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Old 06-12-2013, 06:06 AM   #121
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I do think doorless should be restricted to offroad or not on the roads over certain speed limit, but you never know if someone is running the red and hit you on the side.
Then you should run that way. But legislating it is not the right answer. As has been said in this thread, the doors are only there to keep you dry (read the sticker on the soft top header of a JK) and you are still safer in a doorless Jeep than you are on a motorcycle.
I will keep running doorless regardless of where I am going or what route I am taking to get there. It is one of the reasons why I bought a Jeep.

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Old 06-12-2013, 10:47 AM   #122
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I do think doorless should be restricted to offroad or not on the roads over certain speed limit, but you never know if someone is running the red and hit you on the side.
Please no, we've given up enough freedoms already. There is inherent risk in life, we've given up so many of our individual liberties already. If you don't wish to ride with your doors off that is totally your choice, but if I do that should be my choice. We have too many nanny state laws already, lets try focusing on our liberties and freedoms for a change.

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Old 06-12-2013, 02:33 PM   #123
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I've seen UPS driving with no doors & shorts !
It is pitiful if any state requires doors or top to always be on since all jeeps of this sort have been Engineered to safely run W/O doors
God Bless Texas !!
There's another part of PA's vehicle code (can't recall the section without googling) that deals with convertibles, and since the Jeep is a convertible, no roof is required. Something about the roof not being required if it was designed to be removed.

The door thing I agree with you on. I think it's ridiculous that many police departments ticket doorless Jeep drivers when the vehicle was designed with removable doors but don't see the parallel with convertibles and removable roofs.

The only silver lining is that that police in my area, for the most part, couldn't care less if we run doorless.
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:54 PM   #124
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There is inherent risk in life, we've given up so many of our individual liberties already.
Risk will soon be a thing of the past. Cash-strapped governments around the world are preparing legislation to ban death. In lieu of collecting one-time death taxes, governments will recognize infinite revenue streams if only people would stop dying so they could continue to pay taxes.

Banning death solves many problems...never mind the problems it creates. Now we can finally all be free of fear and run doorless or run with scissors! Freedom!! There will be only one exception: in a demonstration of legislative brilliance, the death ban legislation will have a provision for executing any opposition.
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:27 PM   #125
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Risk will soon be a thing of the past. Cash-strapped governments around the world are preparing legislation to ban death. In lieu of collecting one-time death taxes, governments will recognize infinite revenue streams if only people would stop dying so they could continue to pay taxes.

Banning death solves many problems...never mind the problems it creates. Now we can finally all be free of fear and run doorless or run with scissors! Freedom!! There will be only one exception: in a demonstration of legislative brilliance, the death ban legislation will have a provision for executing any opposition.
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:18 PM   #126
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Risk will soon be a thing of the past. Cash-strapped governments around the world are preparing legislation to ban death. In lieu of collecting one-time death taxes, governments will recognize infinite revenue streams if only people would stop dying so they could continue to pay taxes.

Banning death solves many problems...never mind the problems it creates. Now we can finally all be free of fear and run doorless or run with scissors! Freedom!! There will be only one exception: in a demonstration of legislative brilliance, the death ban legislation will have a provision for executing any opposition.
Quite the opposite, governments would prefer you die early, so as not to pay out Social Security and Medicare to all the old people. Bring on the death squads to weed out the old and feeble.

Now what was the topic of this thread? Oh yea, require all vehicles to run doorless, make alcohol consumption a requirement for getting behind the wheel, mandate texting while driving.

