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Legislative Update: February 2019

Words: Mike Aguilar

There’s been a flurry of activity on the legislative front during these first six weeks of 2019. More bills have been introduced regarding registering military surplus vehicles. Newly introduced legislation runs the gamut from funding for a motorsports park to front license plates and noise ordinances.


California A.B. 390 Wants to Make “Excessive Exhaust Noise” a “Fix-It Ticket” Again

Assembly Bill 1824, passed and signed into law in 2018, made excessive exhaust noise (over 95 dB/1 M) a ticket-able offense with a fine that must be paid even if the issue is corrected. A new piece of legislation, Assembly Bill 390, has been introduced that would reverse that, reverting this offense to a “fix it ticket” violation that can be expunged by repairing the issue and having a police or court officer sign off on the repairs. The bill has been referred to committee for review.

Also in California, Assembly Bill 210 was recently introduced. The California Motor Vehicle Code currently requires any motor vehicle (within weight specifications for diesels) manufactured after M/Y 1976 to undergo a biannual emissions inspection. A.B. 210 would remove seven model years of vehicles from the exemption list by moving the exemption year to 1983.


Several States Revive Legislation Easing Titling Requirements on Military and Antique Vehicles

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia legislators recently introduced two pieces of legislation impacting our hobby. Senate Bill 333 would exempt vehicles 25 years or older from personal property taxes. This bill has been referred to the WV Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The West Virginia House also got into the action, filing H.B. 2657 that would allow the registration and titling for use on public highways of military surplus vehicles, including tactical vehicles and trailers. It is currently under review by the WV House Veteran’s Affairs and Homeland Security Committee.

Washington is another state with a “military surplus vehicle registration bill” being considered by the state legislature. Washington Senate Bill 5417, currently in the Senate Transportation Committee, would allow for military surplus vehicles to be operated on public highways.


Tennessee Bill Would Legalize More Allowable Miles for Antique Vehicles

Under current Tennessee vehicle law, vehicles registered as antiques may only be driven to club outings, shows, tours and parades. The law also allows for these vehicles to be driven to and from receiving inspections and repairs and stipulates they may only be used for “general transportation purposes” on Saturdays and Sundays. Tennessee S.B.283 and twin legislation H.B. 263 would lift these restrictions and allow antique vehicles to be used for general transportation with a maximum allowable mileage of 5000 miles per year. Both bills have been referred to committee.


Delaware Hot Rod Bill Passes House; Moves to Senate

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Delaware House Bill 31 was introduced and passed the Delaware House of Representatives early in this legislative session. It is currently under review by the Delaware Senate Committee on Transportation for review. Under current law, a hot rod is defined as pre-70s vehicle. H.B. 31 would redefine a hot rod to include vehicles that are 25 years old and older. The legislation also removes the requirement that tires/wheels be tucked under hot rod fenders.


Maryland Bill Proposes to Exempt Low Mileage Vehicles from Inspections

Coming up for debate soon in the Maryland House is House Bill 52. If passed, this bill will exempt low mileage vehicles from inspection and testing requirements. Maryland defines a “low mileage vehicle” as one that is driven under 5000 miles per year. The legislation also includes a clause requiring owners of these vehicles to pass certain disability or age requirements.