How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

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How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by sparr » Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:03 pm

I can't find the rules in question, and I don't think they were specific the last time I read them.

Bikes don't need a mutant vehicle license, obviously.

2+ person bikes, trikes, quads, with direct foot-pedal-crank-sprocket-chain-sprocket-wheel power, seemed to also be exempt.

What if there's a spring in the drive train? Pneumatic actuation? Counterweights? A flywheel? Capacitors? Batteries?
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by Sham » Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:26 pm

Were you away on some sort of vacation for a while? Just wondering......

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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:50 pm

Human powered vehicles do not need a DMV license. A battery powered one does, if it's more than a bicycle-assist motor.
For a specific oddball setup that may be a grey area, the best (and only) way to get a definitive answer is to email dmv@burningman.org
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by BBadger » Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:40 pm

A spring or counterweight powered vehicle for this particular year's theme would be awesome.
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by tamarakay » Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:00 am

I keep imagining what a rule book written by Sparr would look like. It gets so cumbersome and so outrageous that no one would attempt anything and would never attend again.
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by GreyCoyote » Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:42 am

Three words: "battery powered hovercraft".
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by AntiM » Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:24 am

Three wheels or less, no gas power, have at it. Four wheels or more, be prepared to have it sit in D lot. Best to get it cleared through DMV, because Gate doesn't have time for philosophical discussions.

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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by ygmir » Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:52 am

AntiM wrote:Three wheels or less, no gas power, have at it. Four wheels or more, be prepared to have it sit in D lot. Best to get it cleared through DMV, because Gate doesn't have time for philosophical discussions.
or mostly, no interest in said discussions........though, the fun folks in D lot are happy to chat........
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by trilobyte » Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:00 am

DMV Criteria is published here. If you have a question about the letter of the policy, I encourage you to reach out directly to the team with that question. If you're not just trolling or rules-lawyering and have a particular project idea that you're thinking about, let the team know what kind of thing you're considering building and they can probably give you a much clearer picture on whether or not it would require a license or not (the folks at the DMV are actually pretty helpful).

It's far better to get those kinds of questions answered early and apply if necessary than to spend 6 or more months building a project only to have it impounded.

Remember, if it does require a license, the application form closes on April 13th at noon PDT.

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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by misfit » Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:28 am

I wonder what Sparrs' take on the bible or the Curan would be.?... :shock:
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by sparr » Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:13 pm

trilobyte wrote:DMV Criteria is published here.
I think you included the wrong link.
BBadger wrote:A spring or counterweight powered vehicle for this particular year's theme would be awesome.
I thought so, too, but I don't expect to be able to successfully deal with the DMV so I'm restricting my project plans to those that don't require approval.
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Just email the DMV, they'll get back to you and let you know if it needs a license. A DaVinci-esque drivetrain on a custom vehicle WOULD be really cool, and if it does need a license, just send in an application. If it's that cool, it'll get approved.
Licenses are free, and not at all hard to get if you are bringing something cool.
Most of what doesn't make it is low-effort decorated golf carts and cars/trucks that still look like cars with decorations added.

What you're talking about isn't that at all.
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by BBadger » Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:58 pm

GreyCoyote wrote:Three words: "battery powered hovercraft".
The burning question for that is: if I bring my Zubr-class military hovercraft to Burning Man and it has a Vehicle Pass, do I need a separate vehicle pass for each of the eight (8) amphibious tanks it carries in its cargo hold? There are no rules yet on vehicles transporting other vehicles inside them. That shit could get expensive.

I was hoping that the shear awesomeness of seeing such a vehicle would be enough, but you know those gate folk.



While we're cleaning up this cesspool of policy-ambiguity, I want to know whether I need a separate Burning Man ticket for the parasite twin on my lower back.

Sure, it has a fully formed face and even a head of hair, and can blink because of a partial brain stem, but it doesn't have an actual brain that would give it independent function. If the rules were modified to specify only "persons" who can survive independent of a host I think it would cover it. As a side benefit, such a rule would cover fetuses (unless you're a hard-line Republican), and also where conjoined twins connected at the top of their heads would need to pay for two passes, whereas a second head on the same body would not.

I figure it should depend on the body that walks across the gate that should be charged. A head-conjoined twin would be like a separate self-powered vehicle unless one twin dragged the other twin across the gate line. Is that a loophole?

Shit, now I'm all confused.
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by some seeing eye » Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:02 pm

Although this is one of those weird questions which can only occur on ePlaya in DaVinci year, it's intriguing to me. I think you are mixing the drive with the energy source in your questions. Someone I knew tried to build a ~ 20 person bicycle frame maybe 10 years ago to tow a trailer to bypass DMV, but it failed energy-wise.

