SEMA-Model Hobby Car Registration and Titling Bill Becomes Law in the Bay State
With Governor Deval Patrick's signature, Massachusetts became the 21st state to enact into law a version of SEMA-model legislation to create a vehicle registration classification for street rods, custom vehicles, replicas and specially constructed vehicles.
"After five years of working with the legislature on various iterations of this bill, we are extremely grateful to State Representative Carolyn Dykema, in addition to Representative Brian Dempsey, Representative Joseph Wagner, Representative Charles Murphy and Senator Steven Baddour and their staffs for taking it over the last hurdle," said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald.
The new law 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. Replica vehicles will 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.
Through the persistence of former Methuen City Councilman Joe Leone, the bill was given consideration amongst the chaos that exists in the closing days of a legislative session. An avid enthusiast and owner of an FFR Roadster, Leone worked to educate lawmakers and regulators on the positive benefits that this bill would have on the enthusiast community. "We are deeply indebted to Joe for his determined efforts to get the bill through the legislature," said McDonald. "From countless e-mails, phone calls and visits to the State House, he helped to ensure that this pro-hobby bill would receive attention from lawmakers. Special thanks are also due to Factory Five Racing, Chop-Shop Customs, Dominators Car Club and Mass Cruisers Car Club."
Under the new law, street rods and custom vehicles are exempted from emissions inspection requirements. In a compromise made with the state air-quality regulators, the measure also provides that specially constructed and replica vehicles which are registered on or before April 30, 2012, will be exempted from emissions inspection requirements. Specially constructed and replica vehicles registered after April 30, 2012, will be subject to emissions-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.
"Street rods, custom cars, replicas and specially constructed vehicles are the same rarely driven crowd pleasers that participate in exhibitions and as parade vehicles, and whose owners regularly contribute to charities and civic events," McDonald added. "This new law simply recognizes the immeasurable amount of time, money and attention automotive hobbyists invest in their cars. For many vehicle enthusiasts in Massachusetts and throughout America, building, maintaining and enjoying their vehicles is a favorite pastime. This new law represents an opportunity to acknowledge their commitment to the hobby and to protect it for future generations."
10 Best and Worst Bills of 2010
As the state legislatures close down their legislative sessions, Driving Force is introducing a new feature highlighting the best and worst automotive bills of 2010. While some of these bills were enacted into law, most did not make it through this year and could be reintroduced in future sessions. Keep an eye out, and get ready to help us support the best and oppose the worst in 2011!
California S.B. 232/A.B. 1740
Seek to remove the 500 per year vehicle limitation and allow for an unlimited number of specially constructed vehicle registrations. Bills were not enacted into law.
Washington S.B. 5246 and Michigan S.B. 590
Prohibit cities or towns from restricting inoperable vehicles, including parts cars, stored on private property if screened from public view. Bills were not enacted into law.
New York A.B. 10698
Creates a $100 one-time fee that would replace the current annual fee of $28.75 for the registration of historical motor vehicles. Bill was not enacted into law.
Ohio H.B. 199, New York A.B. 2429/S.B. 3547, New Jersey A.B. 448/S.B. 687 and Massachusetts H.B. 4557
Seek to create vehicle registration and titling classifications for street rods and custom vehicles, including kit cars and replicas, and provides for special license plates. The Massachusetts bill was enacted into law. The other three bills were not enacted into law.
West Virginia H.B. 2775/H.B. 3243/H.B. 4222/H.B. 4575
Aim to reduce the financial burden placed on antique vehicle owners by reducing the taxes and fees that they must pay on these vehicles. Bills were not enacted into law.
Idaho H.B. 591
Seeks to exempt vehicles driven less than 1,000 miles per year from the state's mandatory emissions inspection program, regardless of the vehicle's age. Bill was not enacted into law.
Iowa S.F. 2035
Allows an antique vehicle to be registered as a limited-use (1,000 miles annually) antique vehicle for a low $5 fee. Bill was not enacted into law.
Maryland H.B. 252
Exempts new vehicles from the state's mandatory emissions inspection program for the first four years after production. Bill was not enacted into law.
Vermont S.B. 237
For the purpose of regulation, includes a provision stipulating that hobbyists maintaining inoperable vehicles on private property are not to be confused with the owners of automobile graveyards. Bill was enacted into law.
Louisiana H.B. 118
Exempts all antique vehicles, defined as 25 years old and older, from the motor vehicle inspection requirements, which include equipment inspections and emissions inspections in certain areas. Bill was enacted into law.
California A.B. 859
Requires an annual smog-check inspections for all cars 15 years old and older. Bill was not enacted into law.
Colorado S.B. 95
Resets the model year target from '76 and newer to '59 and newer for vehicles required to undergo emissions testing. Bill was not enacted into law.
