The Latest Industry Legislative Updates By State

Apr 19, 2011

The SEMA Action Network (SAN) has released updated reports a number of bills that affect the custom car, street rod and hot rod industries.

Nationwide: On Friday, April 15, the U.S. Senate passed Resolution 154 (S. Res. 154) at the request of SEMA and its ARMO and HRIA Councils. The resolution designates July 8, 2011 as “Collector Car Appreciation Day.” To read more about National Collector Car Appreciation Day click here 

Arizona: Bill to Exempt Older Vehicles from Emissions Inspection Program is Signed into Law

Legislation (S.B. 1324) which exempts all vehicles manufactured in the 1974 model year and earlier from the state’s mandatory biennial emissions inspection program has been signed into law by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.  Under previous law, only vehicles manufactured in 1966 and earlier and “collectibles” were exempt.  The governor’s signature acknowledges the relatively minimal environmental impact of older vehicles, such as the historic cars targeted for this exemption.  These vehicles constitute a small portion of the vehicle fleet and are well-maintained and infrequently operated, according to SAN.

Connecticut: Bill to Increase Age Requirement & Taxes for Antique Vehicle Registration Moves to Full House of Representatives

Legislation (H.B. 5580) which moves to increase the age requirement for vehicles eligible for registration as “antique, rare or special interest motor vehicles” has been passed by the Connecticut Joint Committee on Planning and Development. The bill was amended in Committee to increase the age requirement for registration as an antique to 30 years old and increase the tax assessment amount on vehicles registered as antiques to $2,500. Currently, vehicles 20 years old or older are eligible for antique status. Antique, rare or special interest motor vehicles are currently assessed at a rate of $500 and owners pay personal property taxes on that amount. The bill will next be considered by the full House of Representatives.    According to SAN, H.B. 5580 will make it more expensive to register legitimate collector vehicles, and will require antique, rare or special interest motor vehicles that no longer qualify for special plates to have them replaced with standard plates and taxed using the same calculations used to assess taxes on regular, daily driver vehicles. To contact the Connecticut House of Representatives to show your opposition of this bill, click here.

Nevada:  Bill to Exempt Hobby Cars from Emissions Tests Approved by Assembly; Sent to Senate

SEMA-supported legislation to provide that classic vehicles and classic rods would be exempted from emissions inspections if owners pay a one-time $6 fee and submit a certification that their vehicle will not be driven more than 5,000 miles per year was passed by the Nevada Assembly. Currently, classic rods and classic vehicles are subject to a 2,500-mile-per-year limit to qualify for an emissions exemption and must pass an initial two-speed idle-emissions inspection to qualify.  Owners of classic rods and vehicles must fill out a certification each year that says their vehicles have not been driven more than 2,500 miles during the previous year and the certification must be verified by a DMV emissions technician. Under the bill, the initial emissions inspection would no longer be required. The bill will now be considered by the Senate Transportation Committee.  For more information, click here.

Tennessee: Bill to Exempt Certain Older Vehicles from Emissions Tests Moves to Governor For Approval

Legislation (H.B. 688) to exempt vehicles more than 25-years old from the state’s annual emissions inspection and maintenance program was passed by the Tennessee House and Senate. To qualify for the exemption, these vehicles must be registered as “antique motor vehicles.” The bill now moves to Governor Bill Haslam for his signature and enactment into law.   According to SAN, H.B. 688 provides for a rolling emissions inspection exemption that would exempt qualifying vehicles upon enactment and would pick up an additional model year for each year the law is in effect. It also acknowledges the relatively minimal environmental impact of older vehicles, and recognizes that such vehicles constitute a small portion of the vehicle fleet and are well-maintained and infrequently operated. For information on how to contact Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to request his support for this bill click here.

Texas: Street Rod and Custom Vehicle Bill Approved by House Transportation Committee; Moves Next to Full House

SEMA model legislation (H.B. 890) that would create a vehicle registration classification for street rods and custom vehicles and provide for special license plates for these vehicles was approved by the House Transportation Committee.  H.B. 890 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.” The bill will now be considered on the floor for a vote by all House members. H.B. 890 would provide specific registration/titling classes and license plates for street rods and customs, including replica.  It would allow for the use of non-original materials and creates a titling and registration criterion that assigns these vehicles the same model year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble. According to SAN, this bill also “recognizes the immeasurable amount of time, money and attention automotive enthusiasts invest in their hobby cars. This legislation represents an opportunity to acknowledge this family hobby and to protect it for future generations.” To contact members of the Texas House of Representatives to urge them to support this bill, click here.

Washington: Street Rod and Custom Vehicle Bill Signed Into Law by Governor

SEMA model legislation to create a vehicle titling and registration classification for street rods and custom vehicles was signed into law by Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire on Monday, April 18. The bill (S.B. 5585) defines a street rod as “an altered vehicle manufactured before 1949 and a custom as an altered vehicle at least 30 years old and manufactured after 1948.” 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.

For more legislative updates go to www.semasan.com.