Substitute Senate Bill No. 503
          Substitute Senate Bill No. 503

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 98-215


AN ACT CONCERNING UNINSURED MOTORISTS.


    Be it enacted  by  the  Senate  and  House  of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section  1.  Section  14-12g  of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed   and   the   following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a) When a  private  passenger  motor  vehicle
liability insurance policy  has been cancelled and
the   Commissioner   of    Motor   Vehicles   [has
determined]  DETERMINES  that   the   owner  of  a
registered motor vehicle  is  in  violation of the
mandatory security requirements of sections 14-12c
and 38a-371, the  commissioner shall issue to such
owner a notice of cancellation of the registration
involved. THE NOTICE SHALL CONTAIN A STATEMENT, IN
NOT LESS THAN  FOURTEEN POINT TYPE, THAT (1) AFTER
SUCH CANCELLATION OF  REGISTRATION  IS  FINAL  AND
EFFECTIVE SUCH MOTOR  VEHICLE  SHALL BE SUBJECT TO
SEIZURE, IMPOUNDMENT AND  POTENTIAL  FORFEITURE IF
OBSERVED BEING OPERATED UPON THE PUBLIC HIGHWAY OR
IF OBSERVED PARKED IN ANY PARKING AREA, AS DEFINED
IN SECTION 14-212,  AND  (2)  THE OWNER MAY RETURN
THE  NUMBER  PLATE   OR  PLATES  AND  REGISTRATION
CERTIFICATE FOR SUCH  VEHICLE  TO  AVOID POTENTIAL
IMPOUNDMENT AND SUSPENSION  OF  THE  OWNER'S MOTOR
VEHICLE OPERATOR'S LICENSE  PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION
(c) OF THIS  SECTION.  Such  cancellation shall be
final and effective fourteen days from the date of
mailing of such  notice.  If a registered owner to
whom  such  notice   of  cancellation  was  issued
contends that, notwithstanding  the  determination
of the Commissioner  of  Motor  Vehicles,  he  has
continuously    maintained    required    coverage
throughout the period  of  his  registration, such
owner may contact the Department of Motor Vehicles
by telephone at  a  special number to be provided,
not less than  two  days before the effective date
of the cancellation of the registration to request
an  administrative  hearing  to  be  conducted  in
accordance with the provisions of chapter 54. Upon
such request, the cancellation of the registration
shall be stayed  pending  the  final decision. The
hearing shall be  scheduled  promptly and shall be
strictly  limited  to  the  issues  of  [(1)]  (A)
whether the respondent  is the registered owner of
the  motor vehicle  or  vehicles  subject  to  the
mandatory  security requirements,  and  [(2)]  (B)
whether the respondent  has failed to continuously
maintain   the   required    insurance    coverage
throughout  the registration  period.  Unless  the
Commissioner of Motor  Vehicles  or his designated
hearing officer finds  in  the  negative on one of
the  hearing  issues,   the  cancellation  of  the
registration shall be  affirmed.  The Commissioner
of Motor Vehicles  shall  render  a final decision
and shall mail such decision to the respondent not
more than thirty  days after the conclusion of the
hearing. The cancellation of registration shall be
effective three days after the date of the mailing
of the final decision.
    (b)  BEFORE SUCH  CANCELLATION  IS  FINAL  AND
EFFECTIVE, IF A REGISTERED OWNER TO WHOM NOTICE OF
CANCELLATION WAS ISSUED PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (a)
OF THIS SECTION DOES NOT CONTEST THE DETERMINATION
THAT HE HAS FAILED TO MAINTAIN MANDATORY SECURITY,
THE  COMMISSIONER  MAY   ENTER   INTO   A  CONSENT
AGREEMENT  WITH  THE  OWNER,  PROVIDED  THE  OWNER
PRESENTS   SATISFACTORY  EVIDENCE   OF   MANDATORY
SECURITY AND PAYS  A  CIVIL PENALTY OF ONE HUNDRED
DOLLARS. THE CONSENT  AGREEMENT SHALL PROVIDE THAT
THE REGISTRATION OF THE MOTOR VEHICLE SHALL NOT BE
CANCELLED  PURSUANT  TO  SUBSECTION  (a)  OF  THIS
SECTION  UNLESS (1)  THE  COMMISSIONER  DETERMINES
THAT ON OR AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CONSENT
AGREEMENT  THE  OWNER   FAILED   TO   CONTINUOUSLY
MAINTAIN THE REQUIRED  SECURITY  AND (2) THE OWNER
CANNOT  ESTABLISH  TO   THE  SATISFACTION  OF  THE
COMMISSIONER THAT HE  CONTINUOUSLY  MAINTAINED THE
REQUIRED SECURITY AFTER  SAID EFFECTIVE DATE. SUCH
CONSENT AGREEMENT SHALL NOT OPERATE TO PREVENT THE
COMMISSIONER   FROM  CANCELLING,   SUSPENDING   OR
REVOKING  A REGISTRATION  PURSUANT  TO  ANY  OTHER
PROVISION OF THE GENERAL STATUTES.
