Registered historic vehicles less than 40 years old are presently exempt from periodic emissions inspections in the state of Maryland. A new bill making its way through the house seeks to reinstate emissions testing on such vehicles. Follow House Bill 1258 if you want to see more.

Current law.

Maryland law allows eligible vehicles that are 20 years old or older to be registered as a “historic motor vehicle”. This gives such vehicles an exemption from periodic vehicle inspections. The vehicle must remain mostly original and cannot be used as a daily driver. It is also not allowed to be used “primarily for the transportation of passengers or property on highways.” Reman vehicles—kit cars, and customs are also not eligible for historic vehicle status.

Given the number of people, I pass on the road with historic tags, it would leave me to believe at least some of this change is driven by abuse of the system.

Proposed legislation.

H.B. 1258 introduced in February would reinstate the emissions and inspection requirement for all historic vehicles less than 40 years old. The hearing is scheduled for March 5th in Maryland’s House Environment and Transportation Committee. Given the small number of historic vehicles in Maryland, this change would have a minimal environmental impact but would add to the cost of owning an older vehicle. The SEMA action network (SAN) is trying to get the word out to as many enthusiasts as possible with the hopes of blocking or amending the change to be less impactful to the community.

What you can do.

Do you think the usage restrictions put in place on historic vehicles are a fair trade-off for the inspection exemptions? If you think that H.B. 1258 is unnecessary, we urge you to contact your lawmaker and get involved. Do you own a vehicle that would be directly impacted by the change? Let us know in the comments.

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William Connor

As the Editor, William is responsible for all the good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent that happens at 4WAAM. William brings a wide range of experience to this role. He also wields a freely shared...

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