20-53. Application for specially constructed, reconstructed, or foreign vehicle.

(a) In the event the vehicle to be registered is a specially constructed, reconstructed, or foreign vehicle, such fact shall be stated in the application, and with reference to every foreign vehicle which has been registered outside of this State, the owner shall surrender to the Division all registration cards, certificates of title or notarized copies of original titles on vehicles 35 model years old and older, or other evidence of such foreign registration as may be in his possession or under his control, except as provided in subsection (b) hereof. After initial review, the Division shall return to the owner any original titles presented on vehicles 35 model years old and older appropriately marked indicating that the title has been previously submitted.

(b) Where, in the course of interstate operation of a vehicle registered in another state, it is desirable to retain registration of said vehicle in such other state, such applicant need not surrender, but shall submit for inspection said evidence of such foreign registration, and the Division in its discretion, and upon a proper showing, shall register said vehicle in this State but shall not issue a certificate of title for such vehicle.

(c), (d) Repealed by Session Laws 1965, c. 734, s. 2.

(e) No title shall be issued to an initial applicant for (i) out-of-state vehicles that are 1980 model year or older or (ii) a specially constructed vehicle prior to the completion of a vehicle verification conducted by the License and Theft Bureau of the Division of Motor Vehicles. These verifications shall be conducted as soon as practical. For an out-of-state vehicle that is 1980 model year or older, this inspection shall consist of verifying the public vehicle identification number to ensure that it matches the vehicle and ownership documents. No covert vehicle identification numbers are to be examined on an out-of-state vehicle 1980 model year or older unless the inspector develops probable cause to believe that the ownership documents or public vehicle identification number presented does not match the vehicle being examined. However, upon such application and the submission of any required documentation, the Division shall be authorized to register the vehicle pending the completion of the verification of the vehicle. The registration shall be valid for one year but shall not be renewed unless and until the vehicle examination has been completed.

If an inspection and verification is not conducted by the License and Theft Bureau of the Division of Motor Vehicles within 15 days after receiving a request for such and the inspector has no probable cause to believe that the ownership documents or public vehicle identification number presented does not match the vehicle being examined, the vehicle shall be deemed to have satisfied all inspection and verification requirements and title shall issue to the owner within 15 days thereafter. If an inspection and verification is timely performed and the vehicle passes the inspection and verification, title shall issue to the owner within 15 days of the date of the inspection.

(f) If a vehicle owner desires a vehicle title classification change, he or she may, upon proper application, be eligible for a reclassification. (1937, c. 407, s. 18; 1949, c. 675; 1953, c. 853; 1957, c. 1355; 1965, c. 734, s. 2; 1975, c. 716, s. 5; 2009-405, s. 5; 2013-349, s. 1; 2016-90, s. 11(a).)