California Bill Opens "Specially Constructed" Class to Every Qualified Vehicle

In 2001, a law was enacted in California to provide for the emissions-system certification and model-year designation for specially constructed vehicles, including kit cars.  Under that law, vehicle owners choose whether a smog test referee certifies the engine model year or the vehicle model year.  To determine model year, inspectors compare the vehicle to those of the era that the vehicle most closely resembles. If there is no close match, it is classified as a 1960 vehicle. Only those emission controls applicable to the model year and that can be reasonably accommodated by the vehicle are required.  The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) provides a new registration to the first 500 specially constructed vehicles per year that meet the criteria.

This year, a bill (A.B. 1740) has been introduced in the California Assembly to eliminate the requirement that these registrations be limited to the first 500 vehicles per year.  The bill has been referred to the Assembly Transportation Committee and will be considered on March 22.  

We Urge You to Contact Members of the Assembly Transportation Committee (List Attached) Immediately to Request Their Support for A.B. 1740.

  • Under current California policy, specially constructed vehicles that do not receive one of the 500 sequence numbers are subject to a “muddied” titling, registration and smog check process.
  • A.B. 1740 will remove the “black market” value of these 500 sequence numbers which are often sold on e-bay and other on-line auction sites.
  • A.B. 1740 recognizes the minimal impact specially constructed vehicles have on air quality.
  • A.B. 1740 recognizes the fact that specially constructed vehicles are overwhelmingly well-maintained and infrequently driven.
  • A.B. 1740 will allow vehicle owners to confidently take advantage of a newly-enacted vehicle registration amnesty program for specially constructed vehicles that were previously registered or classified incorrectly.  Under the new law, the DMV will grant amnesty from prosecution to vehicle owners if certain conditions are met, including the owner filing a completed application with the department.

DON’T DELAY!  Please contact members of the Assembly Transportation Committee today to urge support for A.B. 1740. Please e-mail a copy of your letter to Steve McDonald at Thank you for your prompt attention.  

California Assembly Transportation Committee

Assemblymember Mike Eng – Chair
Phone: 916/319-2049

Assemblymember Kevin Jeffries – Vice Chair
Phone: 916/319-2066

Assemblymember Bill Berryhill        
Phone: 916/319-2026

Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield
Phone: 916/319-2040

Assemblymember Joan Buchanan
Phone: 916/319-2015

Assemblymember Warren T. Furutani
Phone: 916/319-2055

Assemblymember Cathleen Galgiani
Phone: 916/319-2017

Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal
Phone: 916/319-2054

Assemblymember Jeff Miller
Phone: 916/319-2071

Assemblymember Roger Niello
Phone: 916/319-2005

Assemblymember Chris Norby
Phone: 916/319-2072

Assemblymember Jose Solorio
Phone: 916/319-2069

Assemblymember Tom Torlakson
Phone: 916/319-2011