December 1, 2011
DMV PRIVATIZATION STUDY
By: Paul Frisman, Principal Analyst
You asked about recent legislative proposals to privatize Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) services.
Three bills specifically addressing privatization of DMV functions were introduced in the past three legislative sessions, one each in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Two of these bills died in committee. Language in the third bill addressing privatization was stricken by an amendment. But PA 11-213, § 50, approved this past session, requires the DMV commissioner to study privatizing some of its functions. She must report her findings and recommendations to the Transportation Committee by January 11, 2012.
DMV PRIVATIZATION LEGISLATION SINCE 2009
The legislature considered a DMV privatization bill in each of the past three sessions.
SB 1081, raised by the Transportation Committee in 2009, would have required the DMV commissioner to review and evaluate departmental programs and functions and to develop recommendations for changing or repealing them, funding them, or transferring them to a state or private entity. The commissioner was to report to the Transportation Committee by January 1, 2010 and annually thereafter. A Senate amendment struck this language before the bill was enacted (PA 09-187).
SB 79, introduced by Senators McKinney, Fasano, and Roraback in 2010, would have (1) consolidated a number of departments, including DMV and the Department of Transportation, and (2) outsourced certain government services, including DMV's non-commercial customer service operations. The bill died in the Government Administration and Elections Committee.
In 2011, Senator Kelly introduced SB 817, which would have authorized the DMV commissioner to contract with private contractors to issue motor vehicle licenses. The Transportation Committee heard the bill but did not report it favorably.
We have attached copies of the bills.
PRIVATIZATION STUDY IN PA 11- 213
Section 50 of PA 11-213 requires the commissioner to study alternatives for the performance of certain DMV functions, such as privatization, on-line services, and off-site locations, for renewals of non-commercial driver's licenses and registrations. She must report her findings and recommendations to the Transportation Committee by January 11, 2012. The summary of this Public Act is available at http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/SUM/2011SUM00213-R02HB-06581-SUM.htm.