Commonwealth Adopts Common Sense Legislation for Replicas
Virginia Legislature Approves Pro-hobby Titling and Registration Bill
With the perseverance of the SAN, pro-hobbyist lawmakers and the automotive business community, a version of SEMA-model legislation to create a state registration and titling class for replica vehicles has been finally approved by the Virginia State Legislature. The measure must now be signed by the governor before being enacted into law. Under the bill, a replica is defined as a vehicle not fully constructed by a licensed manufacturer but either constructed or assembled from components.
“Backed by the hard work and dedication of the Capitol Area Cobra Club, Virginia businessman Rick Pearce, Delegate Tom Rust, Senator Martin Williams and legislative staff, we are extremely gratified that Virginia will join the growing list of states that recognize replicas as distinct classes of vehicles,” said SEMA Vice President, Government Affairs Steve McDonald. “We are especially indebted to these individuals for their continued efforts in coordinating the support of enthusiasts, lawmakers and state and local vehicle administrators.”
The measure allows these vehicles to be titled under the model year of which the vehicle is a replica and only requires that they meet safety and emissions requirements as established for that model year. As a condition of the
hobby-friendly emissions system and safety equipment requirements, replica vehicles titled under this legislation would be limited to no more than 5,000 miles per year as shown by the vehicle’s odometer.
“As a car enthusiast myself, I’m happy to have helped the replica owners, especially in my case the members of the Capitol Area Cobra Club, in getting legislation drafted and through the legislative process in Virginia,” said Delegate Tom Rust.
In April 2005, replica owners in Virginia received letters from the Department of Motor Vehicles stating that their vehicles may have been titled and registered incorrectly. Individuals were asked to return their title and license plates, pay a $25 fee, have the car inspected by a special DMV agent and then have the vehicle re-registered and titled based on the year of assembly. Under this requirement, vehicles would be subject to current emissions and equipment standards. When signed into law, this bill will allow Virginia replica vehicle owners to avail themselves of a unique titling class which provides that replica vehicles may be legally titled and registered based on the model year the vehicle most closely resembles.
“It was gratifying to see this bill pass the Virginia Legislature,” said Capital Area Cobra Club member Scott Harrison. “Prior to this bill, the members of our club living in Virginia had no definitive way to register their replica vehicle. Our club has over 300 members with the majority living in Northern Virginia and members had their cars registered in various ways based on the inconsistent information provided to them at their local DMV.”
The model bill will continue to be pursued by SEMA in states that either don’t have registration classifications for these vehicles or have laws that are lacking in some way. Efforts are ongoing this year to work with the state legislature in Arkansas, Florida, New York, Massachusetts, and Wyoming on this initiative. If successful, these states will join Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Montana, and Rhode Island in recognizing the unique nature of these cars.
For more information, or to download a copy of the SEMA-model bill visit www.semasan.com.
Editors Note: The SAN would also like to recognize House Transportation Committee Assistant Jack Hilgers and Nancy Palmer of Delegate Rust’s staff for their dedicated efforts in navigating this bill through the legislative process. Their continued support for the hobby in Virginia is greatly appreciated.
LEGISLATIVE QUICK HITS
Hawaii Exhaust Noise: SAN-opposed legislation to ban vehicles equipped with an exhaust system “that has been modified to make more noise or sound than the vehicle made when manufactured” has been introduced in Hawaii. The measure would allow law enforcement officers to seize and impound a vehicle upon making a subjective determination that the vehicle was in violation. In some states, noise limits for modified exhaust systems are established by a SEMA-model bill and applicable to an easy to administer test standard. The SEMA model provides for the testing of vehicle exhaust noise to an SAE test standard with an established noise limit of 95-decibels. The Hawaii bill adopts a 95-decibel standard, but does not include reference to the SAE testing procedure. Simply referencing the 95-decibel limit does not provide a process through which vehicle owners can prove compliance with the law.
Indiana Antique Taxes: SAN is supporting a bill in the Indiana State Legislature to provide an exemption from the excise surtax for motor vehicles licensed and registered as antiques. Indiana law defines an “antique” as a motor vehicle or motor scooter that is at least twenty-five (25) years old. The county surtax is generally applied at a rate of between $7.50 and $25 annually for each motor vehicle registered in the county depending on the age and value of the vehicle.
