How to Register a Converted Electric Vehicle


If you have a car and would like to reduce your carbon footprint in the world, you can begin by converting it to an electric vehicle and then correctly registering it with your state. This is an excellent way to enjoy the many benefits that owning an electric car can bring you without having to give up a car that you have already grown to enjoy. 

Your job is not done once you have completed an electric vehicle conversion. In order to drive it freely on the street, you will need to get it registered as an alternative fuel car. While that is not as easy as it might sound, the process is made simpler if you know the steps that are involved ahead of time. Continue reading to learn how to register a converted electric vehicle. 

Rules Can Differ Slightly from One State to Another

From the outset, it is important to point out that each state has its own rules and regulations regarding vehicle registration. This definitely speaks to the importance of checking with your state to confirm the current requirements in place to register and title an electric vehicle conversion. 

The steps that we are about to cover are generally applicable to most states. What might differ is the timeline and how you go about completing the requirements set forth in your locality. A quick search on the Internet or visit to your state’s transportation office should get you the information that you need. 

Proving That You Are the Owner

The first step in the process is to prove that you are the actual owner of the car. You could do this before you even start the conversion process, but it is not necessary. Your state will likely require you to show that you are the owner of the vehicle. You should also not have a lien on the vehicle, or otherwise, the conversion should not have been done in the first place. 

What is important here is that the title shows you as the rightful owner. The title also needs to indicate the fuel type of the vehicle as it was delivered to the dealer from the factory. For most conversions, this will mean that the title should reflect your name and the fact it is a gasoline powered vehicle. That will then be changed at a later step to be detailed in a moment. 

Schedule Your Conversion Inspection

This will be the most important part of the process and will involve quite a bit of planning. If you have already demonstrated that you are the rightful owner of the vehicle and you have the proper title, it is time to schedule an inspection. This will be a detailed inspection where trained professionals are going to look to make sure the conversion was done properly. 

You will need to check with your state, but the application form for a conversion inspection should be located online. You will need to download that form and fill it out. Once you have done that, you will contact the agency by either phone or email to schedule a time for your inspection. Keep in mind that it could take some time to get an appointment. 

Preparing for the Conversion Inspection

As soon as you know when your appointment is, you will want to gather up the documentation. Generally speaking, you will need to bring with you the following items:

  • Photographs – You will want to take a number of pictures that show you completed the conversion process successfully. Of particular interest to the conversion inspector is the engine compartment, where the battery is held, and the vehicle drivetrain. 
  • Application Form – You need to print out the completed application form and have it with you. Make sure that you print the document in color so that the state seal shows up correctly. Ensure that you have filled in the application form completly and as detailed as possible. 
  • Receipts – You will need to detail every cost associated with the conversion process, including all of the various components that you purchased. Make sure that you just submit copies of the receipts since you will not get these back. 

Keep in mind that you must be present for the inspection, and you will need to bring the converted electric car with you. 

What Happens After the Inspection?

Unlike a normal emission inspection for a traditional gas-power vehicle where you will know the results right away, the approval process for an electric car conversion is not so simple. The inspector will write his notes, take your application and other documents, and submit everything for processing. 

Once the inspection is complete, you can expect to wait several weeks before you receive the formal approval certificate in the mail. That certificate is what you need to continue with the process of officially registering your converted electric vehicle. This is also the point where you will be able to change the title and receive your alternative fuel tag for your car. 

Changing the Title

When you have finally received your official electric vehicle conversion certificate, it is at that point that you can have your title changed. To do that, you will need to take the certificate and the original title from your vehicle down to your local registration office. 

The office will receive the certificate and then change your title to reflect that the fuel type for your car has been changed to electric. This will then be noted on your title, which will allow you to move along with the registration process. It is very important that you do not let this office keep your original conversion certificate, as you will need to get your tax credit from the state. 

Registering for a New Tag

You can actually register for your new vehicle tag as soon as your title change been changed to show you now have an electric car. To do this, you will want to complete an application for a new tag. Specifically, you will be applying for an alternative fuel vehicle tag. 

Depending on the state, you will probably be asked to pay to get this tag. It will include a fee to use the roads. This is because you will no longer be paying taxes to fuel up your vehicle, which of course is a positive development for you. As soon as you receive your new tag, you are able to start driving the vehicle freely on all roads. 

Benefits of Completing an Electric Car Conversion 

There are many benefits to completing an electric car conversion. To begin with, you will be able to keep the car that you love. At the same time, you will be benefitting the environment by not burning any fossil fuel. Your gas mileage will increase substantially from day one as well. 

Beyond the benefits just mentioned, you may receive a substantial tax credit when you complete an electric vehicle conversion. With the proper registration, you will also get a special plate for your car that entitles you to drive in HOV lanes on the highway. This will get you to where you are going much more quickly and with less traffic. 

Wrap-Up 

Following these steps will let you legally drive your electric car conversion in your state. Remember to do the research and follow through on your obligations to get the proper registration for your conversion. That will then allow you to reap the many benefits available to you for converting your car. 

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