PASSED/SIGNED: Texas MV Bill Moving thru Senate

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Third From Texas

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OK, back in 2014 the TxDMV passed arule banning anything the deemed a “dune buggy” invalid for title, registration, and on-road use. This effected sand rails,fiberglass tub cars (ie Manx), as well as many kit cars. Last year letters were sent out to owners mandating the return of the titles and license plates.


Many of us with such cars banded together to attempt to change this. A group was formed on FB and several media articles were published. The group grew and hired a lobbyist to champion our cause (a very expensive and ongoing process). The TxDMV fought us at every turn and did not want these cars on the road. The decision to press this to legislators was made and we made a huge push to contact all our congressmen. It took a great effort and a lot of money, but progress was made and things are looking positive.


As of now we got the bill drafted and sponsored in both House and Senate in Austin. It has just unanimously passed the House and is now in the Senate for vote. If it passes, it could see the governor's desk and become law on September 1[SUP]st[/SUP].


It's been a long, hard, expensive battle to preserve our rights to drive these cars. Many other states are watching how Texas deals with the issue of these vehicles. If a person at the TxDMV can screw over an entire class of vehicle owners in Texas, it can certainly happen in other states.


But why am I posting this here?


Big Red Flag....


As of last Thursday, the future of registering “military vehicles” with any “off road”designation were tacked onto the bill (I only became aware of this tonight). As both a “dune buggy” and FMV owner, this now doubled down in importance to me. I know many here have FMV- registered vehicles so you may wish to keep an eye on the progression of the bill (as it gets modified and moves thru the Senate).


Assuming this all becomes law, it will still return to the TxDMV and the hands of a Mr. Kuntz who was our adversary in the matter and refused to budge on the topic (which led to where we are today). He will be the one establishing the rule making procedures at the TxDMV that workout the implementation of the way that Assembled Vehicles & Former Military Vehicles are to be titled, registered and inspected. (edit by mod).


Here is the link to Texas House Bill1755 which passed:
https://legiscan.com/TX/text/HB1755/2019?fbclid=IwAR3aRr79qmYNSgYUk-WRbRuH2gpX6gxTt-NC4V-qtEY4s-g_TSPniv_yJQE




Here is the FB group that put this alltogether for the fight:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SavetheTexasDuneBuggy/498318170703668/

StTDB web site:
http://savethetexasdunebuggy.com/
 
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Barrman

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Thanks for posting this. I had no idea of the 2014 rule change and didn't know about your effort. I am currently building a "buggy" for Boxcar in my class and we just discussed making it road legal the other day. Not knowing it is currently impossible.
 

undysworld

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3rd,
It's been my observation that our individual DOTs keep an eye on various vehicle forums. The definitely share information, ever heard of the AAMVA?
So you may wish to edit a couple comments on there, lest you poke your tiger unnecessarily. 'No sense stirring a turd that don't need to be stirred.'
 
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3rd,
It's been my observation that our individual DOTs keep an eye on various vehicle forums. The definitely share information, ever heard of the AAMVA?
So you may wish to edit a couple comments on there, lest you poke your tiger unnecessarily. 'No sense stirring a turd that don't need to be stirred.'
Thank you. I had just read the thread and was about to weigh in on the same character assessment(s).

As a Mod; as the OP of the TxFMV LAWS thread; and as one with a vested interested in maintained my own personal relationships with several high level TxDMV folks (trust earned after considerable investment of time and energy), I have edited the OP's Post #1 of this thread so as to maintain the appropriate protocol and decorum necessary for political persuasion.

Thank you to ALL who participate in this matter for being DIPLOMATIC toward our desired outcome.

John
 

Third From Texas

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Well here's what passed thru the Transportation Committee Friday May 17, 2019.

Section 5 shows the changes/additions to Military Vehicle Registration.

It will be on the Governor's desk as early as tomorrow.

Sadly, street legal rails got screwed (to be considered "sandrails":

*right click image to save PDF
 

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98G

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Well here's what passed thru the Transportation Committee Friday May 17, 2019.

Section 5 shows the changes/additions to Military Vehicle Registration.

It will be on the Governor's desk as early as tomorrow.

Sadly, street legal rails got screwed (to be considered "sandrails":

*right click image to save PDF
Looks like the m998 with a GVWR of 7700lbs is explicitly permitted to be street titled and registered whether or not the paperwork was stamped "off road".

Looks like wheeled MVs with a GVWR over 10k are permitted to be street titled and registered as long as they were not stamped "off road".

I don't know of any MVs over 10k GVWR that had the "off road" stamp.

I conclude that the target of this legislation was the sandrail crowd and MVs are unaffected.
 
