagging and titling your classic find much easier and smoother.


From Forms to Definitions, SEMA’s Tag & Title Toolbox Has It All

SEMA’s staff has devoted hundreds of hours to putting together a one-stop-fits-all repository of everything you need to know about getting your classic hobby car on the road legally. One state may call it a historical car while another may call it a classic car. The first piece of information in a specific state’s document is all the definitions that pertain to specialty vehicles for that state.

Tagging and titling a specialty car can require what seem to be a dozen different forms before the titling/registering agency will issue you the coveted plates and/or decals so you can get out and about in your project car. Each form mentioned in the state’s document is hot-linked to a printable/fillable version of that form.

Henry R’s Factory Five ’33 Hot Rod kit car. Image courtesy Factory Five website.



Guidance Worth a Mint

SEMA’s Tag & Title Toolbox would be an invaluable resource even if that was all it offered. One of the hardest parts of registering something like a kit car, a car reclaimed from a junkyard or one forgotten in a barn for decades is deciphering all the laws about what plates you can request, what they cost, emissions testing regulations and more. The state documents lay all this out for you in a logical and easily followed format. After going through your state’s document, you’re not going to be side-swiped by the clerk saying you need Form 10-Z-Alpha-56-2017 and that your car doesn’t qualify for the class in which you’re registering it.

I had one of the first Dodge Chargers that rolled out of the factory. The people from whom I bought it had parked it on a trailer in 1972 and, except for towing it to the new house when they moved twice, basically forgot about it because of a frozen 924 transmission and two leaking main seals, among other miscellaneous fluid leaks. If I’d had California’s document back then, many days of stress and effort would have been saved.