Art Car & Mutant Vehicle Info & Policies

What is an Art Car/Mutant Vehicle?

An Art Car, or Mutant Vehicle, is a vehicle that has been radically, stunningly and safely modified.  The words “whimsical” and “surreal” come to mind when thinking of Mutant Vehicles.  A Mutant Vehicle is not a private mode of transportation but rather a vehicle that the community has the opportunity to visit and/or ride in during the event.

What is NOT an Art Car/Mutant Vehicle?

A vehicle that has NOT been radically mutated is not an Art Car/Mutant Vehicle.

  • Street vehicles with minimal changes and temporary decorations are not Mutant Vehicles. For example, a vehicle that has crepe paper and some flowers attached to it is not considered mutated.
  • Low riders, classic cars, monster trucks, dune buggies and hot rods are not Mutant Vehicles. If you bring these types of vehicles, they must remain in a designated parking area like any other non-mutated vehicle.
  • A vehicle that has been stripped down to the frame and engine is not a mutant vehicle.
  • The DMV has the final say-so in these matters.

Do I need to register my Art Car/Mutant Vehicle?

Yes!  If you’d like to apply for a Mutant Vehicle permit, you need to register with DMV. You will be asked to share the following well-thought-out-information for the registration process:

  • A picture of your Mutant Vehicle or, if your vehicle is not yet to the point where a picture will clearly show what you are bringing to Apogaea, a sketch of your vehicle will surface.
  • Photos must be 1 MB or less (JPEG, PNG or GIF). We ask that each application include an uploaded photo. We also recommend that you post other pictures on a photo-sharing site that does not require a username/password to access the pictures, we recommend One advantage of using a site like Flickr is that you can continue to add pictures as your work on the vehicle progresses.
  • The safety considerations you are implementing.
  • The intent with which you are creating this vehicle, and what you wish to share with the community as a result of bringing your vehicle to Apogaea.
  • Information about any sound system you may have on the vehicle.

The criteria for licensing a Mutant Vehicle include:

  1. Level of Mutation
    Mutate your vehicle to the point that it is not recognizable as a street vehicle. A radically mutated vehicle will not resemble or represent a car, truck, golf cart or any other readily identifiable street vehicle. Is the vehicle radically mutated or is the exterior a temporary decoration that required little or no actual mutation of the base vehicle?
  2. Interactivity
    Provide an interactive experience for participants of Apogaea. Interactivity is defined as an opportunity for any APO Citizen to participate in some activity offered by your vehicle. The theme and/or size of the vehicle is what’s considered here. Do you entertain a crowd? Have plenty of room for riders? Provide a service to the community via your vehicle? Include an interactive element?
  3. Safety
    Depending on the size and style of your vehicle, some or all of the following may apply: The vehicle must be able to maintain a steady speed of five MPH (the speed limit at Apogaea) or less. Brakes must be in good working order. The vehicle should have sturdy side railings and stair railings. There should be no sharp or protruding objects. A fire extinguisher is highly recommended. Keeping a first aid kit on board is just plain smart. The vehicle should also have a safe access area and procedures for loading and unloading passengers.
  4. Lighting
    Basic requirements must be met: The rear, front AND sides must be lit. All vehicle extremities must be lit. Any trailer hitch or dangerous area of the vehicle must be lit. Anywhere someone would walk, step, or climb on your vehicle should be lit, especially stairs and ladders.
  5. Sound
    Sound on MVs is a big responsibility. Please know the APO Sound Policy, and be respectful of others around you.

In addition to these criteria, you must also:

  1. Describe the motivation for creating your Mutant Vehicle.
  2. Comply with all DMV pre-registration guidelines and deadlines. Mutant Vehicle registration is mandatory. You will be asked to include a photo or sketch of your vehicle, describe the safety considerations you are making, give detailed information about the radical mutations to the vehicle. You’ll also be asked to agree in advance to honor Apogaea driving protocols.
  3. Adhere to Apogaea vehicle/driving protocols. Apogaea has a few simple driving guidelines. If you violate these community guidelines, you’ll lose the privilege of driving your Mutant Vehicle at Apogaea. In addition, you and your vehicle may also be removed from the event, and you can be fined by law enforcement. Furthermore, owners that cannot follow our simple rules run the risk of not being licensed in subsequent years.
  4. Fill out a Liability Release Form (to be handed in at the Gate when you arrive)

Mutant Vehicle Rules

  • Rules of Operation
  • Only drive vehicles licensed or allowed to drive at Apogaea
  • There will be limited driving allowed at Apogaea with designated driving times to move Mutant Vehicles from one camp to another for participate interaction
  • Abide by all applicable federal and Colorado state laws, including all open container laws (no open containers within reach of the driver)
  • There will not be any flame effects allowed on the Mutant Vehicle
  • Drive at a speed of 5 mph or less (less if in hazardous situations such as tight crowds)
  • Give the right of way to pedestrians, bicycles, and emergency services vehicles
  • Follow the reasonable and applicable vehicle laws for road safety
  • Stop immediately upon being hailed by any Apogaea Staff member, Apogaea Ranger, or law enforcement officer
  • No driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • No driving on pedestrian-designated streets (see your map for details)
  • No driving during inclement weather
  • Obey sound policies
  • Any additional guidelines set forth by Apogaea organization
  • No fireworks or pyrotechnics. All fireworks are prohibited in our event!

The Mutant Vehicle registration process is a two step process. The first step is to pre-register and to have read and understand all rules and regulations that will be require to operate your Mutant vehicle at Apogaea. The second step will be at the event where you will receive your license after inspection of Mutant Vehicle after it meets all environmental and safety conditions for the event. Please note: Registration does not guarantee a Mutant Vehicle license, as this is a two-step process. Submitting this application means that, if granted a Mutant Vehicle license, you agree to abide by all of the driving rules and community guidelines in effect at Apogaea. Please see Apogaea’s Terms and Conditions.

You will receive an email from the Apogaea DMV indicating that your preliminary application has been received. This does not indicate anything other than a confirmation that we have received your application. Keep this email as proof that you submitted your application. You will receive an email with in 24hr to 48hrs of submission to acknowledge of our receipt of your Pre-Registration. After you submit your application the DMV will review it – this may take up to two weeks to review. Then you will receive an email from the DMV stating that your Mutant Vehicle has either been invited, which means you may bring it to the event (where licensing is subject to its on site inspection (part 2 of the registration process), or not, which means we ask that you do not bring the vehicle to the event. In order to enter Apogaea with your Mutant Vehicle you must bring a copy of a valid drivers license and a printout of the invitation email mentioned in the bullet point above. This letter will be requested at the Gate when entering Apogaea. If you forget this printout you will be asked to leave with your entire party. This letter and a photo copy of valid drivers license will also be required for the inspection portion of licensing. You will be required to sign a Apogaea Mutant Vehicle Agreement at the time of Licensing.

To learn about getting funding for your project, check out Creative Grants