As I understand it, DMV has several criteria in a decision tree.
1 stored energy - human sugars vs other - that encompasses energy storage and drive - humans are limited to about .4 KW drive per person, limiting their vehicle speed and collision mass, plus they are more aware of their surroundings piloting a vehicle. Most human pedal-driven vehicles on the playa are 1 or 2 person pedalers.
2 number of wheels - more wheels more scrutiny, and can carry more mass in a collision
3 standing vs sitting - standing is a strong attractor to colliding mass and pilot awareness

So I think the OP edge cases fall into 1 and fail if they are not included in 2 & 3.

I think if you look at the energy storage density by volume and weight to power a wheeled mass for X hours and a range, you will find your options are limited.

Electric bikes range from about .4-8KW, a golf cart about 5-50KW and a Prius is about 60-100KW. So your energy storage system has to provide that much energy over your range.

I agree that the DMV, who have to explore edge cases continuously, are the final arbiter. But best not to waste their time on possibilities which are not technically feasible - work out that before coming to them, please.

(personally I would love to ride a hydrogen fuel cell-powered bus on the playa if the dust did not clog the jets!)
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by GreyCoyote » Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:45 pm

So maybe we could make a rubber band powered skate board and taunt the BLM / DMV that an exception should be made for 4 wheeled-but-stored-kinetic-energy vehicles? Maybe add a winding-up motor and argue that the power transmission is indirect, therefore its not directly coupled to the wheels and exempt.
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:57 pm

That's actually pretty interesting. I'll get you some answers on that tomorrow.
I tend to think you could do it.
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by trilobyte » Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:20 pm

You're absolutely right, Sparr (and I've edited the post with the correct link). Hopefully you're radically self reliant enough to have clicked the menu page and gone back to read the mutant vehicle guidelines. If not, please see this page.

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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by sparr » Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:55 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:Just email the DMV, they'll get back to you and let you know if it needs a license.
I don't know what "it" is yet. I'm not even starting to do serious design until I know what the rules are. I don't want to design something and THEN find out if it's acceptable or not.
Captain Goddammit wrote:A DaVinci-esque drivetrain on a custom vehicle WOULD be really cool, and if it does need a license, just send in an application. If it's that cool, it'll get approved. Licenses are free, and not at all hard to get if you are bringing something cool.
Most of what doesn't make it is low-effort decorated golf carts and cars/trucks that still look like cars with decorations added. What you're talking about isn't that at all.
This sentiment sounds about a year out of date :/
some seeing eye wrote:Electric bikes range from about .4-8KW, a golf cart about 5-50KW and a Prius is about 60-100KW. So your energy storage system has to provide that much energy over your range.

I agree that the DMV, who have to explore edge cases continuously, are the final arbiter. But best not to waste their time on possibilities which are not technically feasible - work out that before coming to them, please.

(personally I would love to ride a hydrogen fuel cell-powered bus on the playa if the dust did not clog the jets!)
I think you're addressing something outside the scope of my question. I don't plan to charge up an energy storage system and bring it with me. I plan to convert human power into motion along the way, with some short term intermediate energy conversion.

One such idea would be to have the pedals wind a giant watch-like spring, and that spring drive the wheels. So, the first minute of pedaling would not move the vehicle, the next N minutes of pedaling would work mostly like a normal bicycle, and the vehicle would be able to keep moving for a minute after the pedaling stops.
trilobyte wrote:You're absolutely right, Sparr (and I've edited the post with the correct link). Hopefully you're radically self reliant enough to have clicked the menu page and gone back to read the mutant vehicle guidelines. If not, please see this page.
I did get that far on my own, but it didn't seem to address my question. That page seems to have info about what qualifies for a MV license. It doesn't cover vehicles that can be ridden/driven without a MV license (like bicycles).
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by some seeing eye » Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:11 pm

I would say speaking as a mere ePlaya commenter that any out of the blue sky, alien, perpetual motion, fusion powered, Davinci or weird vehicle proposals should respect the time and constrained human resources of the DMV.

They are humans and volunteers. Discuss weird ideas before they get busy or after their pre-approval dates. IMO
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by trilobyte » Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:14 pm

Then I strongly recommend you do what I suggested in that first response, reach out directly to the team.

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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:22 pm

If you're seriously considering building a powered playa vehicle that you think falls into a vague area of the rules, do not hesitate to email dmv@burningman.org
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by tamarakay » Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:37 pm

He is not doing anything but mind fucking people who respond. Seriously, why does anyone even respond beyond pasting the email address of the appropriate department? Or just ignore him altogether and let him learn some radical self reliance. He obviously has no respect for us or the event. Let him twist in the wind.
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by sparr » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:24 pm

tamarakay wrote:why does anyone even respond beyond pasting the email address of the appropriate department?
The same reason I don't email a department every time I have a question. There are a thousand people here who probably know almost as many answers as the folks behind dmv@, and your time is a lot less valuable than those folks'. I'd rather waste ten eplaya readers' time than one bmorg volunteer's.
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by Sham » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:29 pm

sparr wrote:
tamarakay wrote:why does anyone even respond beyond pasting the email address of the appropriate department?
The same reason I don't email a department every time I have a question. There are a thousand people here who probably know almost as many answers as the folks behind dmv@, and your time is a lot less valuable than those folks'. I'd rather waste ten eplaya readers' time than one bmorg volunteer's.
Yes, but what appears to be somewhat real questions, turns into minutia arguments over every tiny detail. You seem to want to be right about things that you just can't be. If you argue with the org themselves, you may actually get something changed, but by arguing here, you can change nothing. Does that make sense to you?

