Reader Question: Military Surplus Vehicle Ban?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply! 

Alvin writes: I just found out Colorado, where I reside, has effectively banned the use of surplus military vehicles on road. I don’t yet know if this applies to vehicles already titled and registered. I didn’t think they could do this. I am fairly certain I have papers from the federal government saying they can’t for my m1031 (basically a 1986 Chevy truck with a utility body). I just found out about this about an hour ago. Not good news. The sad part is it seems the bill was originally designed to do the exact opposite. I am wondering if any other states have tried this and what, if any recourse those of us that drive these vehicles may have.

My reply: Apparently, the original bill (see here) was supposed to have legalized  the on-road use of former military (surplus) vehicles by civilian owners. Then, according to what I’ve found so far, the bill was amended (see here) to make such vehicles legal for off-road-use only.

I’m not an attorney, but I suspect vehicles already titled/registered/plated for on-road use would be “grandfathered” in under the new law, which – I assume/hope – only applies to vehicles purchased after the new law goes into effect.  If not, it would amount to an ex post facto law and clearly not constitutional – not that it matters.

If it does apply to vehicles already titled/registered/plated it sets a dangerous precedent for similar ex pos facto’ing off the road of cars currently legal to operate on the road but which don’t have all the latest sssssssssssssssaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafty equipment or don’t “comply” with current emissions regs. I’m certain that one or both of these are given as the justification for the on-road ban.

I will dig into this some more and hopefully have more info shortly!

. . .

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  1. If the amended law is allowed to stick, that would set a VERY dangerous precedent, not only in terms of ex post facto, either; it would open the door to banning ANY older vehicle that doesn’t meet the safety rules in effect! That would obsolete millions of older, yet functional, vehicles.


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