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Collector car community called to action

From coast to coast (literally), your involvement is sought


You haven’t been paying attention if you are not aware of SEMA’s support for the RPM Act, but it isn’t the only legislative or administrative issue drawing the attention of the collector car community. 

For example, the LeMay Collections at Marymount is appealing to collector-car owners in the state of Washington to oppose House Bill 2373, currently under consideration by the state House Transportation Committee. The bill was introduced by the state Department of Licensing and would require owners of vintage vehicles to acquire license plate tabs every 5 years. Currently, such tabs are required only once during the vehicle owner’s lifetime.

“This bill will significantly increase the cost of your collector cars tabs,” the LeMay Collection contends. “This bill will pass without you voicing your objection to this increase.”

A vote on the bill is scheduled for February 10.

“Please contact as many of the committee members and let them know to vote NO on HB2373,” the collection urges. “Here is a link to the committee directory and a link to the proposed change in the bill.”

However, those responding also are asked to be “brief, direct, and polite when leaving a message,” and a sample script is provided:

“Hello my name is [Name], I’m contacting you to request that you vote NO on House Bill 2373 that require classic cars to be registered every five years, rather than only once per lifetime of current owner. Classic cars are rarely driven and this is an unfair burden to those of us that only take the cars out for a drive a few times a year. Thank you.”

Legislation, Collector car community called to action, ClassicCars.com Journal
With New York plates, this car would not be loaded onto a ship

On the opposite coast, a disconnect between U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the New York State DMV has led to the blocking of vehicle exports with New York titles. 

“This will impact vehicles leaving all ports, not just Port of NY/NJ,” reports 

West Coast Shipping, which has facilities in California, New Jersey, Germany and Australia. The company estimates that as many as 35,000 collector cars leave the U.S. every year for overseas locations.

The dispute between the state and federal agencies, West Coast Shipping says, involves computerized data bases and the identity of possible illegal immigrants with New York driver licenses.

The shipping company has gone so far as to “strongly advise” its clients not to purchase any New York-titled vehicles until the situation is resolved.

“So far as we there will be $1000s of fees/fines from the ocean carriers and trucking companies for each container delivered to the Port with NY titled vehicles,” the company said in its news release. “Those containers will need to be returned back to our warehouses and unloaded.

“West Coast Shipping is your partner during these difficult times and we will not accept ocean carriers to charge you any fines/fees for containers which must be returned from the port.

“At this point we have two options to help mitigate this problem:

“1. We can help owners with NY titled vehicles, older than 25 years, to be re-titled in another state through a legal process. Our current estimate for this process is 5 business days at which point we will be able to submit the new title to US Customs and export your vehicle from the same port as originally planned. There is a significant cost to this process and we estimate our expenses at $1000/vehicle. Unfortunately, this option doesn’t apply to vehicles manufactured after 1/1/1995 or salvage vehicles.

“2. There is an option to re-title vehicles manufactured after 1/1/1995 but the process is more complicated and involves transporting your car across the entire US. The cost is $1,750/vehicle.”

There is a third suggestion: “Resell the vehicle at a US based auction where you purchased it originally through the same dealer.”

However, “We expect the car values to take a hit due to a flooding of these NY titled vehicles at auctions.”

West Coast Shipping transports thousands of vehicles, including collector cars, across the oceans to and from the U.S. each year. 

Meanwhile, SEMA’s support of the RPM Act continues. The “Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act” has been introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate. 

“This bipartisan bill protects Americans’ right to convert street vehicles into dedicated race cars and the motorsports-parts industry’s ability to sell products that enable racers to compete,” SEMA reports.  

“The RPM Act reverses the EPA’s interpretation that the Clean Air Act does not allow a motor vehicle designed for street use — including a car, truck, or motorcycle — to be converted into a dedicated racecar. 

“This American tradition was unquestioned for nearly 50 years until 2015 when the EPA took the position that converted vehicles must remain emissions-compliant, even though they are no longer driven on public streets or highways.”  

If you support the legislation, SEMA provides an online form to contact your Senator or Representative.

SEMA also offers a website that shows current state legislative issues of interest to the car community.  It not only goes coast to coast, but all the way to Hawaii, where there are 21 bills under consideration.

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. Is this another trump move against NY’s Sanctuary State legislation? Immigrants of all status deserve protections afforded under the United States Constitution. I’m baffled by SEMA and all this, but at least we can vote trump out in November, 2020.

    • Where the hell is your head at Quiggle– this is about the environment– not a political statement- find a different platform to incite your drivel.

  2. Afraid that Quiggle is correct. Don’t kill the messenger here. If one read West Coast Shipping’s subscribed news letters, then one would see the angle here.
    What this forum needs is an easy way to send pre-written letters to the correct powers that be. Many organizations I belong to have a simple button to click on, and the letter is automatically sent.
    I have no idea how this is done, but it would sure get much larger response.
    The writing is on the wall!

  3. Ok, I have to speak up. Quiggle references illegal immigrants as having protection under the Constitution. Arguments and interpretations vary, but as I read it, Congress essentially needs to provide a path to citizenship for immigrants wishing to become citizens. However, the part about National Sovereignty seems to indicate the Federal government has power over immigration based on national security.

    To say that President Trump is responsible for increasing regulation on shipping is silly. Reducing regulation on industry’s that rely on fossil fuels is exactly the kind of thing the Democrats have been lambasting him on from day one.

    Guys let’s just keep this to our love of cars and leave politics out of it. Nobody is winning this argument.

  4. I think Quiggle is only partially right. I think the sanctuary folks drew first blood vs federal agencies trying to do their job, such as cutting off access to state DMV databases used for normal law enforcement operations, officer and public safety, and encouraging their own citizens to obstruct field agents and field officers in the performance of their duties. Endangering the lives of men and women in uniform as well as the public they serve. These things did not affect the petty policy makers who changed the rules and the marching orders. Then guess what happened? The feds struck back with their own bureaucratic sword using the government processes that THEY control (exporting cars connected to the use of the NY DMV). So, it went kinda like the kid who takes his baseball bat home when he gets mad, then the other kid takes his baseball and glove home. We are stuck with 4 bases on a field and no baseball games after having already purchased our season tickets.
    I’m pretty sure that is what is going on with the export thing because I heard that ICE was also not accepting NY Driver’s Licenses for some other purpose as well, because the NY License was devalued as an ID document if citizenship wasn’t required to get one. Quiggle should encourage car owners to vote for whomever they think is doing a good job for them as an elected official, and leave politics to the politicians. This site is for car/truck folks.


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