Wyoming moves to raise antique vehicle fees, eliminate insurance loophole - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Wyoming moves to raise antique vehicle fees, eliminate insurance loophole

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — Under existing Wyoming law, people are able to pay a one-time $10 fee for an “antique” vehicle license plate. Drivers of vehicles licensed as “antiques” are not required to have motor vehicle liability insurance.

Rep. Landon Brown (Laramie County) explained during the House of Representatives Monday, March 1 floor session that House Bill 19 would modify the definition of antique vehicles, raise the license registration fee, require annual renewal fees and require liability insurance if the vehicles are driven around on regular roads.

“Right now in statute [antique vehicle owners] basically pay a one time fee of $10 and they get a black plate that says ‘Pioneer Plate’ and that’s all they ever have to pay…and they can drive this vehicle to car shows, parades, stuff like that,” Brown said.

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He said that three to four years ago, law enforcement communicated to legislators that they had been “were running into issues where they were picking these people up using these cars as every day drivers.”

Brown explained that liability insurance hasn’t been required since antique vehicles are often “covered for much higher than what the title shows” and that the antique vehicle statues were framed with the idea that the vehicles would be used during special events rather than as an ordinary means of transportation on daily roads.

House Bill 19 would require liability insurance for antique vehicles. It would also increase antique vehicle initial license plate fees from $10 to $50 and increase the cost of transferring license plates from $2 to $10.

The proposed legislation would also add a new requirement that antique vehicles owners to renew registration annually. The cost of the proposed annual validation sticker would be $50.

Brown explained the purpose for the fee increases and the proposed annual renewal fees: “If you’re going to drive the vehicle around and you’re going to use the roads, you should pay for the services that you are being provided.”

The proposed fee increases and new annual validation sticker fees would generate an estimated $10,120 in additional revenues per year for the state’s Highway Fund, according to the Legislative Service Office. That estimate is based on the state renewing about 253 “Pioneer” plates per year.

Brown noted that the legislation includes a grandfather clause so that people who have already registered for an antique license plate wouldn’t face the new fees.

The bill would also modify the definition of antique vehicles which are currently defined as motor vehicles which are at least 25 years old “and owned solely as a collectors item.”

The legislation proposes defining antique vehicles as motor vehicles at least 40 years old which are owned as a collectors item.

The House passed the bill on first reading (Committee of the Whole) on Monday.

An amendment proposed for second reading would reduce the fees as proposed in the legislation from $50 to $20 for the initial fee and renewal fees and reduce the transfer fee from $10 to $5. The fees as proposed under the amendment would still be a hike from existing fees.

The proposed legislation would go into effect on July 1, 2021 if passed into law. The bill is sponsored by the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Transportation, Highways & Military Affairs Interim Committee.