A proposed act in the Arkansas legislature would change the state’s definition of classic cars. Current law defines vehicles produced 25 years or more ago as historic but Act 368 would change that requirement to 45 years.
State Rep. Jack Fortner told KSFM-TV he is concerned that people are getting unequal treatment under current state law, which allows registration of a classic vehicle for a one-time fee of $7.
“I wanted to make it more fair and equitable,” Fortner said. “We all pay registration, we all are required to have insurance on our car and we register every year. This is the only tag in the state of Arkansas that is not renewed ever.”
The act would leave a requirement in place that classic car owners register at least one other vehicle they use for regular transportation.
The Specialty Equipment Market Association argued the act, should it become law, would affect the classic car hobby, especially those interested in future classics.
“Should this legislation become law, such modern classic vehicles as the 1981 DeLorean DMC-12, 1994 Toyota Supra, 1985 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z, 1991 Acura NSX, and 1991 Dodge Viper would no longer meet the criteria required to be considered an historic vehicle,” Christian Robinson, SEMA’s director of state government affairs, wrote in an email to the ClassicCars.com Journal.
Robinson said current law only affects a small fraction of the 2.6 million vehicles on Arkansas roads and the act would restrict that even further.
Act 368 has passed the Legislature and is on Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk. SEMA said its members and other automotive enthusiasts should encourage Hutchinson to veto it.
Fortner introduced a similar measure in 2017. He rescinded it after public backlash.