Massachusetts Street Rod & Custom Vehicle Bill Approved by Legislature; Moves to Governor for Signature

Aug 12, 2010

A version of SEMA model legislation (H.B. 4871) to create a vehicle registration classification for street rods, custom vehicles, replicas and specially constructed vehicles was passed by the Massachusetts State Legislature, according to the SEMA Action Network (SAN).

The bill has been sent to Governor Deval Patrick for his signature and enactment into law.

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.

Replica vehicles are defined as being assembled by a non-manufacturer from new or used parts that replicate an earlier year, make and model vehicle.

Specially constructed vehicles are those reconstructed or assembled by a non-manufacturer from new or used parts that have an exterior that does not replicate or resemble any other manufactured vehicle. The bill allows replica vehicles to be assigned a certificate of title bearing both the year in which the vehicle was built and the make, model and year of the vehicle intended to be replicated.

Additional benefits to hobbyists would also include specific registration classes and license plates for street rods, customs, replicas and specially constructed vehicles.

The bill also provides that street rods and custom vehicles would be exempt from emissions requirements, and specially constructed and replica vehicles which are registered on or before April 30, 2012 would be exempt from emissions inspection requirements.

Specially constructed and replica vehicles registered after April 30, 2012 would be subject to emission control requirements based on the model year and configuration of the engine installed, whether the engine is an original equipment manufacturer’s production engine, rebuilt engine or crate engine.

Under the bill, if the model year of the engine installed in the specially constructed or replica vehicle requires an onboard diagnostic (OBD) system, the vehicle would be subject to an OBD system emissions test applicable to the certified configuration, including any exclusions or exemptions otherwise granted to that certified configuration.

H.B. 4871 also states that a replica vehicle will be assigned the same model year designation as the production vehicle it is intended to replicate, in addition to the actual year it was built.