Seriously though, the more I read about PA giving tickets for running doorless and tires extending outside fenders, I thank the gods I'm somewhere else.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:22 AM   #127
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Seriously though, the more I read about PA giving tickets for running doorless and tires extending outside fenders, I thank the gods I'm somewhere else.
You're not alone. I've been trying to figure a financially-painless way to get the hell out of this state and into a state that's more tax and rights-friendly.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:38 AM   #128
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Seriously though, the more I read about PA giving tickets for running doorless and tires extending outside fenders, I thank the gods I'm somewhere else.
I didn't go back through the whole thread, but I think it was one person. Everyone else said they did it with no problem.
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:10 PM   #129
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You're not alone. I've been trying to figure a financially-painless way to get the hell out of this state and into a state that's more tax and rights-friendly.
If you can make it to Florida, no state income tax, no vehicle inspections, and generally no hassling Jeepers. And you can ride topless and doorless for most of the year. The downside is the summers are brutal.
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:00 PM   #130
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If you can make it to Florida, no state income tax, no vehicle inspections, and generally no hassling Jeepers. And you can ride topless and doorless for most of the year. The downside is the summers are brutal.
and 70% of the population consists of the transplants you were trying to get away from in the first place!
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:10 PM   #131
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No. As long as it's legally registered out of state, another state's laws can't be enforced on your vehicle. Only federal laws can be enforced.

I live near the PA border and my Jeep would violate several PA laws: tires wider then fender flares, no covers on my auxiliary lights and tail light guards. But since I'm from Ohio, they can't do anything about it.

Wrong.

Examples? Arizona drivers are allowed tinted windows. California did not. California made a ton of cash off of Arizona drivers visiting California. Arizona does not require motorcycle helmets, Nevada did. Nevada made lots of money off of Arizona motorcyclists. Arizona allows medical marijuana - take it to another State and the holder will be arrested.

One other point - Local, county, and State police officers do not enforce and cannot enforce Federal law, unless they are cross certified to do so.

I know - I was a local cop for over twenty years and a Fed for several.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:49 PM   #132
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I have made an observation about this thread...opinions vary as do state law, you know damnit I live in PA and I do not agree with all the stupid laws they have put upon us...but one thing I am really upset over is the fact that some "Don't have nothing better to do cop" pulls over a jeep without doors when motorcycles don't wear helmets go flying by. I mean really? I am not bashing the motorcycle community, but come on. If I had to be in an accident, I certainly would rather be in my JK than on a motorcycle. But when it comes right down to it...I feel the law picks and chooses its next battle and if you just happen by...nuff said!
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:04 AM   #133
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I have made an observation about this thread...opinions vary as do state law, you know damnit I live in PA and I do not agree with all the stupid laws they have put upon us...but one thing I am really upset over is the fact that some "Don't have nothing better to do cop" pulls over a jeep without doors when motorcycles don't wear helmets go flying by. I mean really? I am not bashing the motorcycle community, but come on. If I had to be in an accident, I certainly would rather be in my JK than on a motorcycle. But when it comes right down to it...I feel the law picks and chooses its next battle and if you just happen by...nuff said!
and i believe that was my case when i was pulled over... twice!!! by the same department. where are you from in PA?
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:24 AM   #134
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I've asked the local Pa state troopers barracks about the door issue back in 2007 ,I was told as long as I had one rear view mirror and a seat belt on I was we'll within the law and they had nothing on the books in regards to removing the doors. If you get a ticket I would challenge it.
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:23 PM   #135
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I've asked the local Pa state troopers barracks about the door issue back in 2007 ,I was told as long as I had one rear view mirror and a seat belt on I was we'll within the law and they had nothing on the books in regards to removing the doors. If you get a ticket I would challenge it.
Police, as well-trained as they are, are not lawyers. They THINK they know all the laws, but they don't and I wouldn't trust what a trooper told you vs what is actually in the motor vehicle code of the state you're in.

Example: I got a ticket once in Illinois for "illegal pass on the right". It was a marked 4-lane road and the local LEO was an young, ill-trained, rookie douche. Because the rookie worked off of a shortcut-list of moving violations (tied to vehicle code law) he and his sergeant thought the violation on his cheat sheet meant any time any vehicle passes on the right anywhere was illegal. Wrong.

The IL vehicle code, THE LAW, specifically states it's legal with exceptions that did not apply, like going off pavement to pass. I simply referred to the statute in court and he, his sergeant and the Asst DA were ridiculed by the judge when it and three other bogus tickets were dismissed: "no headlight equip"(Corvette has flip-ups & not req'd for noon daytime), "no seat belt" (4pt harness) and "too fast for conditions due to traffic" (11mph in a 35mph zone<-- yes 11mph, you read that right). That brings us back to the trooper in PA.

