Legislative Alerts!

If you have any information about the laws in your state that other hot rodders should know about, please send it to us and we'll post it here.

SEMA Legislative Updates


November 2, 2009

SEMA and California Agencies Solve Titling Dilemma for Hobbyist Vehicles

Diamond Bar, CA (November 2, 2009) -- SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, working on behalf of California enthusiasts of specialty vehicles (street rods, custom vehicles, kit cars and replicas) and in cooperation with the Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Automotive Repair, Air Resources Board and Attorney General’s office has resolved a complex and threatening issue to this market segment and the industry it serves. “This breakthrough procedure allows owners of certain specially constructed vehicles (SCVs) to avoid the pitfalls of a previously muddy process for legally registering and titling such vehicles in California,” said Steve McDonald, SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs. “Under this process, vehicle owners can avoid a situation that could have led to confiscated SCVs and law enforcement action. Further, the program now permits these vehicles to demonstrate state emissions-compliance requirements.”

Over the years, California’s complex vehicle registration laws have created confusion for hobbyists and the state employees who administer the regulations. Consequently, certain SCVs may be erroneously registered or titled. SEMA has worked with state agencies to address the interests of all parties, including enthusiasts in the SCV market, so that these vehicles can be properly registered and titled in the state.

“Given the looming threat of prosecution that owners of specially constructed vehicles were facing, SEMA’s charge was to find an equitable solution that provided these owners a reasonable period of time to voluntarily re-title their vehicles and pay any necessary back taxes and fees,” said SEMA General Counsel Russ Deane. “After five years of work on these issues, an innovative and ground-breaking solution has been created.”

Last year, SEMA helped enact into law a program whereby the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) would develop and administer a vehicle registration amnesty program. The amnesty program will be in effect from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010 and will apply to vehicles that were previously registered or classified under erroneous or illegal circumstances. Under this new law, the DMV will grant amnesty from prosecution to a vehicle owner if certain conditions are met, including the owner filing a completed application with the department.

More recently, a process was established to allow specially constructed vehicle owners that have been granted amnesty to avail themselves of emissions requirements that recognize the unique nature of these vehicles. While there are still details to be concluded, SEMA has reached a tentative agreement with the state to provide for three methods to achieve compliance.

First, an owner can pay all back taxes and penalties and apply for one of 500 (per year) smog-check exemptions. Under California law, these 500 exemptions for specially constructed vehicles are available each year on a first come, first served basis. For vehicles with an exemption, a smog test referee compares the vehicle to production cars of the era that the specially constructed vehicle most closely resembles to determine the model year. The vehicle owner can then choose whether the inspector will certify the vehicle model year by body type or by the engine model year. Only those emissions controls applicable to the chosen model year are required. California law authorizes a $160 fee for each referee inspection.

Under a second option, SCV owners can pay all back taxes and penalties and then choose to install one of several approved OEM engines and related powertrain components (GM has secured approval for certain engines thus far). Using these OEM components and specifications for the construction of an approved fuel tank and delivery system, these engines provide performance-level power and are intended to meet California emissions compliance requirements. “The GM engine package represents another option for SCV owners seeking to legally register and title their vehicles,” commented SEMA Technical Consultant, Jim McFarland. “In fact, by using one of these engines, it’s also possible for owners of amnesty vehicles to exchange their existing engines for a powertrain that represents the latest in GM’s emissions and performance-related technologies. However, McFarland indicated that because certain variables are involved when configuring any engine or powertrain package for emissions purposes, some measure of compliance risk is involved when such components are installed in a range of vehicle types and conditions.

Finally, working under the banner of the “GreenRod Project” and recognizing that the demand for the 500 exemptions greatly exceeds the supply, SEMA configured a kit of emissions-related aftermarket parts that met California smog-check standards during a series of tests on a project vehicle. An owner can pay all back taxes and penalties and, if the owner is not able to obtain one of the 500 available exemptions, a “retrofit kit” of parts can be installed. Major components in the kit include an aftermarket electronic fuel injection (EFI) system, EFI controller, exhaust headers, camshaft, mufflers and catalytic converters. For the purposes of the GreenRod Project, the retrofit kit was installed on a high-mileage 1980 El Camino fitted with a 1986 carbureted, 5.7 liter engine. The 5.7 liter/350 cubic inch displacement small-block Chevrolet V8 engine is one of the most widely-used engine platforms for all types of specially constructed vehicles.

According to McFarland, “While the engine SEMA used to develop the kit was considered a worst case configuration, it still passed smog-check requirements. Variables such as engine condition, accumulated mileage, and related factors affecting emissions from these parts may, in some cases, cause similar engines not to meet acceptable emissions levels. Nonetheless, transitioning from a carbureted environment to a fuel injected environment while utilizing the latest controller technology and emissions parts upgrades available from the specialty equipment industry resulted in dramatic and unprecedented reductions in tailpipe and evaporative emissions on the test vehicle. The retrofit kit actually improved performance and drivability while not limiting power in a full acceleration mode, compared to a carbureted engine. It was perhaps the first time a package of specialty aftermarket parts has been assembled for the purpose of reducing tailpipe emissions which did not reduce power or performance.”

“Given the seriousness of the title and registration issue in California, SEMA’s work with the state agencies to create practical solutions for specialty vehicle owners, both now and in the future, is an outstanding accomplishment,” said So Cal Speed Shop owner, Pete Chapouris.

 

How do I know if I need to apply for amnesty?
If you have knowingly made any false statement or knowingly concealed any material fact in any document filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles or the California Highway Patrol, you will need to apply for amnesty. Examples of this would be failing to report the actual value of the vehicle and failure to pay the correct sales tax when the vehicle was first titled/registered in California, or incorrectly stating the actual age of the vehicle. As a further example, a replica of a 1932 Ford built in 2002 is not a 1932 vehicle for the purposes of this California amnesty program. It is a 2002 vehicle. In general, if you have reason to believe that there is erroneous information on your vehicle’s title, it should be corrected.

What are the consequences if I do not re-title my vehicle prior to the conclusion of the amnesty period?
If you understated the value of the vehicle to the extent that the State of California lost more than $1,000 in revenue, you could be charged with a felony. If the amount is less or you incorrectly stated the age of the vehicle, you could be charged with a variety of misdemeanors. Recent prosecutions for this type of offense required owners to pay back-taxes and fees averaging $4,000 per vehicle. In some cases, owners were forced to surrender the title to their car. To receive amnesty, any and all back-taxes must be paid in full and the vehicle’s title must be factually corrected.

What documentation should I take to the DMV office when applying for amnesty?
Applying for amnesty will re-start the titling and registration process for your specially constructed vehicle. You will need to submit a new DMV 343 Application for Title and Registration form. You will also be required to file a DMV 5063 Statement of Construction form, listing the origin of the vehicle’s parts and their purchase price. It would be helpful to have a bill of sale for the vehicle or any appropriate receipts for parts/labor that can be used to establish the actual value of the vehicle. If it is likely that your car had a fraudulent title and will need to pass a smog check, it is advisable to apply for one of the 500 smog check exemptions granted per year by the DMV.

How much should I expect to pay for the “retrofit” kit? How much should I expect to pay for the GM engine and powertrain?
The retrofit kit is a collection of emissions-related parts with specifications developed by SEMA for which a variety of aftermarket manufacturers will be able to supply components. On average, the kit should cost approximately $6,000. The labor to install the package will likely cost an additional $5,000. If you choose to use a new engine and powertrain package from GM, the current LS3 package will retail at an estimated $7,900. GM will also offer a number of other emissions-approved engine packages with a variety of performance options and price levels. Estimated installation cost for the GM system is approximately $6,000.

