Obtaining a Texas Title for homebuilt travel trailer

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Obtaining a Texas Title for homebuilt travel trailer

Postby Coca Cola Teardrop » Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:03 pm

While this is still fresh in my mind I thought I’d share the steps it took for us to obtain a Title for a Teardrop. These steps all pertain to a homebuilt travel trailer with Charles building the frame and all.

1. Went to TxDOT website, under “Citizen” I went to “Forms”, then I went to “Vehicle Title and Registration”. At this point I printed the following forms.
VTR 305 - A - Prescribed Form for Statement of Fact for Ownership of Homemade/Shopmade Trailer, Semitrailer, or Travel Trailer
VTR 141 - Travel Trailer or Park Model Trailer Verification
VTR 61 - Rebuilt Affidavit
130 - U - Application for Texas Certificate of Title

2. We took the Teardrop to Love’s Truckstop and got it weighed

3. Called Tx Department of Public Safety and scheduled appointment with the Vehicle Theft officer.

4. Took the trailer to be inspected by the Vehicle Theft officer to confirm that no part of the trailer (especially the frame) was stolen. The officer completed Tx DOT form VTR 68 - A Application for Assigned or Reassigned Number (they issued this form)

5. Complete the back of form VTR 61 (which seemed uncalled for by us but it is required).

6. Take form VTR 68 - A and VTR 61 to be notarized. ( $5.00)

7. Mail or go to Tx DOT Department of Vehicle Titles and Registration and give them:
Form VTR 68 - Application for Assigned or Reassigned number
Form VTR 61 Rebuilt Affidavit
Receipt showing purchase of Axle
Weight slip
Picture of Teardrop
$2.00
If you are mailing it then send to: Tx DOT Longview Regional Office
1301 Karnes Road
Longview Tx 75604
903-753-6279
They told me that when they receive this information they issue a vin # and goes in the mail the next day.

8. Went to local Tax Office and gave them:
Form VTR - 68 - Application for Assigned or Reassigned number
Form VTR - 61 Rebuilt Affidavit
Form 130 - U - Application for Texas Certificate of Title
Form VTR 141 - Travel Trailer or Park Model Trailer Verification
Picture (they kept)
Weight slip (they kept a copy)




This is actually the exact steps that need to be taken.
We had to take our teardrop out of town to be inspected by DPS as our local Vehicle Theft officer was out on extended medical leave.
We chose Beaumont as they could make appointment on my day off.
There is a Tx DOT Motor Vehicle Division in Beaumont so we went there instead of mailing our paper work. It was a bit of a pain as we did not know we needed form VTR 61 nor did we know that it and form 68- A needed to be notarized. So we ran round until we found a bank and had those forms notarized. They issued us a Vin # number while we were there. I went to our tax office the next day and took care of that paperwork. We did not need to register the trailer as it is sold and going to Colorado. Since we did not need license plates I had to complete form VTR 131 Request to Issue Negotiable Certificate of Title Without Registration (Title Only).


Hope this information is helpful to other Texans choosing to Title and Register their homebuilt Teardrop.

We are thinking about going ahead and doing the same for our current teardrop.
Last edited by Coca Cola Teardrop on Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby asianflava » Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:40 pm

Fun wasn't it?

It really isn't as bad as it sounds. The big thing is getting the inspection.

A note on #7, the place is officially called the VTR office (Vehicle Titles and Registration) which is not the place where you normally get your tags (the tax office).
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Postby tonyj » Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:54 pm

Did the trailer have to be titled to sell to someone out of state, or have you qualified yourself as a manufacturer?

I am questioning your need for the trailer to be titled (of course, that answer could be that you wanted it to have a title).

Per my reading of the Texas Transportation Code, and the answer most of us have gotten when we asked at either the DPS or county tax office, a homemade trailer under 4000 pounds does not require a title, just registration. If the trailer is a bunkhouse, travel or house trailer, the trailer has to be for human habitation and have "electrical, air-conditioning and heating, and plumbing systems." I would image including our trailers under travel trailer category could be in a gray area, but I would argue that a water tank leading to a faucet for a sink that doesn't lead into a drain or greywater tank doesn't really qualify as a "system," and since the systems requirement include an "and" and not an "or", the trailer would fail the requirements to be legally classified as travel or house trailer (my interpretation only).

All I am trying to point out is that most of us have been told we can register as a homemade utility trailer. I didn't get a weight certificate or have to produce any receipts. I walked into the tax office on my lunch hour and asked to register a home made utility trailer that weighed 1400 pounds and walked out 10 minutes later with a license plate.

Anyone else?
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Postby Coca Cola Teardrop » Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:02 pm

Rocky, I corrected the name of the office as you pointed out.

It really was not that bad. I was a bit frustrated when they told me to complete VTR 61. It took us an hour to find someone to notarize the 2 forms.
If we do it again it will be a piece of cake.

Tony, The reason we wanted a title was because the trailer is sold and going to Colorado. We thought it best for the buyer to have a title when registering in CO.. and I know I would prefer to have a title if I purchased a travel trailer (homemade or manufactured)
We have not qualified ourselves as a manufacture nor do we intend to.
The Coca Cola tear and our current teardrop were only registered as "utility trailers".
We have registered quite a few different homemade trailers with no problems.