The law is clear regardless what a state trooper district/barracks says. This affects PA Jeepers in that some municipalities (and that state trooper district) do not focus on the trivial things, but some departments do, and that leads Jeepers to think no doors is legal because it's not a primary enforcement activity where they are but it is elsewhere.

However, The law in PA states you have to have doors. So, while some departments have more important things to do and a trooper said you're OK without doors, it meant you're OK as far as the trooper's enforcement scope is concerned; even state troopers don't know all the thousands of details to vehicle/traffic laws. They can tell you you're OK but later on still write you a ticket for no doors if they want to (officer dependent) because it IS the law. I wouldn't go to court saying a trooper told you it was legal as a defense.
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:23 PM   #136
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Police, as well-trained as they are, are not lawyers. They THINK they know all the laws, but they don't and I wouldn't trust what a trooper told you vs what is actually in the motor vehicle code of the state you're in.

Example: I got a ticket once in Illinois for "illegal pass on the right". It was a marked 4-lane road and the local LEO was an young, ill-trained, rookie douche. Because the rookie worked off of a shortcut-list of moving violations (tied to vehicle code law) he and his sergeant thought the violation on his cheat sheet meant any time any vehicle passes on the right anywhere was illegal. Wrong.

The IL vehicle code, THE LAW, specifically states it's legal with exceptions that did not apply, like going off pavement to pass. I simply referred to the statute in court and he, his sergeant and the Asst DA were ridiculed by the judge when it and three other bogus tickets were dismissed: "no headlight equip"(Corvette has flip-ups & not req'd for noon daytime), "no seat belt" (4pt harness) and "too fast for conditions due to traffic" (11mph in a 35mph zone<-- yes 11mph, you read that right). That brings us back to the trooper in PA.

The law is clear regardless what a state trooper district/barracks says. This affects PA Jeepers in that some municipalities (and that state trooper district) do not focus on the trivial things, but some departments do, and that leads Jeepers to think no doors is legal because it's not a primary enforcement activity where they are but it is elsewhere.

However, The law in PA states you have to have doors. So, while some departments have more important things to do and a trooper said you're OK without doors, it meant you're OK as far as the trooper's enforcement scope is concerned; even state troopers don't know all the thousands of details to vehicle/traffic laws. They can tell you you're OK but later on still write you a ticket for no doors if they want to (officer dependent) because it IS the law. I wouldn't go to court saying a trooper told you it was legal as a defense.
While he was simply stating his Interpretation of the written law as he read out to me( initially the group of them were a bit dumbfounded and proceeded to break out a book the size of a JK door)

" (f) Doors. A vehicle specified under this subchapter shall be equipped with doors of a type used as original equipment. The doors shall open and close securely unless the vehicle has been manufactured or modified to the extent that there is no roof or side. Tailgates, except on vehicles where the tailgate gives access to the passenger compartment, may be replaced with wood planking, nets or other material that will prevent loss of load. Tailgates may be removed when optional equipment, for example a truck camper, is added."

He stated that the doors were designed to come off and as such it was legal. Again his interpretation, but in the 6 years living here I have not once been given a second look. Furthermore if that was the case tube doors would also be illegal as they are not " a type used as original equipment". As far as clear goes I don't see it that way, you could argue it from several angles, mainly being the wrangler is manufactured without a top. I guess you see it your way and many other see it another. Until they clearly define it to specifically address the wrangler it'll come down to the discretion of the officer or at least his/her interpretation of the way the law is written.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:34 PM   #137
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Just got back from the Bantam Jeep Festival in Butler, PA. Over a hundred Jeeps without doors. And a couple hundred Jeeps with tires wider then the flares [illegal in PA], exposed auxiliary lights [illegal in PA] and some type of cover over the tail lights [illegal in PA]. There wasn't a squad of officers waiting at the entrance to ticket people.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:23 PM   #138
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Just got back from the Bantam Jeep Festival in Butler, PA. Over a hundred Jeeps without doors. And a couple hundred Jeeps with tires wider then the flares [illegal in PA], exposed auxiliary lights [illegal in PA] and some type of cover over the tail lights [illegal in PA]. There wasn't a squad of officers waiting at the entrance to ticket people.
So this brings me to another question seeing that I just got back from Bantam and live in Buffalo,NY....

