Government Affairs

Law & Order

CaliforniaThe California Coastal Commission voted to make no changes to a permit that allows off-highway vehicle (OHV) use at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Area. The commission voted against a prohibition on night riding, additional fencing to restrict OHV use, eliminating unlimited OHV use on holidays, and increased enforcement efforts focused on vehicle use and speed limit. The commission also voted down a proposal to provide year-round protection to a 300-acre endangered species area (which is currently protected on a seasonal basis) and future closures for the purpose of dust control.

Law & Order

DelawareDelaware Governor John Carney signed into law a bill easing the process of registering a street rod by favorably changing the existing age and equipment requirements. The new law amends the definition of street rod from a vehicle manufactured before ’70 to one 25 years old or older. The law also removes the requirement that a street rod’s tires be covered by fenders.

Most States Now Require Remote Sellers to Collect Sales Tax

TaxCompanies without any physical presence in a state can now be required to collect sales tax based on their sales volume. In June 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a South Dakota state law requiring remote sellers to collect sales tax. (The term “remote” applies to internet, catalog and telephone sales, along with other types of transactions.) The court overturned the 1992 Quill decision, which required a physical presence to create “substantial nexus,” thereby allowing state sales tax collections.

In the Driver’s Seat

John HotchkisIt’s the dawn of a new era at SEMA’s Political Action Committee (SEMA PAC). After more than a decade of exemplary service as the chairman of the industry’s legislative watchdog, PAC Chairman Doug Evans officially handed over the reins to John Hotchkis of Hotchkis Performance.

Law & Order

TariffsThe U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) sent President Trump the results of its investigation on whether imported automobiles and auto parts pose a threat to U.S. national security. A decision on whether to impose tariffs, originally due in May, was postponed until November. President Trump wanted to give U.S. negotiators six months to reach new trade agreements with the European Union and Japan.

Our Best Allies: Your Customers

SANIt should come as no surprise that new proposals threatening cars and trucks can be of significant concern to automotive enthusiasts, who face the task of customizing and preserving classic cars while staying within evolving legal limits. History has shown that even well-intended bills can have a detrimental effect on the automotive community—but it’s also true that focused constituent awareness can often make a difference.

Drill, Baby, Drill?

Single License PlateFor most of the country’s automotive enthusiasts, drilling holes into the front bumper of a prized possession is both a sad and unavoidable occurrence. To them, the legal mandate to equip a license plate on their front bumper is like painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

Congress Resorts to Old-School Lawmaking

MoabThose who say Congress never gets anything done and politicians are all talk and no action are frequently proven correct. The greatest obstacle to passing legislation in the 21st century in Washington, D.C., is the unwillingness to compromise. Every now and again, however, Congress comes together and embraces the philosophy of “a good compromise is when neither side is happy.”

Are Tariffs Bargaining Chips or Permanent?

TariffsThe global trading system has the potential to foster economic growth and support peaceful relations between nations. If it breaks down, it can lead to confrontation as countries seek to shield their domestic industries. Tariffs can be a powerful tool for leveling the playing field or, conversely, lead to trade wars and protectionism. The Trump Administration is using tariffs to strengthen its hand in trade negotiations with its trading partners. Is the strategy working?

Law & Order

TiresThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has concluded that it is technologically possible to provide tire identification number (TIN) data in an electronic format for all tires. The findings are included in a Congressional study required under the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act. The electronically readable data would be a marking or tag within or on the tire sidewall. The TIN could then be captured and transmitted electronically using a handheld scanning tool.

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