49 U.S. Code § 30114 - Special exemptions

§ 30114.
Special exemptions
(a)[1] Vehicles Used for Particular Purposes.[2] The Secretary of Transportation may exempt a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment from section 30112(a) of this title on terms the Secretary decides are necessary for research, investigations, demonstrations, training, competitive racing events, show, or display.
(b) Exemption for Low-volume Manufacturers.—
(1)In general.—The Secretary shall—
exempt from section 30112(a) of this title not more than 325 replica motor vehicles per year that are manufactured or imported by a low-volume manufacturer; and
except as provided in paragraph (4) of this subsection, limit any such exemption to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards applicable to motor vehicles and not motor vehicle equipment.
(2)Registration requirement.—
To qualify for an exemption under paragraph (1), a low-volume manufacturer shall register with the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and under such terms that the Secretary determines appropriate. The Secretary shall establish terms that ensure that no person may register as a low-volume manufacturer if the person is registered as an importer under section 30141 of this title.
(3) Permanent label requirement.—
(A)In general.—
The Secretary shall require a low-volume manufacturer to affix a permanent label to a motor vehicle exempted under paragraph (1) that identifies the specified standards and regulations for which such vehicle is exempt from section 30112(a), states that the vehicle is a replica, and designates the model year such vehicle replicates.
(B)Written notice.—The Secretary may require a low-volume manufacturer of a motor vehicle exempted under paragraph (1) to deliver written notice of the exemption to—
the dealer; and
the first purchaser of the motor vehicle, if the first purchaser is not an individual that purchases the motor vehicle for resale.
(C)Reporting requirement.—
A low-volume manufacturer shall annually submit a report to the Secretary including the number and description of the motor vehicles exempted under paragraph (1) and a list of the exemptions described on the label affixed under subparagraph (A).
(4)Effect on other provisions.—
Any motor vehicle exempted under this subsection shall also be exempted from sections 32304, 32502, and 32902 of this title and from section 3 of the Automobile Information Disclosure Act (15 U.S.C. 1232).
(5)Limitation and public notice.—
The Secretary shall have 90 days to review and approve or deny a registration submitted under paragraph (2). If the Secretary determines that any such registration submitted is incomplete, the Secretary shall have an additional 30 days for review. Any registration not approved or denied within 90 days after initial submission, or 120 days if the registration submitted is incomplete, shall be deemed approved. The Secretary shall have the authority to revoke an existing registration based on a failure to comply with requirements set forth in this subsection or a finding by the Secretary of a safety-related defect or unlawful conduct under this chapter that poses a significant safety risk. The registrant shall be provided a reasonable opportunity to correct all deficiencies, if such are correctable based on the sole discretion of the Secretary. An exemption granted by the Secretary to a low-volume manufacturer under this subsection may not be transferred to any other person, and shall expire at the end of the calendar year for which it was granted with respect to any volume authorized by the exemption that was not applied by the low-volume manufacturer to vehicles built during that calendar year. The Secretary shall maintain an up-to-date list of registrants and a list of the make and model of motor vehicles exempted under paragraph (1) on at least an annual basis and publish such list in the Federal Register or on a website operated by the Secretary.
(6)Limitation of liability for original manufacturers, licensors or owners of product configuration, trade dress, or design patents.—
The original manufacturer, its successor or assignee, or current owner, who grants a license or otherwise transfers rights to a low-volume manufacturer shall incur no liability to any person or entity under Federal or State statute, regulation, local ordinance, or under any Federal or State common law for such license or assignment to a low-volume manufacturer.
(7)Definitions.—In this subsection:
(A)Low-volume manufacturer.—
The term “low-volume manufacturer” means a motor vehicle manufacturer, other than a person who is registered as an importer under section 30141 of this title, whose annual worldwide production, including by a parent or subsidiary of the manufacturer, if applicable, is not more than 5,000 motor vehicles.
(B)Replica motor vehicle.—The term “replica motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle produced by a low-volume manufacturer and that—
is intended to resemble the body of another motor vehicle that was manufactured not less than 25 years before the manufacture of the replica motor vehicle; and
is manufactured under a license for the product configuration, trade dress, trademark, or patent, for the motor vehicle that is intended to be replicated from the original manufacturer, its successors or assignees, or current owner of such product configuration, trade dress, trademark, or patent rights.
Except as provided in paragraphs (1) and (4), a registrant shall be considered a motor vehicle manufacturer for purposes of parts A and C of subtitle VI of this title. Nothing shall be construed to exempt a registrant from complying with the requirements under sections 30116 through 30120A of this title if the motor vehicle excepted under paragraph (1) contains a defect related to motor vehicle safety.
(9)State registration.—
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to preempt, affect, or supersede any State titling or registration law or regulation for a replica motor vehicle, or exempt a person from complying with such law or regulation.
(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 947; Pub. L. 105–178, title VII, § 7107(a), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 469; Pub. L. 114–94, div. B, title XXIV, § 24405(a), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1721.)

[1]  So in original. Probably should be “(a)”.

[2]  So in original. Probably should be followed by a dash.

Historical and Revision Notes



Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)



Sept. 9, 1966, Pub. L. 89–563, 80 Stat. 718, § 108(j); added Oct. 31, 1988, Pub. L. 100–562, § 2(b), 102 Stat. 2824.

The word “conditions” is omitted as being included in “terms”, and the word “studies” is omitted as being included in “research”. The word “solely” is omitted as unnecessary.


2015—Pub. L. 114–94 designated existing provisions as subsec. “(a)”, inserted heading, and added subsec. (b).

1998—Pub. L. 105–178 substituted “competitive racing events, show, or display” for “or competitive racing events”.

Transition Rule

Pub. L. 105–178, title VII, § 7107(b), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 469, provided that:

“A person who is the owner of a motor vehicle located in the United States on the date of enactment of this Act [June 9, 1998] may seek an exemption under section 30114 of title 49, United States Code, as amended by subsection (a) of this section, for a period of 6 months after the date regulations of the Secretary of Transportation promulgated in response to such amendment take effect.”


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