Forward March Toward Proactive Success

Military Surplus Vehicle Template Latest in SEMA-Model Bill Series

Nobody looks forward to a run-in with the law. When it comes to facing rules relating to automobiles, troubles often seem catastrophic. In reality, chances are high that someone else has been faced with resolving a similar matter. Sometimes the best answer to a problem is lying in plain sight— one just needs to know where to look. The key is realizing that help exists and reaching out.

In its fight to protect the automotive community from unfair laws, the SEMA Action Network (SAN) has long battled familiar issues in multiple places. Existing vehicle-related policies and classifications are often well behind the times. In those jurisdictions, outdated and convoluted registration rules create confusion among motorists as well as those charged with applying the laws at the ground level.

Over time, the SAN has crafted unique solutions to combat common difficulties nationwide. Early on, a SEMA-model street-rod/ custom-vehicle bill was developed to simplify matters regarding modified vintage and reproduction vehicles for government officials. With enactment of this template into law demonstrating widespread success, the SAN had proof that positive, proactive legislation could serve to create new opportunities for the growth of the auto hobby. As a result, additional model legislation was designed specifically to create reasonable and practical solutions for other specific issues, including those for inoperable project builds, exhaust-noise enforcement and the use of nitrous-oxide systems.

A fresh SEMA-model has been created as a tool for former military surplus vehicles. In recent years, legislatures are responding to the growing interest in this segment among enthusiasts. Unfortunately, states often

define decommissioned vehicles uniquely and may not be authorized for use on public highways. SEMA supports the term “military surplus vehicle” to mean a wheeled, multipurpose or tactical vehicle, including trailer, that was manufactured for military use by or under the direction of the U.S. Armed Forces or Armed Forces of any other country and was subsequently authorized for sale to civilians. When approved, these laws recognize the important historical and patriotic purpose of these vehicles.

The next time actions threaten one of the subjects mentioned above, don’t make enemies— take the opportunity to build bridges with lawmakers. Working together with a fair approach in-hand will make arriving at a hobby- friendly outcome much more likely. Find each of the SEMA-model templates posted at semaSAN.com/ModelBills.


Dear SEMA Action Network (SAN):

Recent world events have impacted us all.  Rest assured, the SAN will continue to be the voice of auto enthusiasts in state capitols and Washington, DC.  With your help, we’ve already achieved several triumphs this year—thank you!  Meantime, SEMA is working to safeguard our hobby so we can continue to pursue our passion.  For updates, news and resources, please visit SEMA.org/coronavirus.

Ignited We Stand!


Colby Martin
SAN Director


Legislative Alerts

SEMA SAN Strike Force

With an interest in protecting fellow enthusiasts from unfair automotive laws, Dave Cook and Brian Love of the London Auto Modifiers have spearheaded local involvement with the SEMA Action Network (SAN) near London, Ontario, Canada.  "At present, club President Dave Cook is bending the ear of our local governments over emission standards, testing and safety evaluations for hot rods and modified vehicles," explains Brian.  The pair's interest comes as long-time car club members and representing the London Speed and Custom Show.  "I'm happy to say that we are looking forward to continue working with organizations like the SAN and Hot Rod Industry Alliance for the preservation and betterment of our hobby." 

With roots dating back to 1947, Brian says that London Auto Modifiers is the oldest, continuously operating hot rod club in Canada.  "In the early '50s, our club was one of the leaders in Ontario to help get street racing off the streets and into a safe, controlled venue.  We've remained involved with all facets of the car hobby locally and in the province of Ontario.  In 1957, we started an indoor car show and—although ownership passed to our local fair association in 2006—we continue to hold an active role in the promotion and production of the show."  Pictured above, prized vehicles from the club were featured guests for "London Auto Modifier night" at the weekly local cruise night.

Inspiring younger generations to become involved with the automotive hobby has also been a key focus of the club.  "We encourage all of the students we see to visit our shop, see our projects and see what draws us to this hobby," adds Brian.  "In 2000, we embarked on a student award program that now involves eight students from three of our local high schools and local college."  Named in honor of Dave Cook's father—a founding member of the club and long-time promoter of the show—the Don Cook Memorial Awards presents each year's recipients with gift certificates to purchase tools.  The program also sponsors a youth baseball team.

Glad to have you and your friends fighting the good fight in the Great White North, London Auto Modifiers!