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Postby SteveH » Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:34 pm

I did what Tony did...well, actually even worse! :oops:
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Postby asianflava » Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:04 pm

I was thinking that it was a catch 22 because you are trying to get tags to make it road legal but in order to get the tags, you have to take it on the road illegally.

Once you get the inspection, you can really get the ball rolling until then you are pretty much stuck. I called for an appt and the guy came to my house the following day to look at the trailer. He said that he was in the area. I wasn't even awake when he came, Mel handled everything. She said that he asked where the frame came from. Then he looked underneath and said, "Oh it's a custom frame." Then he asked where the axle came from. She told him that I bought it but he never asked to see a reciept. He gave her a signed form VTR-68A (they may call it the 130-U now).

Then I went to Wal-Mart and got a picture printed off my memory card, then I went to one of those PostNet or Mailboxes etc. to get the stuff Notarized. I had it weighed at one of those CAT scales, I think it was $8.
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Postby tonyj » Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:07 pm

SteveH wrote:I did what Tony did...well, actually even worse! :oops:


Well, I did what I did after you said you did what you did so is my did still better than your did? :?

I bet you told them you filled your tubing with helium so that your trailer on weighed 57 pounds.
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Postby starleen2 » Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:04 pm

this is from another post:

I purchased a trailer from TSC (4X8 no floor) to build our camper. I registered the trailer to get it legal to haul stuff for the build. Since this trailer was already registered as a “utility trailer”, I was told by a local law enforcement officer that since I had built an enclosure on it which could be identified as a quasi RV, then I would be an easy target for a reason to be pulled over since the plate were for a utility trailer. He said, “Can you spell I-M-P-O-U-N-D.” :x

The only difference was my TSC trailer had a VIN already stamped on it
So the Camper was inspected by a local vehicle inspector to provide it with an ID sticker (AKA green stamp) which will need to be presented to the county clerk along with the other forms (less Tx DOT form VTR 68 - A Application for Assigned or Reassigned Number)


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Have title and piece of mind :D
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Postby chorizon » Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:58 am

I think tonyj is on to something. I emailed TXDOT when I was first contemplating building my TD, back in '04. I got a response after about two weeks or so. The TXDOT employee said my trailer would still be a utility trailer if it was less than a certain weight; can't remember. She even cited some of the codes to back it up. She suggested I keep a copy in my TV just in case there was a problem. Unfortunately, that e-mail is not in my archives. :(

Guess I'll send another e-mail and hopefully get the same response. :worship:
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Postby starleen2 » Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:15 am

I don’t think that TXDOT even knows definitely – or in that case, the county clerk. Seems that it is up to interpretation of who you are speaking to at the time. It is that grey area for under 4000 lbs. We have had it put both ways. However, IF you want your to have a TEXAS title, the above mentioned process is the way to go. It sounds complicated, but it takes longer to explain to the clerks what you are doing and what your TD or TTT is than to get the appropriate paperwork and documentation. We wanted a title for insurance documentation and later resale if we decide to sell. Your experience may vary.
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Postby chorizon » Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:49 am

However, IF you want your to have a TEXAS title, the above mentioned process is the way to go.


TEXAS titles are, how you say, the BEST titles to have, no? Sounds reasonable when you put it that way.
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Texas TD Title

Postby PERKIN211 » Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:13 am

Gee- do I just think of a question and stumble across it on site???
Thanks, Linda, et al, this is going into my notebook of very useful info.

newbie perkins :)
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Postby aratlynn » Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:17 pm

Wow, at the risk of being redundant (as I just posted under the 'newbies' section, I am wanting to buy a used teardrop, but am concerned that it doesn't have a title. Is this a red flag, or is it a safe purchase? I have talked to a title company and they ran the plates and said a title is not needed, but after reading your posts, I am not sure. Any imput on the matter would be very much appreciated!

Thanks! and I look forward to joining the crew!
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Postby Coca Cola Teardrop » Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:27 pm

aratlynn,
Personally we do not title or insure any of our homebuilt trailers, cargo trailer, 4 wheeler trailer, motorcycle trailer, and a couple of flat bed trailers. These are all registered as utility trailers except of course the 4 wheeler and motorcycle trailers.

If I ever decide to insure my cargo trailer and it's contents then I will have to title it and have a vin #.

The first teardrop we built and sold was only registered as a "utility trailer" . The new owners did not seem to have a problem with this at all.

We recently sold the second teardrop that we built and as it's new home is Colorado we wanted to make things as simple as possible for the new owner as she was buying an out of state trailer. As it turned out she could not have insured it without the vin#.

Luckly we build all of our own trailers but if we were ever to buy such a trailer we would not care if it had a vin # and title.

Hope this information helps

BTW.............Welcome to the forum

Glad to have another Texan on board. We would love to have you attend one our gatherings.

Linda and Charles
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Postby aratlynn » Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:13 pm

Thank you!!! Thin info helps immensly and has put me at ease. We are going to go through with it and bring her home tomorrow (assuming all goes as planned). I will post pictures when I can. YAY!!
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