If I use a GM engine, how will I know if I’ve used the correct parts and properly installed them?
GM will include comprehensive instructions that leave little room for error. If you feel that you do not have the mechanical experience to install the package, there are local hot rod shops, independent repair facilities and dealerships capable of installing the parts. Even when parts are correctly installed, there are variables involved when attempting to meet certain compliance requirements, such as engine condition, other modifications and related factors that can affect emissions.

If I choose to retrofit my current engine, how will I know that the parts kit will actually enable my car to pass the smog test?
The retrofit kit that SEMA developed consists of emissions-related parts intended for a range of engine displacements. It was designed to work with engines typically used in specially constructed vehicles. In general, these would be carbureted V8 engines manufactured by GM, Ford and Chrysler. Although these parts enabled SEMA’s project engine to meet emissions requirements, there is no guarantee that they will allow any engine to meet smog check requirements, depending upon variables that include, but limited to the following: mechanical compression ratio limits, improperly installed catalytic converters, excessive wear (valve guides, piston rings and cylinder bores), piston displacement limits and a mal-functioning EGR system.

Is there a way I can get a pre-certification test check to see if my vehicle will pass the smog test?
Yes. California law allows any licensed smog-check station to conduct a pre-test on your vehicle to determine whether it can pass a loaded mode smog test before you submit the car for inspection at a BAR Referee station. The average price for a pre-certification smog test in California is approximately $49. If your vehicle fails the pre-certification smog check, it may be possible to make adjustments that will bring it into compliance. As with any vehicle maintenance, it’s best to use a mechanic you know and trust.

What if I have questions about technical aspects of this program?
SEMA and GM will be available to provide some technical assistance for enthusiasts who apply for amnesty to help them navigate through the process.

SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963, represents the $31.85 billion specialty automotive industry of 7,144 member companies. It is the authoritative source for research, data, trends and market growth information for the specialty auto parts industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles. For more information, contact SEMA at 1575 S. Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765, tel. 909/396-0289, or visit www.sema.org and www.enjoythedrive.com.


June 5th, 2009.

California Proposes to Enhance Vehicle Scrappage Program
State to Target Pre-1976 Vehicles

SEMA is opposing a California Air Resources Board (CARB) proposal to spend roughly $30 million annually for an Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program (EFMP) to augment the State's existing vehicle scrappage program. The proposal would provide incentives statewide for vehicles not currently eligible under the Consumer Assistance Program by removing the existing requirements that vehicles be subject to and fail Smog Check to participate. CARB is specifically targeting for scrappage pre-1976 vehicles that are not currently required to undergo Smock Check inspections. According to CARB, allowing vehicles that are not currently undergoing registration or that have passed their Smog Check to participate greatly expands the vehicle population that can be retired.

Participants would receive $1,000 per vehicle or $1,500 per vehicle if they meet low-income requirements. The proposal would also establish a pilot voucher program in the South Coast and San Joaquin Valley air basins that targets the highest-emitting vehicles and requires their replacement with newer, cleaner vehicles. The local air districts would work with the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) to determine vehicle eligibility and low-income status. Once approved, the districts would provide the applicant a Letter of Eligibility from BAR and a redeemable voucher. Consumers would retire their vehicle at a participating dismantler, receiving an immediate compensation of $1,000 - $1,500 for vehicle retirement. Consumers could then redeem their voucher at participating car dealerships toward the purchase of a replacement vehicle. CARB is proposing that the voucher compensation be $2,000 or $2,500 per vehicle depending on income level.

CARB will conduct a public hearing to consider adoption of the proposed Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program Regulation (Car Scrap).

DATE: June 25-26, 2009
TIME: 9:00 a.m.
PLACE: California Environmental Protection Agency
Air Resources Board, Byron Sher Auditorium
1001 I Street
Sacramento, California 95814

Comments to the proposal are due June 24. To read the full proposal, go to:

Written comments must be received no later than 12:00 noon, Pacific Standard Time, June 24, 2009, and addressed to the following: (updated link):
http://www.arb.ca.gov/regact/2009/carscrap09/carscrapisor.pdf

Clerk of the Board, Air Resources Board
1001 I Street, Sacramento, California 95814

Electronic submittal:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/lispub/comm/bclist.php
Fax submittal: (916) 322-3928

Here is the response we submitted.

To: California Air Resources Board

From: Hot Rods & Custom Stuff

Subject: The Proposed Enhanced Fleet Modernization Program Regulation (Car Scrap).

Once again, we would like to voice our opposition to proposed vehicle scrappage program increases. Not only will this proposal hurt already struggling businesses in California, it proposes to spend an additional 30 million dollars or so annually—money the state does not have. All to achieve a result based on a faulty premise, that pre-1976 vehicles produce the lion’s share of pollution in the state.

It is a false premise because it assumes that all or most of these vehicles are driven on a daily basis. This is not the case except for a handful of these vehicles. Most of them are driven only to shows or on occasional weekend cruises. Our business caters to the owners of these older vehicle and we know this to be a fact. We not only perform full restorations here, we service these classic cars and speak with their owners daily.

Here are some facts not in your report.

1. The restoration of one classic automobile can generate as much as $20,000 in tax revenue to the state and keep a dozen people employed for a year.

2. Many makes and models of pre-1976 autos are highly sought after collectible cars which will change hands many times, generating tax revenue in each instance. When no longer restorable, their parts are salvaged to restore others, generating more tax revenue. When these vehicles no longer have value to the industry they or their remains end up being scrapped by their owners.

3. Pre-76 California cars are among the most highly valued because, as your report states, “California’s mild climate contributes to the longer survival rates…”. In other words, they tend to be easier to restore, which generally means less rust repair which requires welding (carbon emissions). And many of these vehicles are purchased by out of state buyers where the climate is not so friendly. So, restored or not, many leave the state anyway.

4. Restoration and repair of these vehicle helps support a large after-market parts industry comprised of companies large and small.

5. Many towns, like here in Escondido, have revitalized their downtown summer business by sponsoring cruise nights that encourage locals to bring out their classic cars and show off these pieces of rolling Americana, much to the delight of local restaurants and other small business.

6. Car shows and swap meets generate large amounts of revenue which will go away when there are no more classic cars left to restore.

The economic benefits of the classic car industry are many, and the environmental impacts few, when objectively analyzed.

And yet, each year, CARB attempts to exercise its bureaucratic muscle and short-sightedness to put an end to the economic activity that revolves around the restoration and salvage of these vehicles. Instead, it would rather dole out millions of dollars we don’t have in order to provide the Chinese with cheap steel to build their economy (yes, that’s where most metal from the scrappers goes).

We urge the board to drop this scrappage proposal. If it is truly concerned about the economy forcing people to drive older cars longer, do something about California's outrageous licensing fees, runaway taxes, and excessive regulations (environmental and otherwise), that make new cars too expensive to buy each and every year. Or perhaps CARB could focus its efforts on trying to clean up the environmental disaster it foisted on Californians in the form of MTBE as a fuel additive.

Need we say more?

Randy G. Clark
Hot Rods & Custom Stuff
2324 Auto Park Way
Escondido, CA 92029
http://www.hotrodscustomstuff.com

We urge everyone who cares about this industry and the hobby of classic automobile restoration to contact the board and voice opposition to this proposal.

For additional legislative updates you can go to this page of our website our website: http://www.hotrodscustomstuff.com/legislation.html


No Stimulus For Old Cars!

