We are up and running, Our bill has now been introduced in both the Texas State House as well as the Senate!
You can google them.
86(R) HB-1755 Representative Thompson District 29
86(R) SB-1462 Senator Hughes District 1
This is an
example of what was used to talk to Legislators about Assembled Vehicles.
This was posted in hopes that it will help get into more detail of the bill
that has been introduced, you can research the actual rule by googling.
86(R) HB-1755 Representative Thompson District 29
86(R) SB-1462 Senator Hughes District 1
If you would like to make a Donation, please the link below.
1. What is the purpose of the proposed legislation?
legislation is to create a new section of the Texas Transportation Code that
defines Assembled Vehicles and how these vehicles would be regulated by the
Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. The new section of the Transportation
Code will provide definitions of Dune Buggies, Sandrail & Kitcars to ALL be
defined as Assembled Vehicles, to describe and define the legal ability for a
hobbyist to assemble the vehicle, the definition and methodology to have the
vehicle legally inspected by a certified state inspector, the method by which
the vehicle is tiled and registered, and the appropriate fees that accompany
titles and fees for Assembled Vehicles.
2. What is the issue being addressed by this legislation?
The issue being addressed by the legislation is to provide clarity
in the law as to what is an Assembled Vehicle. Currently, an Assembled Vehicle
is defined only in the TxDMV manual, not in statute, yet there are state
inspection forms that accompany an Assembled Vehicle to be used for the ability
to gain a title, registration through the normal DMV/DPS process. As a
result of the lack of clarification, Kitcar companies and those customers that
assemble kitcars and Dune Buggies & Sandrails, that have had their vehicles
legally inspected, have received proper insurance, and have in many cases received
title and registration, have had their title and registration revoked by the
In addition and to further complicate the issue, staff at TxDMV in 2014 proposed an Administrative Rule to essentially ban Dune Buggies from operating on Texas streets and roadways by deeming them as “off-road” vehicles. As a consequence, numerous private citizens that purchased Dune Buggies after 2014 were not aware of the administrative rule and only realized their investment was essentially worthless when they were unable to gain title and registration to operate Dune Buggies on streets and roadways, as has been the practice for over 50 years. Ironically, if a citizen had already purchased a Dune Buggy prior to the Administrative Rule and had the vehicle legally inspected, titled, and registered those vehicles remain legal to operate on streets and roadways.
And while Kitcars are not Dune Buggies but still in the Assembled
Vehicle class and have not been subject to an Administrative Rule banning their
operations, staff at the TxDMV have subjectively deemed some Kitcars as “on
track” vehicles, essentially race cars, and therefore deemed illegal to operate
on streets and roadways.
The rulings by the TxDMV is inconsistent and has caused great
confusion among Dune Buggy, Sandrail and Kitcar enthusiasts and parts suppliers
of those vehicles to a point where the TxDMV board announced in its August 16,
2018 board meeting that this matter is best for the legislature to handle.
3. Background (history)
The TxDMV first adopted a policy regarding Dune Buggies not being
eligible for Texas title in 2013 and published this policy on May 5, 2014. Any
applications for title for a Dune Buggy on or after this date are rejected and
any titles issued in error after this date are revoked. Dune buggy titles
issued prior to May 5, 2014, remain valid; however, they will not be issued a
subsequent title for any new purchasers. This decision was made in accordance
with Transportation Code, Section 502.048, which grants the authority to refuse
registration to any vehicle deemed unsafe (emphasis added). Any vehicle not
eligible for registration, unless otherwise specifically specified, is not
eligible for a Texas title.
According to department staff, they came to the conclusion that
Dune Buggies were unsafe for on-road operation based on a number of factors and
the experience of staff having reviewed numerous such vehicles over many years.
Staff at the TxDMV claim that they review each vehicle individually and do not
compare one type of vehicle to another, further claiming their observation has
been that these vehicles (stripped down, kits, or otherwise) are often lacking
basic, visually verifiable safety components such as windshields, wipers, or
their entire body. On more than one occasion, TxDMV staff claim they have seen
plastic water tanks used as the fuel cell. In an effort to limit some of the
subjectivity, Dune Buggies were deemed unsafe.
Subsequently, the TxDMV Board adopted Texas Administrative Rule on
March 6, 2015, which prohibited Dune Buggies from being eligible for title.
