Mutant Vehicles

Artified and Mutant Vehicles

The Department of Mutant Vehicles is responsible for helping participants raise the bar of art car awesomeness by providing guidance and licensing all motorized vehicles for use in Pyropolis.

The Basics

The acting DMV lead has the authority on what vehicle is granted a permit and may decline to issue a permit for any reason or no reason what so ever.

To use any transportation device that is not 100% human powered, your device must be licensed with the DMV. The DMV has a specific set of criteria that it is looking for when licensing vehicles. See Licensing Criteria below.

You can make the licensing process go faster by pre-registering your vehicle. Pre-registering helps you and the DMV. First, it gives the DMV a chance to let you know if there are any concerns about whether your vehicle will be licensed, which gives you a chance to fix any issues. Second, it helps the DMV prepare for the number of vehicles it must review.

The DMV offers the following license types:

  • Day Mutant Vehicle License (DMVL): The DMVL is for mutant vehicles that provide a creative contribution to the event by being well mutated for the day (lots of visible art during the day), provide a service to Flipiziens, and that are safe for day use.
  • Night Mutant Vehicle License (NMVL): The NMVL is for mutant vehicles that provide a creative contribution to the event by by being well mutated for the night (art that is well lit for night time visuals), provide a service to Flipiziens, and are safe for night use.
  • Anytime Mutant Vehicle License (AMVL): An AMVL is for mutant vehicles that meet the requirements of DMVL and NMVL.
  • Disability Assistance Vehicle License/Mobility (MOBL): The MOBL is for vehicles that are required to assist a mobility impaired individual (or other disability where assistance is needed to participate at Pyropolis). Vehicles must meet safety requirements and must be lit for safe night-time usage. Artification is not required for these vehicles in particular, but it is encouraged, because ART!
  • Staff Vehicles License (SVL): The SVL is for vehicles that are being used to support the event. These licenses must be approved prior to the event, except for Cartelle vehicles.

Once approved the spiffy collectable licenses must be displayed in the vehicle during use. You are responsible for securing your license and vehicle at all times to prevent misuse. Note: Failure to follow the Rules of the Roads will result in having your license revoked, even if it’s not you failing to follow the rules of the roads.

Beginning in 2023, there will be designated “Pick Up Points” located throughout the city of Pyropolis. These can be found on the map and clearly marked and visible during the event, situated at the Disinfo Kiosks. Operators of mutant and artified vehicles are expected to stop at these points while driving through the event and offer rides to participants.

No other participant motorized vehicles are allowed to drive during the event.

Important: Burning Flipside has a sound policy in effect for all mobile and non-mobile sound systems. If you are bringing a sound system, please, review the sound policy and register your sound system before the event.

Licensing Criteria

To be eligible for a Burning Flipside Department of Mutant Vehicles Official License you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be an Artified or Mutated Vehicle
    • Vehicles must be mutated and arted to be licensed. This means that the vehicles must provide a creative contribution to the event. Ideally, the vehicle will look less like a golf cart and more like a giant spider coming to spin a web (of music) around us (or insert your idea here).
    • We’re serious here. Party Pig garland and some dangling lights are not an art car.
    • If you have a Mobility (MOBL) licensed cart, artification is not required, but it IS encouraged.
  2. Provide a Service
    • Vehicles must provide a service to the community. This could be a portable potable water station for thirsty Flipizens, or a dance floor for people with impeccable balance, or have space to offer rides or “art tours”, or some fantastic entertainment. What service does your vehicle provide?
    • If you are just looking to be able to drive around Pyropolis, don’t.
  3. Be Safe
    Mutant vehicles must be SAFE to the citizens of Pyropolis. Safety includes:

    1. The vehicle must be able to drive the speed limit and have functioning brakes. Speed limit at Pyropolis is 5 MPH MAXIMUM…ever.
    2. Passengers must be reasonably protected from falling off when the vehicle is in motion, and should have a safe place to enter and exit.
    3. All vehicles must carry a fire extinguisher.
    4. The vehicle must have no protruding geegaws and whatits that could injure a pedestrian.
    5. Mutant vehicles can NOT exceed 102” total width and 35’ length.
    6. The vehicle must be lit and visible for night-time use, and any headlights must be have colored gels.
    7. Drivers must know and intend to follow the Rules of the Road.
    8. You must be able to secure your vehicle when not in use.
  4. Not Break Rules
    • No All Terrain Vehicles are allowed. This is the rule of the land, so don’t try to negotiate on this point.
    • No Motorcycles – smaller scooters and other two wheeled mutants will be addressed on a case by case basis.
    • Amplified sound on the vehicle must follow the sound rules.
    • All users of your vehicle MUST follow the Rules of the Road, including unintended users. If any user of your vehicle fails to adhere to the rules of the road the DMV will revoke the license.

Registration and Licensing

All motorized vehicles operating during the event must be registered and licensed. Operating an unlicensed vehicle can result in your vehicle being impounded for the duration of the event. And remember, Catalyst Collective (CatCol) reserves the right to eject participants for any or no reason.


