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Big Win in Little Rock
Arkansas Enacts SEMA Street Rod/Custom Vehicle Bill Into Law

Arkansas joined the growing list of states to enact SEMA-model legislation to amend the vehicle titling and registration classification for street rods and create a classification for custom vehicles. The bill was approved by the Arkansas State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Mike Beebe.

Under the new law, a street rod is defined as an altered vehicle manufactured before 1949 and a custom as an altered vehicle at least 25 years old and manufactured after 1948. Most importantly, kit cars and replica vehicles will be assigned a certificate of title bearing the same model-year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble. Arkansas joins Virginia, Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Montana and Rhode Island as states that have enacted similar bills into law.

The new law allows for the use of non-original materials, provides for special license plates and permits the use of blue-dot taillights. In addition, the measure exempts street rods and customs from a range of standard-equipment requirements and emissions controls (only that equipment required in the model year that the vehicle resembles). Vehicles titled and registered as street rods and custom vehicles may only be used for occasional transportation, exhibitions, club activities, parades, tours, etc. and not for general daily transportation.

“The new law recognizes the unique nature of these vehicles as hobbyist cars,” said SEMA Vice President, Government Affairs Steve McDonald. “For many vehicle enthusiasts in Arkansas and throughout America, building, maintaining and enjoying their vehicles is a favorite pastime. This law represents an opportunity to acknowledge their commitment to the hobby and to protect it for future generations.”

The new law is the product of months of consultation with state legislators, regulators and the local hobbyist and business community. Arkansas State Representative Johnny Key, the bill’s sponsor, remarked, “It’s been great working with the street-rod community in our state. We’ve managed to craft and pass a piece of legislation that inserts common sense into titling and registration for customs and street rods to the benefit of the hobbyist community statewide.”

“Backed by the hard work and perseverance of Representative Key, we are extremely gratified that Arkansas has joined the list of states that recognize street rods and customs as distinct classes of vehicles,” McDonald added. “The new law offers the benefit of also including qualifying replicas and kit cars in these specialty-vehicle titling and registration classifications.”

The model bill will continue to be pursued by SEMA in states that either don’t have registration classifications for these vehicles or have laws that are lacking in some way. SEMA efforts are ongoing this year to work with the state legislatures in Florida, New York, Nevada and Massachusetts on this initiative and to add others to that list in the coming legislative sessions.


California Legislative Lowdown

The SAN members in the Golden State are again engaged in a very active legislative session with numerous proposals being considered by the California Legislature. Among them are changes to the state’s emissions-testing program, surcharges on “gas guzzlers,” and year of manufacturer license plates for historic vehicles.

One of the more harmful proposals would require annual smog-check inspections for vehicles 15 years old and older. Under this bill, pre-’76 vehicles would continue to be exempt from smog checks. However, vehicles 15 years old and older—presently ’76–’92—would move from a biennial test to annual tests with the clear intent of moving them into the scrappage program.

On a more positive note, the SAN is working with the California Attorney General’s office and the Department of Motor Vehicles in support of legislation that seeks a reasonable solution to California’s vehicle registration and titling process so that motor vehicles (including hobby cars) can become properly registered in the state. In the past, California’s complex vehicle registration laws have created confusion among state hobbyists and those charged with applying these laws at the ground level. The result has been that certain hobbyist vehicles may be erroneously titled or registered.

The bill provides amnesty from prosecution to those who, within a reasonable period of time, voluntarily retitle their vehicles and pay appropriate fees and penalties.

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Certainly sounds like those states are thinking clearly:thumbsup:

Now, if we could just hack off Kalilfornia and set it adrift (along with the beurocrats that have these rediculous brainfarts!!!!) we'd be 100% better off:thumbsup: :rolling:
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