Washington State Enacts SEMA Street Rod/Custom Vehicle Bill Into Law


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Della Domingo, dellad@sema.org
SEMA 909/978-6723

Washington State Enacts SEMA
Street Rod/Custom Vehicle Bill Into Law

Washington, D.C. (April 20, 2011) - Washington joined the
growing list of states to enact SEMA model legislation to amend the vehicle
titling and registration classification for street rods and create a
classification for custom vehicles.. The bill was approved by the Washington
State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Christine Gregoire. 
Under the new law, a street rod is defined as an altered vehicle manufactured
before 1949 and a custom as an altered vehicle at least 30 years old and
manufactured after 1948.  Importantly, kit cars and replica vehicles will
be assigned a certificate of title bearing the same model year designation as
the production vehicle they most closely resemble. 

Washington joins California (2001), Illinois (2002), Missouri (2004), Rhode
Island (2004), Hawaii (2004), Montana (2005), Maine (2005), Colorado (2006),
Arkansas (2007), Virginia (2007), Nevada (2007) Florida (2007), Idaho (2008),
Iowa (2008), Tennessee (2008), Wyoming (2009), Utah (2009), North Carolina
(2009) and  Massachusetts (2010) as states that have enacted similar bills
into law. 

The new law allows for the use of non-original materials, provides for
special license plates and exempts street rods and customs from the law
requiring vehicles to be equipped with a hood and bumpers.  The law also
exempts street rods and custom from emission test requirements.  Vehicles
titled and registered as street rods and custom vehicles may only be used for occasional
transportation, exhibitions, club activities, parades, and similar

"As in the other states that have enacted the SEMA model, the new Washington
law recognizes the unique nature of these vehicles as hobbyist cars," said SEMA
Vice President, Government Affairs Steve McDonald.  "For many vehicle
enthusiasts in Washington and throughout America, building, maintaining and
enjoying their vehicles is a favorite pastime. This law represents an
opportunity to acknowledge their commitment to the hobby and to protect it for
future generations." 

The new law is the product of months of consultation with state legislators,
regulators and the local hobbyist and business community, including Art and
Craig Morrison of SEMA member Art Morrison Enterprises in Fife,
Washington.  "It was an honor being involved in the political system to
create positive change and to give back to the automotive enthusiasts of
Washington State," Craig Morrison said.  "The SEMA model legislation that
Senator Carrell sponsored should definitely make it easier for enthusiasts in
the evergreen state to get their vehicles out on the road."

Washington State Senator Mike Carrell, the bill's sponsor, remarked, "I
couldn't believe how important this bill had become to those in the hobby-car
community.  I've received dozens of e-mails, phone calls and letters - one
from as far away as Paris, France - thanking me for sponsoring this bill.
There's a huge groundswell of support for this legislation, and as a car
collector myself I'm very proud to have sponsored it."

The model bill will continue to be pursued by SEMA in states that either
don't have registration classifications for these vehicles or have laws that
are lacking in some way.  SEMA efforts are ongoing this year to work with
the state legislatures in New York, New Jersey and Texas on this initiative and
to add others to that list in the coming legislative sessions.  

About SEMA
SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963,
represents the $27.9 billion specialty automotive industry of 6,461
member-companies. It is the authoritative source for research, data, trends and
market growth information for the specialty auto parts industry. The industry
provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products
for passenger and recreational vehicles. For more information, contact SEMA at
1575 S. Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765, tel: 909/396-0289, or visit www.sema.org
or www.enjoythedrive.com.


Photo Caption:  Bill sponsor Senator Mike Carrell
(left) and Art and Craig Morrison (center) of SEMA member Art Morrison
Enterprises join Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire as she signs into law
SEMA model legislation to create a vehicle titling and registration
classification for street rods and custom vehicles. 


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