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Thank you for the update.
'Tis a busy day at the funeral home.... I shall digest the bill as signed as soon as time permits.
Found the time to read through the bill last evening, and have re-read it this morning.
I agree that the Bill as signed has little to no effect upon the FMV Laws of the State of Texas so long as "radical modifications" have not been made to the vehicle(s).

Th only area I would question is the impact the cannibalization provisions might have on "BOBBED" Deuces or other MAJOR suspension similar modifications.

Please bear in mind that I am viewing this from the perspective of FORMER Military Vehicles (TxFMV) and that particular class of registration in the Great State of TEXAS. My assessment DOES NOT apply to those former (lower case) Military Vehicles registered as any other class of motor vehicle, nor used for any other purpose than the historic preservation of these machines once used by the Armed Forces.


(DISCLAIMER: I am NOT an attorney, nor presuming to be any legal authority or expert. I am simply a well-studied citizen with an in depth understanding of the TxFMV Laws citing my interpretations and opinions.)
 

M813rc

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For Texas military vehicle owners, IN MY OPINION the only real changes are that the new law specifically says that Texas DMV will title and register Humvees as FMVs for on-road use, even if they come with paperwork stamped Off-Road Use Only, which is good.
And tracked vehicles are now specifically excluded from registration as on-road vehicles, which is bad to whoever was using their tank or M113 as a daily driver in ignorance of an already existing separate section in the Texas traffic code that prohibits tracked vehicles of any type from being used as regular on-road vehicles.

I'll have to read through it again, but there does seem to be protection from arbitrary rulemaking by the DMV included.

Those operating bobbed vehicles and keeping them registered as FMVs have been violating the law all along, as once modified they no longer fit the legal description. For example, one might argue that they have made a faithful replica of an XM381 from an M35 (which would entail more than removing an axle), but you would need to carefully read the rest of the statute pertaining to rebuilt/modified vehicles to get the clear answer as to why you'd likely not win that argument.

Something to keep in mind is that if you have been registering a vehicle out of it's class and get caught, you are liable for all the fees you would have paid previously in addition to fines.
For example - an acquaintance had registered an S404 Unimog around the same time I registered mine in 2001. He chuckled because he was paying 1/3 of what I was paying for yearly tags (I was running regular truck plates back then) because the DMV misread all the weights on his paperwork as being in pounds rather than kilos. He chastised me for making it easy for them by converting all the weights, in addition to giving them a written translation of the Swiss title I had. It took ten years for them to realize his weight discrepancy, but they did, and slapped him with a bill for all those 2/3s he hadn't previously paid, plus a hefty fine. TxDMV then reviewed every Unimog registration they had on record, and handed out similar 'happiness' to all the violators who got caught.

Cheers

******NOTE - All my comments above are in reference to Texas only, so don't go saying "You're wrong!" if you are going by some other state's laws! ;) *****
 

Third From Texas

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...protection from arbitrary rulemaking by the DMV
This was in fact the premise behind the bill.

The TxDMV had change the "rule" and banned dune buggies back in 2014 (and had started revoking title and plates in 2018 ). The biggest issue was that with no definition, anything the DMV (or any particular clerk) *deemed* to be a "dune buggy" was denied/revoked.

Sadly, the coalition behind the "Save the Texas Dune Buggy, Sandrail, and Kit Car" let the sandrails be thrown under the bus with the final edit to the bill (after they had supported the cause both financially and via contacting legislature).

*side note (or question): Is there any age restrictions on Texas registration of FMVs? (ie: must be 20 years old or more)
I ask because I thought I had read it somewhere but I cannot put my finger on it in the TxDMV documentation
 
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*side note (or question): Is there any age restrictions on Texas registration of FMVs? (ie: must be 20 years old or more)
I ask because I thought I had read it somewhere but I cannot put my finger on it in the TxDMV documentation
Short answer:

TxFMV's "SHALL be registered" regardless of the age of the vehicle.

Long answer:

Please refer to the TxFMV LAWS thread linked in my Signature Block below. The various paragraphs of the many applicable LAWS are discussed and filleted there. It's pretty easy to digest, but time consuming.
I HIGHLY recommend that ALL TxFMV OWNERS and OPERATORS read that thread.
 

M813rc

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*side note (or question): Is there any age restrictions on Texas registration of FMVs? (ie: must be 20 years old or more)
I ask because I thought I had read it somewhere but I cannot put my finger on it in the TxDMV documentation
Okay, this is my preliminary OPINION on what I have read, backed up by 30 years of dealing professionally with Texas traffic law, but still my own opinion. That said....