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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by BRCDMV » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:40 pm

All,

Some answers directly from us here at the DMV (because someone DID email us at the DMV...and when you have questions like this, you can too....uh, that's what we're here for folks!):

The rules for what can drive at the event without a license are covered on the Burning Man Website here:

http://burningman.org/event/preparation ... -vehicles/

Generally speaking, "Motor Vehicles" need be licensed. "Human powered vehicles" do not.

Now, there are a few powered vehicles that are exempted from licensing at Burning Man (these are listed on the above link) and here's why:

The rules about Motor Vehicles at Burning man are guided by Burning Man's Use Permit agreement with the BLM. It stipulates that any motor vehicle (as defined by the State of Nevada) that operates at the event, must be licensed by Burning Man to do so.

So, what this means is, we are bound by what the State of Nevada considers a Motor vehicle. It's not us at the Burning Man DMV making these decisions, it's Nevada Law. Nevada law exempts a few types of vehicles from this category and those are the ones we do not have to license:

These include Electric Bicycles, motorized skateboards and Electric Personal Assistive Mobility devices (Segways fall into this category). Each of these has a very specific definition in the Nevada Statutes and that's what we go by.

So, if your vehicle is human/mechanical powered, you should, generally speaking, be fine without a license . If it is powered by what would generally be recognized as a gas/electric motor, and is not one of the specifically exempted vehicle types, then it would likely need to be licensed (and meet all of the criteria for either a Mutant Vehicle or Disabled Persons Vehicle).

Does that answer the general questions here?

If not, and you need some more clarification or have specific questions regarding the Vehicle rules at Burning Man, PLEASE DO email us at dmv@burningman.org.

Sincerely,

-Chef Juke
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by BRCDMV » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:49 pm

sparr wrote:
tamarakay wrote:why does anyone even respond beyond pasting the email address of the appropriate department?
The same reason I don't email a department every time I have a question. There are a thousand people here who probably know almost as many answers as the folks behind dmv@, and your time is a lot less valuable than those folks'. I'd rather waste ten eplaya readers' time than one bmorg volunteer's.
Sparr,

The DMV is always available specifically TO answer questions about the rules/regulations/process related to licensing vehicles to drive at Burning Man.

The risk with posting specific questions about what is licensable by the DMV to an online forum, even eplaya, is that you may get answers, but they won't be the Official answer from the group who does the licensing. There are many well-meaning burners and even Mutant Vehicle owners who post messages here, but sometimes they may be mistaken about the rules and processes.

So, if you DO have specific questions about licensing, it's always not only okay, but preferable that you email us at the dmv at dmv@burningman.org so you get the information straight from the source.

Sincerely,

-Chef Juke
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by sparr » Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:20 pm

Sham wrote:Yes, but what appears to be somewhat real questions, turns into minutia arguments over every tiny detail. You seem to want to be right about things that you just can't be. If you argue with the org themselves, you may actually get something changed, but by arguing here, you can change nothing. Does that make sense to you?
Other than this comment itself which might be construed as arguing about arguing, I have no idea what argument you perceive to be happening here.
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by sparr » Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:16 pm

Upon re-reading the thread, I can see how it might sound like I'm arguing with trilobyte about whether the motor vehicles page on the website answers my question. Sorry if it came across that way.
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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by FlyingMonkey » Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:52 pm

BBadger wrote:A spring or counterweight powered vehicle for this particular year's theme would be awesome.
It would have to be a very BIG spring to tow his vehicle through gate............Just say'n.

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Re: How direct does human power need to be to be exempt from DMV?

Post by sparr » Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:53 pm

BRCDMV wrote:So, what this means is, we are bound by what the State of Nevada considers a Motor vehicle. It's not us at the Burning Man DMV making these decisions, it's Nevada Law. Nevada law exempts a few types of vehicles from this category and those are the ones we do not have to license:

These include Electric Bicycles, motorized skateboards and Electric Personal Assistive Mobility devices (Segways fall into this category). Each of these has a very specific definition in the Nevada Statutes and that's what we go by.

So, if your vehicle is human/mechanical powered, you should, generally speaking, be fine without a license . If it is powered by what would generally be recognized as a gas/electric motor, and is not one of the specifically exempted vehicle types, then it would likely need to be licensed (and meet all of the criteria for either a Mutant Vehicle or Disabled Persons Vehicle).

Does that answer the general questions here?
Yes, thank you! This actually opens up a wide variety of options that I had not previously considered.
If you want to make a reply about my personality instead of about what this thread is about, don't clutter this thread, post over here instead.

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