The Senate Transportation Committee heard public testimony today on Senate Bill 5585, with many of the comments coming from car enthusiasts and collectors. Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood and sponsor of the measure, told the committee about the feedback he’s received since proposing the idea a week ago.
“My office has fielded dozens of phone calls and e-mails from hot rodders and other custom-car builders who want guidance from the state on how to properly license and register their creations,” Carrell said. “As a car buff myself, I can empathize with their frustration; this bill will help bring clarity to the hobby of custom-car manufacturing.”
SB 5585 would provide specific registration and titling classes for street rods and custom-built cars, including kits and replicas. It would allow car owners to license their vehicles using the same model-year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble. The bill also exempts street rods and customs from a range of standard-equipment requirements and emissions inspections.
“If someone puts a 2009 Ford engine in the body of a 1949 Ford Coupe, he or she shouldn’t have any confusion about how to legally license the vehicle.” Carrell said. “Moreover, if someone builds a car from the ground up from scrap parts, aftermarket items or custom-manufactured pieces, it could be classified any number of different ways. My bill will establish constancy for both the state and hobbyists alike.”
Additionally, the bill would require that vehicles titled and registered as street rods and custom vehicles only be used for occasional transportation – such as exhibitions, club activities, parades, tours, etc. – not for general daily transportation. It also permits the use of blue-dot taillights, which are popular in custom mid-20th-century vehicles. Blue-dot taillights combine red and blue colors to give off an attractive purple color, but are not considered street-legal in Washington.