New York Spinners: In what could be the state’s first step in limiting custom wheel and hubcap options for motor vehicle enthusiasts, legislation that would prohibit the operation of motor vehicles equipped with spinner hubcaps has been reintroduced in the New York State Legislature. The SAN-opposed bill would subject vehicle owners to fines of up to $750 for a third or subsequent violation. The measure also ignores the fact that custom wheels are not prohibited by Federal law; manufacturers are required to notify the federal government of a safety problem or defect related to motor vehicle equipment within five days of becoming aware of such an issue; and that spinner hubcaps have no proven detrimental effect on motor vehicle safety.
West Virginia Abandoned Vehicles: A bill has been reintroduced in the West Virginia State Legislature that would further restrict the ability of West Virginia vehicle hobbyists from maintaining inoperable vehicles on private property. The SAN-opposed legislation seeks to redefine “abandoned motor vehicles” to include vehicles or vehicle parts which are either unlicensed or inoperable, or both, are not in an enclosed building and have remained on private property for more than 30 days. Under current law, the abandoned vehicle law applies primarily to vehicles on public property. The bill would make violation a misdemeanor offense punishable by substantial fines, community service and jail. The SAN is opposing the bill as it makes no legal distinction between an owner using private property as a dumping ground and a vehicle enthusiast working to maintain, restore or construct a vehicle.
Wyoming Street Rods/Customs: SEMA-model legislation to create vehicle titling and registration classifications for street rods and custom vehicles has been approved by the Wyoming House of Representatives. The bill defines a street rod as an altered vehicle manufactured before 1949 and a custom as an altered vehicle at least 25 years old and manufactured after 1948. Under the measure, kit cars and replica vehicles will be assigned a certificate of title bearing the same model year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble. The bill is similar to legislation enacted into law in Illinois, Missouri, Rhode Island, Montana, Maine, Colorado and Hawaii.
Virginia House Approves Changes to Antique Vehicle Laws
A bill in the Virginia State Legislature that would amend the state’s current law defining antique motor vehicles was approved by the House of Delegates. Introduced as an attempt to legislate against abuses of the requirements for the state’s antique vehicle plate, the final bill is a product of compromise between legislators and the vehicle hobbyist community.
“I'm hopeful that this will once and for all alleviate the problem of people abusing antique license plates,” said Virginia House Majority Leader and member of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus Morgan Griffith. “The whole purpose of the antique plate is to promote the hobby, not to abuse the benefits that are afforded to these vehicles.”
The compromise proposal made several changes to the existing law, including removing the limitation that antique vehicles may only be operated for pleasure driving in a radius 250 miles from the owner’s residence. The bill also changes the fee for registration and license plates from $10 to a one-time fee of $50; requires that applicants for antique license plates show evidence of ownership or regular use of another passenger car or motorcycle; and prohibits commercial use of vehicles displaying antique license plates.
The measure requires that owners of antique vehicles provide notarized certifications that these vehicles meet safety equipment requirements for the model year in which they were manufactured and allows the DMV to suspend the registration of vehicles registered with antique plates if the vehicle is not properly equipped or is otherwise unsafe to operate. While the SAN maintains certain reservations about how this provision will be developed and implemented upon enactment of the bill, we do feel that the measure as passed by the House deserves the support of the hobbyist community in Virginia.
Each month Driving Force will feature a member of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus. The SEMA-supported caucus is a bi-partisan group of state lawmakers whose common thread is a love and appreciation for automobiles.
Here are its newest members:
Delegate Ben Kramer
Assemblymember Gary Finch
Assemblymember Joseph Giglio
Assemblymember Steve Hawley
HEY, THAT'S MY CAR!
1965 Volkswagen Karman Ghia
Owner: Jerry Jess
This Karman Ghia was rebuilt from a junkyard VW into a true show car by its owner in 1993. After a few years on the road and after a few different owners, it ended up in Phoenix were it sat out in the open for 5 years. A friend of mine spotted the car one day and asked the owner if it was for sale. His response was “maybe.” While I never set eyes on the car, my friend told me that I had to have it. After some 8 months of negotiating, I was finally was able to convince the owner to sell the car. At 71 years young and a car person since I was 16, this is the first car I ever bought without ever seeing it.
