Texas DMV Revokes Registrations and Titles for Dune Buggies and Sand Rails

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Autoweek is reporting that the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has decided to revoke the titles and registrations of dune buggies and so-called sand rails, off-road vehicles that can operate both on sand and other types of terrain.

Four years ago, the DMV stopped registering these types of vehicles but grandfathered existing ones, in effect still allowing them to operate on Texas roads as well as off road. Then, two years later, the Texas DMV stopped registering dune buggies that had been registered in other states.

With the third step, the DMV has given notice to owners of dune buggies that they must surrender
their titles and license plates. The department is citing safety for the new rule. Understandably, owners on these types of vehicles are up in arms. One group is starting a GoFundMe page to hire a lobbyist to persuade the Texas Legislature to rescind the new rule. However, the Texas DMV is adamant that dune buggies and similar vehicles are not safe to drive on Texas roads, lacking certain safety features, such as bodies.

According to attorney Jake Posey, the rule sets up an almost unique situation in Texas as opposed to other states. Most other states do not have a blanket ban on dune buggies, though some do for sand rails. Even California only has a different registration regime for dune buggies because of vehicle emissions.

Autoblog reports that many Texas dune buggy owners are selling their vehicles out of state or are not using them at all. Unless the Texas Legislature can be persuaded to reverse the decision of the DMV, the future of such off-road vehicles in Texas is dubious at best. 

The Posey Law Firm PC, led by Jake Posey, is a sharply focused government relations and business law firm based in Austin, Texas. The firm’s government relations practice advises clients and advocates for the successful development of public policy in the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of Texas government.

Representing Fortune 500 companies, respected market leaders, and some of Texas’ leading state associations, Mr. Posey’s mission is to diligently deliver strategic business, political and legal solutions for his clients.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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