    [(b)] (c) The  Commissioner  of Motor Vehicles
may suspend the  motor  vehicle operator's license
of  any  person   whose   registration   has  been
cancelled in accordance  with  the  provisions  of
subsection (a) of  this  section,  and who, within
thirty days of  the date of such cancellation, has
not  returned  the  number  plate  or  plates  and
registration  certificate  or   obtained   a   new
registration for or  transferred  ownership of the
motor  vehicle.  Any   person   aggrieved  by  the
decision  of  the   commissioner  to  suspend  his
license under this  subsection shall, prior to the
effective date of  such suspension, be afforded an
opportunity for a  hearing  in accordance with the
provisions of chapter 54.
    Sec.  2.  Section   14-12h   of   the  general
statutes, as amended  by  section  1 of public act
97-226,  is  repealed   and   the   following   is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a) The Commissioner  of  Motor Vehicles shall
compile and maintain a record of all registrations
cancelled in accordance  with  the  provisions  of
sections 14-12c and  14-12f  to 14-12k, inclusive,
AS AMENDED BY  THIS ACT, 38a-343 and 38a-343a. The
commissioner   shall   update    the   information
contained in such  record  not  less than once per
week  and  shall   make   available   to  all  law
enforcement agencies in  this  state a list of all
registration  number  plates  for  vehicles  whose
registration has been  cancelled.  Such list shall
contain  the  number  plate  numbers,  letters  or
number and letter  combinations and the address at
which the vehicle was registered. The commissioner
may make available  the  entire  list or a portion
thereof and may  utilize  one  or more formats for
presenting the information  contained  therein  to
facilitate its use.
    (b) (1) If any police officer observes a motor
vehicle being operated  upon  the  public highway,
and such motor  vehicle is displaying registration
number plates identified  as cancelled on the list
made available by  the  commissioner,  such police
officer may (A)  stop  or  detain such vehicle and
its occupants, [and  may  proceed to] (B) issue to
the   operator  an   infractions   complaint   for
operating  an  unregistered   motor   vehicle,  or
expired registration if  the  vehicle is not being
operated, in violation  of  section 14-12, AND (C)
[. Such police  officer  is further authorized to]
remove the registration  number  plates  from  the
vehicle and [to]  return them to any branch office
of the Department of Motor Vehicles. If any police
officer, sheriff, deputy  sheriff,  motor  vehicle
inspector or constable  observes  a  motor vehicle
parked in any  parking area, as defined in section
14-212,  and  such  motor  vehicle  is  displaying
registration number plates identified as cancelled
on the list  made  available  by the commissioner,
such  police  officer,  sheriff,  deputy  sheriff,
motor vehicle inspector or constable is authorized
to remove the  registration number plates from the
vehicle and to return them to any branch office of
the Department of  Motor  Vehicles.  If  a  number
plate  is identified  as  cancelled  on  the  list
provided   by   the    commissioner    and    such
identification  is  in   error,  the  state  shall
indemnify  any  police  officer,  sheriff,  deputy
sheriff, motor vehicle  inspector or constable for
any claim for damages made against that individual
as a result  of  his  good  faith  reliance on the
accuracy of the  list provided by the commissioner
regarding the confiscation of number plates.
    (2) IF ANY  POLICE  OFFICER  OBSERVES  A MOTOR
VEHICLE BEING OPERATED  UPON THE PUBLIC HIGHWAY OR
PARKED IN ANY  PARKING AREA, AS DEFINED IN SECTION
14-212,  DISPLAYING  REGISTRATION   NUMBER  PLATES
IDENTIFIED  ON THE  LIST  MADE  AVAILABLE  BY  THE
COMMISSIONER  AS  BEING   CANCELLED,  SUCH  POLICE
OFFICER MAY SEIZE  AND  IMPOUND  THE VEHICLE. IF A
POLICE  OFFICER  SEIZES  AND  IMPOUNDS  A  VEHICLE
PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION, HE SHALL GIVE NOTICE
TO  THE  COMMISSIONER   IN   SUCH   FORM   AS  THE
COMMISSIONER MAY REQUIRE. THE POLICE OFFICER SHALL
GIVE SUCH NOTICE  NOT  LATER THAN THREE DAYS AFTER
SEIZING AND IMPOUNDING THE VEHICLE.