This is located in Texas Administrative Rule 217.3 (6) and reads (in part):
(6) Not Eligible for Title. The following are not eligible for a Texas title
regardless of the vehicle’s previous title and/or registration in this or any
other jurisdiction.(B) Vehicles designed or determined by the
department to be a dune buggy;
In 8 months of participating in working groups with the TxDMV
staff and other interested parties, private citizens working as a group called
the Assembled Vehicle Coalition of Texas (AVCT) pointed out the flaws in
staff’s decisions in the types of vehicles staff illustrated as “not
safe”. TxDMV staff displayed vehicles that have been built from various
vehicles parts from junk yards (some vehicles built with 2×4 boards in one case
and an actual coffin with four wheels and a motor in another case). The
ACVT pointed out that Dune Buggies and Kitcars are not built from various
pieces from junk yards, 2×4 lumber, or coffins or any other junk vehicle part
but are legitimate, designed and well-known vehicles provided by Kitcar
companies located in Texas and around the United States and among Dune Buggy
enthusiasts all over the nation. Legitimate Kitcars and Dune Buggies use
Federal Motor Safety Vehicle Standard parts and pass certified ASE inspection accordingly.
As a point of reference, a Dune Buggy is a well-recognized vehicle that has
been a part of the American fabric of hobbyist vehicles since 1965 (the first
dune buggy was created by Bruce Meyers) and Dune Buggies have even been
previously featured for sale in Sears catalogs.
The TxDMV referred to vehicles not built by a known manufacturer
(Ford, GM, Toyota, etc.) as “frankencars” and have deemed them unsafe, with the
thought that these vehicles are made of vehicle parts shopped from junk
yards. This is far from the truth. The members of the AVCT pointed
out that there are already definitions of Assembled Vehicles and inspection
forms for assembled vehicles promulgated by the TxDMV and these Assembled
Vehicles do pass certified inspectors and are insured by major vehicle
and “Street Rods” are defined in Texas Transportation Code § 504.501 and are
closely related in description of an Assemble Vehicle found in the TxDMV
And when reading
these definition of an Assembled Vehicle it is obvious to the reader that these
definitions comport to the description of a Dune Buggy and kit car describing
(iii) assembled from a kit even if a Manufacturer’s
Certificate of Origin or Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin is provided
is passed TxDMV staff would develop rules governing the new statutes on
are the mechanics (how is this different from current law)?
The proposed legislation simply creates a new section of the
Transportation Code dedicated to Assembled Vehicles and clarifies what is an
Assembled Vehicle, the definition of what a Hobbyist is and what a Hobbyist is
not, clarifies the definition of an ASE (American Service Excellence) certified
vehicle inspector/technician and provides language regarding the method for
titles and registration with the appropriate fees. The inspection, title,
registration and fee process for Assembled Vehicles aligns with current law for
motor vehicles as defined in law so as not to provide any special
considerations in the importance of inspection, title, registration and
appropriate fees for those Assembled Vehicles.
It was acknowledged by TxDMV board members at the August 16, 2018
board meeting that when the Texas Legislature created statutes governing motor
vehicles it did so in the knowledge of regulating well-known manufacturers of
vehicles. It was further acknowledged that Kitcars or Dune Buggies were
not contemplated in the early creation of the Code. The board also
acknowledged that among the 27 million or more vehicles on the road today
Kitcars and Dune Buggies are a minute segment of the motor vehicle being driven
on Texas streets and roadways, and even these Assembled Vehicles are “fair
weather” vehicles not intended to be “every day” vehicles
No statistics are
known or provided when requested regarding concerns communicated by TxDMV
Broader goals and messages?
In recent years,
federal law has recognized the Kitcar industry by passing H.R. 22 by Rep.
Green, D-Texas that allows companies to manufacture kit cars at a low volume
rate; the Kitcar companies can manufacture no more than 350 per year nationally
not more than 5,000 world-wide.
message is that these types of vehicles, be they Dune Buggies or Kitcars, are a
recognized and familiar vehicle in the United States and Texas statute should
reflect this reality and provide language regarding the proper regulation of
the vehicles for operation on Texas streets and roadways. Currently, 31
other states recognize these vehicles and have laws and policies governing
their assemblage, inspection, title, registration and appropriate fees.
With the ability of these inspected Assembled Vehicles to legally
operate on Texas streets and roadways the fiscal impact to the state will be as
follows: more revenue will be collected from title and registration fees
and license plates from assembled vehicles; parts for these assembled vehicles
from legitimate parts suppliers will continue to be sold; tax revenues from
additional gasoline sales for the vehicles will increase; some expected revenue
increases in hotel occupancy taxes and sales and beverage taxes will occur in
hotels and restaurants as these hobbyists tend to form clubs and have rallies
in Texas towns and cities on weekends at certain times of the year to meet and
enjoy the camaraderie that goes with these clubs; more insurance policies will
be sold by insurance companies that provide policies for Assembled Vehicles;
additional jobs created from Kitcar companies that choose to provide kits to
Kitcar and Dune Buggy enthusiasts.
would provide clarity to the Transportation Code regarding a certain type of
vehicle that exists and is deemed safe and reliable for operation on Texas
streets and roadways.