January 23, 2009

Oppose Federal Vehicle Scrappage Program (SEMA)

Our efforts to prevent Congress from including a nationwide “Cash for Clunkers” program in the economic stimulus package has been successful – so far. Thousands of SEMA members and SEMA Action Network (SAN) enthusiasts contacted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in opposition to the plan. The Speaker’s Office informed us that your emails, calls and faxes were received and, thanks to your work, Cash for Clunkers was not included in the economic stimulus package introduced in mid-January in the House of Representatives. Unfortunately, new legislation (S. 247 and H.R. 520) has been introduced in Congress to create a national vehicle scrappage program which will give U.S. tax dollars to consumers who turn-in their “gas guzzlers” to have them crushed. Lawmakers need to scrap this idea!

Contact Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) Immediately to Oppose S. 247 and H.R. 520

The so-called “Accelerated Retirement of Inefficient Vehicles Act” is Cash for Clunkers with a twist. Instead of focusing exclusively on older cars, this program would target vehicles with low fuel economy ratings of any model year. Participants would receive cash vouchers ranging from $2,500 to $4,500 based on the model year and whether the replacement vehicle was a more fuel-efficient new car or used car (MY 2004 or later). Fuel-efficient is defined as getting at least 25 percent better mileage for the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) target for its class. The bill sponsors want to scrap up to one million cars a year for at least four years.

There is no evidence that the program would achieve the goal of boosting new car sales or increasing fuel mileage. Many states have considered scrappage programs in the past as a way to help clean the air or increase mpg, but abandoned the effort because they simply don’t work. The programs are not cost-effective and do not achieve verifiable air quality or fuel economy benefits, but they do have a devastating impact on the many small businesses that market products and services for the scrapped cars.

_________________________

Don’t Delay! Please contact Senator Diane Feinstein and Rep. Henry Waxman today to urge their opposition to S. 247 and H.R. 520. For those who responded to our first call for action, we need you again, along with everyone else.

Contact Sen. Diane Feinstein to oppose S. 247
• Click here to send an email: http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactUs.EmailMe
• Call: (202) 224-3841
• Fax: (202) 228-3954

Contact Henry Waxman to oppose HR 520
• Click here to send an email: http://energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1313&Itemid=1
• Call: (202) 225-2927
• Fax: (202) 225-2525

________________

Talking Points:
Oppose the Use of U.S. Taxpayer Dollars for Accelerated Vehicle Retirement

• I am writing to urge lawmakers not to approve an “accelerated vehicle retirement” program. Even on a voluntary basis, the program will hurt thousands of independent repair shops, auto restorers, customizers and their customers across the country that depend on the used car market. These businesses are already very vulnerable in the weak economy.

• An accelerated vehicle retirement program is flawed since it does not target the “gross polluter,” an improperly maintained vehicle of any make or model year that has poor fuel mileage and dramatically more emissions due to poor maintenance.

• An accelerated vehicle retirement program is flawed because it does not factor-in how many miles-a-year the collected vehicles are currently being driven. U.S. taxpayers will be buying rarely-driven second and third vehicles that have minimal impact on overall fuel economy and air pollution.

• Accelerated vehicle retirement won’t generate many new car sales. The cash incentive provided will not be enough to enable a person to buy a new or used vehicle.

• Accelerated vehicle retirement will compete with nonprofits that rely on vehicle donations to raise funds, such as the Salvation Army, the Purple Heart and other charities.

• Accelerated vehicle retirement threatens to disrupt a large and complex industry which already handles scrappage, repair, remanufacturing and recycling issues. This independent industry provides thousands of American jobs and generates millions of dollars in local, state and federal tax revenues.

• Accelerated vehicle retirement ignores better policy options. Taxpayer dollars would be better spent as direct tax incentives to purchase a fuel-efficient new or used car, without a government vehicle crushing program. Congress should also provide tax incentives to upgrade, repair and maintain existing cars, trucks and SUVs. There are many commercially available products and technologies that can substantially improve fuel mileage and lower the emissions.

• We hope we can count on you to reject “Accelerated Vehicle Retirement.” Thank you for your consideration on this very important matter.

UPDATE: This legislation has been defeated -- for now....


California

They're at it again folks!

March 18, 2008.

Old Car Emissions Exemption Threatened in 8 California Counties; Hearing Scheduled for April 1

Legislation (S.B. 1549) has been introduced in the California State Senate by Senator Dean Florez (senator.florez@sen.ca.gov) to repeal the state’s current emissions test exemption for pre-1976 vehicles registered by new owners in the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District. The District includes eight counties in California’s Central Valley: San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and the valley portion of Kern. Under the bill, after Jan. 1, 2009, new owners seeking to register a pre-1976 vehicle in these eight counties would be subject to emissions tests for the life of the vehicle. S.B. 1549 is scheduled to be considered by the California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on April 1, 2008.

We Urge You to Call, E-Mail or Fax Senator Florez and Members of the Senate Transportation Committee (List Attached) Immediately to Oppose S.B. 1549

 

Existing law in California exempts all pre-1976 vehicles from emissions testing.

California’s current emissions testing exemption recognizes the minimal impact of pre-1976 motor vehicles on emissions and air quality.

Pre-1976 vehicles constitute a small and shrinking portion of the overall vehicle population in California and are a poor source from which to look for further emissions reductions.

Pre-1976 antique and classic vehicles are overwhelmingly well-maintained.

Repeal of the exemption in the San Joaquin Valley could lead the Legislature to target other areas in the state in the future.

 

Legislators and regulators are again feeling the heat from a failed effort to meet air quality goals and are looking for a convenient scapegoat. The old car hobby should not carry the burden of their mistakes, as it has in previous amendments to the old car exemption!


Please phone, fax or e-mail Senator Florez to express your opposition to S.B. 1549. Senator Florez can be reached at:

E-Mail: Senator.Florez@sen.ca.gov
Phone: (916) 651-4016
Fax: (916) 327-5989

Please phone, fax or e-mail members of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee to express your opposition to S.B. 1549

California Senate Transportation & Housing Committee

(Click here to email all Committee members)

Senator Alan Lowenthal – Chair
Phone: 916/651-4027
Fax: 916/327-9113
Email: Senator.Lowenthal@sen.ca.gov

Senator Tom McClintock
Phone: 916/651-4019
Fax: 916/324-7544
Email: senator.mcclintock@sen.ca.gov

Senator Roy Ashburn
Phone: 916/651-4018
Fax: 916/322-3304
Email: senator.ashburn@sen.ca.gov

Senator Gilbert Cedillo
Phone: 916/651-4022
Fax: 916/327-8817
Email: senator.cedillo@sen.ca.gov

Senator Ellen Corbett
Phone: 916/651-4010
Fax: 916/327-2433
Email: senator.corbett@sen.ca.gov

Senator Bob Dutton
Phone: 916/651-4031
Fax: 916/327-2272
Email: senator.dutton@sen.ca.gov

Senator Tom Harman
Phone: 916/651-4035
Fax: 916/445-9263
Email: senator.harman@sen.ca.gov

Senator Christine Kehoe
Phone: 916/651-4039
Fax: 916/327-2188
Email: senator.kehoe@sen.ca.gov

Senator Jenny Oropeza
Phone: 916/651-4028
Fax: 916/323-6056
Email: senator.oropeza@sen.ca.gov

Senator Joe Simitian
Phone: 916/651-4011
Fax: 916/323-4529
Email: senator.simitian@sen.ca.gov

Senator Tom Torlakson
Phone: 916/651-4007
Fax: 916/445-2527
Email: senator.torlakson@sen.ca.gov

Senator Leland Yee
Phone: 916/651-4008
Fax: 916/327-2186
Email: senator.yee@sen.ca.gov

Please e-mail a copy of your letters to Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org

Here is the letter we sent if you are interest in how we responded....

