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Kei class are legal in SOME states

Discussion in 'General Truck Info' started by comprodigy, Oct 14, 2007.

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  1. comprodigy

    comprodigy New Member

    The kei class Japanese mini-truck is legal in at least three states that I know of.

    Mississippi, Although you have to go through some red tape....

    Tenn, heard they passed new regulations, check with local DMV

    Kentucky, MUST be registered as a ATV, then can be licensed as atv for LIMITED ON ROAD USE ONLY!

    A VERY FEW other states will let you license a 1980 or older kei class, check with local DMV


    This is all legal from ones I have talked to in respective states.:confused:
  2. Wolfman

    Wolfman Member

    Texas is on that list as well, with the same red tape work. There are two trucks registered that I'm aware of.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2007
  3. comprodigy

    comprodigy New Member

    Another LEGAL way...

    This may cost more though.....:rolleyes:

    Might be worth looking in to.:)

    Last edited: Oct 15, 2007
  4. abcminitrucks

    abcminitrucks Member

    Here we go again, Just becuase you get a tag for it...does not make it street legal....well it does, but only until the Federal Govt. decides to step in and stop it. Which means we will all suffer.....

    There is no State in the US that that has the authority to override Federal Law and it is Federal Law that makes these trucks for OFF ROAD USE ONLY.
  5. jay woods

    jay woods Member

    Just for what it is worth I called the DMV today here in tennessee, they knew exactly what I was talking about. They said NO, you can not get a title or registration in tennessee. Case closed.
  6. comprodigy

    comprodigy New Member

    OOPS!! my bad. I had bad info on tenn. I went to the dmv here in KY to register one as a atv, well two week ago they did away with that!! I had them call the main office in Frankfort, they are currently looking in to making a law so you can license these mini trucks as autos. No word yay or nay yet.

    For those of us how want to transport a truck over the road LEGALLY and easyly, take a look at this E-bay item: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&viewitem=&item=160167141227 I think I can make one of these for $50 max. I will try and see.
  7. comprodigy

    comprodigy New Member

    PS this is why I said check with DMV, they are the kings of the road who tell you what you can and can't do.
  8. Minnesotamini

    Minnesotamini New Member

    Minnesota registration

    Minnesota allows these trucks to be licensed for off road use only. They are licensed as a Class 2 ATV. They can only be driven on the shoulder of the roadway (Not in the ditch or on the roadway or on the interstate shoulder) They can be driven on your city street to get to and from, if your city allows it. Mine does allow me to get to the compost site and back home. You need to check with your city ordinance. You do not get a title for your truck when you register it.
  9. Caleb Roth

    Caleb Roth Member

    I am in Tennessee, I had just enough time to get excited before reading TN was a mistake. LOL Hopefully this will all change oneday...
  10. Tomtsled

    Tomtsled New Member

    I developed an interest in these vehicles while looking for right side drive vehicles for an impending job with the post office as a rural mail carrier. I found this site and saw the debate as to whether you can legally register these vehicles for street use. I did a little research on federal law versus state law and who tops who if they conflict, and this is what I found...

    The Supremacy Clause and Federal Preemption
    State Law versus Federal- Which rules?

    [THE SUPREMACY CLAUSE Article. VI. This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.]

    Any federal law does trump any conflicting state law
    The Supremacy Clause in the Constitution explains that federal law always trumps state law which means federal always wins if there is a conflict between the two. If there is no conflict then the state law will be used but if there is any question or conflict of the two reading as the same, then the federal rule would win.

    According to FindLaw, State courts are bound then to give effect to federal law when it is applicable and to disregard state law when there is a conflict; federal law includes, of course, not only the Constitution and congressional enactments and treaties but as well the interpretations of their meanings by the United States Supreme Court. While States need not specially create courts competent to hear federal claims or necessarily to give courts authority specially, it violates the supremacy clause for a state court to refuse to hear a category of federal claims when the court entertains state law actions of a similar nature.

    According to LectLaw, Under the Supremacy Clause, everyone must follow federal law in the face of conflicting state law. It has long been established that "a state statute is void to the extent that it actually conflicts with a valid federal statute" and that a conflict will be found either where compliance with both federal and state law is impossible or where the state law stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress. Edgar v. Mite Corp., 457 U.S. 624, 631 (1982). Similarly, we have held that "otherwise valid state laws or court orders cannot stand in the way of a federal court's remedial scheme if the action is essential to enforce the scheme."

