One of the most frustrating things about using a salvage trailer is making sure it is road legal. We had to do it on our first tiny house build in 2010 when we lived in Georgia and now we have had to do it in North Carolina. The process in each state was vastly different and the fees were different as well. First things first. The total fee to get a title for our 12′ Santa Claus Haus “homemade” utility trailer was $103. That paid for the state property taxes, the title itself, the license plate, registration, and the notary stamp on the paperwork.


Now here is the process in North Carolina. (NOTE: check your own municipality in regards to registering your salvage trailer or homemade trailer)

  • Go to DMV and obtain an MVR-15 (must show valid state driver’s license to clerk)
  • Fill out appropriate lines and have clerk notarize the form
    • The form will have your Trailer ID# on it
  • Go to a welding or trucking location and have them stamp the ID# directly on the tongue of the trailer and the axle
  • Take the MVR-15 form and your trailer (with stamp) to the NC DPS: State Highway Patrol
    • An officer there will inspect the trailer to see that it has brake lights, a brake-away system, and that the ID stamps are on the trailer. He/she will then sign the form
  • Return the signed MVR-15 to the DMV and be assigned a title number, license plate, and registration sticker
  • The clerk will notarize the form again before filing.




So what is next? Great question! Now…we wait. While we have started collecting materials we still lack a little budget and need to finish saving that. We expect to begin building again by Nov. 1 At that point we will frame up the house, dry it in, and do a few test tows with it. Stick around to find out how the next steps go!