Dear Senator,

I am writing to you about the scheduled hearing on S.B. 1549, the pending legislation to repeal the state's current emissions test exemption for pre-1976 vehicles registered by new owners in the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District. As a California small business owner, this legislation is of great concern to me.

I own and operate a business that specializes in the restoration, customization and maintenance of classic cars and hot rods. This legislation would do little or nothing to solve California's air quality, while doing great harm to my business and the future of classic car collecting and restoration.

S.B. 1549 ignores the minimal impact that classic cars have on air quality. These cars are not usually driven on a regular basis. Most only leave the garage one or two times a month during good weather. When they do, they leave with engines that have been finely tuned and which, in most cases, pollute less than the engines they came out of the factory with.

If passed, S.B. 1549 is likely to spread across the state, and who knows where after that. Although my business is located in San Diego County, we build and restore classic autos for people all over the state and country. We have built cars for enthusiasts in the counties mentioned, and hope to do so again in the future. It won't happen with legislation like this.

Small businesses like mine employ an ever-shrinking supply of skilled craftsmen who still know the art of vehicle restoration. Those skills will be forever lost if this industry is sacrificed by well-meaning, but ill-informed legislation.

S.B. 1549 is not the way to solve this problem. It will kill businesses that are already hurting in hard economic times and do nothing meaningful for air quality.

I urge you to vote NO on S.B. 1549.

Respectfully,
Randy G. Clark
Hot Rods & Custom Stuff
Escondido, CA
www.hotrodscustomstuff.com


California

August 22, 2007.

URGENT LEGISLATION ALERT !

Hearing Postponed to Consider California Bill to Require ANNUAL Emissions Tests for Vehicles 15-Years Old

An Aug. 20th Senate Appropriations Committee hearing to consider legislation (A.B. 616) to require annual Smog check inspections for vehicles 15-years old and older has been postponed. A.B. 616 would also require that funds generated through the additional inspection fees be deposited into an account which can be used to scrap older cars. The hearing will be rescheduled after the Legislature approves a budget for the state. We are aware that certain e-mail addresses for Appropriations Committee members are being blocked. Accordingly, we are providing phone and fax numbers for your use.

We Urge You to Call or Fax Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee (List Below) Immediately to Oppose A.B. 616

A.B. 616 ignores the minimal impact vintage cars have on air quality.

A.B. 616 could entice vintage car owners into allowing these vehicles to be scrapped.

A.B. 616 ignores the fact that vehicles 15-years old and older still constitute a small portion of the overall vehicle population and are a poor source from which to look for emissions reduction.

A.B. 616 ignores the fact that classic vehicles are overwhelmingly well-maintained and infrequently driven.

A.B. 616 would increase costs by creating an annual inspection fee for owners of these vehicles.

A.B. 616 represents another attempt by California legislators and regulators to scapegoat older cars.

A.B. 616 would dramatically impact the ability of fixed and low income motorists from owning and driving their older vehicles.

Please contact members of the California Senate Appropriations Committee immediately by phone, fax or e-mail to request their opposition to A.B. 616.

Please e-mail a copy of your letter to stevem@sema.org. Thank you for your assistance.

Senate Appropriations Committee

Senator Tom Torlakson (Chair)
Phone: (916) 651-4007
Fax: (916) 445-2527
Email: Senator.Torlakson@senate.ca.gov

Senator Dave Cox (Vice Chair)
Phone: (916) 651-4001
Fax: (916) 324-2680
Email: Senator.Cox@senate.ca.gov

Senator Samuel Aanestad
Phone: (916) 651-4004
Fax: (916) 445-7750
Email: Senator.Aanestad@senate.ca.gov

Senator Roy Ashburn
Phone: (916) 651-4018
Fax: (916) 651-4018
Email: Senator.Ashburn@senate.ca.gov

Senator Jim Battin
Phone: (916) 651-4037
Fax: (916) 327-2187
Email: Senator.Battin@senate.ca.gov

Senator Gilbert Cedillo
Phone: (916) 651-4022
Fax: (916) 327-8817
Email: Senator.Cedillo@senate.ca.gov

Senator Ellen Corbett
Phone: (916) 651-4010
Fax: (916) 327-2433
Email: Senator.Corbett@senate.ca.gov

Senator Robert Dutton
Phone: (916) 651-4031
Fax: (916) 327-2272
Email: Senator.Dutton@senate.ca.gov

Senator Dean Florez
Phone: (916) 651-4016
Fax: (916) 327-5989
Email: Senator.Florez@senate.ca.gov

Senator Sheila Kuehl
Phone: (916) 651-4023
Fax: (916) 324-4823
Email: Senator.Kuehl@senate.ca.gov

Senator Jenny Oropeza
Phone: (916) 651-4028
Fax: (916) 323-6056
Email: Senator.Oropeza@senate.ca.gov

Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas
Phone: (916) 651-4026
Fax: (916) 445-8899
Email: Senator.Ridley-Thomas@senate.ca.gov

Senator George Runner
Phone: (916) 651-4017
Fax: (916) 445-4662
Email: Senator.Runner@senate.ca.gov

Senator Joe Simitian
Phone: (916) 651-4011
Fax: (916) 323-4529
Email: Senator.Simitian@senate.ca.gov

Senator Darrell Steinberg
Phone: (916) 651-4006
Fax: (916) 323-2263
Email: Senator.Steinberg@senate.ca.gov

Senator Mark Wyland
Phone: (916) 651-4038
Fax: (916) 446-7382
Email: Senator.Wyland@senate.ca.gov

Senator Leland Yee
Phone: (916) 651-4008
Fax: (916) 327-2186
Email: Senator.Yee@senate.ca.gov


California

June 18, 2007.

URGENT LEGISLATION ALERT !

California Bill to Require ANNUAL Emissions Tests for Vehicles 15-Years Old and Older Passes Assembly; Moves to Senate

Legislation (A.B. 616) to require annual Smog check inspections for vehicles 15-years old and older has been approved by the California Assembly and has been sent to the Senate for consideration. The bill would also require that funds generated through the additional inspection fees be deposited into an account which can be used to scrap older cars. You may recall that in 2004 a new law was enacted in California to require the lifetime testing of all 1976 and newer model-year vehicles. Pre-1976 motor vehicles would remain exempt under A.B. 616. The bill has been now referred to the Senate Transportation Committee.

We Urge You to Contact Members of the Senate Transportation Committee (List Below) Immediately to Oppose A.B. 616

A.B. 616 ignores the minimal impact vintage cars have on air quality.

A.B. 616 could entice vintage car owners into allowing these vehicles to be scrapped.

A.B. 616 ignores the fact that vehicles 15-years old and older still constitute a small portion of the overall vehicle population and are a poor source from which to look for emissions reduction.

A.B. 616 ignores the fact that classic vehicles are overwhelmingly well-maintained and infrequently driven.

A.B. 616 would increase costs by creating an annual inspection fee for owners of these vehicles.

A.B. 616 represents another attempt by California legislators and regulators to scapegoat older cars.

Please contact members of the California Senate Transportation Committee immediately by phone, fax or e-mail to request their opposition to A.B. 616.

Please e-mail a copy of your letter to stevem@sema.org. Thank you for your assistance.