    (c)  The owner  of  any  motor  vehicle  whose
registration has been cancelled in accordance with
the provisions of  sections  14-12c  and 14-12f to
14-12k, inclusive, AS AMENDED BY THIS ACT, 38a-343
and 38a-343a, shall  not  be  eligible to obtain a
new  registration for  a  vehicle,  or  a  new  or
renewal registration for  any motor vehicle in his
name until such  owner  appears  personally  at an
office of the Department of Motor Vehicles and (1)
completes  an application  for  registration,  (2)
furnishes proof of  insurance,  in accordance with
section 14-12b, (3)  furnishes  proof of financial
responsibility for not  less  than  one  year,  in
accordance with section  14-112,  and  (4) pays to
the Commissioner of  Motor  Vehicles a restoration
fee of [one hundred dollars,] THE AGGREGATE OF TWO
HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS  FOR  THE  FIRST  THIRTY-ONE
DAYS  SUCH  REGISTRATION   IS  CANCELLED,  OR  ANY
PORTION  THEREOF,  AND   FIVE   DOLLARS  FOR  EACH
ADDITIONAL DAY SUCH REGISTRATION IS CANCELLED, NOT
TO EXCEED NINETY  DAYS  OR FIVE HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE
DOLLARS, as required by section 14-50b, AS AMENDED
BY  THIS  ACT,  in  addition  to  any  other  fees
required to obtain  new  registration  and  number
plates, EXCEPT THAT  THE  COMMISSIONER  MAY REDUCE
THE RESTORATION FEE  TO  THE AMOUNT OF ONE HUNDRED
DOLLARS IF THE COMMISSIONER FINDS THAT THE VEHICLE
WAS  NOT  OPERATED   DURING  THE  PERIOD  OF  SUCH
CANCELLATION  AND DURING  THE  PERIOD  SUCH  OWNER
FAILED   TO  MAINTAIN   MANDATORY   SECURITY.   In
addition, if the  number  plates  of  the  vehicle
whose   registration  was   cancelled   has   been
confiscated, the owner of such motor vehicle shall
pay  an  additional   confiscation  fee  of  fifty
dollars. Such confiscation  fee shall be collected
from the owner  of  the motor vehicle and remitted
by the commissioner to the sheriff, deputy sheriff
or constable who confiscated the number plates or,
if  the  plates   were  confiscated  by  a  police
officer, such confiscation  fee  shall be remitted
to the governmental  entity  which  employed  such
officer at the  time of the confiscation and shall
be deposited in  the Asset Forfeiture Fund. In the
event there is no such fund, such confiscation fee
shall be deposited  in  the  general  fund of such
entity.
    (d) THE OWNER  OF  ANY MOTOR VEHICLE WHICH HAS
BEEN IMPOUNDED IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH THE PROVISIONS
OF  SUBDIVISION (2)  OF  SUBSECTION  (b)  OF  THIS
SECTION SHALL NOT BE ELIGIBLE TO REGAIN POSSESSION
OF  THE  VEHICLE   UNTIL   HE  COMPLIES  WITH  THE
REQUIREMENTS OF SUBSECTION  (c)  OF  THIS SECTION.
ANY SUCH MOTOR VEHICLE WHICH IS IMPOUNDED FOR MORE
THAN  FORTY-FIVE  DAYS   SHALL   BE   SUBJECT   TO
FORFEITURE TO THE STATE.
    Sec. 3. Section 14-50b of the general statutes
is repealed and  the  following  is substituted in
lieu thereof:
    (a) Any person  whose  operator's  license  or
right to operate a motor vehicle in this state has
been suspended or  revoked  by the Commissioner of
Motor Vehicles, or  who has been disqualified from
operating a commercial  motor vehicle, shall pay a
restoration fee of  one  hundred  dollars  to said
commissioner prior to  the issuance to such person
of a new  operator's license or the restoration of
such  operator's  license  or  such  privilege  to
operate  a  motor   vehicle  or  commercial  motor
vehicle. Such restoration fee shall be in addition
to any other fees provided by law.
