SEMA Model Bills

Templates to provide state legislators and local council members


Street Rod/Custom Vehicle SEMA-Model Bill:

Special titling and registration designations for street rods and customs, including replicas and kit cars, has led to an easing of certain equipment standards and exemptions from stringent emission testing -- allowing enthusiasts to enjoy the auto hobby legally and providing more business opportunities to industry.  This SEMA model bill has been enacted into law in 22 states to date.

Exhaust Noise SEMA-Model Bill:

Through this language, motorists who drive vehicles legally equipped with modified exhaust systems can confirm that they comply with a measurable exhaust noise standard.  This SEMA model bill has been enacted into law in California (2002), Maine (2003), and Montana (2007).

Inoperable Vehicle SEMA-Model Bill:

Hobbyists can protect their vehicles from confiscation by providing legislators and council members with this language, which states that project vehicles and their parts must be stored outside of ordinary public view.  Frequently adapted for use in city and county ordinances, this SEMA model bill has been enacted into state law in Kentucky (2005; repealed 2017) and Nevada (2013).

Nitrous Oxide SEMA-Model Bill:

In response to proposals that aimed to ban the nitrous oxide systems, SEMA drafted model language that provides for the operation of a vehicle equipped with nitrous oxide, so long as the nitrous oxide is disconnected (or canisters removed) from the engine while the vehicle is being operated on public roadways.  This SEMA model bill has been enacted into law in Nebraska (2002), Georgia (2002), Maine (2003), Arkansas (2005), Virginia (2004), Tennessee (2006), Mississippi (2010) and the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island (2010).

Military Vehicle SEMA-Model Bill:

Former military surplus vehicles are experiencing a growing interest among enthusiasts. However, states often define decommissioned vehicles uniquely and may not be authorized for use on public highways. SEMA supports the term “military surplus vehicle” to mean a wheeled, multipurpose or tactical vehicle including trailer, that was manufactured for military use by or under the direction of the U.S. Armed Forces or Armed Forces of any other country and was subsequently authorized for sale to civilians. When approved, these laws recognize the important historical and patriotic purpose of these vehicles.

Warranty Denial SEMA-Model Bill:

Federal law (Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act) sets forth requirements for warranties and contains several provisions to prevent vehicle manufacturers, dealers and others from unjustly denying warranty coverage. With regard to aftermarket parts, the spirit of the law is that warranty coverage cannot be denied simply because such parts are present on the vehicle, or have been used. The warranty coverage can be denied only if the aftermarket part caused the malfunction or damage for which warranty coverage is sought. Disputes in this area usually boil down to arguments over facts and technical opinions, rather than arguments over interpretations of the law. SEMA’s model bill requires auto dealers to inform consumers in writing of their rights. Link to full online Warranty Guide:


The information posted here is for enthusiasts to learn more about laws in their states. Please understand that state laws are subject to change, and it is important to consult the current statutes and regulations in your state to ensure accurate information. You should not rely solely on the following information, and SEMA disclaims any responsibility for damages that arise out of reliance on the following information. If you have further questions, please contact SEMA Action Network at