SEMA Law And Order Update: RPM Act, YOM Plates, And Off-Road Laws

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While everyone in the industry has been gearing up for another amazing show and race season, the Specialty Equipment Market Association has continued to keep an eye on proposed rule, regulation and law changes that could affect our industry. You love to collect them, drive them and otherwise enjoy them, it’s time to stay updated on what could negatively or positively affect the use of your beloved classic rides!

One of the major legislative actions still on the list to watch this month is the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act. With the recent change in the White House and Congress starting another year, the RPM Act was reintroduced in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) continued push to make it so no street vehicle can be turned into a race vehicle.

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As we all know, the base of the racing industry has always been factory cars and if the EPA has their way, that will all go away. But, with the SEMA-backed RPM Act still at the forefront of this legislative move, we still have a fighting chance to save our race cars and the racing industry as we know it! You can add your name to the list of supporters of the RPM Act and take action by sending an email to our congressmen and women HERE!

Just like in months passed, the topic of single, specialty and year-of-manufacture license plates has continued to be a hot topic over the last month or so. Montana just signed a law to provide single license plates to registered vehicles, West Virginia’s House Roads and Transportation Committee just passed a bill that would allow for specialty plates to be issued to collector vehicles, and Massachusetts has introduced a bill for consideration that would provide single license plates to vehicles if signed into law.

Similarly, bills aiming to change registration requirements for certain antique or collector vehicles have continued to be considered in Missouri (aiming to permanently register historic camping trailers), Connecticut (aiming to restrict collector car registration eligibility), Nevada (aiming to add requirements to collector car registration), Virginia (aiming to exempt antique vehicles from a license tax), and Rhode Island (aiming to substantially raise registration fees for antique vehicles).

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Another big topic over the last month has been off-road recreation and where it can happen. You may not think as classic car fans that this could affect you, but there are still a lot of really cool classic Jeeps, Willys, etc that run around on OHV land that could be affected by some of the proposed laws.

These include a bill in West Virginia aiming to create more off-road opportunities for enthusiasts, as well as an official list of OHV recreation areas; a bill in Kentucky aiming to further promote off-road and other “outdoor motorized recreation”; and the big one – a bill in California aiming to allow funds collected for the state’s Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) program to be used by other state agencies without reimbursement.

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Other snippets of legislative action from the last month include a growing number of states and provinces signing on to celebrate Collector Car Appreciation Day (or for a whole month, like Nova Scotia), a federal bill introduced that would prohibit the sale of E15 if signed into law, and a bill in West Virginia that, if passed, would allow for the issuance of titles for abandoned vehicles.

SEMA and SAN are continuing the good fight for the automotive hobby, and with everyone’s support, we can all aid in protecting our beloved hobby. As always, if you’d like to get updates on legislative actions SEMA is keeping tabs on right to your inbox, be sure to join the SEMA Action Network HERE!

About the author

Lindsey Fisher

Lindsey is a freelance writer and lover of anything with a rumble. Hot rods, muscle cars, motorcycles - she's owned and driven it all. When she's not busy writing about them, she's out in her garage wrenching away. Who doesn't love a tech-savy gal that knows her way around a garage?
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