Senate Transportation Committee

Senator Alan Lowenthal (Chair)
Senator.Lowenthal@senate.ca.gov
916) 651-4027

Senator Tom McClintock (Vice Chair)
Senator.McClintock@senate.ca.gov
(916) 651-4019

Senator Roy Ashburn
Senator.Ashburn@senate.ca.gov
(916) 651-4018

Senator Gilbert Cedillo
Senator.Cedillo@senate.ca.gov
(916) 651-4022

Senator Ellen Corbett
Senator.Corbett@senate.ca.gov
(916) 651-4010

Senator Robert Dutton
Senator.Dutton@senate.ca.gov
(916) 651-4031

Senator Tom Harman
Senator.Harman@senate.ca.gov
(916) 651-4035

Senator Christine Kehoe
Senator.Kehoe@senate.ca.gov
(916) 651-4039

Senator Joe Simitian
Senator.Simitian@senate.ca.gov
(916) 651-4011

Senator Tom Torlakson
Senator.Torlakson@senate.ca.gov
(916) 651-4007

Senator Leland Yee
Senator.Yee@senate.ca.gov
(916) 651-4008


California

March 20, 2007.

URGENT LEGISLATION ALERT !

California Considers Taxing “Gas Guzzlers”

In a misguided attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, legislation (A.B. 493) has been introduced in the California Assembly by Assemblyman Ira Ruskin (Assemblymember.Ruskin@assembly.ca.gov) to establish a progressive purchase surcharge for some new motor vehicles based on state calculations of carbon emissions. Depending on the vehicle purchased, this surcharge could require owners to pay up to $2,500 more for the vehicle. Funds collected under the program would be used in part to fund discounts for hybrids and electric cars. If this effort is successful, the effects on your ability to purchase the vehicle of your choice, not to mention vehicle safety, will be dramatic.

We Urge You to Contact the Assembly Transportation Committee Members (List Below) Immediately To Request Their Opposition to A.B. 493

H.B. 493 will limit consumer choice in purchasing vehicles by making popular performance and luxury cars, as well as SUVs, light trucks and minivans, substantially more expensive to own.

H.B. 493 will potentially lead to more deaths on California’s highways as higher taxes on larger, safer vehicles forces consumers into smaller cars with higher accident fatality rates.

H.B. 493 will not conserve energy. Greenhouse gas emissions depends on a host of other factors such as total miles traveled.

H.B. 493 will do little to improve air quality. Air quality has more to do with overall basic vehicle maintenance than it does with owning and operating any particular class of vehicle.

DON’T DELAY! Please contact members of the California Assembly Transportation Committee immediately by phone or e-mail to request their opposition to this bill.

Please e-mail a copy of your letter to stevem@sema.org. Thank you for your assistance.

Assembly Transportation Committee

Pedro Nava, Chair
Telephone: (916) 319-2035
Fax: (916) 319-2135
Email: Assemblymember.nava@assembly.ca.gov

Michael D. Duvall, Vice-Chair
Telephone: (916) 319-2072
Fax: (916) 319-2172
Email: Assemblymember.Duvall@assembly.ca.gov

Wilma Amina Carter
Telephone: (916) 319-2062
Fax: (916) 319-2162
Email: Assemblymember.Carter@assembly.ca.gov

Mike DeSaulnier
Telephone: (916) 319-2011
Fax: (916) 319-2111
Email: Assemblymember.DeSaulnier@assembly.ca.gov

Cathleen Galgiani
Tel: (916) 319-2017
Fax: (916) 319-2117
Email: Assemblymember.Galgiani@assembly.ca.gov

Martin Garrick
Telephone: (916) 319-2074
Fax: (916) 319-2174
Email: Assemblymember.Garrick@assembly.ca.gov

Shirley Horton
Telephone: (916) 319-2078
Email: Assemblymember.Shirley.Horton@assembly.ca.gov

Guy S. Houston
Telephone: (916) 319-2015
Fax: (916) 319-2115
Email: Assemblymember.Houston@assembly.ca.gov

Bob Huff
Telephone: (916) 319-2060
Fax: (916) 319-2160
Email: assemblymember.huff@assembly.ca.gov

Betty Karnette
Telephone: (916) 319-2054
Email: Assemblymember.Karnette@assembly.ca.gov

Anthony J. Portantino
Telephone: (916) 319-2044
Fax: (916) 319-2144
Email: assemblymember.Portantino@assembly.ca.gov

Ira Ruskin
Telephone: (916) 319 - 2021
Fax: (916) 319 – 2121
Email: Assemblymember.Ruskin@assembly.ca.gov

Jose Solorio
Telephone: (916) 319-2069
Fax: (916) 319-2169

Nell Soto
Telephone: (916) 319-2061
Fax: (916) 319-2161
Email: Assemblymember.Soto@assembly.ca.gov


California

March 8, 2007

URGENT LEGISLATIVE ALERT

California Introduces Bill to Require ANNUAL Emissions Tests for Vehicles 15-Years Old and Older!

Here we go again! Legislation (A.B. 616) has been introduced in the California Assembly by Assemblyman Dave Jones to require annual Smog check inspections for vehicles 15-years old and older. The bill would also require that funds generated through the additional inspection fees be deposited into an account which can be used to scrap older cars. You may recall that in 2004 a new law was enacted in California to require the lifetime testing of all 1976 and newer model-year vehicles. Pre-1976 motor vehicles would remain exempt under A.B. 616. The bill has been referred to the Assembly Transportation Committee.

We Urge You to Contact Assemblyman Jones and members of the Assembly Transportation Committee (List Below) Immediately to Oppose A.B. 616

A.B. 616 ignores the minimal impact vintage cars have on air quality.

A.B. 616 could entice vintage car owners into allowing these vehicles to be scrapped.

A.B. 616 ignores the fact that vehicles 15-years old and older still constitute a small portion of the overall vehicle population and are a poor source from which to look for emissions reduction.

A.B. 616 ignores the fact that classic vehicles are overwhelmingly well-maintained and infrequently driven.

A.B. 616 would increase costs by creating an annual inspection fee for owners of these vehicles.

A.B. 616 represents another attempt by California legislators and regulators to scapegoat older cars.

Please contact members of the California Assembly Transportation Committee immediately by phone, fax or e-mail to request their opposition to A.B. 616.

Do nothing and we could all loose our rides to the system. Like I said, it's up to us to Save Our Rides!

Write, Call or/and Email your representative today and tell them how you feel.

Please e-mail a copy of your letter to stevem@sema.org. Thank you for your assistance.

Assembly Transportation Committee

Pedro Nava, Chair
Telephone: (916) 319-2035
Fax: (916) 319-2135
Email: Assemblymember.nava@assembly.ca.gov

Michael D. Duvall, Vice-Chair
Telephone: (916) 319-2072
Fax: (916) 319-2172
Email: Assemblymember.Duvall@assembly.ca.gov

Wilma Amina Carter
Telephone: (916) 319-2062
Fax: (916) 319-2162
Email: Assemblymember.Carter@assembly.ca.gov

Mike DeSaulnier
Telephone: (916) 319-2011
Fax: (916) 319-2111
Email: Assemblymember.DeSaulnier@assembly.ca.gov

Cathleen Galgiani
Tel: (916) 319-2017
Fax: (916) 319-2117
Email: Assemblymember.Galgiani@assembly.ca.gov

Martin Garrick
Telephone: (916) 319-2074
Fax: (916) 319-2174
Email: Assemblymember.Garrick@assembly.ca.gov

Shirley Horton
Telephone: (916) 319-2078
Email: Assemblymember.Shirley.Horton@assembly.ca.gov

Guy S. Houston
Telephone: (916) 319-2015
Fax: (916) 319-2115
Email: Assemblymember.Houston@assembly.ca.gov

Bob Huff
Telephone: (916) 319-2060
Fax: (916) 319-2160
Email: assemblymember.huff@assembly.ca.gov

Betty Karnette
Telephone: (916) 319-2054
Email: Assemblymember.Karnette@assembly.ca.gov

Anthony J. Portantino
Telephone: (916) 319-2044
Fax: (916) 319-2144
Email: assemblymember.Portantino@assembly.ca.gov

Ira Ruskin
Telephone: (916) 319 - 2021
Fax: (916) 319 – 2121
Email: Assemblymember.Ruskin@assembly.ca.gov

Jose Solorio
Telephone: (916) 319-2069
Fax: (916) 319-2169

Nell Soto
Telephone: (916) 319-2061
Fax: (916) 319-2161
Email: Assemblymember.Soto@assembly.ca.gov


Arkansas

March 7, 2007.

