Washington State Enacts SEMA Street Rod/Custom Vehicle Bill Into Law 2011

By Della Domingo

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.

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 functions

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.

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