Remarkably, after all those years sitting out in the Phoenix weather, the paint, interior, and motor were still in almost pristine condition and my “OLDGHIA” won 1st place in the very first VW show it entered. Now it is a driver for my wife and I and we get lots of high fives tooling around Phoenix and various car events. Owning it is a dream come true.
UNDER THE HOOD: Dual carbureted, 1776 vintage Gene Berg high performance motor
OUTSIDE: Custom electric suicide doors, Porsche Fuchs wheels, Porsche style headlights, frenched rear license plate holder, side body air vents, custom bumpers
INSIDE: leather bucket seats, Gene Berg shifter, racing tach, electric windows
Thanks to all who have sent in or e-mailed us photos. Please continue to send us photos of your trail rides, restorations in progress, rod runs, car shows, charity events and drag races. Kindly submit pictures to: SEMA, 1317 F Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20004.
Eagle One Honors Four Car Clubs With Golden Rule Award
Four car clubs have been honored by Eagle One with the prestigious Golden Rule Award for conducting the most outstanding community service program in their region during 2006. This marks the 14th year that the leading maker of appearance care products has recognized and rewarded car clubs for exemplary community involvement.
And the Winners Are:
Western Region Mustangs Northwest, Seattle, WA
Midwest Region Cedar Rapids Corvette Club, Cedar Rapids, IA
Eastern Region Wheels That Heal, Salisbury, MD
Southern Region Southern Knights Cruisers, Richmond, VA
The four clubs will each receive a combined total of $750 from Eagle One and associate sponsor Valvoline for a donation to a charity to be selected by each club. They will also receive a generous supply of Eagle One premium appearance care products and Valvoline motor oil for fundraising events as well as the custom-designed, hand-cast Golden Rule Award.
Eagle One is a division of The Valvoline Company.
Pennsylvania Council Marks 30 Years of Success
The Legislative Council of Motor Vehicle Clubs (LCMVC) of Pennsylvania is a watchdog organization of antique, classic car and motorcycle collectors and hobbyists. Member clubs also consist of a wide cross-section of hobby vehicles including military, trucks and fire engines. Later this month, the group will convene for its annual legislative meeting. This will be the 30th year in which the group has met to discuss legislative initiatives in Pennsylvania.
LCMVC is best known for its successful campaign to establish a one-time fee for antique/classic tags. Another successful endeavor by LCMVC was the removal of the annual state inspection for antique cars.
Working closely with the SEMA Action Network, the organization also provides a networking resource for member affiliates to disseminate timely information to its members to allow them to be in touch with their local and state-elected officials on pertinent items.
LCMVC Annual Meeting
March 25 – 12:00 p.m.