Arkansas Introduces Anti-Hobbyist Historic Vehicles Bill


Legislation (H.B. 1403) that would amend the state’s current law governing historic or special interest vehicles to require that these vehicles be 30 or more years old and pay a $25 registration fee has been introduced in the Arkansas House of Representatives by Rep. Pam Adcock. The bill is scheduled to be heard in committee on Mar. 8.

We Urge You to Contact Members of the House Committee on Public Transportation to OPPOSE H.B. 1403

Under current Arkansas law, historic vehicles are only required to be 25-years old or older.

Under current Arkansas law, historic vehicle owners are only required to pay a $7 registration fee.
DON’T DELAY! Please contact members of the Arkansas Committee on Public Transportation immediately by phone or e-mail to request their opposition to H.B. 1403.

For more information, visit www.semasan.com/main/main.aspx?id=62242. For details, contact Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org.


Illinois

March 7, 2007.

Backyard Vehicle Restoration Jobs Under Siege Again In Illinois; Harmful Inoperable Vehicle Bill to be Heard on March 6


A bill (H.B. 367) introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives that would further restrict the ability of Illinois vehicle hobbyists from maintaining inoperable vehicles on private property will be considered by the House Transportation and Motor Vehicles Committee on Tuesday, March 6. H.B. 367 would redefine “inoperable motor vehicles” to include vehicles incapable of being lawfully driven on state highways in full accordance with Illinois vehicle laws. The bill would also expand the definition of inoperable vehicles to include dismantled and unlicensed vehicles. Under current law, localities may authorize fines and disposal of inoperable vehicles on public and private property.

Contact House Transportation and Motor Vehicles Committee Members (List Below) Immediately To Request Their Opposition to H.B. 367

H.B. 367 would give local authorities an inordinate amount of power in determining the disposition of inoperable historic project cars.

H.B. 367 would make it virtually impossible for Illinois hobbyists to maintain inoperable collector vehicles on private property.

H.B. 367 demonstrates a clear disregard and lack of understanding of the vehicle hobby and the rights of hobbyists.

H.B. 367 makes no legal distinction between an owner using private property as a dumping ground and a vehicle enthusiast working to maintain, restore or construct a vehicle.

DON'T DELAY! Please contact members of the Illinois House Transportation and Motor Vehicles Committee immediately by phone, fax or e-mail to request their opposition to H.B. 367.

For more information, visit www.semasan.com/main/main.aspx?id=62224. For details, contact Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org.


South Carolina

June 7, 2006

TAX BREAK FOR ANTIQUE VEHICLES APPROVED BY SOUTH CAROLINA LEGISLATURE

The South Carolina Legislature approved SEMA-supported legislation to provide an exemption from property taxes for motor vehicles licensed and registered as antiques. South Carolina law defines an “antique” as every motor vehicle which is “over 25-years old, is owned solely as a collector’s item and is used for participation in club activities, exhibits, tours, parades and similar uses, but in no event used for general transportation.” The bill now goes to the governor for his signature and enactment into law. For details, contact Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org.


Illinois, Hawaii

June 7, 2006

HAWAII / ILLINOIS ABANDON UNFAIR EXHAUST NOISE RESTRICTIONS

SEMA-opposed legislation that sought to dramatically increase fines for those who violate the state’s ban on the sale, installation and use of aftermarket exhaust systems died with the close of Hawaii’s legislative session. Currently, Hawaii prohibits any exhaust system that increases “the noise emitted by a motor vehicle above that emitted by the vehicle as equipped from the factory. This law does not supply law enforcement with a clear standard to enforce, allowing them to make subjective judgments on whether or not a modified exhaust system is in violation. SEMA also killed an Illinois bill that threatened to ban vehicles equipped with a “muffler or exhaust system that clearly has been modified to amplify or increase the noise of the vehicle.” Under this measure, vehicles determined to have been modified by virtue of a “visual observation” would have failed emissions inspection. How emissions inspectors would have determined that an exhaust system increases noise through a visual inspection was not explained in the bill. For details, contact Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org.


Illinois, West Virginia, Hawaii

June 7, 2006

SEMA DEFENDS RIGHTS OF BACKYARD RESTORERS ACROSS AMERICA

Illinois: SEMA defeated legislation in Illinois that sought to redefine inoperable motor vehicles to include vehicles incapable of being driven under their own power for a period of 7 days. Under current law, these vehicles must be undriveable for a period of at least 6 months to be deemed inoperable and thus subject to disposal by a county. Last year, SEMA stalled Illinois legislation that threatened to further restrict the ability of Illinois hobbyists from maintaining inoperable vehicles on private property. That bill removed historic vehicles over 25-years of age from a list of vehicles exempt from county inoperable vehicle ordinances if they are not kept within a building. For details, contact Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org.

West Virginia: SEMA defeated a West Virginia bill that would have redefined “abandoned motor vehicles” to include vehicles or vehicle parts which are either unlicensed or inoperable, or both, are not in an enclosed building and have remained on private property for more than 30 days. Under current law, the abandoned vehicle law applies primarily to vehicles on public property. The bill sought to make violation a misdemeanor offense punishable by substantial fines, community service and jail and made no legal distinction between an owner using private property as a dumping ground and a vehicle enthusiast working to maintain, restore or construct a vehicle. For details, contact Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org.

Hawaii: SEMA beat back a Hawaii bill that provided for the removal and disposal of “derelict vehicles” from private property. For details, contact Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org.


Colorado

June 7, 2006

COLORADO ENACTS LAW TO TITLE RESTORATION PROJECTS

SEMA-supported legislation creating a rebuilder’s certificate of title for motor vehicles in the process of being restored was approved by the Colorado State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Bill Owens. The new law allows vehicles without a title to be issued a rebuilder’s title based on the vehicle’s early date of manufacture, design, historical interest, or as a collector’s item. In order to qualify the vehicle must not be roadworthy at the time of application, at least 25 years old, and have a rolling chassis among its components. In addition the applicant must have a certified VIN inspection on the vehicle and an accompanying statement with specified information about the vehicle. For details, contact Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org.


California

January 25, 2006

CALIFORNIA ISSUES SMOG CHECK RECOMMENDATIONS

The California Air Resources Board and the Bureau of Automotive Repair have released the final version of their joint Smog Check Program Evaluation Report. This version (dated September 2005) is actually a revision of the April 2004 report with an addendum to include updates based on recent legislative activity. The report continues to call for such measures as more frequent testing of older and/or high mileage vehicles, more stringent cutpoints for retests, inspection of smoking vehicles and increased enforcement for both in-use vehicles and smog check stations. Other options such as remote sensing, continuous OBD II monitoring (i.e., "OBD III") and even testing of 1966-1975 model year vehicles are also discussed in the report. The full text of the report is available under the “Smog Check Reports" tab at [www.imreview.ca.gov]. For details, contact Frank Bohanan at frankb@sema.org.


