Mutant Vehicle Owner’s Handbook (MV Owner’s FAQ)

2023 Mutant Vehicle Owner's Handbook Cover

DOWNLOADABLE PDF VERSION

CURRENT REVISION: 03/21/2024 (First Draft for 2024)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
THE HANDBOOK IS REQUIRED READING!
YOUR MUTANT VEHICLE INVITE LETTER
AN INVITE DOES NOT GUARANTEE A LICENSE
VEHICLE PASSES
WORK ACCESS PASSES (EARLY ADMISSION)
VEHICLE INSPECTION AT THE DMV
LOCATION
DMV HOURS OF OPERATION FOR MUTANT VEHICLES
DAYTIME INSPECTION REQUIRED FOR ALL VEHICLES
NIGHT INSPECTION
ZIPLINE INSPECTION
NO EMERGENCY VEHICLE LOOK-ALIKES
LICENSE STICKERS
LARGE VEHICLES (PLAYA ONLY)
FLAME EFFECT INSPECTION
LASER INSPECTION
OPERATING YOUR VEHICLE IN BLACK ROCK CITY
DON’T SAY WE DIDN’T WARN YOU!
ON-PLAYA OPERATING POLICIES
DRIVING AT THE EVENT WITHOUT A DMV LICENSE
SOUND POLICY
YOUR VEHICLE AND THE COMMUNITY
MUTANT VEHICLE TRANSPORT PROGRAM
SERVING FOOD OR ALCOHOL
SAFETY RULES
BOARDING SAFETY
TRAILER SAFETY
FUEL SAFETY
BATTERY SAFETY
WALKERS / SPOTTERS ARE REQUIRED FOR VEHICLES WITH LIMITED VISIBILITY
MUTANT VEHICLE PERIMETER GUIDELINES DURING BURN EVENTS
HEaT (HEAVY EQUIPMENT AND TRANSPORT) REQUEST SIGN-UP

 

INTRODUCTION

 

THE HANDBOOK IS REQUIRED READING!

This is the 2024 edition of the Mutant Vehicle Owner’s Handbook, REQUIRED READING for all Mutant Vehicle owners.

This Handbook outlines information every Mutant Vehicle owner needs to know and understand.  We will update the Handbook regularly until two weeks before the event.  When the final version of the Handbook is published, download it and bring a printed or electronic copy to Burning Man for reference.

YOUR MUTANT VEHICLE INVITE LETTER

You should have received your Mutant Vehicle Invite email with your name, the vehicle name and your vehicle registration number (M23-####). You need this letter to start your on-playa registration process, and if you are towing your Mutant Vehicle, you will need to provide this letter to the Gate staff.

Do NOT forget your Mutant Vehicle Invite email.  We suggest printing out your letter and storing it with your Burning Man ticket!

If you do not have a copy of your Mutant Vehicle Invite email, please get in touch with the DMV immediately at dmv@burningman.org.

 

AN INVITE DOES NOT GUARANTEE A LICENSE

Receiving an invite to bring your vehicle to the playa does not mean you are guaranteed a license.  Many vehicles are given the benefit of the doubt based on their description and design image and are invited for inspection, but that does not mean they will pass the final review. Actual licenses are granted in Black Rock City if, and ONLY if, you pass the on-playa inspection.

Be sure that the vehicle you bring for inspection is a well-executed representation of the intent you described in your application.


[Avoid this mistake]

 

VEHICLE PASSES

All vehicles driven (as opposed to those on trailers or towed) into Black Rock City require a “Vehicle Pass”. The Vehicle Pass system reduces the number of vehicles entering BRC by increasing the number of participants per vehicle.

MUTANT VEHICLES

  • If you drive your Mutant into Black Rock City, it needs a Vehicle Pass.
  • Vehicles on trailers and those being towed into the event do not need a Vehicle Pass as long as the tow vehicle has one.
  • If you do not have a Vehicle Pass, it can be purchased via the OMG Sale.  You do not need to purchase a ticket at the OMG sale to purchase a Vehicle Pass.

 

WORK ACCESS PASSES (EARLY ADMISSION)

If you requested Work Access Passes (WAPs) for assembling your Mutant Vehicle on-playa in your application, you should have received a confirmation email from the DMV noting whether you were granted WAPs, how many, and for which days.

Please note: You may not have received as many WAPs as you requested, and they may be for different dates. Everyone permitted to enter BRC before the event’s official start MUST be working on their project(s), so your request may have been adjusted.

The WAP confirmation email from us is NOT your official Work Access Pass. The actual barcode passes are sent separately from Burning Man no later than the second week of August. The DMV will email all WAP recipients when the final WAPs are sent.

You will receive one uniquely-coded pass for each person.  You may distribute these within your group as you see fit, but as the registered Mutant Vehicle owner, you are responsible for the conduct of anyone admitted with your WAPs. Do NOT duplicate them or give them to other groups.

