A bill to modify vehicle-registration and -title laws to clarify types of old cars, including kits and replicas, passed the Washington State Senate unanimously Monday evening. Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, and self-described “car buff,” sponsored Senate Bill 5585 on behalf of the state’s automobile enthusiasts and hot-rodders.
“This is a bill that the state of Washington has needed for a long time,” Carrell said. “There are thousands of people who have an old or classic car sitting lovingly in the garage, awaiting restoration. Perhaps these cars have been passed down from father to son or grandfather to grandson. Huge amounts of money are spent on restoring them, turning this hobby into a multi-million dollar industry in the state of Washington.”
Custom cars are often purchased as a kit and assembled from the ground up by hobbyists. Carrell added that his bill would allow 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 custom cars from a range of standard-equipment requirements and emissions inspections.
“There is a huge contingent of car buffs in Washington, and you don’t have to look any further than local charity events or parades to find them.” Carrell said. “These folks have a passion for restoring old cars or building something new and one-of-a-kind out of parts gathered from a dozen different cars. This bill will establish constancy in state law and clarify previously unclear registration requirements.”
The bill also permits the use of “blue-dot” taillights, a favorite among restorers of automobiles, and requires that vehicles titled and registered as street rods and custom vehicles only be used for occasional transportation – such as parades, tours and auto shows. SB 5585 will now be considered by the House of Representatives.