The 2010 elections are here, and at no time in recent history has Washington been so divided. Less than two years ago, then-Senator Barack Obama led a movement united by the desire for change. Voters wanted a new era of bipartisan cooperation, openness, and an abandonment of "politics as usual".

The realities of backroom politics quickly eroded campaign ideals. Whether President Obama and the Democratic leadership failed to deliver, or his opponents refused the invitation, the battle lines were fortified and partisan rancor is now stronger than ever.

We are again at an election crossroads in which many voters are seeking "change". That's what this magazine article is about-an opportunity to consider how actions being taken by federal and state lawmakers impacts you, 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.

This topic is not limited to Washington. While the federal government issues national rules dictating vehicle safety and emissions equipment, most other issues are handled at the state and local levels. From titling and registration to inspection/maintenance, your car is subject to decisions made by state and local officials.

The future of our hobby depends on you. The ballot box is one venue for making your views known. We also urge you to work collectively with your fellow enthusiasts. How? Join the SEMA Action Network (SAN). SAN is a partnership between enthusiasts, car clubs, and members of the specialty auto parts industry in the United States and Canada who have pledged to join forces in support of legislative solutions for the auto hobby. It's free to join and SAN keeps you informed about pending legislation and regulations-both good and bad-that will impact your state or the entire country. It also provides you with action alerts, speaking points, and lawmaker contact information if you want to support or oppose a bill. Join now: www.semasan.com.

Street Rod And Custom Vehicle Registration And Titling
Special titling and registration designation and recognition of specialty cars, including antique, street rod, custom, classic, collector, modified, replica, and kit car vehicles, has led to an easing of certain equipment standards and exemptions from stringent emission testing-allowing enthusiasts to enjoy the auto hobby legally and providing more business opportunities to the industry. SAN supports initiatives to establish distinctive license plates and separate vehicle code definitions for these cars to increase awareness and allow special consideration during emission testing and equipment inspections. SAN also supports initiatives to create classic motor vehicle project titles that apply to vehicles undergoing restoration that are at least 25 years old, not road worthy, and currently without a title or with a title from another state. SAN also supports initiatives to establish minimal one-time registration fees for specialty vehicles.

SEMA-Model Bill
Street rods, customs, and kit cars are a unique and exciting niche of the automotive hobby and are enjoyed by hobbyists across the country. That is why for the past 10 years SAN, with the support of its dedicated enthusiasts, has championed SEMA-model legislation to make them easier to title and register. Beginning with Illinois in 2001, versions of the model bill have been successful in helping hobbyists title their rods in 20 states to date and SAN is working to add four more states to the list: Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio.