SEMA News—May 2021

LEGISLATIVE AND TECHNICAL AFFAIRS

Law & Order

By Stuart Gosswein

FEDERAL UPDATE

Georgia
Georgia—Exhaust Noise: The Georgia House of Representatives
introduced SEMA-supported legislation that would allow the use, sale,
alteration or installation of car mufflers that meet a 95-decibel noise
limit. Under the current law, no person can sell, alter or install a
muffler that “causes excessive or unusual noise.” The bill currently
awaits consideration in the House Motor Vehicles Committee.

U.S. House of Representatives Passes Wilderness Bill: The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would permanently protect more than one million acres in Colorado, more than one million acres in Arizona, 821,000 acres in California, and 132,000 in Washington. The Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act, H.R. 803, faces an uncertain future in the U.S. Senate where it may be blocked, given strong Republican opposition to the bill. The SEMA-opposed legislation is controversial because wilderness designations provide the highest level of permanent protection available, preventing the creation of roads and trails. SEMA supports a collaborative approach when making major land-use decisions, including input from local citizens, elected leaders and other stakeholders. Bill highlights include:

  • Colorado: create 36 wilderness areas totaling 660,000 acres across Colorado to protect mid- and lower-elevation mountainous areas, including Handies Peak, Dolores River Canyon and Little Bookcliffs.
  • Arizona: permanently withdraw more than 1 million acres of federal land north and south of Grand Canyon National Park from eligibility for any future mining claims but leave valid existing claims intact.
  • Northwest California: expand nine existing wilderness areas and establish eight new wilderness areas totaling more than 300,000 acres.
  • Central California Coast: set aside 287,500 acres as wilderness and two new scenic areas in the Los Padres National Forest and Carrizo Plain National Monument. The bill also creates a 400-mi. hiking trail to connect the wilderness areas in the southern and northern portions of the Los Padres National Forest.
  • California’s San Gabriel Mountains: protect 139,700 acres by expanding the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, establishing a new National Recreation Area and designating more than 30,000 acres as wilderness.
  • Southern California: expand Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to incorporate the 191,000 acres Rim of the Valley Corridor.
  • Washington State: designate 126,544 acres on the Olympic Peninsula as wilderness and more than 5,000 acres more as potential wilderness.

STATE UPDATE

Arizona—License Plates: The Arizona House Transportation Committee passed SEMA-supported legislation to create new legacy license plates replicating examples from the state’s past to be available for display on all vehicles. The plates would cost $25. Currently, authentic vintage plates may be displayed only on vehicles that are eligible for either classic car or historic vehicle plates upon authorization from the DMV. The bill awaits consideration by the full House.

Hawaii—Exhaust Noise: The Hawaii Senate Transportation Committee passed SEMA-supported legislation that would allow the use, sale, alteration or installation of car mufflers that meet a 95-decibel noise limit. Under the current law, no person can sell, alter or install a muffler that will noticeably increase a vehicle’s noise. The bill currently awaits consideration in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Hawaii—License Plates: The Hawaii Senate introduced SEMA-
supported legislation to require the display of only a single, rear-mounted license plate for all passenger vehicles. Under current law, vehicles must display two license plates. The bill currently awaits consideration in the Senate Committees on Transportation and Judiciary.

Iowa—License Plates: The Iowa Senate introduced SEMA-supported legislation that would allow certain vehicles to display a single license plate on the rear of the vehicle, including those registered as antiques or any vehicle that would require modification to accommodate a front plate. Current law permits the display of only a single plate for motor vehicles that are model-year ’48 or older as well as reconstructed or specially constructed vehicles built to resemble vehicles that are model-year ’48 or older. The bill currently awaits consideration in the Senate Transportation Committee.

Kansas—Antique Vehicles: The Kansas House of Representatives passed SEMA-supported legislation to redefine vehicles eligible to be registered as antiques. Currently, the Kansas Highway Patrol defines an antique vehicle as being “more than 35 years old and as close to the original as possible, without any significant alterations to the major component parts.” The bill would only require the vehicle to be more than 35 years old, regardless of the age of the component parts installed on the vehicle. The bill currently awaits consideration in the Senate Transportation Committee.

Kansas—Military Vehicles: The Kansas House of Representatives passed SEMA-supported legislation to allow for the registration and on-road use of surplus military vehicles. Currently, only antique military vehicles more than 35 years old can be registered for road use. The bill awaits consideration in the Senate Transportation Committee.

Michigan—License Plates: The Michigan Senate introduced SEMA-supported legislation to create two legacy license plates replicating examples from the state’s past to be available for display on all vehicles. Currently, authentic vintage plates may be displayed only on historic vehicles 26 years old or older, owned solely as collector’s items, and used only for parades and certain other events. The bill currently awaits consideration in the Senate Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Minnesota—Ethanol: The Minnesota Senate reintroduced SEMA-opposed legislation to increase the standard biofuel blend to 15% ethanol. Currently, there is a 10% state-wide standard. Similar legislation was introduced in the state last year but failed to pass. The bill awaits consideration in the Senate Agriculture and Rural Development, Finance and Policy Committee.

Minnesota—License Plates: The Minnesota House of Representatives introduced SEMA-supported legislation to allow for the issuance of only a single, rear-mounted license plate for special-interest vehicles. Special-interest vehicles are defined as those owned for leisure purposes, driven less than 10,000 mi. per year, and not used for general transportation. The bill currently awaits consideration in the House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee.

Mississippi—Vehicle Titling: The Mississippi Senate introduced SEMA-supported legislation that would allow for the titling of vehicles at least 30 years old and missing documents on oath of ownership. Under current law, there is no such exemption from proper documentation for title applications for older vehicles. The bill currently awaits consideration in the Senate Finance Committee.

Missouri—Historic Vehicles: The Missouri Senate introduced SEMA-supported legislation that would allow historic vehicles to be issued license plates without an annual mileage restriction. Current law limits historic vehicle owners to 1,000 mi. of driving per year. The bill currently awaits consideration in the Senate Committee on Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety.

Montana—License Plates: The Montana House of Representatives passed SEMA-supported legislation to mandate that the state issue waivers for vehicles unable to display a front license plate. The law currently permits the display of a single rear-mounted plate for motor vehicles registered as street rods or custom vehicles, and a waiver may be issued for vehicles unable to display a front plate. This bill would require the waiver to be issued. The bill currently awaits consideration in the Senate.

New York—License Plates: The New York Assembly introduced SEMA-supported legislation to require the display of only a single, rear-mounted license plate for all passenger vehicles. Under current law, vehicles must display two license plates. The bill currently awaits consideration in the Assembly Transportation Committee.

New York—Vehicle Inspections: The New York Assembly introduced SEMA-supported legislation that would require a biennial safety inspection instead of an annual inspection for antique, classic and collector vehicles. The bill currently awaits consideration in the Assembly Transportation Committee.

Oklahoma—Military Vehicles: The Oklahoma House of Representatives introduced SEMA-supported legislation to allow the titling of surplus HUMVEEs (High-Mobility Multipurpose Vehicles or HMMWVs). Under current Oklahoma law, HMMWVs can not be titled in the state. This bill currently awaits consideration in the House Committee on Public Safety.

Virginia—Imported Vehicles: The Virginia House of Representatives passed SEMA-supported legislation to allow the DMV to issue a title for an imported foreign-market vehicle manufactured at least 25 years ago. Current law allows for only a negotiable title to be issued to such vehicles manufactured prior to 1968. The bill currently awaits consideration in the Senate Transportation Committee.

Washington—Military Vehicles: The Washington House of Representatives introduced SEMA-supported legislation to allow for the registration of former military-surplus vehicles. The bill limits usage to occasional transportation, exhibitions, veterans’ events, club activities, parades, tours and similar uses. The bill currently awaits consideration in the House Transportation Committee.

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