Who's On Our Side?
Glad you asked, because the good news is that rodders have made it into high places, and often work with SEMA and SAN to make sure your rights are considered. It's not just lip service for constituents either; many of them have their own rods. Go to www.PopularHotRodding.com for a full list of House and Senate members in the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus, and also members of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus, broken down by their respective state.
Remember, the future of our hobby depends on you, and the ballot box is one of the best venues for making your views known. We also urge you to work collectively with your fellow hot rodders. How? First and foremost, join SAN at www.SemaSAN.com. 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.
Lobby for the Hobby
Fortunately, we live in a country where we can still make a difference in how we are governed and our greatest tool in making a difference is our voice. By speaking out on issues that concern the automotive hobby, contacting representatives, and working constructively with government officials, we have the power to protect our passion and keep it safe for future generations of auto hobbyists and enthusiasts. When legislatures are out of session, representatives are in their home districts and typically have more time to meet casually with their constituents. They are also planning for the next legislative session and deciding which bills to introduce. Contacting them can have a tremendous impact by raising their awareness of issues that could impact our hobby during the next session. That is what makes right now the perfect time to get involved and build relationships with your legislators.
10 Best Bills of the 2009-2010 Legislative Session
California S.B. 232/A.B. 1740
California currently provides for the emissions-system certification and model year designation for specially constructed vehicles, including kit cars. Vehicle owners choose whether a smog test referee certifies the engine model year or the vehicle model year. To determine model year, inspectors compare the vehicle to those of the era that the vehicle most closely resembles. Only those emission controls applicable to the model year and that can be reasonably accommodated by the vehicle are required. The DMV provides a new registration to the first 500 specially constructed vehicles per year that meet the criteria. These bills seek to remove the 500-per-year vehicle limitation and allow for an unlimited number of specially constructed vehicle registrations.
Washington S.B. 5246 & Michigan S.B. 590
Crafted after SEMA model legislation to provide for the hobby of collecting and restoring vehicles, these bills prohibit cities or towns from enforcing any restrictions that prevent automobile collectors from pursuing their hobby. Junked, wrecked, or inoperable vehicles, including parts cars, stored on private property would only require screening from public view.
New York A.B. 10698
Under current New York law, a historical motor vehicle is either a vehicle manufactured more than 25 years ago, or one which has unique characteristics and determined to be of historical, classic, or exhibition value. This bill creates a $100 one-time fee that would replace the current annual fee of $28.75 for the registration of these vehicles.