Once your WAPs are sent out you will be about to access them here:
https://here.burningman.org/my-tickets

If you do not yet have a login you can used the “Forgot Password” link to create one and access your WAPs.

You will NOT be admitted to the city before the gate opens unless you have a valid WAP. If you have a WAP, do not show up at the gate before the date listed on the pass, or you will be turned away.  WAPs are good from the date listed forward (for example: if you have a WAP dated for Tuesday, August 21st, it is good from that date or any date after that prior to the gate opening).

Every person in your vehicle needs a valid Work Access Pass and Burning Man paper ticket when you come to the gate.  You can pick up any tickets held in WILL CALL before you reach the gate.

NO MUTANT VEHICLE CRUISING BEFORE THE EVENT OFFICIALLY OPENS

While the DMV will begin operation at 1:00 PM on Saturday pre-event for participants with Work Access Passes, no driving is allowed prior to the EVENT START on Sunday other than driving to and from the DMV (with your DMV invite letter on board) for the licensing process.  The BLM is adamant that no general cruising is allowed until the event starts at 6:00 PM Sunday.

A REMINDER FROM THE DMV AND PLACEMENT TEAMS:

Work Access Passes (WAPs) are for your Mutant Vehicle assembly crew and/or Camp infrastructure team to build your Mutant Vehicle and set up camp. They are *not* meant for a carpool or rideshare. They are *not* meant to be used for financial gain.

Burning Man has found instances where folks sold Work Access Passes. When we find these instances, THE ENTIRE CAMP OR MUTANT VEHICLE TEAM EARLY ADMISSION PASSES ARE VOIDED. Also, ANY PLACEMENT FOR THAT TEAM WILL BE CANCELLED.

WHERE EARLY ARRIVALS THAT ARE NOT PLACED CAN CAMP

If you have Work Access Passes but are not with a placed camp, you may ONLY camp in open camping outside of the blue flags before gate opening.

Camp outside the blue-flagged zones to avoid reserved zones and then having to relocate your camp. Choose space for those physically present – not for friends arriving after the Gate opens. Holding space for anyone not present or without their own WAP is strictly prohibited.

GRAB NO LAND! LAND GRABBING IN OPEN CAMPING IS NOT THE SOLUTION!

A MESSAGE FROM THE BRC PLACEMENT TEAM:

Setting up in open camping before Gate opens is okay for mutant vehicles who are in Black Rock City early with WAPs, and who are not part of placed camps including theme camps, villages, and mutant vehicle camps. Please do not camp on blocks within blue flags as those delineate reserved camping. If you have trouble determining where open camping is, please find event staff with a radio for Placement. Grabbing larger swaths of land for your friends without WAPs is not permitted. Please only take as much space as you need for yourself and grow organically as others from your camp arrive. Do not section off open areas with caution tape or other materials. Talk to incoming neighbors about the space you’ll need for your friends and work together to ensure everyone gets what they need.

Guess what? LAND GRABBING IS NOT COOL! Please keep Black Rock City open for other open campers and for people who don’t have the privilege of being in BRC before the gates open!

The Placement Team will monitor open camping for people who landgrab and may ask to see your WAPs to verify who issued them. Should we find people from departments, they will be escalated to the DMV and may affect your standing with Placement and the DMV.

 

VEHICLE INSPECTION AT THE DMV

 

LOCATION


(not to scale)

The DMV inspection area is located on the open playa approximately 100 feet from the corner of the Esplanade and the 1:00 side of the Center Camp Keyhole. When you arrive at the inspection area, a Greeter will meet you and direct you into an inspection lane.

Bring your vehicle to the DMV when it is 100% READY to be inspected, not “almost done.” This includes Mutation, Lights, Flame Effects, Walkers, etc. Due to the large number of vehicles we need to inspect, the DMV does not have the time to review vehicles twice. The DMV will not offer a “second chance” to make changes if your vehicle is incomplete when you arrive for inspection.

The person registering the Mutant Vehicle must bring a valid Driver’s License or other Government-issued photo ID to be able to register and receive their MV License.

 

DMV HOURS OF OPERATION FOR MUTANT VEHICLE INSPECTION

The DMV hours for 2023

SATURDAY, 08/26 1:00 pm  – 10:30 pm
SUNDAY,  08/27 1:00 pm  – 10:30 pm
MONDAY,  08/28 1:00 pm  – 10:30 pm
TUESDAY,  08/29 11:30 am  – 10:30 pm
WEDNESDAY, 08/30 11:30 am  – 10:30 pm

THURSDAY,  08/31 3:30 pm  –  8:30 pm
FRIDAY,  09/01 3:30 pm  –  8:30 pm

SATURDAY,  09/02 11:30 am  –  2:30 pm

NOTE:  Saturday – Monday the DMV will open 11:30 am – 1:00 pm for ACCESSIBILITY VEHICLES ONLY.