Hershey Region AACA Headquarters
131 Museum Drive - Hershey, PA
For more information contact: email@example.com or 215/947-4118
Editor’s note: Please send your Club Spotlight stories and photos to the SAN at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 8-11, Dothan
6th Annual Swap ‘n’ Cruisin
March 17, Sierra Vista
10th Annual Benefit Car Show
March 4, Long Beach
Cadillac Concours D’Elegance / Car Lovers Club Show
Sponsor: Cadillac Club International Consortium
March 10-11, Costa Mesa
1st Orange County Get-Together
Information: www.good-guys.com or 925/838-9876
March 17, Orange
7th Annual SCVCOA Spring Picnic
Sponsor: SoCal Chapter, Volvo Club of America
Information: www.scvcoa.org or 951/674-0818
March 18, Santa Anita
1st Annual Run with the Winner Car Show
March 18, Anaheim
Comanche Cruise Car and Bike Show
March 24-25, Pleasanton
25th All American Get-Together
March 30 - April 1, Del Mar
7th Del Mar Rod and Custom Nationals
March 4, Hollywood
19th Florida Mopar Nationals
Sponsor: Florida Mopar Connection Car Club
Information: email@example.com or 954/920-7096
March 25, Port Richey
Chasco Fiesta 2007
Sponsor: Gulfside Corvettes
Information: www.gulfsidecorvettes.com or 727/863-0468
March 3-4, McCormick Place
Sponsor: Chicago Gearheads
March 25, Wheaton
Buick Olds Pontiac Cadillac Swap
Sponsor: Chicagoland Chapter, (BCA)
March 10-11, Louisville
40th Annual Giant Swap Meet
Sponsor: Kyana Region AACA
March 10, West Friendship
Antique Auto Parts Flea Market
Sponsor: Chesapeake Region-AACA
March 11, Springfield
Western Massachusetts Car Show
March 3-4, Flint
3rd Annual PCS Mid-Michigan Chapter Micro-Meet
Sponsor: PCS, Mid-Michigan Chapter
Information: firstname.lastname@example.org or 810/691-6352
March 18, Troy
26th Annual Swap Meet
Sponsor: Southeast Michigan Buick Club
March 4, Rochester
3rd Annual Indoor Swap Meet
Sponsor: MN Region-AACA
March 1-3, Laughlin
Gambler Classic River Run
Sponsor: Southern Nevada Classic Chevy Club
Information: www.gamblerclassicriverrun.com or 702/593-5777
March 30 – April 1, Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Mopars at the Strip
Information: www.moparsatthestrip.com or 702/256-8254
March 23-25, Albuquerque
Southwestern Musclecar Nationals
March 31 – April 1, West Fargo
Toppers Car Show
Sponsor: Toppers Car Club
March 31 – April 1, Columbus
Mid-Ohio Ford Club Spring Swap
Sponsor: Mid-Ohio Ford Club
March 2-4, Portland
51st Portland Roadster Show
Sponsor: Multnomah Hot Rod Council
Information: www.portlandroadstershow.com or 503/232-4567
March 15-17, Florence
19th Annual Run to the Sun
Sponsor: Pee Dee Street Rodders
Information: www.peedeestreetrodders.com or 800/456-0009
March 31, Aiken
4th Annual Spring Fling
Information: 803/648-4761 or email@example.com
March 31, Clarksville
March 3-4, Amarillo
Make a Wish Car Show
Sponsor: AACA, Amarillo Region
March 18, San Jacinto Battlegrounds
Old Car Picnic
Sponsor: Special Interest Fords of the 50’s
Information: www.fordsofthe50s.com or 281/599-7920
March 24, Palestine
22nd Annual Peoples Car Show and Parade
Sponsor: Cars of Palestine
Information: www.carsofpalestine.com or 903/723-4737
March 31 – April 1, Fredericksburg
3rd Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Texas 4-Wheel Jamboree Nationals
Information: www.familyevents.com or 317/236-6522
March 2-4, Sandy
33rd Annual AutoRama
Information: www.autorama.com or 801/774-8015
March 2-4, Roanoke
27th Annual MDA Car Show
Sponsor: Roanoke Valley Charity Car Show Committee
Information: www.mdacarshow.com or 540/772-3237
March 10, Chesapeake
10th Annual Car Swap Meet
Sponsor: Tidewater Region-AACA
March 2-4, Seattle
Seattle Roadster Show
Information: www.hotrodshows.com or 877/236-0632
Newly Introduced Legislation
Note: The following state bills are not laws. They were recently introduced and are currently under consideration by the respective state legislatures:
ANTIQUE AND CUSTOM VEHICLES
Connecticut HB 7029: Creates a definition for a “reconstructed” vehicle to replace “rebuilt.” Reconstructed refers to every motor
vehicle materially altered from its original construction by the removal, addition or substitution of essential parts, new or used.
Iowa HF 335: Eliminates the $5 fee along with the restricted use provisions for antique vehicles and requires all such antique vehicles to be registered under the annual fee schedules provided for older
Iowa SB 91: Allows antique vehicle owners to drive an antique
vehicle up to 1,000 miles per year in addition to driving the vehicle for exhibition or educational purposes.
Oklahoma HB 2051: Creates the option for antique and classic cars to register license plates for life.