Hawaii H.B. 1878
Creates a cause of action by which one individual can sue another for maintaining an inoperable vehicle on private property. Bill was not enacted into law.
Michigan H.B. 5897
Increases historic vehicle registration fee from $30 every 10 years to $30 annually. Bill was not enacted into law.
Nebraska L.B. 688
Expands the definition of "abandoned motor vehicle" to include project cars and trucks that are left unattended for only six hours on private property without valid plates, title or permit, or that are inoperable, partially dismantled, wrecked, junked or discarded. Bill was not enacted into law.
New York A.B. 1235
Provides that no automotive refinish material labeled "for professional use only" can be sold unless the purchaser demonstrates and meets all local ordinances for the use and application of the material, denying amateur hobbyists the opportunity to paint their own hobby cars. Bill was not enacted into law.
New York A.B. 2800
Charges higher toll and registration fees for vehicles based on the vehicle's weight, emissions and fuel-efficiency ratings. Bill was not enacted into law.
Virginia H.B. 462
Bans the sale of "any aftermarket exhaust system component" that would cause the vehicle to produce undefined "excessive or unusual noise." Bill was not enacted into law.
Washington H.B. 2059
Implements a vehicle scrappage program and provides sales-tax incentives for trade-in vehicles more than 15 years old that do not comply with emissions standards. All trade-in vehicles would be destroyed, regardless of their historical value or collector interest. Bill was not enacted into law.
West Virginia H.B. 3087/S.B. 456
Include vehicles with exhaust systems deemed too loud, as determined by an enforcement officer's subjective opinion, in the definition of "disturbing the peace," a crime that carries a fine of up to $1,000 per occurrence, jail for six months or both. Bills were not enacted into law.
San Diego Celebrates First Annual National Collector Car Appreciation Day
Also celebrating National Collector Car Appreciation Day this past July 9 was a group of car enthusiasts from clubs associated with the Car Club Council of Greater San Diego. Some of these guys and gals have been friends since their high school days in the '50s. They drove their cars and trucks to this local recreation area on July 9 to enjoy this national day of recognition, while enjoying a potluck dinner and sharing stories about their favorite rides. Stay tuned for details on the 2011 celebration.
HEY, THAT'S MY CAR!
Vintage Caddy Aged to Perfection
1958 Cadillac, Series 75 Fleetwood Nine-Passenger Sedan
Owner: Ralph Cota, Cruisin' North Car Club
Sonoma County, California
We found the car in a garage about a mile and a half away from our home. The story is that the car spent the beginning of her life serving the Playboy club in San Francisco and was then sold to a limo company that conveyed clientele to wine tastings and similar outings in Marin and Sonoma. Garaged from 1985 until I purchased it in 2002, my Cadillac was bought through the bartering of an antique jukebox. Then began the restoration. I had the exterior repainted from the stock gray to white. The interior is all stock, right down to the jump seats in the back. I have also kept the stock 365 V8, four-barrel carb and four-speed Hydromatic.
I've spent my life around cars, having owned numerous classics and hot rods over the years. I still have a '64 Ford Ranchero with a 302 V8 and C4 tranny with 411 gears when I want to feel like a teenager again. At 56, however, my tastes have changed a bit, and I love the elegance and comfort of my Cadillac. My wife and I routinely call up a couple of friends and head out to the wineries of beautiful Sonoma County; the Cadillac always garners countless looks of admiration. I love the hobby and hope to enjoy it for many years to come.
Have your car or truck featured in a future issue of Driving Force. Submit your high-resolution photos online at www.semasan.com.
LEGISLATIVE QUICK HITS
Ethanol: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed that there is insufficient test data to permit E15 to be used in model-year '00 and older light-duty motor vehicles. The SAN has consistently voiced concern that ethanol increases water formation, which can create formic acid that corrodes metals, plastics and rubber. On October 13, the EPA issued a waiver to permit the use of E15 in '07 and newer model-year vehicles. The agency is still gathering data to determine whether to permit its use in '01-'06 model-year vehicles. The EPA's ruling responds to a request from the ethanol industry to raise the ethanol content in gasoline from 10% to 15%. The SAN will continue to oppose E15 until there are conclusive scientific findings that demonstrate that it will not harm automobiles of any age as a result of corrosion or other chemical incompatibilities.