 

DAYTIME INSPECTION IS REQUIRED FIRST FOR ALL NON-ZIP-LINE VEHICLES

For all vehicles except those invited for ZIP-LINE, your FIRST visit to the DMV MUST be during daylight hours to complete all paperwork, inspection, and photography. We will not do night inspections for vehicles that have not been inspected during the day.  This is true, EVEN IF YOU ARE ONLY APPLYING FOR A NIGHT LICENSE.

 

NIGHT INSPECTION

All vehicles applying for a night license must return to the DMV after dark to demonstrate their radical night illumination.  For night inspection, please arrive at the DMV early enough before closing to allow your vehicle to be inspected. The DMV will close the line when we estimate the number of remaining vehicles will take us the amount of time until closing to inspect.

 

ZIPLINE INSPECTION

ZipLine inspection is based on the history of each vehicle, and Mutant Vehicles included in ZipLine will be sent an additional invite email prior to the event notifying them of their status.
ZipLine approved Vehicles can come for their inspection during either EITHER Day or Night and will be inspected for both day and night licenses at the same time.

 

NO EMERGENCY VEHICLE LOOK-ALIKES

Burning Man does not permit vehicles that resemble emergency services vehicles, including any vehicles decorated with red, blue, or amber rotating/flashing lights or vehicles with sirens. During an emergency, participants MUST be able to differentiate between an actual emergency vehicle and a Mutant Vehicle or other vehicles.

 

LICENSE STICKERS

Licenses are a 12″ x  3″ bumper sticker to be placed on the rear left side (MANDATORY).

If your vehicle is approved for a day and night license, you will need a 12″ by 6″ space for two stickers ON THE LOWER LEFT-HAND SIDE OF THE REAR OF YOUR VEHICLE.

 

MUTANT VEHICLE CHECKLIST

Update 8/10/2023: We are no longer using the MV Checklist stickers. This is still referenced in the PDF version of this Handbook, and that will be updated soon.

 

LARGE VEHICLES (PLAYA ONLY)

Any vehicle 13 feet wide or more OR 25 feet or longer will be designated Playa Only.

While a “Playa Only” vehicle CAN drive in the city proper, it can ONLY drive on the shortest route between its camp and the open playa with no turns. No other cruising or other driving is allowed within the city.

For example, if you are parking your vehicle along the “I” street, you would be allowed to drive from 10:00 or 2:00 (whichever was closest) along “I” to your camp. and back the same way….unless you couldn’t turn the vehicle around, so then you would be able to go along “I” the same original direction until you hit the playa.

 

FLAME EFFECT INSPECTION

Important details for MV’s with Flame Effects

All flame effect burners or discharge points must be above head height. This is at least 10 feet above the highest point a person can stand on or around the vehicle. This allows plenty of height above heads and a little extra in case the wind presses it down a bit.

Use of Flame Effects within the City

The use of Flame Effects within the City streets can present a greater risk than they do on the open playa. As your mutant Vehicle passes into the City and you are driving in the narrow streets you are in a new set of risks. The flames that were well overhead height in on the open playa are now at face height or even below folks standing on scaffolds, fabric, and banners can blow into the path of your flames and you are only inches away from other vehicles as you pass. Does any of that sound dangerous? Well, it is! Please if your mutant vehicle has puffers, please think twice about using them as you pass through the city. If your MV has a steady flame be aware of the wind blowing flammables into the flames and your proximity to things you are alongside. Any unsafe behavior of any kind will not be permitted and may affect your ability to register your MV in the future.

Inspection

If your Mutant Vehicle has Flame Effects (FE), it must be inspected BEFORE you can operate the FE within Black Rock City.  The Fire Art Safety Team (FAST) conducts vehicle inspections in a separate area adjacent to the DMV inspection lanes..

FE inspectors are available from 2:00 pm-6:00 pm, Saturday 08/26 through Friday 09/01.

For questions or concerns regarding Flame Effects, please email:

dmv-flame-effects@burningman.org

 

LASER INSPECTION

If your Mutant Vehicle is equipped with ANY type of Laser Effect (LE), it must be inspected BEFORE you can operate the LE within Black Rock City.

The Laser Art Safety Team (L.A.S.T.) will contact all vehicles that applied with lasers and will arrange to inspect your vehicle by appointment.

For laser-related questions, email L.A.S.T. at lasers@burningman.org.

 

OPERATING YOUR VEHICLE IN BLACK ROCK CITY

 

DON’T SAY WE DIDN’T WARN YOU!

