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Thread: My Suggestions to increase U.S. atom ownership and to prevent any further "problems"

  1. #11
    Lepton McFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpert1 View Post
    So i'm a little confused, and I guess I have to get my post count up, lol. From what I have read this process and information must be kept private in order to keep registrations and loopholes from going away. But who is it thats actually trying to keep atoms from being registered? And why? And can a registration really be revoked? I plan to get an atom next year (I have 9 months of deployment to "contribute") and am not interested if I cannot daily drive to some extent. Is a registration revocation something to constantly be worried about?

    I guess I just dont see why the big car registration and rule making people are so vehemently against this car as they are made out to be.
    Some states, usually the more populous ones, have their saftey crusaders that see the Atom and other custom minimalist vehicles as a liability. They personally do not consider the car safe and they apply their beliefs to their jobs, right, wrong or otherwise. Other states have strict rules regulating equipment like windshields/wipers/signals/bumpers/fenders/emissions etc. that are inconvenient when applied to Atoms which might not meet the strictest definition on some equipment.

    The DMV manager that processed me was hesitant at first, though she was interested in such a different-looking car, and I had to schedule an appointment with a State DPS trooper (who was equally interested) to sign off on all the State's minimum safety equipment before the DMV manager felt confident that she'd not get in trouble for allowing such a different car legally on the road. The only potential hiccup with me what that there was no windshield. There's a law regarding motorcycles and the use of eye protection in lieu of a windscreen. I had my full faced helmet on their counter and said that I had that covered. Voila! No problem.

    So in general, it helps to be congenial and forthcoming on info and to campus the office you intend to use for registration. Anything to grease the skids.

    There have been instances where someone was declined registration and that person said, "But there's this other guy, Joe Smith, that was accepted." which was some nefarious revelation to the state officials and Joe Smiths' registration was revoked. That's why some people are tight-lipped about how they got their cars legal. A negative precedent was set and other people don't want to be victims of other people dropping names.
    Last edited by McFred; June 27, 2013 at 12:10 PM.

  2. #12
    Particle
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    Yikes! Thanks for the fill in. It just seems like there would be bigger fish to fry in the world of motor vehicles but I will deff respect the need for discretion.

  3. #13
    Ion
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    It was probably easier to register Atoms before internet access became more common in DMV's and licensing offices and the like. Now the response to a "not in our database" result on the manufacturer/model search is often a quick visit to Google which can result in the "you can't register a race car for the street" summary judgement from a local office clerk or manager.

    Some states have adopted the SEMA Street Rod/Custom Vehicle legislation for custom cars and that can get a special registration with some restrictions (only for 'occasional transportation'-- not for daily use, etc.) if a 'regular' plate is unavailable for whatever reason.

  4. #14
    Proton DarthChicken's Avatar
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    It's not a race car... its ridiculous to call it such. It doesn't have even the most basic rollcage requirements, no aero, and the tube design is based on aesthetics, not safety. Don't get me wrong.. I owned an atom for almost 5 years and put 27k miles on mine, but I can guarantee less than 2k of those were on track (and at track days, not races).

    This whole thing is out of control. Different states have different requirements, and the panic and attitude in this thread is just over the top. If you want one, go down to your DMV (or get online) and find out where the requirements are (and just as importantly aren't). Its that simple.

  5. #15
    Ion
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarthChicken View Post
    If you want one, go down to your DMV (or get online) and find out where the requirements are (and just as importantly aren't). Its that simple.
    Except when it isn't. Sometimes somebody gets to be the lucky 'first problem'.

    What happened up here was: DMV said the State Patrol has to certify the car as "road legal" (their words) before they'd submit the paperwork to register it. The State Patrol said they don't certify a car as "road legal"-- they only certify that it's not built using stolen parts/VINs/etc. (and the car then passed their inspection). Then, after the appropriate hoops were jumped through, the Department of Licensing said that regardless of what the DMV and State Patrol say-- they won't license/register a "race car" for the street. (That's *their* sandbox and they don't seem to like being told who can play in it!)

    DOL refused to even register under the SEMA legislation (that the state had just passed the year prior) even when provided with documentation supporting it met those requirements. (Apparently they also don't like to admit when they're wrong and will dig their heels in quite stubbornly. ) Lawyers + months + depositions + ~$20K later the state backed down, paid for the legal fees/expert witnesses/etc. incurred, and agreed to (again) register Atoms. (I don't recall the exact legal wranglings, but I think the 'win' was because the DOL had exceeded their mandate as to what they could and could not do unilaterally... Even after 'losing' though it still took another letter from a lawyer threatening further action to break it loose with DOL and actually register the car!)

    Now that the skids have been greased, it's easier again. Weird stuff like this does happen though-- this was in a state with a dozen other Atoms on the road for years with no issues. Just some manager decided to appoint themselves 'the car police' and TSHTF.

  6. #16
    Lepton McFred's Avatar
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    That's rediculous.

    That's a lot of money that could have been used to register the car someplace else and then through reciprocity they'd have to allow it whether they like it or not. If they don't want your tax dollars there are plenty of places that do.

    The "state" paid for the legal fees? What a preposterous fleecing of the taxpayers.

  7. #17
    Up Quark
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarthChicken View Post
    It's not a race car... its ridiculous to call it such. It doesn't have even the most basic rollcage requirements, no aero, and the tube design is based on aesthetics, not safety. Don't get me wrong.. I owned an atom for almost 5 years and put 27k miles on mine, but I can guarantee less than 2k of those were on track (and at track days, not races).
    Sorry , I'm new here and i don't want to speak out of turn, but don't TMI themselves advertise it as a race car?

    Ariel Atom

  8. #18
    Proton DarthChicken's Avatar
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    the SRA has its own series. the atom cannot race in any series, its not safe enough. no protection for the driver.

  9. #19
    Neutrino Norm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McFred View Post
    The "state" paid for the legal fees? What a preposterous fleecing of the taxpayers.
    Yes it was, but, it did feel good to win.

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