Wisconsin Imported Collector Vehicles: A Wisconsin-proposed regulation to prohibit the registration of certain imported collector vehicles has been put on hold. Members of the Senate Transportation Committee voted by ballot to send the proposed rule, Trans 123, back to the Department of Transportation for revisions due to the vocal opposition of Wisconsin enthusiast groups, including members of the SAN. Under an agreement reached with department officials, the rule will not be resubmitted but will be considered by lawmakers in the 2011 legislative session. The measure threatened to prohibit the registration of imported vehicles manufactured after 1967 that did not meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). U.S. law specifically exempts imported vehicles that are 25 years old and older from these standards. The Wisconsin proposal would have been inconsistent with federal law and prohibited the registration of vehicles coming in from other states that have already been proven safe on U.S. roadways. SAN also objected to the proposal on the grounds that it provided no way for vehicle owners to prove a vehicle's safety other than conforming exclusively to the FMVSS and failed to take into account the fact that these vehicles are usually brought into this country by collectors and are overwhelmingly well-maintained and infrequently driven.
Pennsylvania Fees: SAN is opposing legislation introduced in the Pennsylvania legislature which threatens to increase fees for all vehicle owners. Under the bill, general passenger cars will face a $13 increase in their registration fee, while the one-time registration fee for antique, classic and collectible vehicles will go up by $27 (from $75 to $102) and the initial registration fee for street rods by $29 (from $20 to $51). Additionally, each of these fees would be increased every year. Under Pennsylvania law, an antique is defined as a vehicle manufactured more than 25 years prior to the current year; a classic as a vehicle manufactured at least 15 years prior to the current year; a collectible as a reconstructed or modified vehicle substantially modified from the manufacturer's original specifications and appearance and maintained in a collectible condition; and a street rod as a vehicle with a model year of '48 or older (or a reproduction thereof), which has been materially altered or modified by the removal, addition or substitution of essential parts and with a gross weight of not more than 9,000 lbs. SAN has received feedback from many Pennsylvania legislators indicating that although they believe that state transportation projects must be properly funded, they do not support a fee increase that would negatively impact motorists, including owners of unique and historical vehicles.
California Goals for Reducing Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted goals to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and other greenhouse gases from cars and light trucks in 18 urban areas around the state. While the goals are nonbinding, local jurisdictions will need to demonstrate a likelihood of success in order to take advantage of other incentives, such as streamlined permitting for development projects. By placing the emphasis on responsible development to reduce vehicle miles traveled, the planning goals aim to cut vehicle greenhouse gas emissions with a strategy that does not penalize individual vehicle owners. The emissions reduction goals cover the years 2020 to 2035. Many of the urban areas encompass towns, cities and counties in the state's four largest regions, namely Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Sacramento. For these areas, CARB's goals are to reduce CO2 emissions by 7%-8% by 2020 and 13%-16% by 2035. CARB set provisional goals of 5% for 2020 and 10% for 2035 for the San Joaquin Valley's eight planning areas. For other urban areas, the targets vary widely, from 0%-6%.
SAN Partners With Source Interlink Media to Urge 50 Million Readers to Lobby for the Hobby
This month, as you opened your mailboxes or browsed your local newsstands, many of you have noticed that Source Interlink Media, a publisher of automotive specialty niche magazines with more than 50 titles and 60 websites, is devoting each of its automotive group publication titles to the laws and regulations impacting the enjoyment of the automotive hobby. The themed issues, the result of a unique partnership with the SEMA Action Network (SAN), are hitting the market in time for the November 2010 elections and are encouraging readers to vote for legislators who have supported pro-hobby initiatives while also promoting participation in grassroots enthusiast networks that help constituents shape public policy.
"We are again at an election crossroads in which many voters are seeking change," said Doug Evans, Source Interlink's senior vice president and group publisher, Performance Automotive Group. "These issues of our automotive magazines will give our readers an opportunity to consider how actions being taken by federal and state lawmakers impact the auto enthusiast. The need for the enthusiast community to stay informed and become involved is greater than ever. From emissions to auto equipment standards, the government is making decisions about your current and future car."
As SAN members know, the topic is not limited to Washington. While the federal government imposes rules for basic vehicle safety and emissions equipment, most other issues are handled at the state and local levels. From titling and registration to emissions inspection and maintenance and equipment standards, all motor vehicles and motorcycle enthusiasts are subject to decisions made by their state and local officials.
"The people who love musclecars, hot rods, street rods, tuners, replicas, off-road trucks and many other varieties of automotive pursuits are diverse," said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. "With the SAN, we all work together to protect our automotive passions from unnecessary, unfair or well-intentioned but poorly written laws and regulations. By speaking out on issues that concern the automotive hobby, contacting our representatives and working constructively with government officials, we have the power to protect our passion and keep it safe for future generations of auto hobbyists and enthusiasts. We are extremely gratified by the involvement of Source Interlink Media and its highly regarded family of automotive magazines in amplifying this message."
