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Nevada closes loophole for classic car license plates

Vehicle with classic plates in Reno (KRNV){p}{/p}
Vehicle with classic plates in Reno (KRNV)

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The state of Nevada just closed a loophole that some classic car owners took advantage of.

For years, people who wanted classic car plates didn't have to pass a smog test. The vehicles have to be at least 25 years old and owners couldn't drive more than 5,000 miles a year.

But the state realized and News 4 reported that people were taking advantage of the system. People with those rusted, broken and junkie vehicles were also claiming they were classics and avoiding the smog checks.

"We saw a huge influx of vehicles that were registered as classic vehicles, but they probably wouldn’t consider classic, like the Jeep Cherokee with the rusted off paint. Probably not your average classic vehicle.," said Eli Rohl, the spokesman for the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.

The law was intended for the show-and-shine, well kept classic cars.

So starting this year the state requires that classic car owners have classic car insurance. That often means those cars have to be kept in a garage, and driven only a few thousand miles a year. Some insurance companies may require the vehicles to be registered for car shows or events.

Assemblyman Howard Watts, a Democrat from District 15 from Las Vegas sponsored AB349. He said the state saw a dramatic increase in drivers getting classic car, classic rod or old timer plates.

"What we saw was that over a ten-year period, classic cars which had been steady, at about 5000, then went up to 25,000 to 30,000 registrations."

Reno resident Fran Casey is not happy. She and her husband have a 1991 Honda Accord Wagon. She bought it new back then. Now she only drives it to the mailbox and back.

" I am not a show and shine car, I’m just the owner of a classic vehicle in my opinion," Casey said. "It meets the requirements for age. It certainly meets the requirements for mileage."

Casey thinks the state made the change to collect more money from people.

"You jerks. Money, grubbing, legislators," she said.

If drivers can't meet the new requirements, they'll be required to get regular plates and pass a smog check depending on where they live. In Washoe or Clark counties, no emission test is needed if the car is older than 1968.

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