Antique car tag fight brewing in Topeka


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Is it an antique if you add new wheels to your 35+ ride in Kansas?

“The vast majority of people have no idea, like myself, that technically with my vehicles I am in violation of the law,” said Rep. Stephen Owens, R-Hesston.

Owens is one of a couple of lawmakers out to change the antique tag rules.

Right now, you can get an antique tag if your car is over 35, but if you have made modifications, you can get pulled over by the letter of the law.

“Last year, there has been stepped up enforcement,” said Owens, who is helping move forward House Bill 2528.

“I will be there on Thursday,” said Wichita car enthusiast Joshua Blick. “There is a scheduled hearing at 1:30 to talk about it. I will be there.”

Blick points to fellow classic car owners who have been pulled over and had their antique tag taken away.

“He was pulled over. He had a ’67 Firebird,” said Blick. “He thought he was speeding or something. And the highway patrol officer said you have the wrong tires and wheels on your car for that tag. You can not have aftermarket tires and wheels on your vehicle with that classic tag.”

Blick says the officer wrote a ticket and impounded the antique car tag.

“We are getting similar stories,” said Owens.

Owens says HB2528 would change the language in the current law to say a vehicle more than 35 years in age would be antique, “Regardless of the type or age of the components or equipment installed on the vehicle.”

“I had one of my constituents say why are you wasting your time on this when we have a life amendment or we have this vote to make?” said Owens. “It doesn’t work that way. It’s not that we just sit here waiting on the big votes. There are so many things and to a number of people this is a big issue.”

Owens says money does come into play with the antique tag issue. It’s cheaper to get an antique tag with $40 upfront and then a yearly fee of less than $20 according to Owens

Owens says the state could be out about one million to a million and a half if every car in the state would over 35 have an antique tag.

“But a lot of people don’t bother to get antique tags,” said Blick. “But for those of us who are passionate, this is a big deal. Sometimes aftermarket wheels that look old are a lot safer than original wheels. Same for the brakes. In some cases, the engine.”

The language of HB2528 is scheduled to be talked over this Thursday in Topeka at the statehouse.

“Look, classic cars are a passion. It’s the car we had when we met our wife. It’s the car we had when dad drove us around,” said Blick. “Some people are as passionate about their cars as they are their wife or more?”


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