Failure to follow BRC’s driving protocol may result in any or all of the following;

  • Revocation of your Mutant Vehicle license
  • Ejection of the vehicle from the event
  • Fines
  • Ejection of the vehicle’s owner from the event without refund
  • Denial of future Mutant Vehicle Licensing

 

 

ON-PLAYA OPERATING POLICIES

The decision of whether or not to invite and/or grant a license for a Mutant Vehicle to operate at Burning Man is within the sole discretion of the Black Rock City DMV, and it may revoke any issued license for any reason. You agreed to obey BRC driving rules when you originally applied for your license; you will sign the agreement again when you get your license.

Here is a reminder of some of our core driving policies:.

  • Be sober while driving: If you are caught driving your vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then you can be arrested and charged with driving under the influence on federal property. You do not want to find yourself in this situation! Be sober while driving!
  • Obey the speed limit: The maximum speed limit in Black Rock City is 5 MPH on all city streets AND the open playa.
  • No driving during whiteouts: If you are in your vehicle and away from your camp during a whiteout, stop where you are and wait for the whiteout to clear.
  • Turn down your sound system while driving on city streets:
    Be respectful and turn your music down while in the city… especially at night and/or in quiet areas (e.g. Kidsville).

NO DRIVING AREAS

No Driving Map
No Driving Map


Mutant Vehicles may not be driven on pedestrian-only streets, including the Esplanade, the Promenades at 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00, inside L4K (the lighted circle around the man), and any area specifically marked “Pedestrian Only”. A final Black Rock City map with designated no-driving areas will be included on the back of the Mutant Vehicle Agreement form you will sign when you arrive at the DMV.

NOTE: If a Mutant Vehicle’s Camp is placed along ‘A’ Street, the MV may drive on ‘A’ only as far as the first cross street and then must turn off of ‘A’.  Please be aware that as most participants expect ‘A’ to be bike and pedestrian-only, you must use extreme caution when driving to and from camp.

NO MUTANT VEHICLES INSIDE L4K RING

The last few years, several Mutant Vehicles have been driving within the L4K ring.  The L4K is the lighted ring that circles the Man 400 feet from the center of the Man Pavilion, also marked by the lantern poles on the 3:00, 6:00, 9:00, and 12:00 promenades. This area is off-limits to Mutant Vehicles.  Please make sure to stay OUTSIDE of the L4K Ring.

NOTE: Accessibility Vehicles are allowed within the L4K ring but MUST enter through the promenade entrances.

DRIVING AT THE EVENT WITHOUT A DMV LICENSE

Once your Mutant Vehicle is ready for operation, your first stop is the DMV.  If a Ranger or law enforcement officer sees you driving without a Mutant or Disabled license, and you are not obviously on your way to the DMV for inspection, you will be directed back to your campsite and risk ejection of your vehicle.  If your vehicle is not ready for inspection, or you have been inspected and did not pass,…leave it parked.

 

A mutant vehicle in the shape of a trumpet at Burning Man 2022.

SOUND POLICY (UPDATED 2023)

A Mutant Vehicle Sound Policy We Can All Understand and Live With

Background

Face it; nobody comes to Burning Man for the peace ‘n quiet. Nobody!
We all have earplugs at the tippy-top of our packing lists because we know that BRC is a noisy place… and for many of us that is a key component of the attraction. That said, there’s also the expectation that some activities and some locations will be less noisy than others. As a community, we know that there needs to be a place for large-scale Mutant Vehicle sound & big dance clubs. However, there must also be a place for yoga classes, guided meditation workshops, karaoke, and piano bars.

For many years the Department of Mutant Vehicles has had a sound policy that was difficult to understand; it described various levels of sound amplification based on amplifier wattage and referred to system loudness in decibels (a unit of measurement of sound pressure that uses a logarithmic scale and isn’t widely understood). The policy was not well written; compliance was poor, it wasn’t well enforced and speaking frankly, we’ve had some bad behave-ers that spoiled it for everybody else.

The goal for the Department of Mutant Vehicle’s 2023 Sound Policy is to have a well-defined and easy-to-understand set of guidelines that work equally well for Mutant Vehicle owners and the greater BRC community.

As a community, we need to work together to keep sound at desirable levels. This means that everyone involved is personally responsible for how they affect everyone else’s experience.

New Sound Policy as of 2023

TL;DR version

  • DO play music while parked in your camp in compliance with Black Rock City’s “2023 Black Rock City Sound Policy”. 
  • DO play music as loud as you want while in motion on the open playa.
  • DO Play as loud and as long as you want within the DMZ. 
  • Do NOT play amplified music while driving in the city streets between 2:00 am and 10:00 am. 
  • Always be considerate of camps, art installations and their activities, especially near the Esplanade. Turn down your sound if other activities are already in progress.
  • Limit your stationary time (with music on) at art installations to 3 hours.
  • Respect the Temple Burn.

