The Texas DMV hit the dune buggy and kit car community with some unfortunate action earlier this year when it outlawed the vehicles' titles and registrations in the state, effectively banning them from public roads. As the state continues to revoke titles for kit cars, Texas owners are fighting back.
Hemmings reported on Monday that the Manx Club, representing Manx dune buggy owners, and the Save the Texas Dune Buggy Facebook group, have both taken action against the state. The Manx Club, specifically, contacted Texas State Representative Ed Thompson, who already called for the Texas DMV to drop the ban. Additionally, it has approached the SEMA Action Network and the Historic Vehicle Association to protect dune buggy and kit car owners from revoked titles.
The Save the Texas Dune Buggy Facebook group reportedly began a GoFundMe campaign to hire a lobbyist to take on the DMV's ban and work on behalf of dune buggy owners. So far, neither group has been successful.
Texas first stopped registrations of newly built dune buggies in 2013, though at the time, the rules grandfathered all current dune buggies. In 2015, the DMV adopted a new rule that stated any vehicle “designed or determined by the department to be a dune buggy” cannot receive a title. Earlier this year, the Texas DMV began notifying dune buggy owners that had it revoked their titles and they must surrender their license plates to the DMV.
The state says dune buggies, sand rails, and other kit cars of the like are “designed for off-road usage and may not be legally operated for use on Texas streets or public roadways.” Adam Shaivitz, a spokesman for the Texas DMV, explained safety influenced the decision. He argued the kit cars do not feature "key safety components or do not have a body at all."
The fight continues, but for now dune buggies and kit cars can't be driven on the road in Texas.