Transportation Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5164

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO THE MOTOR VEHICLE LAWS.

Vote Date:

3/14/2012

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

2/22/2012

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Transportation Committee, DMV

REASONS FOR BILL:

To amend various statutes concerning the Motor Vehicle laws.

Substitute language, as contained in LCO # 2443, merges several bills: HB 5167, HB 5168, HB 5169 and HB 5371.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Melody A. Currey, Commissioner, Department of Motor Vehicles- Supports this bill because “overall, these proposed changes would continue to allow the Department of Motor Vehicles to improve customer service, increase efficiencies, and improve the safety of the state's highways and roadways.” Sections Many sections are technical and clarification changes. The bill would help improve efficiencies for DMV operations, including it's expansion efforts of its on-line dealer functions, allowing a one-time extension of a license renewal or ID card renewal for individuals who are undergoing a verification of their immigration status and citizenship, allow DMV to expand the options for maintaining titles in electronic format, and create a new registration that would assist people who were previously registered in another state and are having trouble obtaining the title or the lien release from that state.  The bill also includes expanded exceptions to the towing statutes, a phase out of the "year of manufacture" plates, and procedures for DOC to encourage incarcerated individuals to renew their license or identification card through the mail.

Regarding Section, 35 allows driver training program staff to certify to the DMV commissioner that a person has successfully completed the program. As well as that this section authorizes the DMV commissioner to “waive the road skills portion of the driving examination. In addition, section 7, “authorizes the driver training program staff to indicate to the Commissioner that restrictions should be placed upon the license of a person who completes the program.”

Regarding Section 36, “allows the driver training program staff to have access to reports that are used to determine whether a person meets the health standards for obtaining a drivers license.”

Regarding Section 37, a dealer's examination of a motor vehicle “would be reflected on a DMV form, which would standardize the procedure for conducting these pre-sale inspections.” “This legislation protects the consumers from buying vehicles that are patently unsafe for the road and it protects dealers in that they have documentation showing that a safety review was conducted.”

Regarding to Sections 4, 30 and 38-44, changes the term “learner's permit” to “instruction permit. Section 39 adds adults instruction permits for individuals that are the age of eighteen and older allowing for the “DMV database at the beginning of the licensing process, similar to the 16 and 17 year old trainees. This allows the DMV to maintain an electronic record of the person from the outset.” This would also prevent “an unlicensed adult operator from operating a motor vehicle if that person does not have an adult instruction permit.” Section 4 would remove the fee for a four-year license since the issuance of a four-year was eliminated in the 2011 session.”

Regarding Section 45, streamlines drivers' school instructors' licensing by making it biennial rather than annual. “This change is in line with the Department's efforts in recent years to have similar license renewals occur two years as opposed to annually and assist the Department in reducing costs.”

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

James T. Fleming, President, Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association- Supports Section 37 of the bill, making suggested changes to the term “unfit for highways” to using the word “unsafe” instead of “unfit”. Mr. Fleming suggests in like 22-25, “be clarified to clearly allow a dealer to recover in the sale price of a vehicle any costs associated with making the vehicle “safe for highway operation”. Mr. Fleming suggests “that the language in likes 6-8 of the bill concerning safety inspections of 'equipment and components' as contained in CGS 14-80 to 14-106d be modified to clarify that such inspections cover the specific items actually on the subject vehicle as contained on the form approved by the commissioner.” Additionally suggests making changes to section 7, line 23 to “provide the commissioner with the discretion to assess a $50 fee on repeat offenders who fail to maintain a bond continuously by allowing their bonds to lapse and who further delay renewing the bond with in 30 days of notice by the department.”

Raphael L. Podolsky, Legal Assistance Resource Center of Connecticutn Inc.- Supports Section 37 of this bill, but suggests language to avoid confusion as to whether it overrides provisions of the Used Car Lemon Law.

James MacPherson, Connecticut Driving School Professionals- supports Section 39 of this bill because there is no certainty that the adult operator has any knowledge of “state laws and regulations governing driving.”

Supports Section 45 of this bill, however suggests adding another section that would prohibit a person from “engaging in the business of conducting a drivers' school without being licensed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.”

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Dave Bajumpaa, Connecticut Council of Car Clubs- Is opposed to the section of the bill that would eliminate “the use of year of manufacture registration plates on antique, rear or special interest motor vehicles… Maintaining the ability of antique, rear or special interest motor vehicles to display year of manufacture plates help preserve this history.”

Douglas J. Lyons, Executive Director, Connecticut Association of Independent Schools- Opposes waving the training requirements for activity van drivers, “appropriate for larger buses and perhaps appropriate for the regular home to school runs, but onerous for uses that are ancillary to school attendance.”

Reported by: Tristan Stanziale

Date: March 19, 2012