At some point you will need...
At some point you will need to have your car inspected to either verify the VIN or have one assigned. This can be done at the local DMV office or at designated California Highway Patrol offices.
All of us knew it was a matter of time. As far back as the '70s, hot rodders and legislators were headed toward a collision course over hot rod titling and registration. Many of us knew it was coming while others choose to "temporally" ignore the subject. STREET RODDER will feature this month the first of several articles that will deal with hot rod registration in both broad and specific strokes.
Starting next month, STREET RODDER will address the specifics of each of the following subjects: the current 2010 California amnesty program, registering hot rods under SB-100 (Calif. VC 4750.1), registering hot rods under the Special Construction Vehicle (SVC) law, and the tried-and-true method: "It's nothing more than a used car so why do I need to do anything?" approach.
As part of this series we will try our hand at re-registering a hot rod through the amnesty program, register a car under SB-100, and install one of the new GM Performance Parts E-ROD powerplants. There is a wealth of information rodders from all states can glean from the series of articles, not just California rodders. A number of states already have registration laws that treat rodders fairly, and that's a good thing.
The Idaho street rod plate...
The Idaho street rod plate actually says "street rod" on it and includes a nifty little lowboy roadster. Now that's working with rodders.
While states handle hot rod registration differently there's a basic covenant between the state and the rodder. The state takes it on good faith that hot rodders are building cars with legally purchased (or obtained) components, owners are declaring appropriate values (for tax and registration fee purposes), and in California comply with specified emission standards. In the past rodders were not always forthcoming with correct data when registering their hot rods. Conversely, the State of California never made it easy on rodders to register these cars and the state had little accurate information available at their DMV sites to help rodders who wished to follow the law. So who was to blame? Talk to officials from the State of California, and it's the hot rodders. Talk to hot rodders, and it's the state.
To say that hot rods and the Department of Motor Vehicles have "enjoyed" a live and let live existence would be an understatement, but that's exactly what has happened-in all states. What could now be called a "fire storm" began on Wednesday Oct. 6, 2004. On that afternoon, 22 law enforcement agents and other individuals from the State of California, Department of Justice Fraud Division, Department of Motor Vehicles, California Highway Patrol, Bureau of Automotive Repair, and others arrived with guns drawn (yep, six-shooters in hand) and flak vests on-at the then shop of Boyd Coddington Hot Rods & Collectibles in La Habra, California
SEMA through its SEMA Action...
SEMA through its SEMA Action Network (SAN) is working on many fronts to have hot rodder-friendly legislation passed in all states. These are some great success stories.
The surreal scene would have been funny if it hadn't been so serious. This wasn't the filming of an episode of American Hotrod but rather the real deal of serving a warrant to Boyd Coddington on the suspicion of fraud. Over the previous decades there had been "uprisings" here and there but nothing, absolutely nothing matched the intensity and seriousness of this latest event. [I remember standing at Boyd's shop within an hour of the occurrence wondering if this would be the end of hot rodding as I knew it.
Boyd's shop was clearly the most visible and that is why he was the first to be "approached." The State of California visited a number of shops throughout the state as they were looking for cars that met one or more of the criteria that would lead to registration or license fee fraud. Mind you, while this is all occurring in California the fact remains, all states function under the premise that hot rodders are being honest.
Here is an example of the...
Here is an example of the Wisconsin Hobbyist plate, which is intended for street rodders and other car enthusiasts.
In researching for the web-published story and subsequent registration articles for STREET RODDER, we had the opportunity to exchange a series of emails with Robert Morgester, the deputy attorney general, special crimes unit, for the State of California Department of Justice. According to Morgester, "The California attorney general's office has been conducting an investigation into the fraudulent registration of replica vehicles. The initial investigation was limited to Cobra-replica vehicles due to known VIN sequences. We are aware that the same fraudulent vehicle registration issues apply to other replica vehicles and hot rods." According to Deputy Attorney General Morgester, he wanted to make sure California hot rodders understand that to correct a common misunderstanding of California law, it's a felony to do the following:
1. Register a vehicle where the year of vehicle is misrepresented
2. Register a vehicle where the value of the vehicle is understated
3. Register a vehicle where the year of the vehicle is misrepresented to avoid compliance with California smog laws"Any of the above actions are a felony in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 4463(a). Additionally, the above actions constitute the crime of perjury, in that all statement of facts contained in California DMV documents are taken under penalty of perjury." And this is where it gets "uncomfortable" for many hot rodders-again, regardless of what state you live.
In an upcoming issue you will...
In an upcoming issue you will see how the hot rodders at SO-CAL Speed Shop in Pomona dropped one of the GMPP E-ROD LS powerplants into a '32 Ford highboy roadster. The results are phenomenal while the effort is well within a rodder's capability.
Again, according to the office of the attorney general from the State of California, Department of Justice, "To date, the ongoing investigation has identified at least five other out-of-state companies that have provided fraudulent vehicle purchase agreements and titles to California vehicle owners. The companies are in Alabama, Nevada, New York, and Florida. The attorney general's office believes as many as 70,000 vehicles have been illegally registered in California through these scam operations.