My tires stick out and a lot of the jeeps that had tires that really stick out we're from out of state so do we have to follow PA laws on tires seeing that I am passing through or visiting? I was told that the only time that it would cause a problem is when you get inspected and it is not something the the police enforce....

On the flip side of the coin in NY it is illegal to not have a front license plate on but I would assume that if you we're from PA driving through NY the police would not pull you over for it seeing that you are from a state with a different law.... Correct? (I have been pulled over for a missing front plate in the past)
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:35 AM   #139
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So this brings me to another question seeing that I just got back from Bantam and live in Buffalo,NY....

My tires stick out and a lot of the jeeps that had tires that really stick out we're from out of state so do we have to follow PA laws on tires seeing that I am passing through or visiting? I was told that the only time that it would cause a problem is when you get inspected and it is not something the the police enforce....

On the flip side of the coin in NY it is illegal to not have a front license plate on but I would assume that if you we're from PA driving through NY the police would not pull you over for it seeing that you are from a state with a different law.... Correct? (I have been pulled over for a missing front plate in the past)
I just graduated from law school in May and I am studying for the bar exam (which is at the end of July), so I mostly come onto Wranglerforum to get my mind off of the law for a little while- Ironic how many legal issues tend to pop up around here!

I liked your questions, because they relate to some pretty complex issues pertaining to personal jurisdiction, conflict of laws, and Art. IV privileges and immunities... That said, I don't think there is a whole lot of litigation over this subject.

In general, my guess would be that PA could prosecute you for violating statutes like those pertaining to tire exposure from the fenders. It might be true that the police don't generally enforce those statutes, but they certainly could if they wanted to- and I would bet they could enforce them even against nonresidents, pursuant to the state's general interest in "safety." (Pre-lawyer tip: As soon as a government proclaims an interest in public safety, they're pretty much going to win, unfortunately). That said, I imagine that most cops would not go out of their way to measure the tire exposure on an out-of-state vehicle.

Pursuant to your other question, I don't think that NY could prosecute a PA resident for missing a front plate. All states have registration reciprocity laws, which are basically statutes that say "all the registration stuff herein doesn't require to out-of-staters, as long as they are properly registered in their own states." Displaying a front license plate would be more akin to a registration requirement than a public safety issue- In fact I even found a case where a NY court struck down a NJ resident's conviction for failure to display a front tag. (you can read it for free here: Decision result | Leagle.com)
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:49 AM   #140
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As for the main topic in this thread, I agree with some posters that the statute in question is not actually very clear with regard to our jeeps. What is the legal definition of a door "of a type used as original equipment?" That can't be the same thing as the doors that came on our jeeps to begin with, because in that case the legislature would simply have said "doors as supplied by the manufacturer as original equipment," or something along those lines. And the "manufactured or modified" clause is weird- it appear to pertain only to the issue of whether doors open and close securely, rather than to the presence of doors in the first place...

The number one thing to keep in mind when it comes to statutory law is that until a court has issued an opinion interpreting a statute, there just isn't a clear cut answer as to what any particular statute actually means. As others here have correctly pointed out, the interpretation of statutes by police is no more dependable than the interpretation of any other non-judicial body; except for the fact that the police tend to rely upon their own interpretations when they decide whether to cite someone for violating a statute.

So the long of the short of it is: The law in Pennsylvania with regard to doors on Jeep Wranglers is actually pretty hazy, and if you were cited for going doorless you might have a shot at getting a judgment in your favor, once you take it to court. But arguing with the police about whether they have correctly interpreted the vehicle code is probably a waste of time- they aren't any greater authority on the meaning of a law than you are. For that reason, it is probably never a good idea to take a police officer's word for it when s/he tells you that you won't be cited for any particular mod- that officer can't speak for the entire group of state and local police, and again, his or her interpretation of the legality of a modification doesn't carry any more weight than yours (except that cops have more experience and knowledge pertaining to what courts have decided is or isn't legal).

