Rebuilt Vehicle

Tenn. Code Ann. Sections 55-3-205, 55-3-20655-3-207 and 55-3-208


  • Rebuilt, Specially Constructed, Custom Built Vehicle, or Replica may be subject to inspection prior to being titled and/or registered. These inspections are completed only by members of the Department of Revenue’s Special Investigations Section.
  • NOTE: Inspections and conversion of a Salvage Vehicle to a Rebuilt Vehicle is performed at the state level only.


  • Complete the Application for Motor Vehicle Identification Certification in its entirety
    • See "Rebuilt Vehicles" section below for details concerning supporting documentation needed
  • All applications are subject to inspection
  • It is important to provide a valid address and telephone number to ensure inspection is completed timely. Failure to provide valid information may result in rejection of the paperwork to the applicant
  • When it is determined an inspection should occur, a complete physical inspection of the vehicle is conducted
  • If the owner cannot be located, the case file is held by the inspecting agent until the owner contacts the office
  • No vehicle subject to inspection may be operated on the roads and highways of Tennessee until the process is complete and application for title and registration has been made
  • The commissioner, for good cause shown, may waive the inspection requirement for any given vehicle or particular class of vehicle

Specially Constructed or Homemade Vehicles:

  • An owner of a Specially Constructed Vehicle made of various major component parts, when applying for title and registration must indicate this distinction on the application. The resulting certificate of title and any subsequently issued certificates of title will indicate the vehicle is specially constructed.
  • The following documents are required to title and register a specially constructed vehicle:
  • The year noted on the application for title and registration will be the model year, i.e., a Specially Constructed Vehicle titled in 2012, made from components of vehicles with varying or the same model year, will have 2012 as its model year
  • The make and model will be what most closely resembles the vehicle

Custom Built Vehicles or Replicas:

  • An owner of Custom-Built Vehicle or replica for which no certificate of title has ever been issued by the department may apply for title and registration.
    • The MSO provided for the replica or custom-built vehicle will be used to identify the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
    • The make, model and year of the vehicle being custom built will be the make, model and year, i.e., if the vehicle is composed of a kit to build a 1963 Corvette Stingray, will have as its make, model and year, 1963 Corvette Stingray, provided further that the title clearly identifies the vehicle as a replica or custom built vehicle

Rebuilt Vehicles:

  • An owner of a Salvage Vehicle that has been repaired, in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements and department rules, may apply for a regular certificate of title with a brand of “Rebuilt Vehicle Anti-Theft Inspected.”


  • Complete the Application for Motor Vehicle Identification Certification in its entirety
  • Submit a form and the required fee of $75.00 for Individuals or $85.50 for Dealers, made payable to the Department of Revenue, Anti-Theft Unit, for each conversion of a vehicle salvage document to a rebuilt title
  • Include receipts for parts used and pictures of the vehicle in its wrecked condition must accompany the application
    • Photographs of the vehicle in its pre-repaired state. If these are not available, then post repair photographs must be submitted, along with certified statement from the applicant that the pre-repair photographs are not available and that the applicant was unaware that such photographs were required prior to the repairs being made. If no repairs were made, that fact should be reflected in the statement. 
  • The applicant affirms that the vehicle has been repaired in accordance to manufacturer’s requirements and the department’s rules
  • If the owner hired someone to rebuild the vehicle, the rebuilder’s name and complete address must be submitted with the application
  • All vehicles rebuilt are subject to inspection.  The Commissioner, for good cause shown, may waive the inspection requirement
  • Licensed dealers may apply for title only through the Department or through their local county clerk; however, a title will only be approved after the department’s Anti-Theft Unit has approved the application and assigned a control number to the vehicle


  • Individuals will receive a print on demand "Inspection Passed" decal approval letter from the Anti-Theft Unit authorizing them to apply for title and registration through the office of the County Clerk.  A copy of this letter should be surrendered to the County Clerk and scanned behind the record to support the application for title (see example below).  Documentation used to support the application for Motor Vehicle Identification Certification may be viewed in the record on VTRS Web Inquiry. 
  • After the applicable sales tax, title, and registration fees are paid, a Certificate of title will be issued with the brand “Rebuilt Vehicle Anti-Theft Inspected”
  • Dealers will receive a print on demand "Inspection Passed" decal approval letter and a title issued by the state in the dealers name (see example below).  The title will be branded “Rebuilt Vehicle Anti-Theft Inspected”.


Example 1: Print on Demand Decal Approval Letter for Individual Applicants




Example 2: Print on Demand Decal Approval Letter for Dealer Applicants






  • Converting a Salvage Certificate to a Rebuilt Vehicle has the same meaning as performing a Precertification
  • The Anti-Theft Unit does not perform SAFETY INSPECTIONS when conducting physical inspections of the vehicle
  • Anti-Theft Unit is focused on verifying no stolen parts were used in the rebuild process and that the vehicle is repaired in accordance to the manufacturer’ requirements
  • A warning that the airbag is not functioning properly will result in a rejection of the application


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