Calling a Spade a Spade
Legislative Solution Implemented for Street Rods, Customs and Replicas
|SEMA’s Street Rod/Custom Vehicle model bill has become law in a total of 22 states to date. The model bill defines a street rod as an altered vehicle manufactured before ’49 and a custom car as an altered vehicle at least 25 years old and manufactured after ’48.|
With the ever-growing popularity of street rods and customs in recent years—especially the replica and kit car varieties—the need for unique licensing designations has become critical. For decades, modified vintage and reproduction vehicles did not fall under existing state classifications. Outdated and convoluted registration rules in many states created confusion among motorists and those charged with applying these laws at the ground level. Thus began the task of designing and implementing reasonable titling, registration, emissions and equipment standards nationwide in the earliest years of the SAN.
The SEMA-Model Street Rod/Custom Vehicle Bill was developed by SAN staff to simplify the titling and registration of specialized vehicles and remedy common problems. This effort was the product of consultation with the industry, state agencies, regulators and hobbyists. The model bill defines a street rod as an altered vehicle manufactured before ’49 and a custom car as an altered vehicle at least 25 years old and manufactured after ’48. Under the bill, kit cars and replica vehicles are issued a certificate of title bearing the same model-year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble, are exempted from emissions inspections and are only required to carry that safety equipment applicable to the designated model year.
SEMA’s Street Rod/Custom Vehicle model bill has become law in a total of 22 states to date. In 1999, Washington was the first state to enact portions of this legislation into law. Illinois adopted the full version of the model in 2002. Lately, a number of additional legislatures have sought to adopt this beneficial language as well. In fact, the bill is being considered once again in the current session by the New Jersey and New York legislatures. Only time will tell the proposal’s fate in these state houses this year. The bill’s full text and roster of state interpretations nationwide can be found at the following link: www.semaSAN.com/StreetRods.