The California DMV is in the process of canceling registrations that involve documents obtained from Titles Unlimited. (Titles Unlimited is believed to have provided false documents to Californians that cost the state more than $1 million in tax revenues and license fees over the past two years, and as much as $14 million since 1975, when the company began operating.) The attorney general's office also has notified law enforcement officials in more than 20 counties regarding residents who titled their cars through the company for possible prosecution.
Here is an example of the...
Here is an example of the GMPP LS3 crate motor that is intended to be emission compliant and provide 400-plus horsepower. Should keep the bureaucrats off our backs while at the same time giving us the power our hot rods crave.
At the time Attorney General Bill Lockyer of the State of California tells us that an Alabama man was convicted on felony charges for issuing false vehicle titles in a scam that has cost California millions of dollars in lost tax revenues and license fees.
We know from SEMA as well as from the State of California officials that the attorney general's office has gone so far as to attend rod runs looking for "suspicious" hot rods; cars that may have been fraudulently registered.
According to SEMA Legal Counsel Russ Dean, "SEMA began dealing with these circumstances by working with the attorney general and suggested it would be easier to resolve the issues if the enforcement that had started were postponed for a while;" albeit a small victory but a victory nonetheless. "SEMA then began the effort to encourage legislation that would provide amnesty for car owners who sought to re-register their cars legally." In the meantime, SEMA also began working with the Air Resources Board, Bureau of Automotive Repair, and the DMV to find reasonable and attainable emissions requirements for re-registered cars.
While this is the computer,...
While this is the computer, wiring, O2 sensors, and fly-by-wire throttle all of the necessary goodies are supplied with the E-ROD powerplant to make the swap into anything you want. Think of this as the powerplant out of an '09 Camaro.
In future stories we are going to take our '10 AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour roadster pickup through the registration process under the direction of SB-100. Under California law, these 500 exemptions for specially constructed vehicles are available each year on a first-come, first-served basis. [Our appointment to apply for an SB-100 exemption for our '10 Road Tour roadster pickup occurred on Jan. 4, 2010, more on this next month. In 2009 the last SB-100 exemption was handed out on July 3; yet earlier in 2006 these numbers were gone by Jan. 3. These numbers can go quickly or not so quickly but our guess after the current fire storm is these numbers will be even harder to come by.] I will follow SR Publisher Tim Foss as he navigates the DMV registration waters for an exempt SCV.
For vehicles with an exemption, a smog-test referee compares the vehicle to production cars of the era that the specially constructed vehicle most closely resembles to determine the model year. The vehicle owner can then choose whether the inspector will certify the vehicle model year by body type or by the engine model year. Only those emissions controls applicable to the chosen model year are required.
There was a time when we thought...
There was a time when we thought this photo was funny-still is but our fear is it may take on a whole new connotation in the coming year.
Another test will be the registration of a hot rod that may have been registered improperly. When the time comes we will find a suitable street rodder reader to give it a go. We will find out if the registration was originally handled incorrectly and if so apply for amnesty and then in turn register the street rod. We will also take a look at what may need to be done to the engine to make it compliant as well.
According to GMPP Product Marketing Manager Dr. Jamie Meyer, "We developed this system because it's the right thing to do, but our engineers did not sacrifice the performance that stirs hot rodders in the first place. It is a compromise-free package that delivers great power and efficiency, with the emissions of a modern vehicle."
The core of the E-ROD package (PN 19244805) is the LS3 6.2L V-8 engine that is rated at 430 hp. Emissions equipment included with the package includes catalytic converters, a fuel tank evaporative emissions canister, and more. The GMPP package was developed with the assistance of CARB and SEMA officials and is intended to meet California emissions compliance requirements. No other OEM or aftermarket manufacturer yet offers a comparable, CARB-approved system.
Reg 124: Application for Assigned...
Reg 124: Application for Assigned Vehicle Identification Number Plate.
You do little with this form,...
You do little with this form, but you do need to get the California Highway Patrol and the Department of Motor Vehicles to sign off.
In subsequent stories there will be a complete step-by-step installation of a 100 percent emission controlled engine in a '32 highboy roadster-and it fit neatly with no outlandish modifications. The end result is a hot rod that has loads of power, driveability, and is as "green" as any new car sold. Tree huggers should be very happy.
The problem is real, especially for California hot rodders. Rodders from other states should be aware that while legislation may be in place to register your hot rod the day may not be too far out there when emission standards will be mandated. This article may raise more questions than it has answers but by the time we get through the series, all of us should be better equipped to deal with the registering of our hot rods.
Ironically while all this mayhem is ongoing we have Dave Schaub of California driving his '32 Ford highboy roadster through 49 states raising money for the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, California (see page 56). Isn't it about time someone in a seat of authority stood up from behind a desk and saw the good that is brought to the state and the county via hot rodders in the form of charitable efforts and the economy of business?
Reg 5036: Statement of Construction....
Reg 5036: Statement of Construction. This is a two-sided form that when filled out will determine the value of your car, the fees owed, and is necessary in order to get a VIN assigned.