    (b) (1) EXCEPT  AS PROVIDED IN SUBDIVISION (2)
OF THIS SUBSECTION  ANY  [Any]  person whose motor
vehicle registration or  right  of  operation of a
motor vehicle in  this state has been suspended or
revoked  by the  Commissioner  of  Motor  Vehicles
shall pay a restoration fee of one hundred dollars
to said commissioner prior to the issuance to such
person of a new registration or the restoration of
such registration or such right of operation. Such
restoration fee shall  be in addition to any other
fees provided by law.
    (2)   ANY   PERSON    WHOSE    MOTOR   VEHICLE
REGISTRATION  HAS  BEEN   CANCELLED   PURSUANT  TO
SECTION 14-12g, AS  AMENDED BY THIS ACT, SHALL PAY
A RESTORATION FEE  OF THE AGGREGATE OF TWO HUNDRED
FIFTY DOLLARS FOR  THE  FIRST THIRTY-ONE DAYS SUCH
REGISTRATION IS CANCELLED, OR ANY PORTION THEREOF,
AND FIVE DOLLARS  FOR  EACH  ADDITIONAL  DAY  SUCH
REGISTRATION IS CANCELLED,  NOT  TO  EXCEED NINETY
DAYS OR FIVE  HUNDRED  FORTY-FIVE  DOLLARS, EXCEPT
THAT THE COMMISSIONER  MAY  REDUCE THE RESTORATION
FEE TO THE  AMOUNT  OF  ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS IF THE
COMMISSIONER  FINDS  THAT   THE  VEHICLE  WAS  NOT
OPERATED DURING THE  PERIOD  OF  SUCH CANCELLATION
AND  DURING  THE   PERIOD  SUCH  OWNER  FAILED  TO
MAINTAIN MANDATORY SECURITY.
    Sec. 4. Section 14-150 of the general statutes
is repealed and  the  following  is substituted in
lieu thereof:
    (a) Any person  who abandons any motor vehicle
within the limits  of any highway or upon property
other than his  own  without  the  consent  of the
owner thereof for a period longer than twenty-four
hours shall have committed an infraction and shall
be fined not  less  than  eighty-five dollars. The
last owner of  record  of  a  motor  vehicle found
abandoned, as shown by the files of the Department
of Motor Vehicles,  shall be deemed prima facie to
have been the  owner  of such motor vehicle at the
time it was abandoned and the person who abandoned
the same or caused or procured its abandonment.
    (b) Any inspector  of  the Department of Motor
Vehicles, any officer  attached  to  an  organized
police department or any state police officer upon
discovery of any  motor  vehicle, whether situated
within or without any highway of this state, which
is a menace to traffic or public health or safety,
shall take such motor vehicle into his custody and
cause the same  to  be  taken  to  and stored in a
suitable place.
    (c) Any inspector  of  the Department of Motor
Vehicles, any officer  attached  to  an  organized
police department or  any  state  police  officer,
upon discovery of  any  motor  vehicle  apparently
abandoned  or  a   motor  vehicle  without  proper
registration, whether situated  within  or without
any highway of  this  state,  shall  affix to such
motor vehicle a  notification  sticker in a manner
so as to  be  readily  visible.  This notification
sticker shall contain  the  following information:
(1) The date and time the notification sticker was
affixed to the motor vehicle; (2) a statement that
pursuant to this  section, if the motor vehicle is
not removed within  twenty-four  hours of the time
the sticker was  affixed,  it  shall be taken into
custody and stored at the owner's expense; (3) the
location  and telephone  number  where  additional
information may be  obtained  and (4) the identity
of the affixing  officer.  If the motor vehicle is
not removed within  such  twenty-four-hour period,
the  affixing department  shall  take  such  motor
vehicle into its  custody and cause the same to be
stored  in a  suitable  place,  except  that  such
department  shall make  a  reasonable  attempt  to
notify the owner  of  any such motor vehicle which
is determined to  be  stolen  prior to taking such
vehicle into its  custody  and  shall  allow  such
owner to make  arrangements  for  removal  of such
vehicle.
