Historic tag designation law change is misguided
I, too, received the letter from the MVA that Mr. John Roberts referenced in Friday’s letter to the editor (“Disturbed by historic vehicle law changes,” Sept. 23).
I am an older (I really don’t like to think of myself as elderly) car restorer and collector. I understood clearly what the use limitations of the vehicles that I registered as historic were when I registered them and have operated my historic vehicles as I understood the law to allow.
Mr. Roberts acknowledges that many people use historic registered vehicles for daily transportation. That is not allowable under the law currently in effect. The new law does not change that, but now states that driving to work, school or for commercial activity are specifically prohibited. The state offered those who collect and preserve historic vehicles an option to lower their registration fees and also to avoid safety and emission inspection requirements with the understanding that these vehicles would be on the road very little, certainly not nearly every day. For those of us that have used the historic vehicle as the state intended, an occasional drive to and from work on a nice day was a fun thing to do. That option has now been removed.
The much larger issue is that the new legislation is not well thought out. Had the existing law been enforced, many vehicles that were being used improperly could have been removed from the road. Enforcement appears to have been lax, perhaps non-existent, and probably impossible. If enforcement is strict, the officer may stop anyone in a vehicle with historic tags at any time if the officer suspects that the vehicle is being used improperly. It will require drivers to explain where they are going and why they are going there, and relies on the officer to somehow determine the operator’s intent and history of use of the vehicle.
The new regulations will not make the current law more easily enforced and will not significantly reduce the number of, or the misuse of, historic vehicles. A better solution would be to require anyone wanting to register a historic vehicle to have a daily driver vehicle registered in their name first. While that would not stop folks from using their historic vehicle daily, it would make it less financially attractive.
John Brough, Indian Head