    So I'll be looking for another alternative for a right side drive vehicle.
  11. Acerguy

    Acerguy Moderator Staff Member

    Good post, thanks. It is a shame since there obviously exists a legitimate need for kei trucks specifically and, indeed, this whole class of vehicles. Assuming that small, kei-type cars and trucks with sub-1 liter engines could be made to pass current car emission standards (which they should) would we have chaos on the streets if they were legal here? I don't know. But it seems to me that there is opportunity here. In my opinion, you could have an American verison of the KEI regulations....max engine size, dimensions, max speed limited to 60mph, not allowed on interstate highways, pass emissions, some sort of modified crash standards, etc, and fill an obvious demand. I would think it would be self-regulating in the sense that using a kei-type vehicle as a daily driver is not going to be everyone's cup of tea. Look at the small vehicles that are available today and you still see mostly large cars and trucks on the street.

    And let's not even get into the whole "state's rights" issue!

    Anyhow, thanks again for posting this information.
  12. abcminitrucks

    abcminitrucks Member

    I been saying this all along, without all the legal jargon.
  13. minidump

    minidump New Member

    if you desire to drive a kei truck from japan on the road with insurance its really quite simple.... move to BC canada where you can insure anything you can prod onto the road...
  14. Acerguy

    Acerguy Moderator Staff Member

    :p :D Tempting..tempting....I've been there a couple of times and it sure is purdy!
  15. abcminitrucks

    abcminitrucks Member


    It's not usually the laws that are the problem...it's enforcing them. There are 100s of laws on the books right now, that are vague and ambigious, and thus unenforcable. If these trucks were made street legal they would have to be used just as all the other vehicles on the roads, if you try to write laws specifically for the Kei truck then it would be a nightmare for the court system.
  16. Acerguy

    Acerguy Moderator Staff Member

    I know. I'm just dreamin'!
  17. Wolfman

    Wolfman Member

    I fail to see what the problem is with this. Texas for example, requires that the vehicles pass the safety (and emissions where applicable) tests, have insurance, and undergo a VIN inspection - in this case using the chassis number as a VIN. This law is the same for regular cars. Getting the EPA on board, would simply open the market for the builders to once again ship LHD versions of these trucks here, only this time with the proper EPA certs for on highway use. If the EPA would do this, I would happily let my RHD truck go in favor of a "legal" truck. This certainly doesn't prevent people from modding these trucks for off highway only applications. You see plenty of Jeeps, Unimogs, Samurais, Toyotas, Chevys, etc. modded to off road use only levels, and trailered to their destinations.
  18. akswinehart

    akswinehart New Member

    Well let me throw in another hornets nest. Look at these, they are chinese :( and they are STREET LEGAL according to the website, best I can figure because they are 3 wheel they are classified as a motorcycle and do not have to meet safety standards.. sell new for $5500 and they are already in the USA. so look out, here comes china


    see them here

    http://www.wildfiremotors.com/mall/NEW truck and car retail.htm

    250cc, hmmm
  19. akswinehart

    akswinehart New Member

    P.s. I really like the cows in the pic that were not originally there.... hehehe

    what does everyone think?
  20. kmoneil

    kmoneil Administrator Staff Member

    haha yeah the cows look funny! I don't care for the one wheel up front.
  21. minidump

    minidump New Member

    chinese three wheel

    nee. i dont like it send it back to china.
  22. akswinehart

    akswinehart New Member

    I agree, I'm sure its crap, but I can't believe its street legal!!! what happens if you take a turn to fast? i had a 3 wheeler atv growing up and always flipped it...
  23. Wolfman

    Wolfman Member

    check out the nice dent above the windshield. :D Body damage as standard equipment. :D
  24. minidump

    minidump New Member

    the more i look at this photo the more i laugh. What, did the person decide that the photo needed something more? "Ill add some cows with photoshop., There, thats better!"

  25. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    There must be a good reason why most ATV have 4 wheels. I'd be awfully unsure of its stability in mildly rough terrain. Imagine flipping over with a heavy load. At least you could probably pick one up with one hand...
  26. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    You can see that "vent" must be it's a/c...nice Chinese innovation.
  27. Brian Shirley

    Brian Shirley New Member

    I have talked to Wildfire motors about how they are legal. They are classified a motorcycles.
  28. d rock

    d rock Member

    whoa! while its true we can get the kei trucks on the roads up here BC is the toughest province of them all. just ask all the guys over on www.ivoac.ca about that!
  29. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman New Member

    Anybody think I can squeeze it by New Jersey DMV? :confused:
  30. steve_nagoya

    steve_nagoya Member

    This is interesting. If they are passing as motorcycles, yet have the same sized engine as a mini truck, perhaps mini trucks can be petitioned in the motorcycle category too. If I'm not mistaken, there are 4 wheel ATVs with licenses too (up to the state)?
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