I finally got the new computer up and I’m getting ready to go to my volunteer post at the Bix Fest. I can tell when it’s time because it’s on the hottest day. Anyway here’s an article from this month’s SEMA newsletter that I thought was interesting. While Iowa isn’t mentioned, Illinois is.
Old Cars Get New Life
States Line Up to Pass Pro-Hobby Antique Legislation
Lawmakers across the country are again showing their support for the antique automobile hobby by enacting new laws to reduce the burden of owning and registering these vintage vehicles. These measures, which range from one-time registration fees to expanding existing “limited use” restrictions, further on-going efforts to highlight the importance and historic significance of the antique auto hobby.
“Legislators everywhere continue to recognize the immeasurable amount of time, money and effort automotive hobbyists invest in their cars. These new laws represent a continued commitment to the hobby,” said Steve McDonald, SEMA vice president of government affairs. “These SAN-supported initiatives not only encourage increased participation in the auto hobby but also will ensure that the hobby will be enjoyed by future generations.”
One such measure in South Carolina to provide an exemption from property taxes for motor vehicles licensed and registered as antiques was signed into law by Governor Mark Sanford. The new 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.”
Another initiative to provide for a one-time registration fee of $50 for vehicles at least 60 years old was passed by the Maryland State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Bob Ehrlich. Under the measure, the one-time registration is not transferable to a subsequent owner.
Pro-hobby legislation has also been enacted in West Virginia through a measure that would amend the state’s current law governing antique motor vehicles to permit their use on Friday evenings. Under the previous West Virginia law, use of antique vehicles was strictly limited to club activities, exhibits, tours, parades, testing, obtaining repairs and for recreational purposes only on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. A similar law was passed in Tennessee which would allow registered antique vehicles to be used for “general transportation purposes” on Saturdays and Sundays.
In another positive move for hobbyists, lawmakers in Kansas decided to extend the state’s antique vehicle provisions to qualifying military vehicles. Signed into law by Governor Kathleen Sebelius, the measure defines an “antique military vehicle” as a vehicle, regardless of the vehicle’s size or weight, which was manufactured for use in any country’s military forces and is maintained to represent its military design. In Kansas, “antique” vehicles must be more than 35-years old, and propelled by a motor using petroleum fuel, steam or electricity or any combination of these three. All antiques are afforded a one-time registration fee of $40.
In addition to seeing these pro-hobby bills signed into law, enthusiasts were also successful in defeating harmful proposals directly targeting antique vehicles.
Enthusiasts in Illinois defeated two measures which would have further restricted the ability of vehicle hobbyists to maintain inoperable vehicles on private property as the bills were not acted upon prior to the adjournment of the legislature. The first bill would have removed historic vehicles over 25 years old from a list exempting them from inoperable vehicle ordinances. While the second bill would have changed the definition of “inoperable motor vehicle” to include those which, for a period of at least 7 days, had the engine, wheels, or other parts removed, altered, or damaged so that the vehicle was incapable of being driven under its own power. The current law allows 6 months as opposed to 7 days.
Hobbyists in West Virginia defeated a harmful measure 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.
Ohio enthusiasts were also successful in stalling consideration of a bill that would further restrict the ability of state vehicle hobbyists from maintaining inoperable vehicles on private property. The bill would have provided authority to townships to remove inoperable vehicles deemed to be “junk,” including collector cars, from private property.
“The SAN is truly grateful to all the car clubs and individual enthusiasts who contacted their elected officials on these important issues,” said Jason Tolleson, director of the SEMA Action Network. “Their tireless efforts reflect the continued commitment to preserve the antique auto hobby.”
For more information on these and other legislative proposals, visit Sema