Maryland Alters Historic Car Rules - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Alters Historic Car Rules

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Owners of historic tagged cars will no longer be allowed to drive them to work, school, or for commercial uses (Photo:WBOC) Owners of historic tagged cars will no longer be allowed to drive them to work, school, or for commercial uses (Photo:WBOC)

CAMBRIDGE, Md.- If you own a car with historic license plates in Maryland, you may want to check your mailbox.  A lot of people are receiving letters in the mail, or an email from the Motor Vehicle Administration, talking changes on the way as to where you can drive those historic cars.  It says in two week's time, you will no longer be allowed to drive your historic car to work, school, or for commercial use.

Ronnie Newcomb has been collecting classic cars for about 50 years.  He uses historic license plates on his cars, but he also doesn't use his cars all that much.

"Most people that have true antique cars don't drive them much anyhow.  They think too much of them to leave them in the sun a lot and drive them in the rain," said Newcomb.

He believes this new change to the law is to push back against people using older cars every day because of the cheaper registration and insurance.

"To me it was just a way to get some of these vehicles on the road and running without going through Maryland inspection and getting them on the road cheaply, and that goes against the cardinal rules of antique and historic cars," said Newcomb.

But the law change affects people like Doug Turner, who doesn't drive his Pontiac GTO everyday, but once in a while to keep the parts moving.  He doesn't like the idea of Maryland telling him where he can and cannot drive.

"You have to use the car every once in a while.  You have to take it out and run it around a little bit.  What I like to do is drive it to work occasionally.  I just wish they would leave things the way they are," said Turner.

The law change poses an interesting question to law enforcement.  How do you enforce the law?

"That's definitely a process and it's part of the investigation that an officer has to do to know when and when not to pull over a vehicle that's in violation of that," said Lieutenant Justin Todd with Cambridge Police.

Another change to the law affects repair orders.  If an officer were to pull over a historic car today and say the headlight is out, that's about all they can do.
Now, even with historic tags, if a car is newer than 1986, you are subject to repair and inspection orders as well.

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