West Virginia

January 25, 2006

WEST VIRGINIA REINTRODUCES BILL TO EXEMPT OLD CARS/MOTORCYCLES FROM REGISTRATION FEES

A bill (S.B. 44) has been reintroduced in the West Virginia State Legislature to exempt owners of antique motor vehicles, antique motorcycles, classic motor vehicles and classic motorcycles from annual registration fees for these vehicles. West Virginia law defines antique motor vehicles and motorcycles as more than 25-years old and owned as collector items; the law defines classic motor vehicles and motorcycles as more than 25-years old and used for general transportation. The bill will be considered first by the West Virginia Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. More information available at [www.semasan.com/main/main.aspx?id=62050]. For details, contact Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org.


OREGON

January 25, 2006

OREGON PROPOSES EMISSIONS EXEMPTIONS FOR SPECIALTY CARS

Working with SEMA, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has proposed new state regulations that will exempt newly built street rods, custom cars, replicas and assembled vehicles from the state’s mandatory emissions inspection program. Vehicles currently exempted would remain exempted from the program. The exemptions are included in Oregon’s plan to adopt permanent rules requiring new motor vehicles to meet tighter emissions standards beginning in 2009. Comments in support of the proposal may be submitted in writing via mail, fax or e-mail at any time prior to the comment deadline of March 3, 2006. More information available at [www.semasan.com/main/main.aspx?id=62056]. For details, contact Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org.


MASSACHUSETTS

January 25, 2006

MASSACHUSETTS BILL TO BAN THE SALE OF AFTERMARKET EXHAUST SYSTEMS ON THE MOVE

After being stalled by SEMA in 2005, a bill (H.B. 2011) to ban the sale or installation of “an exhaust system which has been modified in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the exhaust” was approved by the Massachusetts Joint Transportation Committee. As you might recall, the bill had been revised from previous versions to exclude limited-use “antique motor cars.” This amendment represents a clear attempt by the bill’s sponsor to divide the automobile hobby in an effort to gain clearer sailing for this restrictive and damaging piece of legislation. H.B. 2011 has now been referred to the House Steering, Policy and Scheduling Committee. More information available at [www.semasan.com/main/main.aspx?id=61569]. For details, contact Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org.


Colorado, Florida, New Hampshire, Virginia and Wyoming

December 14, 2005

SEMA’S STREET ROD/CUSTOM VEHICLE BILL ON THE MOVE IN 2006

Colorado, Florida, New Hampshire, Virginia and Wyoming are among the states whose lawmakers are considering introducing street rod and custom vehicle titling and registration legislation in 2006. The SEMA-model bill was written to counter outdated and convoluted registration laws and provide unique titling classifications for these popular vehicles.

The bill provides for special license plates and exempts rods and customs from periodic inspections and emissions tests. It also provides for the use of non-original materials and requires an initial safety inspection based on criteria established in part by the local hobbyist community. Under the legislation, replica vehicles are assigned the same model-year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble.

In 2005, car hobbyists scored a major victory when SEMA’s model bill was enacted into law in Montana and Maine. The bill was previously enacted in Rhode Island, Missouri and Illinois.

The model bill is the product of consultation with the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA), local police departments, regulators and hobbyists.

Anyone interested in reviewing the model bill or obtaining information on how to pursue a plan to enact the model into law in their state, should contact Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org. A copy of the bill can also be downloaded from the SEMA Action Network website at [www.semasan.com].


California

December 5, 2005

CALIFORNIA PUBLISHES SMOG CHECK CERTIFICATION POLICY FOR SPECIALLY CONSTRUCTED VEHICLES

(Diamond Bar, CA, December 5, 2005) - The California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) has published its policy for Smog Check certification of specially constructed vehicles (See attached). Publication was prompted by discussions with SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, and officials with the state Attorney General's office. For the past year, SEMA had been working with appropriate agencies to dispel rumors and misunderstandings regarding California's vehicle registration and titling process so that specially constructed vehicles, including street rods, kit cars and replicas, can become properly registered, titled and emissions certified in the state. Under the BAR policy, the emissions controls of specially constructed vehicles are determined by one of two separate processes; (1) based on what the vehicle body or engine most resembles, or (2) model year or configuration of the engine installed.

In the first case, under the provisions of the Specially Constructed Vehicle Emission Control Program (commonly known as CA Senate Bill 100), a smog test referee compares the vehicle to those of the era that the vehicle most closely resembles to determine its model year. The vehicle's owner can then choose whether the inspector will certify the vehicle per the year of the body or the engine. If there is no close resemblance, the vehicle is classified as a 1960 model year. The Senate Bill 100 registration program is limited, however, to the first 500 applications for registrations of specially constructed vehicles submitted to DMV per year that meet the criteria. DMV doesn't categorize the vehicles into SB100 or not; the applicant does that.

In the second case, for specially constructed vehicles without a Senate Bill 100 sequence number, the only emissions controls required are those used when the engine was originally manufactured. For example, a Cobra kit-car using a 1968 351C Ford V8 would require all emissions equipment originally required for that model year engine. A dune buggy upgraded with a '91 L79 TPI GM V8 would require all emissions equipment used on that engine. More generally, if a configuration precedes 1966, no exhaust emissions controls would be required. If the configuration precedes 1961, no PCV system would be required. If a range of model years applies to any particular engine configuration, vehicle owners will have the option to select the model year of emissions controls to be used. Further, according to the BAR, new and rebuilt "crate" engines fall into this "range of model years" category. As an example in this category, the use of a Chevrolet 5.7L ZZ4 V8 engine in a replica of a '32 Ford roadster would require emissions equipment used found on the first 5.7L engines used in '67. Finally, and in some instances, vehicle owners may be required to provide engine information to aid in the identification and inspection process.

Currently, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) registers "Specially Constructed Vehicles," which are by definition built for private use, from a kit or some combination of new and used parts. The DMV does not assign a model year to these cars. Rather, the vehicle is assigned the year in which the application for registration is submitted to DMV. A "Specially Constructed Vehicle" application submitted to DMV today would not have a model year, but would have 2005 assigned as an asterisk year [*YR 2005]. However, this designation does not relate to the emission control requirements for the vehicle. The DMV's website has a detailed explanation of the process for registering "Specially Constructed Vehicles" (http://www.dmv.ca.gov/vr/spcnsreg.htm). The website provides general emission control information and also outlines the previously mentioned Specially Constructed Vehicle Emission Control Program (Senate Bill 100 program). Consumers with questions regarding the Smog Check program may contact the Department of Consumer Affairs' Consumer Information Center at (800) 952-5210.

"For too long, misunderstanding of California's complex vehicle registration laws has created confusion among state hobbyists," said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. "Certain hobbyist vehicles, including those that could be classified as specially constructed, may be erroneously titled or registered. Consequently, owners may have paid reduced registration fees and avoided emissions testing requirements. BAR's documented policy for specially constructed vehicles should help clear the way for the many owners who fail to receive one of the 500 yearly Senate Bill 100 sequence numbers to properly title, register and smog check these vehicles."

SEMA has also been actively pursuing a solution that provides these vehicle owners a reasonable period of time to voluntarily retitle their vehicles and pay appropriate fees. The California Legislature will consider legislation to provide amnesty from prosecution to vehicle owners who have mistitled or misvalued their vehicles. This bill will likely be considered in the 2006 legislative session. In the meantime, SEMA has vowed to work with all relevant parties to consider alternative approaches to protect vehicle owners who voluntarily reregister their vehicles, pay appropriate fees and fulfill BAR emissions requirements.

Founded in 1963, SEMA represents the $32 billion specialty automotive industry of 6,466 member companies. It is the authoritative source for research, data, trends and market growth information for automakers and the specialty auto products industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles. For more information contact SEMA at 1575 S. Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765-0910: call 909/396-0289; or visit [www.sema.org] and [www.enjoythedrive.com].