Stakeholders/Support/Opposition (Who is or is not impacted)?
will come from thousands of Texas private citizens who own kit cars and dune
buggies who are, in many cases, not able to operate their vehicle on Texas
streets and roadways as they have in the past. Strong support will come
from the vehicle parts suppliers both in Texas and around the nation that will
have an increase in this specific market segment to sell quality vehicle parts
to the enthusiasts. The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA, www.sema.org) will strongly support the
came from TxDMV staff, however, the TxDMV board rejected a proposed rule
seeking to clarify this issue and board members requested this matter be in the
hands of the Texas Legislature.
Lastly, the representative for the Assembled Vehicle Coalition of Texas specifically asked TxDMV staff if there are groups or individuals opposing assembled vehicles; if there are crash or inspection statistics supporting their claim that these vehicles are deemed unsafe; if any outside individual or group filed or otherwise voiced any complaints of Assembled Vehicles – the answer was negative that any of the above mentioned complaints were made. The Texas Association of Automobile Dealers has signaled their opposition to the bill before it was filed or reviewed.
As many of you know HB-1755 is the bill that House Representative Ed Thompson has introduced to help correct Administrative 217.3. You may also know that Texas Legislation is currently in session and that the next step in the process is for our bill to be heard by the House Transportation Committee. At that time public testimony is almost always solicited on bills; allowing citizens the opportunity to present arguments on different sides of an issue. When a House Committee holds a public hearing during a legislative session they must post a notice of 5 days before the hearing. What that means to you and I is that we will get 5 calendar days to plan to be at the hearing where bill HB 1755 is read for the first time. If you want to join us, you had better get your Sunday go to Meeting clothes ready now. (I will wear a Suit & Tie) The House Transportation Committee consists of 13 Members. Below I have listed all of the Members on that Committee, the District they are in & the Counties they represent. We are not limiting people from joining us, but it would be nice to have people that they represent in attendance. It is not prudent to have a ton of people talk as time is limited, but we will decide who fits our narrative best when we get a list of people who can attend the hearing when it is scheduled. Texas House of Representatives Transportation Committee. Chair – Terry Canales (Democrat) – District 40 – Hidalgo (Part) Vise Chair – Brooks Landgraf (Republican) – District 81 – Andrews, Winkler, Ector Diego Bernal (Democrat) – District 123 – Bexar Yvonne Davis (Democrat) – District 111 – Dallas (Part) Craig Goldman (Republican) – District 97 – Tarrant (Part) Cole Hefner (Republican) – District 5 – Camp, Morris, Rains, Smith (Part), Titus, Wood Matt Krause (Republican) – District 93 – Tarrant (Part) Ben Leman (Republican) – District 13 – Austin, Burlson, Colorado, Fayette, Grimes, Lavaca, Washington Armando Martinez (Democrat) – District 39 – Hidalgo (Part) Evelina “Lina” Ortega (Democrat) – District 77 – El Paso John Raney (Republican) – District – 14 – Brazos Shawn Thierry (Democrat) – District 146 – Harris (Part) Ed Thompson (Republican) – District 29 – Brazoria In addition, if you live in any of the above districts please email me your Name, City/County you live in & your Phone Number so that we can compile a list for each where they have constituents living in their specific District.
Today we took a little trip up to Austin to sit in on the Senate
Transportation Committee Hearing. They never once mentioned Save the
Texas Dune Buggy, Sandrail & Kitcar, or The Assembled Vehicles
Coalition. That’s okay, as we didn’t expect them to at this point. But
they did see us in the room, and it looked like a couple of people had a
pretty good idea who we were.
Kuntz & Brewster were both in attendance & even spoke a little, but again it had nothing to do with our issue.
We may not have heard anything to do with bill HB-1755, but we did hear a couple of VERY interesting statements.
One Executive for TxDOT spoke of the dangers & even deaths due to
situations like Impaired Driving, Distracted Driving, Driver
inattention, Following too Close, Disregarding a Stop Sign or Signal
Light, & Speeding. But never once did he make mention of a Dune
Buggy, Sandrail, Kitcar, or ANY specific Vehicle for that matter as
We also heard the Executive Director of TxDOT
talk about how a SEATBELT is so important in regards to the SAFETY of a
vehicle. He went on and on about how a SEATBELT was the most important
SAFETY device that is employed on a vehicle & NEVER once did he
mention anything about how an airbag helped in regards to the safety of a
That being said…… Keep in mind that the TxDMV,
TADA, and others are reading what you write. Does the Dune Buggy,
Sandrail, or Kitcar that you want to legally Title/Register in Texas
have proper Seatbelts in it? As for me, I don’t even have a Rolling
Chassis at the moment. But I have a set of 4 point Seatbelts that I plan
to install when this is all over.
I have seen this before & thought I should post this… Well Here I
am posting it. It is a link to the House of Representatives website
explaining how a bill gets passed on the side of the House. It is a
long read, but well worth the time.