Washington Inoperable Vehicle Bill Unfavorably Amended by Senate

A version of SEMA model legislation (S.B. 5121) to prohibit cities or towns from enforcing an ordinance that prevents automobile collectors from pursuing their hobby was substantially amended and passed by the Washington State Senate.  Under the original bill, inoperable vehicles stored on private property would only require screening from public view.  Six or fewer vehicles that are 30-years old or older, including one parts car, would be permitted for hobby vehicle restoration.  Under the amended bill, private restorers would be limited to only three 30-year old and older vehicles that are being actively restored.   The amended bill also places the burden of proving compliance on the property owner by “preponderance of the evidence.”  The property owner must demonstrate i) Evidence of active, recent restoration work on the vehicle, including receipts or other pertinent evidence; ii) Evidence that the property owner has a valid current registration or certificate of title for the vehicle; or iii) Evidence that the vehicle has a collector vehicle license plate or a horseless carriage license plate.  The bill will next be considered by the House Local Government Committee on Thursday, March 14, 2013.   

We Urge You to Contact All Members of the House Local Government Committee (List Attached Below) Immediately to Express Your Concerns About the Amended S.B. 5121 

For those interested in attending the hearing to voice their concerns, the Committee will meet on Thurs., Mar. 14 at 8:00 a.m. at the following address:

John L. O'Brien Building
House Hearing Room D
504 15th Avenue SE
Olympia, WA 98501

  • S.B. 5121 no longer demonstrates a real effort by legislators to enact reasonable and fair compromise legislation for the automobile restorers the original bill was designed to protect.
  • S.B. 5121 requires that these vehicles not be visible from the street or other public or private property, but removes language providing property owners the means to comply (e.g. fencing, trees, shrubbery, etc.). 
  • S.B. 5121 fails to understand that under state laws governing collector vehicle and horseless carriage registration and license plates, qualifying vehicles must be “capable of being operated upon the highway.”  Vehicles under the process of restoration are by their nature not capable of being operated on the roadways.

DON’T DELAY!  Please contact all members of the House Local Government Committee to express your concerns about the amended S.B. 5121.  Thank you for your assistance.

Please e-mail a copy of your letter to Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org.  Also, please forward this Alert to your fellow car enthusiasts.  Urge them to join the SAN and help defend the hobby! Thank you for your assistance.  

Washington House Local Government Committee

To e-mail all Committee members, copy and paste the email address block below:

dean.takko@leg.wa.gov; joe.fitzgibbon@leg.wa.gov; david.taylor@leg.wa.gov; linda.kochmar@leg.wa.gov; vincent.buys@leg.wa.gov; larry.crouse@leg.wa.gov; marko.liias@leg.wa.gov; larry.springer@leg.wa.gov; dave.upthegrove@leg.wa.gov

Representative Dean Takko (Chair)
Phone: (360) 786-7806
Representative Joe Fitzgibbon (Vice Chair)
Phone: (360) 786-7952
Representative David Taylor
Phone: (360) 786-7874
Representative Linda Kochmar
Phone: (360) 786-7898
Representative Vincent Buys
Phone: (360) 786-7854
Representative Larry Crouse
Phone: (360) 786-7820
Representative Marko Liias
Phone: (360) 786-7972
Representative Larry Springer
Phone: (360) 786-7822
Representative Dave Upthegrove
Phone: (360) 786-7868