The Policy

  1. City Street QuietHours:
    1. Yep, you read that right; Mutant Vehicles are not permitted to use amplified sound while driving through the streets of Black Rock City between the hours of 2:00 am and 10:00 am. This is perhaps the most significant change from past sound policies.
    2. During QuietHours, if an MV has left its designated camp area and is en route to another location or parked within the city streets, the sound system must be off (“Off” is defined as; inaudible from outside the vehicle) until the MV returns to its camp or has entered the open playa and is at least 100 yards/meters from Esplanade. The QuietHours apply to all circular & radial streets, keyholes, plazas, and center camp.
    3. Acoustic music (un-amplified human voices, acoustic musical instruments, etc.) on moving MV’s is permitted during QuietHours.
    4. Between 10 am and 2 am, amplified sound is permitted within the city streets, but you should always be mindful of where you are located, how loud your sound is, and how it may be affecting others around you.
  2. A Mutant Vehicle may use amplified sound while parked within its placed MV camp or placed theme camp:
    1. MVs make great sound stages, karaoke bars, and discotheques. As long as you are within the boundaries of a Mutant Vehicle camp or Theme Camp area that was assigned to you by the Placement team or within a placed camp that has invited you to park in their camp, you may use your MV’s sound system as if it were a stationary installation in your camp. As with all stationary sound, you will be expected to comply with Black Rock City’s 2023 sound policy.
  3. You can play music (yes, even loud music) almost everywhere on the open playa. Some limitations apply:
    1. Mutant Vehicles may use amplified sound at any time of the day or night, without restriction on sound levels, in nearly all areas of the inner playa (the space within bound by the Esplanade and Temple) and outer playa (the space beyond the Temple, 2:00, and 10:00).
      1. LIMITATIONS:
        1. MVs may play amplified sound for no longer than 3 hours while parked in any one location. When parked at or near an art installation, you must ask the artist for consent prior to playing amplified sound.
        2. MV operators & owners must be aware of the general nature of an art installation (e.g. if it’s meant to be a quiet, introspective project) and of any programming that may be taking place at the artwork before they approach, park, and/or play their own music at the installation.
        3. MVs must be respectful when passing and/or parking near The Temple, The Man, and at/near all art installations on the open playa.
        4. MVs must be respectful when using amplified sound within 100 yards of Esplanade and within 100 yards of the 2:00 and 10:00 radial streets unless agreed upon in partnership with camps facing those streets.
  4. As LOUD and as long* as you want! (*up to 12 hours):
      1. The Department of Mutant Vehicles has established a Deep-Playa Music Zone (“DMZ”) where Mutant Vehicles using large sound systems can park and party in the deep playa for extended periods of time. The zone is 5,340 feet from The Man between the 10:30 and 11:15 clock positions. The DMZ allows for a stay of up to 12 hours, and it provides sanitary stations and Emergency Medical Services. At just over 22 acres (960,698 sqft!) in area, the DMZ is large enough to support multiple large mutant vehicles simultaneously. Furthermore, there are NO volume or sound pressure limits in the DMZ (note, however that speakers must be oriented to point away from the city).
        Go for it!
  5. Policy Violations: 
      1. A single violation of any of the above policies could result in the immediate revocation of the Mutant Vehicle’s current DMV license and the MV will need to return to its camp location and remain parked there for the duration of the Burning Man event. A subsequent infraction could result in the Mutant Vehicle being ejected from Black Rock City. Violations may affect future MV registration.
  6. NO Mutant Vehicle sound at Temple Burn:
    1. Mutant Vehicles must turn off their sound systems upon arrival at the Temple burn perimeter.  Any use of amplified sound at the Temple burn could result in the forfeiture of DMV licensing at future Burning Man events. Please don’t do it!
  7. Enforcement:
    1. The Mutant Vehicle Sound Policy will be enforced by members of the DMV Council, members of the Placement Department, and the Black Rock Rangers. Members of each of these teams are authorized to issue warnings, revoke vehicle licenses, and/or request that a vehicle be ejected from the event site. Ejections will be processed by the Black Rock Rangers.

YOUR VEHICLE AND THE COMMUNITY

The DMV receives a lot of feedback yearly from Black Rock Citizens about Mutant Vehicles. An ongoing concern is that Mutant Vehicles are often perceived as ‘exclusive’.  We’ve heard several stories about someone seeing a Mutant Vehicle in deep playa and asking for a ride, only to be told “sorry, this is a private party,” or something to that effect.

We recognize that not all Mutant Vehicles are designed to carry passengers, but for those that do, we encourage you to share your vehicles with others and give rides to those that need or ask.  This is a great way to meet people and a wonderful show of community. Proper etiquette should be followed; we hope you will make your vehicle available for all participants to ride your vehicle as long as it is safe and reasonable.

Crowdfunding  and “Perks”

To better align with the Principles that guide our community, we no longer support using “Thank You Cruises” or other on-playa-delivered perks as crowdfunding rewards.