Bottom line: If you go doorless in PA, you probably run the risk of being cited, and the best recourse you can hope for is taking it to court (with an attorney, if you're feeling spendy) and letting the court decide whether the statute carves out any general exception for doorless wranglers.

(disclaimer: none of this is legal advice. I am a law school graduate but not yet licensed to practice law. If you find yourself in a situation where you require assistance with a legal issue, consult an attorney licensed to practice in your state. Cross your fingers for me at the end of July though!)
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:19 AM   #141
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So this brings me to another question seeing that I just got back from Bantam and live in Buffalo,NY....

My tires stick out and a lot of the jeeps that had tires that really stick out we're from out of state so do we have to follow PA laws on tires seeing that I am passing through or visiting? I was told that the only time that it would cause a problem is when you get inspected and it is not something the the police enforce....

On the flip side of the coin in NY it is illegal to not have a front license plate on but I would assume that if you we're from PA driving through NY the police would not pull you over for it seeing that you are from a state with a different law.... Correct? (I have been pulled over for a missing front plate in the past)
I think you have to abide by the laws in which the vehicle is registered, tint laws in Florida seem to be more lax then in the north, but if you have Florida plates and a current registration I can't see how they could cite you. Some states require a front plate while others do not, yet it's perfectly legal to drive in a two plate state if you only have one.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:00 AM   #142
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I think you have to abide by the laws in which the vehicle is registered, tint laws in Florida seem to be more lax then in the north, but if you have Florida plates and a current registration I can't see how they could cite you. Some states require a front plate while others do not, yet it's perfectly legal to drive in a two plate state if you only have one.
This is only the case on vehicle compliance laws. The plates are a vehicle compliance law so only your own state can cite you for this. Emissions, fender width and other things are also compliance laws. Mirrors however, are not compliance. The jeeps were issued with 3 mirrors, so they say you easily have the capability to have mirrors. I believe tint is not a compliance law however they check the tint during state vehicle inspections
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:55 AM   #143
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This is only the case on vehicle compliance laws. The plates are a vehicle compliance law so only your own state can cite you for this. Emissions, fender width and other things are also compliance laws. Mirrors however, are not compliance. The jeeps were issued with 3 mirrors, so they say you easily have the capability to have mirrors. I believe tint is not a compliance law however they check the tint during state vehicle inspections
Sorry but I have to disagree with you there. Whether a vehicle has the "capability to have mirrors" based upon the factory setup is never going to be a consideration. Also, regarding window tint, there really isn't a general rule that there is a universally applicable division between compliance and other vehicle laws. Some states have specifically exempted certain sections of their vehicle codes with regard to nonresidents, while plenty of others have not. Search for tint tickets in California for nonresident vehicles and I'm sure you'll find plenty of stories about visitors having to pay tickets, even where their tints are legal in their own states. As I said above, license plate rules are different because they fall under registration reciprocity laws, which exist in all states.
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:37 AM   #144
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Sorry but I have to disagree with you there. Whether a vehicle has the "capability to have mirrors" based upon the factory setup is never going to be a consideration. Also, regarding window tint, there really isn't a general rule that there is a universally applicable division between compliance and other vehicle laws. Some states have specifically exempted certain sections of their vehicle codes with regard to nonresidents, while plenty of others have not. Search for tint tickets in California for nonresident vehicles and I'm sure you'll find plenty of stories about visitors having to pay tickets, even where their tints are legal in their own states. As I said above, license plate rules are different because they fall under registration reciprocity laws, which exist in all states.
The mirrors aren't a compliance law because since it came with them, you can have them. The law doesn't care that its more fun to have no doors. If they want you to have mirrors they can mandate it from everyone no matter where they are from because all vehicles come with 3. It's not like they are mandating any extra equipment. On the other hand, California can't pull over every out of stater without 50 state compliance emmissions because not every vehicle was 50 state approved until recently(not even sure if they all are now) because that would require drivers to add equipment to their vehicles just to drive over the border. And yes, you're correct tint is not a compliance law
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:57 AM   #145
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Ok I thought you were saying that if, hypothetically, a vehicle came from the factory with only one mirror, or no rear view mirror, that it would be exempt from a statute with specific mirror requirements.

