Substitute Senate Bill No. 289

Public Act No. 01-24

AN ACT CONCERNING REFLECTORIZED SAFETY NUMBER PLATES ON MOTOR VEHICLES AND SAFETY INSPECTIONS CONDUCTED ON CERTAIN MOTOR VEHICLES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 14-21b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The commissioner shall issue fully reflectorized safety number plates for new registrations and renewal registrations issued on and after January 1, 2000, for passenger, combination and commercial registrations and other registrations as the commissioner deems feasible within funds and personnel available. Each plate shall bear the words "Constitution State" and "Connecticut". The commissioner shall issue two fully reflectorized safety number plates in accordance with a schedule established by the commissioner in such quantities as the commissioner deems feasible within the funds and personnel available. No safety fee shall be charged for the issuance of the replacement number plates for such renewals.

(b) No additional charge shall be made for the issuance of such new or replacement fully reflectorized plates, except for the safety fee provided for in subsection (w) of section 14-49.

(c) The owner or lessee of each registered motor vehicle who is issued two fully reflectorized safety number plates by the commissioner shall display such plates on such motor vehicle as provided in section 14-18. A violation of this subsection shall be an infraction.

Sec. 2. Subsection (g) of section 14-12 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(g) The commissioner [shall not] may elect not to register any motor vehicle which is ten or more model years old and which has not been previously registered in this state until the same has been presented, as directed by the commissioner, at the main office or a branch office of the Department of Motor Vehicles or to any designated official emissions inspection station or other business or firm, [except a licensee of the department,] authorized by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to conduct safety inspections, and has passed the inspection as to its safety features as required by the commissioner. When a motor vehicle owned by a resident of this state is garaged in another jurisdiction and cannot be conveniently presented at an office of the Department of Motor Vehicles, an authorized emissions inspection station or other facility, the commissioner may accept an inspection made by authorities in such other jurisdiction or by appropriate military authorities, provided the commissioner determines that such inspection is comparable to that conducted by the Department of Motor Vehicles. If the commissioner authorizes the contractor that operates the system of official emissions inspection stations or other business or firm to conduct the safety inspections required by this subsection, the commissioner may authorize the contractor or other business or firm to charge a fee, not to exceed fifteen dollars, for each such inspection. The commissioner may authorize any motor vehicle dealer or repairer, licensed in accordance with section 14-52 and meeting qualifications established by the commissioner, to perform an inspection required by this section or to make repairs to any motor vehicle that has failed an initial safety inspection and to certify to the commissioner that the motor vehicle is in compliance with the safety and equipment standards for registration. No such authorized dealer or repairer shall charge any additional fee to make such certification to the commissioner. [The provisions of this section shall not preclude the commissioner from issuing a temporary registration or more than one such registration for a period not to exceed ten days for each such temporary registration for any motor vehicle without regard to the inspection requirements of the general statutes.] If the commissioner authorizes any such dealer or repairer to conduct safety inspections, such licensee may provide written certification to the commissioner, in such form and manner as the commissioner prescribes, as to compliance of any motor vehicle in its inventory with safety and equipment standards and such certification may be accepted by the commissioner as meeting the inspection requirements of this subsection.

Sec. 3. Subsection (a) of section 14-16a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) [Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section,] The commissioner may require that each motor vehicle registered in this state which is ten model years old or older shall, within thirty days before transfer of ownership or upon such transfer, be presented for inspection, as directed by the commissioner, at any state Department of Motor Vehicles office or any official emissions inspection station or other facility authorized by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to conduct such inspection. The vehicle shall be inspected to determine whether it is properly equipped and in good mechanical condition before registration is issued to the new owner of the vehicle. If the commissioner authorizes the contractor that operates the system of official emissions inspection stations or other business or firm, [except a licensee of the department,] to conduct the safety inspections required by this subsection, the commissioner may authorize the contractor or other business or firm to charge a fee, not to exceed fifteen dollars, for each such inspection. The commissioner may authorize any motor vehicle dealer or repairer, licensed in accordance with section 14-52 and meeting qualifications established by the commissioner, to perform an inspection required by this section or to make repairs to any motor vehicle that has failed an initial safety inspection and to certify to the commissioner that the motor vehicle is in compliance with the safety and equipment standards for registration. No such authorized dealer or repairer shall charge any additional fee to make such certification to the commissioner. If the commissioner authorizes any such dealer or repairer to conduct safety inspections, such licensee may provide written certification to the commissioner, in such form and manner as the commissioner prescribes, as to compliance of any motor vehicle in its inventory with safety and equipment standards, and such certification may be accepted by the commissioner as meeting the inspection requirements of this subsection.

Sec. 4. (NEW) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall study the feasibility of performing safety inspections of motor vehicles ten or more model years of age, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (g) of section 14-12 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and subsection (a) of section 14-16a of the general statutes, as amended by this act, in conjunction with the inspections of such motor vehicles for compliance with exhaust emissions standards performed in accordance with the requirements of chapter 246a of the general statutes. Said commissioner shall report such findings and recommendations to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation on or before February 15, 2002.

Sec. 5. This act shall take effect from its passage, except that section 1 shall take effect October 1, 2001.

Approved May 15, 2001