Barton County Treasurer Kevin Wondra told the Barton County Commission Monday morning he’s had antique car enthusiasts come to him concerned about the tagging of the their older vehicles.
To clarify the matter, he said there are three different statuses an old car can have:
• Antique tag – To qualify as an antique vehicle in Kansas, it must be more than 35 years old, and as close to the original as possible, without any significant alterations to the major component parts (motor, transmission, frame, wheels or body). Placing a newer, non-antique engine with a body, frame or other major component part from an antique vehicle of a different vintage year would not constitute an antique vehicle. Similarly, modifying an engine and putting it on an antique frame would no longer qualify the vehicle as an antique.
However, Wondra said, there are a lot of gray areas when it comes to modifications. There are some exceptions for safety issues. His office is not required to go and inspect the vehicle.
“It kind of puts the treasurers in a bad spot,” he said.
These tags, which are handled through the county instead of the state, come with a one-time fee of $70 and an annual fee of $17.
• Special interest plate – These are for cars from 20-35 years old and are not modified. For a $26 fee (paid to the state) an owner is assigned a licence number. The annual fee is also $26.
• Street rod plate – These are for cars 20 years or older that have been modified. The fees are the same as those for the special interest plates.
This led to discussion of how to handle vehicles that are tagged with out-of-state plates. Wondra said an owner has 90 days to re-register a vehicle. If this doesn’t happen, his office then sends a letter and the owner has up to 14 days to respond. After that, if there is no reply, the letter is turned over to law enforcement. Officers can’t ticket the vehicle unless it is parked in a public place or on a roadway is use.