CLEAN FUEL/HYBRID VEHICLES
Connecticut SB 520: Authorizes municipalities to halt property taxes on hybrid and alternative passenger vehicles with a corporate average fuel economy of more than 40 miles per gallon.
Maine HB 100: Exempts vehicles with a manufacturer’s estimated highway mileage rating of at least 40 miles per gallon from the California low-emissions vehicle standards.
New York AB 4031: Provides tax exemption on sales and compensating use taxes for new motor vehicles meeting clean vehicle
Arizona SB 1531: Makes various changes to the vehicle emissions program under the Clean Air Act. New vehicles will not require inspection before their sixth year of registration after initial purchase/lease.
Connecticut SB 988: Prohibits vehicles from idling when the vehicle is not in motion for more than 3 consecutive minutes, unless under certain conditions.
Hawaii SB 136: Abolishes periodic motor vehicle inspections.
Maine HB 378: Removes statutory provisions that require motor vehicles to have an annual motor vehicle inspection.
Maryland HB 44/SB 51/HB 131/SB 103: Creates the Maryland Clean Cars Act of 2007. Allows Dept. of Environment and Motor Vehicle Administration to create new emissions standards and implement Clean Air Act standards for 2011 and later model year vehicles.
Minnesota SB 481: Requires the adoption of California standards regarding low emissions vehicles. Updates laws to comply with the Clean Air Act.
Missouri HB 525: Repeals the motor vehicle safety inspection program effective January 1, 2008.
New Hampshire HB 449: Changes the annual motor vehicle inspection to a biennial requirement.
Utah SB 168: Exempts new vehicles bought in the year after the model year (example: a 2006 model year vehicle bought in January 2007) from its first scheduled inspection.
Hawaii HB 895/SB 1017: Decreases the amount of time allowed to recover a vehicle that has been towed before it is deemed abandoned from 30 days to 10 days.
Kansas HB 2160: Prohibits substituting auxiliary driving lamps for headlamps. Also prohibits auxiliary lamps from being lighted any time head lamps are in low-beam position.
Montana HB 504: Restricts the height of light from the headlight of a motor vehicle to no more than 2 feet above the road surface at a length of 30 feet from the front of the vehicle.
New York AB 4140: Requires record to be kept regarding use of salvage HID lights including what vehicle they were taken from and the identification of the owner of each vehicle involved.
Hawaii HB 567: Encourages the opening of a motorsports facility to keep motor racing off of public streets and freeways.
Minnesota HB 415: Changes date for racetracks to be exempted from noise standards. Previously, a racetrack in operation on or before July 1, 1983 was exempt, this bill would change the date to 1996.
Montana HB 483: Prohibits operating a vehicle on a highway unless all tires meet federal standards for tires and bear the DOT marking.
New York SB 1484: Allows license plate frames of certain dimensions if the frame does not obscure the identifying elements of the plate.
New York AB 3272: Prohibits operating a motor vehicle while impaired by visual display. Prohibits the installation of TVs and monitors in a vehicle where they are capable of being viewed by the driver.
North Dakota SB 2351: Prohibits tires leaving the road while a vehicle is in operation by means of an adjustable suspension.
Virginia HB 2108: Permits visual displays within view of the driver if the device is used to enhance the driver’s view in front of, behind, or to the sides of a motor vehicle for the purpose of maneuvering the vehicle.
OFF HIGHWAY VEHICLES
Washington HB 1434: Makes changes regarding OHV noise abatement near residences. Changes the permissible level from 105dB(A) to 96dB(A) and also changes the test procedure and creates fines for violation.
Attention Car Clubs, Event Organizers and Enthusiasts!
Put SAN on Your Mailing List!
We’d like to know what’s going on with SEMA Action Network clubs and enthusiasts across the country; what charity events you’re involved in; when and where the rod runs, car shows, trail rides, rallies and tech meetings are held; and what legislative and regulatory issues concern club members and individual enthusiasts.
One of the best ways to keep us abreast of what’s going on and what’s important to the vehicle hobbies nationwide is for us to receive your club newsletters and updates. Please consider placing SEMA on your mailing list. Send correspondence to: SEMA Action Network, 1317 F Street, N.W., Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20004-1105. Or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.