The 2010 elections are here, and at no time in recent history has Washington been so divided. Less than two years ago, then-Sen. Barack Obama promised change-a new era of bipartisan cooperation, openness, and an abandonment of "politics as usual" well, so much for the "change."

We are again at an election crossroads in which many voters are again seeking "change," only this time change for the better rather than what we've experienced so far. That's what this magazine article is about-an opportunity to consider how actions being taken by federal and state lawmakers impact you, the classic truck enthusiast. The need for us to stay informed and become involved is greater than ever. From emissions to vehicle equipment standards, the government (since they're so much more sophisticated and smarter than you and I-just ask 'em) is making decisions about your current and future truck and/or car with no consideration of you or the industry in general.

This topic is not limited to Washington. While the federal government issues national rules dictating vehicle safety and emissions equipment, most other issues are handled at the state and local levels. From titling and registration to inspection/maintenance, your truck is subject to decisions made by state and local officials.

It may sound hokey, but the future of our hobby really does depend on you. The ballot box is one venue for making your views known-so take some time to investigate what's going on in your state and the nation, register, and then vote! We also urge you to work collectively with your fellow enthusiasts. How? Join the SEMA Action Network (SAN). SAN is a partnership between enthusiasts, truck/car clubs, and members of the specialty auto parts industry in the United States and Canada who have pledged to join forces in support of legislative solutions for the automotive hobby. It's free to join and SAN keeps you informed about pending legislation and regulations-both good and bad-that will impact your state or the entire country. It also provides you with action alerts, speaking points, and lawmaker contact information if you want to support or oppose a bill. Join now: www.semasan.com.

Street Rod and Custom Vehicle Registration and Titling
Special titling and registration designation and recognition of specialty cars, including antique, classic truck, street rod, custom, classic, collector, modified, replica, and kit car vehicles, has led to an easing of certain equipment standards and exemptions from stringent emission testing- allowing enthusiasts to enjoy the rodding hobby legally and providing more business opportunities to industry. The hobby supports initiatives to establish distinctive license plates and separate vehicle code definitions for these cars to increase awareness and allow special consideration during emission testing and equipment inspections. The hobby also supports initiatives to create classic motor vehicle project titles that apply to vehicles undergoing restoration that are at least 25 years old, not road-worthy, and currently without a title or with a title from another state. The hobby also supports initiatives to establish minimal one-time registration fees for specialty vehicles.

SEMA-Model Bill
Street rods, customs, and kit cars are a unique and exciting niche of the automotive hobby and are enjoyed by hobbyists across the country. That is why for the past 10 years SAN, with the support of its dedicated enthusiasts, has championed SEMA-model legislation to make them easier to title and register. Beginning with Illinois in 2001, versions of the model bill have been successful in helping hobbyists title their rods in 20 states to date and SAN is working to add four more states to the list: Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio.