SEMA eNews Vol. 14, No. 48, December 1, 2011

SEMA Action Network Highlights 10 Best and Worst Bills of 2011

As the state legislatures close down their legislative sessions, the SEMA Action Network (SAN) resumes its yearly feature highlighting the best and worst automotive bills of 2011. While some of these bills were enacted into law, many did not make it through this year and could be reintroduced in future sessions. Keep an eye out and get ready to help us support the best and oppose the worst in 2012!

SAN is a nationwide partnership between enthusiasts, vehicle clubs and members of the automotive specialty-parts industry who have joined forces to promote hobby-friendly legislation and oppose unfair laws. With more than 60,000 North American members, SAN is the premier organization defending the rights of vehicle enthusiasts. SAN is free to join with no obligations or commitments. Join now at


1.   Washington S.B. 5586: Prohibits cities or towns from restricting
inoperable vehicles, including parts cars, stored on private property if
screened from public view. Bill was not enacted into law.
2.   New York A.B. 2080/S.B. 3213: Creates a $100 one-time fee
that would replace the current annual fee of $28.75 for the
registration of historical motor vehicles. Bill was not enacted into
3.   Maryland H.B. 155, New Jersey A.B. 448/S.B. 687, New Mexico S.B.
412, New York A.B. 2073/S.B. 201, Texas H.B. 890, Washington S.B. 5585: Creates vehicle registration and titling classifications for street
rods and custom vehicles, including kit cars and replicas, and provides
for special license plates. The Texas and Washington bills were enacted
into law. 
4.   Connecticut S.B. 723: Extends the emissions inspection exemption
to vehicles five model years old or newer. Bill was not enacted into law.
5.     Illinois H.B. 3256: Provides for an expanded-use antique-vehicle
registration class that would allow antique vehicles and replicas to be
driven without limitation during the warmer part of the year, from April
1 through October 31. Bill was enacted into law.  
6.   Michigan H.B. 4885: Prohibits the state from imposing a
vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) tax or mileage-based user fee on motor
vehicles, to include any global-positioning-satellite-based toll or
similar program that would provide for the locational tracking of
private motor vehicles or users. Bill was not enacted into law.
7.   North Carolina H.B. 187: Requires ethanol content labels on all
pumps that dispense ethanol-blended gasoline. Bill was enacted into
8.   Oklahoma S.B. 160: Allows municipalities to issue permits for
sanctioned motor-vehicle racing events on public streets and highways
within its geographical jurisdiction. Bill was enacted into law.  
9.    Tennessee H.B. 688: Exempts vehicles more than 25 years old from
the state’s annual emissions inspection and maintenance program. Previous law in Tennessee only exempted vehicles manufactured before the ’75 model year from emissions inspection. Bill was enacted into
10.    West Virginia H.B. 2456: Allows vehicle hobbyists to install and
use aftermarket modified exhaust systems that meet a 95-decibel limit
under a fair and predictable test. Bill was not enacted into law. 


1.   West Virginia H.B. 2190: Includes vehicles with exhaust systems
deemed too loud, as determined by an enforcement officer’s subjective
opinion, in the definition of “disturbing the peace,” a crime that
carries a fine of up to $1,000 per occurrence, jail for six months or
both. Bill was not enacted into law.
2.   Arkansas H.B. 1252: Allows cities to remove an inoperable vehicle from private property if
the vehicle is deemed a “nuisance” under a local ordinance. Bill was
not enacted into law.
3.    Connecticut H.B. 5580: Increases from 20
to 30 years old, the age requirement for vehicles eligible for
registration as “antique, rare or special-interest motor vehicles” and
increases the tax assessment on vehicles registered as antiques from
$500 to $2,500. Bill was not enacted into law.
4.    Hawaii H.B.
1178: Bans the installation, ownership or use of any car with
aftermarket speakers more than 6.5 in. in height or depth, any five-speaker
aftermarket system, any aftermarket speaker more than 100 watts and any
aftermarket speaker installed external to the passenger compartment or
in an open hatch back. Bill was not enacted into law.
5.   Massachusetts H.B. 1848, New York A.B. 1318: Imposes additional fees
on the purchase of larger or higher-emitting vehicles, based on state
calculations of carbon emissions and/or vehicle weight. Bills were not
enacted into law.
6.    Nebraska L.B. 698: Removes labeling
requirements on pumps dispensing ethanol-blended gasoline. Bill was not
enacted into law.
7.    North Dakota H.B. 1442: Prohibits the
modification of any motor vehicle that altered the manufacturer's
original suspension, steering or brake system. Bill was not enacted
into law.
8.    Oregon H.B. 3214: Prohibits the sale of exhaust
systems and exhaust-system components that cause motor vehicles to
produce noise exceeding certain undetermined noise limits. Bill was not
enacted into law.
9.    Oregon H.B. 3147: Bans vehicles whose
bumpers were elevated more than 3 in. over the original manufactured
bumper clearance and imposes a fine of up to $360 per offense. Bill was
not enacted into law.
10.   Washington H.B. 1134: Requires an
annual renewal fee of $30 (added to the one-time $35 license plate fee)
for collector-vehicle and horseless carriage license plates. Bill was
not enacted into law.
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