Nevada Looking To Close Classic Car Loophole

Apr 8, 2021 3 min read
Nevada Looking To Close Classic Car Loophole

It’s all in the name of science…

Certain members of Nevada’s state legislature have laid out their plans to close up so-called “loopholes” in the state law dictating what constitutes a classic car. These changes could put at jeopardy enthusiasts’ ability to own and operate their beloved vehicle, and it’s all in the name of combating global warming. While nothing is set in stone since so far these are ideas, it sounds like legislation will be presented for consideration this year.

One of the people who spoke during a recent Zoom meeting with the Nevada Conservation League was Rudy Zamora, who reportedly is working with Assemblyman Howard Watts on legislation which would modify the classification for classic cars. Currently, if a vehicle is over 20 years-old it can be registered as a classic in Nevada.

The report isn’t entirely clear how that classification would be altered, so that’s something to scrutinize once the legislation is unveiled. It does go on about how people supposedly skirting the law by following it negatively impacts low-income and minority communities the most since “high-traffic corridors” cut through their neighborhoods and they’re forced to breathe air from the older cars which aren’t forced to pass a smog test.

Here’s where the reasoning gets a little foggy: in the report Watts is quoted as admitting driving older vehicles “is often something of a necessity (for) small businesses and entrepreneurs and low-income families” but that those groups often can’t afford to fix whatever makes their vehicle flunk the smog check. However, the goal is still to get the non-compliance vehicles repaired or off the road, although there’s zero mention how far back in age they want to go with this initiative, but one would assume a 20-year-old car would no longer qualify as a classic and get the variance.

Another part of the plan would be to increase the smog fee for all vehicle owners in Nevada. Everyone loves paying more fees without getting anything for it, that’s Government 101. But wait, there’s more.

Some would say everyone should just buy a new electric car since that solves everything, even though there aren’t enough EVs and even Elon Musk admits the electric grid in the US can’t charge all those vehicles, let alone use “clean” generation methods. Instead of addressing that stark fact, Watts worries about people who can’t afford a new electric car, that’s much more expedient.

That’s where the funds from those increased smog fees would come into play. Essentially, that government-captured money would be used to pay for minorities and poor people to have their car repaired so it passes the smog test. Or the money could be used to replace an old gas-burning car with a shiny new electric vehicle. We’ll let you do the math on which would cost taxpayers more.

Here at Motorious we’re fans of electrification, but not at the cost of obliterating internal combustion engines. We’ve written about some cool, interesting electric cars in the past, including some classics being converted. However, we’re also all about people having choices and being able to enjoy their classic and collector cars reasonably. It’s up to you as the reader to decide if these proposed changes in Nevada would allow you to do that or not. That’s not an easy task, considering so many critical details are unknown at this time.

Whenever state legislatures start talking about closing up “loopholes” for cars registered as classics, our ears perk up. Car enthusiasts both inside Nevada and elsewhere would do well to watch what happens next closely since these ideas could spread as other state legislatures try passing similar laws, even if this plan fails in Nevada.

Sources: Sierra Nevada Ally, The Truth About Cars

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