The Great State of Texas Hates Dune Buggies, Kit Cars, Handcrafted Cars

This is not a typo! The Great State of Texas Hates Dune Buggies, Kit Cars, Handcrafted Cars . This year residents of Texas started getting letters asking for them to turn in their titles because they owned a Dune Buggy or Sandrail in Texas. The State of Texas letter pointed towards an Administrative Rule (217.3) that specifically banned Dune Buggies from being street legal in the state.

The Great State of Texas Hates Dune Buggies, Kit Cars, Handcrafted Cars

This means that your title can be revoked, you cannot register a LEGAL out of state buggy in Texas, and they will not honor an out of state title if you move to the state.

So I guess the next question you might ask is what is their reasoning? Well to be honest it is not quite clear but it seems to revolve around safety. They claim that when you pull the body off a VW beetle and put a Dune buggy or kit car body on it, it is no longer safe. Lets think about that for a second. So if you remove the paper thin VW beetle body off a chassis and replace it with a 1/4 thick dune buggy or kit car body it is no longer safe?

Here is what the Texas Assembled Vehicle Manual says about Dune Buggies…..

Dune Buggy – A vehicle will not be titled or registered if the department determines it to be a dune buggy or a beach buggy. In addition, dune buggy-type vehicles are not eligible for title.

How is that for an explanation?

I mentioned above that vw based kit cars are also not in the clear on this. Section 2.5 of the Assembled Vehicle Manual (in which it discusses dune buggies) also spells out a few other things although it does not single out kit cars. http://www.txdmv.gov/title-manual

2.5 Assembled Vehicles Not Eligible for Title
Missing Basic Component Parts or Federally Required Safety Components
The following are not eligible for Texas title regardless of the vehicle’s previous title and/or registration in this or any other jurisdiction:
vehicles that are missing or are stripped of their motor, frame, or body, to the
extent that it materially alters the manufacturer’s original design or makes the
vehicle unsafe for on-road operation as determined by the department;
• vehicles designed or determined by the department to be a dune buggy;
• vehicles designed or determined by the department to be for off-road use only,
unless specifically defined as a “motor vehicle” in Transportation Code, Chapter
501; or
• vehicles assembled, built, constructed, rebuilt, or reconstructed in any manner
with:
• a body or frame from a vehicle which is a “nonrepairable motor vehicle” as
that term is defined in Transportation Code, §501.091(9); or
• a motor or engine from a vehicle which is flood damaged, water damaged,
or any other term which may reasonably establish the vehicle from which
the motor or engine was obtained is a loss due to a water related event.

Above in red you can see the problem. As we all know the old VW based kit cars have the body removed to make way for the fiberglass body. It also Alters the manufactures original design. This tells me that NO VW based Kit Car is safe is the “Great” State of Texas.

Now I know that people will think, well I will just keep it registered as a VW Beetle or whatever because it has worked for me all along. Well sorry to bust your bubble but your car was never legal to begin with because once the body is gone it is no longer a VW beetle. Not to mention there have been talks of cops pulling people over, only for that person to get a revocation letter a few days later.

There is a group that is working on getting this all resolved and you can find them on facebook . They are hoping to get it all sorted out but its not expected that anything can happen till some time in 2018. Until then dune buggies in texas are left in Limbo

https://www.facebook.com/groups/SavetheTexasDuneBuggy/