NOVEMBER 2010 SAN CLUB EVENTS
November 19-21, Scottsdale
13th Southwest Nationals
Sponsor: Goodguys Rod & Custom Association
November 5, Yucaipa
Family Classic Car Cruise Night and Toy Drive
Sponsor: Past Pleasures Car Club
November 6, Victorville
California Route 66 Museum 15th Annual Car Show
Sponsor: Southern California Edison
Information: 760/951-0436 or www.califrt66museum.org
November 7, Solvang
Nojoqui Falls Fun Run & Car Show
Sponsor: Central Coast Street Rods
November 13, Lucerne Valley
Candy Cane Classic IV Car Show
Sponsor: Lucerne Valley Parks and Recreation
November 13-14, Pleasanton
Goodguys 21st Autumn Get Together
Sponsor: Goodguys Rod & Custom Association
November 19-21, Palm Springs
20th Palms to Pines Weekend
Sponsor: 356 Club of Southern California
Information: 323/665-2040 or email@example.com or www.porsche356club.org
November 13, Denver
MGCC Dust 'N Shine at Forney Transportation Museum
Sponsor: MG Car Club, Rocky Mountain Centre
Information: firstname.lastname@example.org or http://mgcc.org/rmc.htm
November 6-7, Thompson
Thompson Speedway Automotive Swap Meet
Information: 860/923-2280 or www.thompsonspeedway.com
November 7, Bristol
21st Annual Fall Swap Meet
Sponsor: Connecticut Street Rod Association
Information: 203/697-9113 or www.csra.org
November 21, Pompano
Annual Holiday Mega Classic & Foreign Car Show
Information: http://cruisinsouthflorida.com or 954/563-4000
November 21, Sarasota
19th Annual Super Sunday
Sponsor: Mustang Club of West Central Florida
Information: 941/356-1136 or www.mustangclubofwestcentralflorida.org
November 25-28, Daytona Beach
37th Annual Daytona Turkey Run Car Show
Sponsor: Daytona Beach Street Rods
Info: 386/255-7355 or www.turkeyrun.com/Turkey_Run_Home.html
November 13, Locust Grove
5th Annual Santa Cruise
Sponsor: Georgia Street Rod Association
Information: 770/464-1327 or 229/931-0550
November 20, Chamblee
2nd Annual Toys for Tots Cruise-In
Sponsor: North Georgia Mopar Club
November 20-21, Rosemont
Nickey Chicago Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals
Information: 586/549-5291 or www.mcacn.com
November 6-7, Richmond
38th Annual Vintage Wheels Rod & Custom Car Show
Information: 765/855-1482 or Aclick2@verizon.net
November 28, Indianapolis
Super Sunday Indy Automotive Swap Meet & Car Sale
Sponsor: Mid America Promotions Inc.
Information:708/563-4300 or www.midamericapromotions.com
November 20, Douglass
Sponsor: Douglas Events Committee
November 7, Glen Burnie
Veterans Appreciation Car Show
Sponsor: Maryland Chevelle Club
November 25, Swampscott
2nd Annual Thanksgiving Coffee Run at Big Bird's Hot Rod Shop from 6:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
November 13-14, Lee
Flea Market at the Speedway
Information: 978/462-4252 or www.leeusaspeedway.com
November 5-7, Cherokee
Cruise the Smokies-Fall Cherokee Rod Run
Information: 828/497-8122 or www.cherokee-nc.com/events-detail.php?page=72&evt=25
November 26-27, Charlotte
Annual Charlotte Ford Expo Indoor Swap Meet Car Show
Information: 704/847-7510 or email@example.com
November 4, Roseburg
1st Thursday Cruise-In With the Stray Angels at Pete's Drive Inn
Sponsor: Stray Angels Car Club
November 20, Albany
33rd Albany Indoor Swap Meet
Sponsor: Enduring A's Chapter MAFCA
Information: 541/926-3972 or www.mafca.com/calendar.html
November 7, Riegelsville
20th Annual Fall Roll Out
Sponsor: Kiwanis Club of Riegelsville
October 29-November 7, Hilton Head Island
Information: 843/785-7469 or www.hhiconcours.com
November 14, Shelbyville
Indoor Swap Meet 2010
Sponsor: Celebration City Region AACA
Information: 931/684-9379 or 931/294-5055
November 12-14, Houston
NMRA/NMCA Lone Star Shootout at the Houston Raceway
Sponsor: Tommie Vaughn Performance
November 25-28, Houston
ChevyVettefest at the Houston Autorama
Information: 248/651-4155 or www.autorama.com/casi
November 6-7, Bremerton
Annual OVAC Swap Meet
Sponsor: Olympic Vintage Auto Club
Information: 360/638-2404 or www.ovac.us/flyers/2010-swap-meet-flyer-rules-regs.pdf
British Columbia, CANADA
November 7, Pitt Meadows
Winter Skills Car Control Driver Training
Sponsor: BMW Car Club of BC
Information: 604/671-5843 or www.bmwccbc.org