We recognize that many Mutant Vehicles are large, ongoing endeavors that require a lot of time and resources to bring to the playa each year.  While we strongly encourage you to engage with your immediate community through fundraising events to bring your Mutant Vehicle to Burning Man, perk-based fundraising efforts, including those on sites like GoFundMe and Indiegogo, have a higher likelihood of crossing into the “Doing it Wrong” territory.

While the difference between doing it right and doing it wrong can sometimes be a gray area, Burners will be the first to let you know when you’re veering into doing it wrong territory. It may backfire on you if the community feels you’re trading special access for donations or otherwise “selling off” pieces of the Black Rock City experience. The general agreement among our community is that perks that equate to resources, such as e-bikes, shelter, food, or tickets, go against the Principles of Decommodification and Radical Self-Reliance, and perk experiences that exclude the general population of Black Rock City, such as a private night on a Mutant Vehicle or private party, is doing it wrong and against the Principle of Radical Inclusion.

Fundraising perks done right often look like things like custom t-shirts or stickers with your MV logo, art prints, necklaces, or a personalized thank-you note from the Mutant Vehicle crew. These types of rewards are meant as a token of appreciation rather than an exchange of a donation for an object or resource of equal monetary value.

We should also note that, as stated in the Ticket Terms and Conditions, Burning Man Tickets and/or Vehicle passes may not be included as rewards as part of any fundraiser. The terms on the back of the ticket state:

“BURNING MAN EVENT TICKETS AND VEHICLE PASSES MAY NOT BE SOLD FOR ADDITIONAL MARKUP BEYOND THEIR FACE VALUE OR UTILIZED TO PROMOTE OR RAISE FUNDS FOR ANY PROJECT, ENTITY, OR INDIVIDUAL.”

We understand that fundraising is an arduous endeavor. To strike a balance between respecting the Ten Principles and allowing room for MV owners to fundraise for their projects, we encourage MV Teams to submit their fundraisers to the Burning Man “Support a Project” page. Projects included in our “Support a Project” page may receive additional exposure by mentions and highlights in our Jackrabbit Speaks newsletters.

 

MUTANT VEHICLE TRANSPORT PROGRAM (MVT)

Mutant Vehicle Transport

“Random rides to random places, on playa time”

This year we are updating the program formerly known as B.A.I.T (Burn Area Imprecise Transit) to better accommodate Burners and Mutant Vehicle teams.   The New Program is simply Mutant Vehicle Transport (MVT) and is designed to promote an interactive culture between participants and mutant vehicles. 

Our mission is to promote ADVENTURE, COOPERATION, and CONSENT relating to riding Mutant Vehicles. MVT is an opportunity for you to share your art: your Mutant Vehicles,  with the other citizens of our loved city.

As a Mutant Vehicle operator, your contributions to Black Rock City make us the most creative volunteer public recreation system on the planet! We want to connect as many citizens as possible of BRC with Mutant Vehicles through the Mutant Vehicle Transport program.

How it works: 

There will be shaded and seated stops in the following places: Along the Esplanade (the Playa side) near 2:00, 4:00, 8:00, and 10:00, at The Man, the Temple, and at the DMV. Participants interested in a ride will be waiting at these stops. At any time, Monday through Friday, any Mutant Vehicle can swing by these stops as they drive around the playa and pick up waiting participants. There is no advanced sign-up. You decide when and where you participate. There are no official routes or timetables.

The stops will be clearly labeled as Mutant Vehicle Transport stops and will look like this:

Mutant Vehicle Transport Stop

 

How we’re getting the word out to participants: 

We’ll be promoting the MVT program to a wide audience with entries into the Spark Plug, the Jackrabbit Speaks, the survival guide, the WHAT WHERE WHEN guide, and Public Service Announcements on Burning Man Information Radio (BMIR) throughout the event.

Mutant Vehicle Transport Q&A

  • Q: Is Mutant Vehicle Transport mandatory?
    • A: No, however, it is encouraged
  • Q: Do I have the right to refuse boarding?
    • A: Yes if someone is visibly too intoxicated or being rude. On that note, you can also ask someone to disembark if they become too intoxicated or are being harassing or rude
  • Q: Can I bring people from my own camp with me?
    • A: Of Course, but remember to save an ample amount of space to take on riders.
  • Q: How long do I have to stay at each stop?
    • A: Please wait a couple of minutes at each stop. Also, feel free to let anyone who may be around, standing around, or milling about know that you are there to give rides and that they are welcome to join.
  • Q: How will riders know that I want to pick them up?
    • A: Just stop at a stop and call out to any participants sitting or standing around.
  • Q: What if I’m full?
    • A: If your vehicle is full, please continue to stop briefly if someone is standing at the stop and let them know you are full. Hopefully, if that happens, there will be someone behind you who has more room.
  • Q: Will anybody from the DMV be at the stops?
    • A: There will not be anyone taking count or checking up on you. There may be DMV folks that want to take a ride so they might be there. They may or may not identify who they are. DMV people like to have fun, too!
  • Q: When do I have to sign up for Mutant Vehicle Transport?
    • A: There is no sign-up (that’s right, NO SIGN-UP!). We encourage any and all MVs to pick up riders whenever they are near a stop.

