Owners of dune buggies, sand rails, kit cars, and other assembled vehicles took to the south steps of the state capitol on Thursday to rally against the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles’ recent refusal to offer titles and registration for their vehicles.
In 2014, the Texas DMV quietly began to revoke titles for the vehicles, 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.”
When asked, however, Texas DMV officials have admitted that the state does not define what a dune buggy is.
Kit cars built as hobbies, designed to look like popular classic cars, and generally driven only to attend car shows and meetups of local enthusiasts, are now being denied title and registration by the agency.
“This is a classic example of the heavy hand of government getting into people’s lives for no legitimate reason,” said Faron Smith before the event. Smith, who runs the Assembled Vehicle Coalition of Texas, organized the rally in order to educate Texans on the quiet others have faced. “These vehicles have been legal in Texas for many, many years and have are fully inspected by certified state inspectors as Texas law prescribes.”
“For the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to simply wake up one day and decide to ban vehicles with no legitimate reason is un-American and anti-Texan in my opinion,” he continued.
Smith indicated that legislation had been drafted to correct the problem and the group was currently seeking a legislator to file the bill when the legislature returns.
“We’re going to move forward and keep pushing,” he promised attendees.
Bills in the Texas House can be pre-filed shortly after the November election.