California

11-29-05.

Windshield Wipers.

From the land of fruits and nuts comes a new law effective immediately. It is now illegal to operate your windshield wipers unless you first turn on your headlights! Apparantly California's legislature can't find any other way to fix the state's financial woes except to give the local police and CHP one more excuse to pull you over and write a ticket. So, if you are cruisin' on a sunny day and a bug smears itself on your windshield, remember to hit the lights before you try to clean up the mess.


Virginia

2005

I highly recommend to all car enthusiasts in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C to read this email and pass it on to any and all car enthusiast for familiarization and awareness of its current laws prior to attending any car show within the State of Virginia

This past weekend (1 October, 04) I was driving my Camaro to a local event (car show). I was following from behind another car enthusiast driving a vintage automobile as I have been for nearly four years. Before I knew it, I was being pulled over by a Virginia State Police while driving Northbound on Route 1, Fredericksburg, VA.

To make a long story short my I was cited with two violations:

First violation, for having a Nitrous Oxide device in the car. Per code below, Nitrous Oxide devices may be installed in cars however; it must be disabled, and disconnected from the bottle. The line (hose) "CANNOT" be hooked up while driving your vehicle on public roads or highways. See CODE: § 46.2-1088.4. below.

Second violation was for an unlawful hood scoop. Realizing that my Camaro is not equipped with a hood scoop of any kind the State Trooper was referring to the height of my engine. I have been summoned to appear in court on 28 October, 9:30AM, at the Spotsylvania court house. I find it very odd that after nearly four years of driving my show car that it has suddenly been revoked from public roads and highways. See CODE: § 46.2-1088.1 below.

I have copied the four most important Virginia State codes below for all car enthusiasts' awareness: Please read and share this with all...

NITROUS OXIDE SUPPLIED ENGINES

CODE: § 46.2-1088.4. Devices used to supply nitrous oxide to the engines of motor vehicles.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate any motor vehicle on the highways of the Commonwealth if such vehicle is equipped with any device that supplies the vehicle's engine with nitrous oxide, unless the device has been disabled such that the supply of nitrous oxide is disconnected and not readily accessible to the source of delivery. Violation of any provision of this section shall constitute a Class 3 misdemeanor. (fine up to $500) (2004, c. 282.)

HOOD SCOOPS

CODE: § 46.2-1088.1. Hood scoops. No motor vehicle shall be operated on a public highway in the Commonwealth if any hood scoop installed thereon exceeds any of the following dimensions:

1. For any hood scoop installed on any motor vehicle manufactured for the 1990 or earlier model year: thirty-eight inches wide at its widest point, two and one-quarter inches high at its highest point measured from the junction of the dashboard and the windshield, and fifty-two and one-quarter inches long at its longest point.

2. For any hood scoop installed on any motor vehicle manufactured for the 1991 or subsequent model year: thirty-eight inches wide at its widest point, one and one-eighth inches high at its highest point measured from the junction of the dashboard and the windshield, and fifty and one-half inches long at its longest point. (1991, c. 494.)

LICENSE PLATES FOR ANTIQUE MOTOR VEHICLES

CODE: § 46.2-730. License plates for antique motor vehicles;

A. On receipt of an application, the Commissioner shall issue appropriately designed license plates to owners of antique motor vehicles. These license plates shall be valid so long as title to the vehicle is vested in the applicant. The fee for the registration card and license plates of any of these vehicles shall be ten dollars.

B. On receipt of an application, the Commissioner may authorize for use on antique motor vehicles Virginia license plates manufactured prior to 1976 and designed for use without decals, if such license plates are embossed with or are of the same year of issue as the model year of the antique motor vehicle on which they are to be displayed. Original metal year tabs issued in place of license plates for years 1943 and 1953 and used with license plates issued in 1942 and 1952, respectively, also may be authorized by the Commissioner for use on antique motor vehicles that are of the same model year as the year the metal tab was originally issued. These license plates and metal tabs shall remain valid so long as title to the vehicle is vested in the applicant. The fee for the registration card and permission to use the license plates and metal tabs on any of these vehicles shall be ten dollars.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 46.2-711 and 46.2-715, antique motor vehicles may display single license plates if the original manufacturer's design of the antique motor vehicles allows for the use of only single license plates or if the license plate was originally issued in one of the following years and is displayed in accordance with the provisions of subsection B of this section: 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1945, or 1946.

D. Except as provided in subsection E of this section, motor vehicles registered with license plates issued under this section shall not be used for general transportation purposes, including, but not limited to, daily travel to and from the owner's place of employment, but shall only be used:

1. For participation in club activities, exhibits, tours, parades, and similar events; and

2. On the highways of the Commonwealth for the purpose of testing their operation, obtaining repairs or maintenance, transportation to and from events as described in subdivision 1 of this subsection, and for occasional pleasure driving not exceeding 250 miles from the residence of the owner.

E. Notwithstanding the foregoing provision of this section, antique motor vehicles displaying license plates issued pursuant to subsections B and C of this section may be used for general transportation purposes if the following conditions are met:

1. The physical condition of the vehicle's license plate or plates has been inspected and approved by the Department;

2. The license plate or plates are registered to the specific vehicle by the Department;

3. The owner of the vehicle periodically registers the vehicle with the Department and pays a registration fee for the vehicle equal to that which would be charged to obtain regular state license plates for that vehicle;

4. The vehicle passes a periodic safety inspection as provided in Article 21 (§ 46.2-1157 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of this title;

5. The vehicle displays current decals attached to the license plate, issued by the Department, indicating the valid registration period for the vehicle; and

6. When applicable, the vehicle meets the requirement of Article 22 (§ 46.2-1176 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of this title.

If more than one request is made for use, as provided in this subsection, of license plates having the same number, the Department shall accept only the first such application. Only vehicles titled to the person seeking to use license plates as provided in this subsection shall be eligible to use license plates as provided in this subsection. (Code 1950, § 46-99.1; 1954, c. 60; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-104; 1980, c. 359; 1986, c. 8; 1989, cc. 338, 727; 1999, c. 292; 2000, c. 259.)

CODE: § 46.2-1054. Suspension of objects or alteration of vehicle so as to obstruct driver's view.

It shall be unlawful for any person to drive a motor vehicle on a highway in the Commonwealth with any object or objects, other than a rear view mirror, sun visor, or other equipment of the motor vehicle approved by the Superintendent, suspended from any part of the motor vehicle in such a manner as to obstruct the driver's clear view of the highway through the windshield, the front side windows, or the rear window, or to alter a passenger-carrying vehicle in such a manner as to obstruct the driver's view through the windshield. However, this section shall not apply (i) when the driver's clear view of the highway through the rear window is obstructed if such motor vehicle is equipped with a mirror on each side, so located as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway for at least 200 feet to the rear of such vehicle, (ii) to safety devices installed on the windshields of vehicles owned by private waste haulers or local governments and used to transport solid waste, or (iii) to bicycle racks installed on the front of any bus operated by any city, county, transit authority, or transit or transportation district. (1960, c. 122, § 46.1-291.1; 1972, cc. 8, 844; 1987, c. 135; 1989, c. 727; 2003, c. 273.)

A Concerned Car Enthusiast, Ron Lacasse


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Hot Rods & Custom Stuff, 2324 Auto Park Way, Escondido, CA., 1-800-HOT-ROD-5.

Hot Rods & Custom Stuff - builds, restores, paints, services and sells parts for classic autos, cars, trucks and street rods.