Clearing the Air on Emissions: State-By-State Auto Emissions Guide Updated

Let’s face it, vehicle emissions inspections are a necessary evil for much of the country. We all understand that our planet needs clean air to survive. Even classic car aficionados agree that a fair balance of restrictions under reasonable conditions is a fair approach to dealing with the smog caused by car emissions. Thankfully, practices to reduce harmful emissions have been successfully implemented in a number of industries, not just among mobile sources like our favorite cars and trucks.

While strides in technology have greatly improved air quality in many places, staying current with changing rules can pose a challenge. Many jurisdictions handle this issue differently. The SEMA Action Network (SAN) has made it easy to look up each state’s emissions requirements online. In fact, the emissions webpage is fully updated and posted live. Of course, the information is subject to change. Please consult the statutes and regulations directly to ensure the accuracy of the information. Details can be found online at semaSAN.com/emissions.


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SEMA SAN Strike Force

Wisconsin enthusiasts have enjoyed the "hobbyist" license plate for decades after a proposal was drafted by a Citizens MVD 5 Committee member, who guided it through the Legislature to become law.

Curt Rymkus counts himself among the dedicated vehicle enthusiasts involved with legislative efforts in the state of Wisconsin. He has been actively involved with modified cars and motorcycles for 60 years, including the organization and promotion of countless activities and events related to the automobile. Curt has been involved with the West Allis, Wisconsin Auto Clubs, Wisconsin Street Rod Association and National Street Rod Association, among others. In fact, he even helped organize and administer the 1979 NSRA Street Machine Nationals in Milwaukee.

Many hobbyists in the state have been directly involved with creating favorable old car legislation since 1971. “We felt it was necessary to become actively involved in protecting the rights of our community to construct and operate safely modified vehicles on Wisconsin highways,” explains Rymkus. “To my knowledge, our battle has been among the longest with the most positive results; we are proud of our accomplishments. I feel that each state’s DOT, DMV and the Legislature must be constantly monitored—forever.”

An early foray into the realm of legislative advocacy for Curt was as the Citizens MVD 5 Committee chair between 1972 and 1976. MVD 5 was a proposed code drafted to restrict vehicle modifications. “We formed a committee of statewide street rodders to express our ideas regarding MVD 5, where the redrafting resulted in an acceptable and less restrictive MVD 5.” During this time, the "hobbyist" license plate proposal was drafted by Gary Tefft, a fellow committee member, who guided it through the Legislature to become Wisconsin State Statute 341.268 in 1976.

As the chair of the Modified Vehicle Enthusiasts Group since its establishment in 1991, Rymkus and this group have worked extensively with Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation. In 1993, they were the driving force behind "street rod/custom vehicle" legislation (Act 165) that was signed into law. This law allows vehicles constructed (replica) or modified (street modified) by an individual to be eligible for titling and registration like any other vehicle. A follow-up bout with the state DMV on the topic was necessary in 2010 to correct issues concerning replica cars and "hobbyist" license plate requests.

These days, Paul Underwood and Tom Zat are actively involved with legislative issues and are the representative voices for the “collector car”, “import car” and “ex-military vehicle” groups since 2007. Curt says that “collectively, the three of us represent the various interest groups that make up the old car community. Nobody is group leader or overall spokesperson. We each bring special abilities to the group.” The “modified vehicle” community is represented by Rymkus along with Jack Liberto, Ken Nimocks and Louis Loui. In 2016, they formed the Wisconsin Specialty Vehicle Council. The Council meets with Wisconsin DMV and State Patrol regularly to discuss and resolve any titling and registration problems concerning modified vehicles. Rymkus declares, "since the early 1970's, SEMA has supported all of our legislative efforts. The founding of the SEMA Action Network (SAN) has been a huge benefit to everybody."

Your diligence in improving the laws for car enthusiasts in the Badger State is an inspiration, Curt! May you and your allies enjoy many more successful pursuits in the future. 


Stay Up-to-Date on the RPM Act: Get the latest information on the motorsports bill at www.sema.org/epa-news.


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SEMA SAN Driving Force, Winter 2017