SERVING FOOD OR ALCOHOL

If you serve food or alcohol to the public from your Mutant Vehicle, you may need a permit from the state of Nevada. Please visit the following website for more information:

http://dpbh.nv.gov/Reg/Temp-E/Temporary_Events_Home/

It is a misdemeanor to serve alcoholic beverages to anyone under 21 years old in Nevada.  The law applies if the alcohol is gifted or sold.  Law Enforcement has been known to use sting operations. Know the laws about serving people alcohol and follow them, or you may end up being fined or arrested.

 

SAFETY RULES

 

BOARDING SAFETY

  • Boarding is permitted only at full stop and NEVER between Vehicle and Trailer
  • Mutant Vehicle Operators should ensure their vehicle is at a full stop before allowing participants to board or exit, and not while it is in motion.

 

TRAILER SAFETY

All Mutant Vehicles that have trailers of any kind must have a barrier in place that prevents any person from intentionally or unintentionally entering the space between the trailer and the tow vehicle (or between one trailer and the next trailer).  This barrier must have a minimum height of no more than 12 inches from the playa surface and a maximum height that is EITHER equal to the maximum height of the Mutant vehicle (for very low vehicles) OR no less than 36 inches above the playa surface.  The barrier must be in place before the vehicle moves and must remain in place when the vehicle is in motion. Regardless of how they are constructed, trailer barriers must be strong and secure enough to block the passage of people trying to walk (or unintentionally walk)  through the hitch area.

No vehicle or trailer ingress or egress location (door, ramp, steps or other entrance) may be located in the space between the trailer and tow vehicle (or between two trailers), unless provisions are in place which will prevent the motion of the vehicle while passengers are loading and unloading. No ingress/egress from second levels (eg. ladders, stairs) is permitted to be in the space between a trailer and tow vehicle (or between 2 trailers) at any time.  At all times after sunset, the space between the trailer and the tow vehicle and between one trailer and the next trailer must be self-illuminated and must discourage any person from intentionally or unintentionally entering the space.

 

Examples of valid trailer barriers:

https://burningman.org/dmv-trailerbarriers-2/

NOTE:  Trailers with barriers that are deemed insufficient to block passage into the hitch area will not be licensed by the DMV.

 

FUEL SAFETY

Mutant Vehicles may not carry extra liquid fuel for the safety of passengers and crews. Portable gas cans are not to be carried on Mutant Vehicles unless the vehicle is traveling between the fueling station and camp.

 

LI-ION BATTERY SAFETY

Li-ion batteries are very efficient, lightweight, and reliable – well, until they aren’t. Li-ion batteries are also known to have thermal runaway effects that can be highly dangerous.

For Mutant Vehicles using Li-ion batteries, the operator should be aware of the following:

  • Locate the batteries in an accessible place, away from passengers
  • Examine your batteries every day; if any deformation occurs, contact ESD
  • Batteries may rapidly go into a thermal runaway; this is often preceded by a loud “POP” followed by a noxious smoke – have people move away rapidly (fire drill)
  • A battery in thermal runaway may shoot high temp flames and even have projectiles – evacuation distance should be at least 100’ or more
  • Batteries in thermal runaway will continue to push other cells into thermal runaway

ESD (Emergency Services) will attempt to cool the battery if it has not gone into full deflagration. If possible to remove a damaged battery safely, ESD will contain the damaged battery and provide for disposal according to safe practices regarding these types of incidents.

Things that can cause a battery to go into thermal runaway:

  • Excessive heat (160 F may cause this to occur)
  • Overcharging
  • Excessive discharging
  • Any crushing or puncture of the battery envelope

Li-ion batteries are very safe, but they can become very unsafe under certain circumstances, as described above. A damaged battery can be managed safely by trained personnel. A battery in thermal runaway is a very hostile and dangerous situation – it is most important to move away from the battery when the “pop” or smoke is identified.

 

WALKERS / SPOTTERS ARE REQUIRED FOR VEHICLES WITH LIMITED VISIBILITY

As Black Rock City is a pedestrian city, all vehicles must yield to pedestrian traffic. To do this safely, vehicles that are large, long, or where the driver does not have a clear view of the front and back of the vehicle, must have walkers and/or spotters when the vehicle is in motion. The walkers and/or spotters must have direct communication with the driver and be in a position that they can stop participants from entering dangerous areas around a vehicle while it is in motion.

