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Street legal in Virginia?

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Do you have a street-legal title from another state for it? My Caterham was titled in another state, as a '1965 Caterham'. I took that title in, and was offered a Virginia title, and an antique plate. No inspections.


--Bob Collum

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A few years ago I received a letter from the Virginia DMV demanding proof that my 7 was a Lotus. I sent them a letter from the Lotus historian and they went away. Mine is the only case of this of which I am aware.

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I bought my stock Birkin in VA where it was titled and licensed
as a 1967 Lotus 7. It varies from state to state, but in some cases you only have to meet the emissions and safety requirements of the year of manufacture.


I tried with 2 previous Birkins to title them as an old Lotus, one of them with an out of state registration that said 1968. The Iowa DMV required the year I finished it and Birkin on the title. So, I was a little hesitant when getting the new title and plate for this car. I found the nicest DMV lady, which sounds like faint praise. I explained that it was really a 2009 Birkin, and that I had not titled it for 3 years because it needed work and then other projects got in the way. First she declared it in storage, so I would not have to pay the back license fees. Then she put it through as a 1967 Lotus 7, saving me money on the license fee which is inversely related to vehicle age. It also adds to the resale value because it will be easier to license in states that are less friendly about emissions, if I ever decide to sell.

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  • 4 weeks later...

where in VA?


You can get a title with a MSO and chassis serial/VIN and vintage plates with only a "self inspection." Once I got my title (1962 Lotus Seven Replica), I registered normally, so I could drive far and often. I found a small shop that does the inspection. 90% of the places will not even attempt inspection, or allow you to drive into garage. If you are close by, I can show you the place I go to.


Big ones.

DOT or DOT looking Lights and Glass windshield


Fenders (I told them mine were in shop, and that I'll install later in the day)

Emergency and Parking Brake. (I have Drift brake and wood block I can shove between it and the dash)

Wiper ability for driver windshield (I use a extendable squeegee)

Signals that appear to be high enough and wide enough Mine are too narrow in front, supposed to be at least 36"


Have checklist printed and have an answer for all the items. Like SFI/FIA ratings on seat belts exceed DOT standards...


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