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Titling and Registering Your THOW in Michigan

September 1, 2016


I was conducting some research on how to title and register your tiny house on wheels (THOW) in Michigan and found some useful information from the Michigan Secretary of State website Since they do not have a formal classification for a Tiny House, it will likely fall into the following categories. You can click on the links below to direct you to the Michigan Secretary of State website for more information.  


As always, this information is merely a helpful guide of my interpretation of the Michigan Secretary of State information. I am simply sharing this with you to assist you with your tiny adventure. I do not claim to be, nor am I an authorized representative of the Michigan Secretary of State. Please contact your local Secretary of State office directly for formal guidance and direction when attempting to title and register your THOW. Please also be mindful when using the term “Tiny House” or “THOW” with the office agents at your local Secretary of State branch office. They may be unfamiliar with your inquiry and may inadvertently mislead you if you confuse them with what you are looking to have done.


It seems that the most likely category for most THOW’s would be a Trailer, but an Assembled Vehicle may work for some scenarios where a THOW owner is building the trailer as well as the living space.







- If the trailer was purchased from a builder or a friend or family member, 6% of the sale is figured for sales tax, and is due at the time of applying for the title and registration.


- For a used trailer, a Bill of Sale should be provided from the seller and should include the trailer's year, make, and vehicle identification number, along with the seller's name and address. Typically, you would use the information from your THOW’s actual trailer.


- The registration and license plate fee for a trailer which has a weight of over 10,000lbs is $300.00.


- For anyone that has a THOW that weighs less than 10,000lbs, the registration and license plate fee is $200.00



Assembled Vehicle




- The closest match I could find in this category was for someone who builds their own THOW, that would be called an Assembled Vehicle. As defined by the Michigan Secretary of State, an Assembled Vehicle is:


                  "One built (assembled) from new or used materials and parts by someone                        not recognized as a manufacturer (usually an individual). Example:                                    homemade vehicle."


- You will need to weigh your THOW and bring the weight slip into your local Secretary of State office at the time of titling and registration. This can be done at your local scrap or lumber yard that has a drive-on vehicle scale.


- You will also need to have your THOW inspected by a Michigan police officer. They will need to fill out the Vehicle Number/On-Road Equipment Inspection Form that will also need to brought into your local Secretary of State office at the time of titling and registration.


- Here are some helpful Instructions for Titling an Assembled Vehicle that provide more detail on this process.



Recreational Vehicle




- Essentially, THOW’s that are certified as Recreational Vehicles through the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), are considered “Trailers” in the eyes of the Michigan Secretary of State. Following the guidelines listed above should help you with titling and registering your RVIA certified THOW.


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