That said, I disagree that California couldn't issue citations for nonresident vehicles that don't meet emissions standards. The only reason they don't is that there is a specific exemption for out-of-state vehicles with regard to emissions standards. But if the CA legislature decided that they wanted to prohibit any car that doesn't meet specific emissions requirements from operating on their highways, they could certainly do so. It'll never happen, even in California, because enforcing it would be nearly impossible and immensely costly, and it would annihilate the tourist industry. But again, there is no universal distinction between so-called "compliance laws" and any other law. Could a state explicitly draw such a distinction? Sure. But it definitely isn't the case for every state.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:48 PM   #146
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Yeah, I am in Broward County. As long as the vehicle has four wheels and can move forward it is ok to drive, especially in the left hand lane!
Yeah, I know a guy who drove around in FL for months without a license plate and just a piece of cardboard that said "lost tag" and he never got pulled over. FL is pretty permissive.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:42 PM   #147
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Ok I thought you were saying that if, hypothetically, a vehicle came from the factory with only one mirror, or no rear view mirror, that it would be exempt from a statute with specific mirror requirements.
FWIW, PA does except things that technically violate the vehicle code but are original equipment. For example, the PA vehicle code states that flares may not be wider than 3" (or is it 4" -- can't remember). The factory flares on the Wrangler are technically in violation of that. Also, PA exempts vehicles manufactured without seat belts (technically, vehicles manufactured prior to 7/1/1966) from seat belt laws. I know a lot of other states have exemptions of a similar nature, so what you're alluding to is practice in PA for some things.

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That said, I disagree that California couldn't issue citations for nonresident vehicles that don't meet emissions standards. The only reason they don't is that there is a specific exemption for out-of-state vehicles with regard to emissions standards. But if the CA legislature decided that they wanted to prohibit any car that doesn't meet specific emissions requirements from operating on their highways, they could certainly do so. It'll never happen, even in California, because enforcing it would be nearly impossible and immensely costly, and it would annihilate the tourist industry.
It'd probably also get CA vehicles ticketed/impounded in every OTHER state. You can't just whip the bird to reciprocity like that and not expect any consequences.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:04 AM   #148
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Yeah, I know a guy who drove around in FL for months without a license plate and just a piece of cardboard that said "lost tag" and he never got pulled over. FL is pretty permissive.
Steve Jobs drove around with no plates for years in California where you can have the car without plates for 90 days or six months, I forget which. That is how long he would lease his E-Classes and then turn it in and get a new one. Never had to have plates.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:28 AM   #149
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I'm moving to the Pocono Mountains next Spring, good thing I found this thread! I'm scratching my head a little now, wondering if I have to be careful with some mods I was planning.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:50 AM   #150
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" (f) Doors. A vehicle specified under this subchapter shall be equipped with doors of a type used as original equipment. The doors shall open and close securely unless the vehicle has been manufactured or modified to the extent that there is no roof or side. Tailgates, except on vehicles where the tailgate gives access to the passenger compartment, may be replaced with wood planking, nets or other material that will prevent loss of load. Tailgates may be removed when optional equipment, for example a truck camper, is added."


As much as I hate to state this, the interpretation seems pretty clear to me that doors must be on a vehicle if the vehicle is sold with the doors. The part about "...doors shall open and close securely" doesn't say you don't have to have doors if you don't have a roof, it says the doors must open and close unless you have no roof. My interpretation is if you have no roof, your doors do not have to open and close...but you still must have doors.

What that actually means in practice is absolutely nothing useful...you have to have doors, but if you have no roof they do not have to 1. open or 2. close. Pretty stupid that the law allows doors that do not "securely close" if you have no roof, but in effect that's what it states.

One thing is for sure, it definitely needs to be amended or rewritten, because it is completely nonsensical the way it is currently written.

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