The number of walkers and spotters required varies per vehicle and must ensure safe navigation. The walkers and/or spotters must have identifying markings or attire that associate them with their vehicle. Examples of markings/attire include: reflective safety vests, brightly colored or reflective hats, brightly colored or reflective bandanas, and brightly colored or reflective shirts.

A video surveillance system cannot be substituted in place of walkers. Walkers or spotters cannot replace a trailer barrier.

 

MUTANT VEHICLE PERIMETER GUIDELINES DURING BURN EVENTS

Below are the Black Rock Rangers’ guidelines for Mutant Vehicle perimeters during the Man and Temple Burns and other large Burn events.

Before the Man and Temple burns, the Rangers place orange stanchions, or the “Orange Line”,  that mark the outer perimeter for Mutant Vehicles.

 

Most of you already know how and where to place yourselves, and we thank you for being such wonderful Burners!  This is to help formalize that knowledge, assist new MV’s, and make it easier to determine a safe minimum distance for your MV.

The closest safe viewing zone around the Man/Temple/Other Burn is reserved for participants only.  From the participant perimeter, as established by the Artists or Perimeter Rangers, it is approximately 90 feet deep.

However, the Esplanades around the Man and Temple at 3:00, 6:00. 9:00 and 12:00 are fire lanes, and for emergency vehicle access only.  They are to remain clear of both participants and MV’s before and during the burn event.

Each Mutant Vehicle has their own perimeter line, according to their size (and guidance from the BLM).  These lines can be roughly determined by the number of steps, or paces, from the participant perimeter line out to MV space.

We call these the PACE LINES

  • The 40 PACE LINE (120 ft) is the perimeter line for small (cart-sized) MV’s.
  • The 50 PACE LINE (150 ft) is for medium (car-sized) MV’s.
  • The 70 PACE LINE (210 ft) is for large (truck-sized) MV’s.
  • The 100 PACE LINE (300 ft) is for the largest (bus-sized) MV’s.

The only exception to the above guidelines are for small, cart-sized Disabled-Licenced Vehicles, whose seated participants cannot see over standing participants.  They may park at the rear of the participant crowd that is sitting on the playa, but may not group together in a way that might create a barrier.

HOW TO FIND YOUR MV’S PACE LINE

HOW TO MARK OFF DISTANCES

The average human stride, or pace, is about two to three feet long. By becoming a human yardstick, you can walk off distances yourself. 50 feet would be about 20-25 paces, and 100 feet about 40-50 paces.

From the participant perimeter, walk the appropriate number of paces for your MV size, and you will be about where, at minimum, you may place your MV.

As more participants and MV’s arrive, and it becomes too difficult to walk off the paces, surrounding MV’s may provide a rough guide for placing your MV.

Please be mindful of the view of those around you when you place your Mutant Vehicle.

Also, please keep clear participant and MV through-paths between your MV and the MVs around you, especially along the Orange Line. The pathways should be wide enough for an emergency vehicle to pass through.

Ranger teams are available to help manage the through paths and to assist with Mutant Vehicle placement concerns.

DURING THE BURN — FIRE WARNING

Every large Burn event has falling embers, usually between 12:00 and 3:00.  These embers can, and have, set an MV on fire.

If your MV is capable of catching fire from a heavy ember, place it away from where the prevailing winds might carry those embers.

If an ember falls on your MV, watch and protect it, and do not leave it unattended.  If possible, and without endangering participants, move it out of the way staying within the 5-mph speed limit.

 

HEaT (HEAVY EQUIPMENT AND TRANSPORT) REQUEST SIGN-UP

Each year the DMV receives multiple requests from MV Owners for assistance/use of BRC Heavy Equipment (Fork Lifts, Cranes) in assembling their vehicles on-playa.

The Heavy Equipment at BRC is first and foremost dedicated to the building of the Man, the Man Base, funded art installations, and BRC infrastructure.  The Heavy Equipment and Transport (HEaT) team has limited ability to assist Mutant Vehicle owners and theme camps with their needs. (Note that in years past, HEaT volunteers have worked on their days off to help camps and MV owners with their equipment needs.)

ASSISTANCE IS NOT GUARANTEED

 If you need heavy equipment assistance, your very first recourse should be to work with other camps/MV owners to coordinate shared resources among multiple groups.  The ePlaya is a great resource to work with other MVs/camps to pool resources.

https://eplaya.burningman.com/viewforum.php?f=286

If you still would like to request assistance from HEaT, please understand that while they will ATTEMPT to assist, they may not have the time to do so.

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CONTACT HEaT DIRECTLY.  To request assistance, please go to the following link and fill out a HEaT Assistance Request Form:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DMVHEaT23

The DMV will contact you regarding your request.

 

THANK YOU!

Thanks for taking the time to read this and understanding all of the rules for Mutant Vehicles.

If you have any questions about any of the material above, please contact the DMV at:

dmv@burningman.org