In Texas, we have been dealing with registering military vehicles under 504.502 Exhibition Vehicles. That code stated that all vehicles thereunder had to be 25 years old except military vehicles, which had the following definition, including an age exception.

504.502 (i)
(i) In this section, "former military vehicle" means a vehicle, including a trailer, regardless of the vehicle's size, weight, or year of manufacture, that:

(1) was manufactured for use in any country's military forces; and
(2) is maintained to represent its military design and markings accurately.




The new law removes the definition of military vehicles from 504.502 and places them under 502.001, which does not have age restrictions attached, therefore that former exception becomes redundant.
However, it looks like we still have to register FMVs under 504.502 if you don't want to run regular plates, and with the age exemption removed from the definition, we'll have to see if it remains under 504.502 or if they will now have to be 25 years old. I'm still digging on that.

So, I'm not giving legal advice here, just some suggestions on where to look to find the answer for yourself. ;)

Cheers
 
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16,875
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Okay, this is my preliminary OPINION on what I have read, backed up by 30 years of dealing professionally with Texas traffic law, but still my own opinion. That said....

In Texas, we have been dealing with registering military vehicles under 504.502 Exhibition Vehicles. That code stated that all vehicles thereunder had to be 25 years old except military vehicles, which had the following definition, including an age exception.

504.502 (i)
(i) In this section, "former military vehicle" means a vehicle, including a trailer, regardless of the vehicle's size, weight, or year of manufacture, that:

(1) was manufactured for use in any country's military forces; and
(2) is maintained to represent its military design and markings accurately.




The new law removes the definition of military vehicles from 504.502 and places them under 502.001, which does not have age restrictions attached, therefore that former exception becomes redundant.
However, it looks like we still have to register FMVs under 504.502 if you don't want to run regular plates, and with the age exemption removed from the definition, we'll have to see if it remains under 504.502 or if they will now have to be 25 years old. I'm still digging on that.

So, I'm not giving legal advice here, just some suggestions on where to look to find the answer for yourself. ;)

Cheers
HMMM......
I've just sprayed some WD-40 on my shovel and will re-read those sections you've highlighted for us.

Seems our jury is still deliberating on this.
 

Third From Texas

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Yalls bill sounds lot
Like our bill we got passed in Louisiana
My cars are company-owned by my LLC in Louisiana.

I'm still not clear on LA's handling of registering FMVs, but I'd just as soon register it there than let Texas see another dime of taxes.

Texas really screwed over true car builders in the past several years (unless you limit your skill set to a kit car like a Manx, etc).
 

Al Capone

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Third from Texas . Call or text
Me and I can walk ya thru title process in la . Myself and two others with help of my local senator is the ones who for this done in la . 985-640-5350 Al
 

ErnieL

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As a newly converted FMV guy, I'm reading this all with interest. I used to have so much fun fighting with local DPS Know-it-Alls regarding the lack of seatbelts and other modern safety features on my 55 Fords, and I was praying that I didn't have to do it all over again with my M37 and eventual round nose Canadian deuce.

After reading some of the comments from members here in other States, it looks like we might have it pretty good here in the Great State of Texas.

OPne question though for y'all in the know. I've maintained my A CDL for years, but with a P restriction for personal property use only. That way, no messing with DOT Medicals every year or so. Would anyone know if that is valid ONLY in Texas, or can a large FMV be legally driven in OK or La? Do we even NEED a CDL for large FMVs? Just curious, maybe this isn't the right place for this?
 
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OPne question though for y'all in the know. I've maintained my A CDL for years, but with a P restriction for personal property use only. That way, no messing with DOT Medicals every year or so. Would anyone know if that is valid ONLY in Texas, or can a large FMV be legally driven in OK or La? Do we even NEED a CDL for large FMVs? Just curious, maybe this isn't the right place for this?

A short answer...

All 50 states participate (have signed onto) a reciprocal agreement which essentially says that the LAWS, and the conditions/restrictions/allowances, of the State of Issuance apply for registration and licensing purposes. Hence, if you are properly licensed in Texas, and your truck is legally registered and maintained in a safe operating condition, you can drive cross-country without worries.

Notwithstanding, if you're running a TxFMV with the NO TAG option, you can pretty much expect to be pulled over out of state.... and even sometimes IN TEXAS, depending upon the TxLEO's knowldege of all the various TxFMV exceptions to the various motor vehicle laws.
(Therefore, again I remind folks to STUDY the TEXAS FMV LAWS thread linked in the signature block below.)

The BIG EXCEPTION comes into play when the operator operates in the conduct of INTERSTATE COMMERCE. It is then that all the CDL, etc. stuff kicks in.
 
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