Owners of dune buggies, kit cars, and other assembled vehicles scored a victory during the legislative session, with Gov. Greg Abbott signing legislation to allow them to continue to register their vehicles in Texas.
Doing so wasn’t a problem until recently. Hobbyists who built “kit cars,” replica cars designed to look like popular classic cars, drove them to car shows or group meetups with no problem. Then, in 2014, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles quietly began to revoke titles for the kit cars, citing Texas Administrative Rule 217.3, which explicitly made any vehicle “designed or determined by the department to be a dune buggy” ineligible for title “regardless of the vehicle’s previous title and/or registration.”
Such a restriction caused the value of the vehicles to plummet, with buyers in others states swooping in to buy the cars at pennies on the dollar.
House Bill 1755, which was recently signed into law by Abbott after being passed unanimously by the legislature, clarifies that assembled vehicles are indeed permitted on the roads of Texas, forcing the DMV to once again register the cars.
The cars will, however, be subject to a special inspection in order to be registered as assembled vehicles.
“This is a classic example of the heavy hand of government getting into people’s lives for no legitimate reason,” Faron Smith, who runs the Assembled Vehicle Coalition of Texas, said last year during a rally at the state Capitol. “These vehicles have been legal in Texas for many, many years and are fully inspected by certified state inspectors as Texas law prescribes.”
With the bill now signed, the legislation is set to become law on September 1.