Registration provides the DMV with contact and vehicle information necessary for the DMV to ensure the safety of Pyropolis for our participants. You can register in advance here, or you can register on the land (though it’s a long form and no one likes to fill out forms at events). Pre-registering speeds up the licensing process on site and allows the DMV to provide important feedback on your vehicle’s chances of being licensed as described. It’s in your best interest to pre-register.


Licensing involves getting the DMV to inspect your vehicle to ensure that it meets the requirements of the license type requested. This must occur on site at the event during the DMV’s hours of operations. Those hours are Thursday 10-4, Friday 10-4, Saturday 11-5. To get your license:

  1. Following the Rules of the Road, bring your vehicle to the DMV location on the map during the DMV’s hours of operations.
  2. Complete a Registration Form.
    1. If you pre-registered, tell the DMV volunteers, and they will locate your registration and ask you to verify the information. Make any necessary updates, sign the registration, and return it to the DMV.
    2. If you did not pre-register, pull up a seat and complete a blank registration form, then sign and return it to the DMV volunteers.
  3. The DMV volunteers will inspect your vehicle and either approve your vehicle for your license, or require you to make modifications to obtain a license, or reject your request.
    1. If you need to make modifications, and can, return when the modifications are completed.
    2. If your license is rejected it’s probably because you failed to follow the instructions on mutant vehicles and art cars (e.g., used an ATV as a base, hung some lights and called it “art”, or failed to consider the safety of the citizens of Pyropolis.)
  4. Once approved the spiffy collectible licenses must be displayed in/on the vehicle during use. The usual location is as close to the operator of the vehicle as possible on the driver’s outside.
  5. You are responsible for securing your license and vehicle at all times to prevent misuse.

Safety Third!

At the DMV we care about three things: Art, Vehicles, and Safety. Because Pyropolis is a pedestrian city, using a vehicle is inherently risky, and we want you to think about how your vehicle contributes art, provides a service, and won’t hurt people in the process. The licensing process includes a safety check of your vehicle, and its operator. To wit, be prepared to speak about the following considerations (yup, it’s a test!). It’s a good idea to visit the DMV with any anticipated operators for the event.

  1. What safety considerations you have incorporated into your vehicle?
  2. How will passengers get on and off the vehicle?
  3. If you plan on driving your vehicle at night, is there safe and adequate lighting on your vehicle? You must be extremely well lit and visible in order to get a night license.
  4. What specific safety considerations have been made for any Flame effects? The roads at this event will pass under a working organic pecan grove. Flame effects may only be used in clear open spaces where trees are not at risk. Damage to trees will not be tolerated.
  5. What specific safety considerations have been made for Sound effects? You must register your sound system.
  6. What considerations will be made to prevent unauthorized use of your mutant vehicle?
  7. Will you ensure that you and any vehicle driver will:
    • Drive at a speed of 5 MPH or less.
    • Give the right-of-way to pedestrians, bicycles, official and emergency vehicles. Mutant vehicles always have the LAST right of way.
    • Follow the reasonable and applicable vehicle laws for road safety.
    • Stop immediately upon being hailed by Flipside Volunteers, Pyropolis Ranger, or Law Enforcement.
    • Do not drive while intoxicated or drive under the Influence of drugs or alcohol.
    • Do not drive in pedestrian walkways, pedestrian designated areas, or in the designated effigy area.
    • Stop in the event of an emergency, not flee the scene of an accident, and assist anyone in need of help.
      If an accident occurs, inform a Ranger, make sure to get the information of all those involved in the accident. Wait till Rangers or DMV clear you to continue driving or to provide more instructions.
    • Abide by any additional guidelines forthcoming from the CatCol board and the Burning Flipside volunteers.
    • Create a clear field of vision for the mutant vehicle operator at all time.
    • Use ground guides/walkers/spotters if the vehicle is large, has a limited field of vision, and/or is dangerous.
    • Clearly display the Mutant Vehicle License Sticker and/or Laminate Badge.
    • Abide and follow the Burning Flipside Sound Policy
      Don’t be RUDE… if there is a somber event going on in a camp or on the effigy field make sure to lower your sound levels to an appropriate level… we are all about being part OF the community, not alienating the community.
    • Ensure any and all Flame Effects are operated with safety in mind at all times.
    • Carry a fire extinguisher at all times.
  8. There are several reasons you may be asked to not drive for a while, including weather. When you’re grounded, you’re grounded. Don’t drive your vehicle again until you are given the all clear by DMV. Driving after you’ve been told not to is a great way to be permanently grounded or removed from the event.
  9. Are you aware that as the owner of a mutant vehicle, you are responsible for the safety and conduct of your vehicle even if you are not on board; and that you are liable for any damage it may cause, regardless of who is driving?
  10. If you (or anyone operating a licensed vehicle) do not adhere to the above points at any time, do you fully understand that:
    • Your tires may be deflated,
    • Your license may be revoked,
    • Your vehicle may be impounded,
    • You may be ejected from the event and future events?