DEPARTMENT OF MUTANT VEHICLES
At Lakes of Fire the DMV oversees all vehicles in motion, from human-powered people-movers to sea-monster ridden pontoons and beyond. Our purpose is to provide safe and enjoyable mobile art for everyone at Lakes of Fire. Towards this purpose we have constructed the following guidelines.
All motorized vehicles in motion during Lakes of Fire must:
- Register with the DMV and display their licence sticker.
- Have appropriate illumination for travelling at night.
- Abide by all applicable federal and Michigan state laws, including all open container laws (no open containers within reach of the driver).
- Obey the 5 mph speed limit (or less, if kicking up dust, in hazardous situations such as tight crowds or poor weather).
- Give the right of way to pedestrians, bicycles, and emergency services or staff vehicles.
- Follow the reasonable and applicable vehicle laws for road safety.
- Stop immediately upon being hailed by any Lakes Of Fire Event Staff member, Lakes Of Fire Ranger, or law enforcement officers.
- Not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Not drive in pedestrian walkways, pedestrian-designated streets, or through camps (see your map for details).
- Follow any additional guidelines set forth by Lakes Of Fire Staff.
All Mutant Vehicles must:
- Pass an on-site inspection prior to Lakes of Fire licensing.
- Create a clear field of vision for the operator, including rear and side mirrors if the vehicle has blind spots.
- Have ground guides (walkers) if the vehicle is large, has a limited field of vision or is dangerous to pedestrians.
- Not have sharp or unfinished edges, unlight extensions or perimeter hazards.
- Have a safe access area and procedures for loading and unloading passengers.
- Come to a complete stop before passengers get on/off.
- Clearly display the Mutant Vehicle license on the rear of the vehicle.
- Consider safety in the design of the Mutant Vehicle.
- Maintain sufficient lighting at night while in motion. If temporarily parked or stopped, marker lights remain on.
What vehicles need to be registered?
All motorized vehicles that aren’t mutant vehicles must register with the DMV. This Includes:
- Motorized Bikes
- Single-person motorized vehicles
- Motorized vehicles for children (used only by child participants)
Un-mutated golf carts and ATVs are not permitted.
To register your motorized vehicle simply stop by DMV when you arrive for a licence sticker.
What defines a mutant vehicle?
A vehicle must meet at least two of the following standards to be classified as a mutant vehicle.
- Artistic – The vehicle has been modified or designed in a specific way to make an artistic statement or to be visually stimulating. Modifications of this type do not need to be permanent. Examples of this type of modification would be an artistic paint job, addition of unusual elements to the vehicle, or fancy lights.
- Modification – The vehicle must be radically altered from its original state. Modifications of this type are permanent or sudo-permanent. The vehicle will not be recognizable as its original base vehicle. Items placed on a vehicle as decoration do not qualify for this requirement.
- Transportation – The vehicle can transport the driver and a minimum of 5 other passengers safely. The vehicle has a specific task of transporting participants during the event, not simply transporting friends and family.
- Service – The vehicle is providing a service to the community. This includes, but is not limited to, providing mobile sound, dispensing a food or product, or other services that give back to the community.
For safety reasons mutant vehicles may not mimic any type of emergency service or law enforcement vehicle in appearance or in light patterns.
Can my mutant vehicle have fire and/or amplified sound?
Vehicles with flame effects must also pass a F.A.S.T (Fire Art Safety Team) on-site inspection and follow all F.A.S.T rules and policies. Vehicles with amplified sound must pass an on-site sound inspection and must abide to all rules and policies of the Lakes of Fire Sound Policy.
What defines a handicap vehicle?
A vehicle for the specific purpose of transporting a legally handicap participant does not need to meet the Mutant Vehicle requirements. A handicap vehicle must still register and pass an on-site safety inspection. Handicap vehicle drivers must also provide a government issued Disabled placard or Disabled license plate number with the accompanying identification card (if your government, city or state provides one). The name on the card must match the applicant. Handicap vehicles are encouraged to decorate but it is not required.
What is the process of registering a Mutant Vehicle?
Before the event the Mutant Vehicle owner fills out the Mutant Vehicle Registration form, located on the Key Dates and Registration Form page. Registering will put you on the DMV mailing list and you will receive a few emails with news and updates. Upon arriving at Lakes of Fire proceed to your campsite and unload/setup your Mutant Vehicle. Once your vehicle is fully operational drive over and park at DMV for registration. Your vehicle will then be inspected by DMV, F.A.S.T and Sound (as applicable). DMV will then issue your vehicle a bumper sticker and your vehicle will be ready to cruise.
What is the difference between an Art Car and a Mutant Vehicle?
Nothing. Come ask Cabbie to rant about where this nomenclature issue arose.
Can I bring a boat for the water?
Yes. Please note that the landowner forbids gas or fossil fuel engines on the lake. All local and federal boating law apply. Please see the Michigan Boater Safety Handbook for more on the rules of the lake.