    (d) If the  motor  vehicle has no registration
marker  plates  or   invalid  registration  marker
plates, and if  such  inspector or officer makes a
determination in good  faith  that  (1)  the motor
vehicle is apparently  abandoned,  (2)  the market
value  of  such   motor  vehicle  in  its  current
condition is one  hundred dollars or less, and (3)
the motor vehicle is so vandalized, damaged, or in
disrepair as to  be  unusable  as a motor vehicle,
title to such  motor  vehicle  shall,  upon taking
custody of such motor vehicle, immediately vest in
the municipality in  which  the  motor vehicle was
discovered. Within forty-eight  hours  of the time
that such motor vehicle is taken into custody, the
affixing department shall  notify the Commissioner
of Motor Vehicles,  in  writing,  of  the  vehicle
identification number and  a  description  of  the
motor vehicle. Upon  sale  or other disposition of
the motor vehicle,  the  affixing department shall
give  written notice  by  certified  mail  to  the
person who was  the owner of such motor vehicle at
the time of  abandonment,  if  known, which notice
shall state that  the  motor vehicle has been sold
or otherwise disposed of. The proceeds of the sale
or disposition, or  the  fair  market value of the
motor vehicle in  its current condition, whichever
is greater, less  the  towing and sale or disposal
expenses and the amount of any fines due, shall be
paid to such  person  or  his  representatives, if
claimed by him  or  them  within one year from the
date of sale.  If  such  balance  is  not  claimed
within  such  period,  it  shall  escheat  to  the
municipality.  If the  expenses  incurred  by  the
municipality   for  towing   and   the   sale   or
disposition of such  motor  vehicle  and  any such
fines  exceed  the   proceeds   of  such  sale  or
disposition, such person  shall  be liable to such
municipality for such excess amount.
    (e) Within forty-eight  hours of the time that
a motor vehicle  is  taken into custody and stored
pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of this section,
the affixing department  shall give written notice
by certified mail  to  the  owner  of  such  motor
vehicle, if known,  which  notice  shall state (1)
that the motor vehicle has been taken into custody
and stored, (2)  the  location  of  storage of the
motor vehicle, (3)  that, unless title has already
vested in the  municipality pursuant to subsection
(d), such motor  vehicle may be sold after fifteen
days if the  market  value  of  such motor vehicle
does not exceed  five  hundred  dollars  or  after
[ninety] FORTY-FIVE days  if  the  value  of  such
motor vehicle exceeds  five  hundred  dollars, and
(4) that the  owner  has  a  right  to contest the
validity of such  taking by application, on a form
prescribed by the  Commissioner of Motor Vehicles,
to the hearing officer named in such notice within
ten  days from  the  date  of  such  notice.  Such
application forms shall  be made readily available
to the public  at all offices of the Department of
Motor Vehicles and  at  all state and local police
departments.
    (f) (1) The  chief  executive  officer of each
town shall appoint  a  suitable  person, who shall
not be a  member  of  any  state  or  local police
department,  to  be  a  hearing  officer  to  hear
applications  to  determine  whether  or  not  the
towing  within such  municipality  of  such  motor
vehicle was authorized  under  the  provisions  of
this  section. Two  or  more  towns  may  join  in
appointing such officer; provided any such hearing
shall be held  at  a  location which is as near to
the town within which such motor vehicle was towed
as is reasonable and practicable. The commissioner
shall establish by  regulation  the qualifications
necessary for hearing  officers and procedures for
the holding of  such hearings. If it is determined
at such hearing  that the vehicle was not a menace
to traffic, abandoned or unregistered, as the case
may be, the  owner of such motor vehicle shall not
be liable for any expenses incurred as a result of
the taking and  storage of such motor vehicle, the
lien provisions of this section shall not apply to
such owner, and  the  department  which  took  and
stored such motor vehicle shall be liable for such
expenses.   If   the    owner,   prior   to   such
determination, pays such  expenses and the storage
charges  of  such   motor   vehicle,   and  it  is
determined at such  hearing that the motor vehicle
was  not  a   menace   to  traffic,  abandoned  or
unregistered, as the  case  may be, the department
which took such  motor  vehicle shall be liable to
such owner for  the amount paid by such owner. Any
person aggrieved by  the  decision of such hearing
officer may, within  fifteen days of the notice of
such decision, appeal  to  the  superior court for
the judicial district  wherein  such  hearing  was
held.
    (2)  The  chief   executive  officer  of  each
municipality shall designate a suitable person who
shall be responsible  for  the  collection of data
concerning abandoned motor  vehicles  within  such
municipality and the preparation and submission of
periodic  reports to  the  Commissioner  of  Motor
Vehicles which shall  contain  such information as
the commissioner may require.
    (g) The owner or keeper of any garage or other
place where such  motor  vehicle  is  stored shall
have a lien upon the same for his storage charges.
Unless   title   has   already   vested   in   the
municipality pursuant to  subsection  (d),  if the
current market value  of  such  motor  vehicle  as
determined in good  faith  by such owner or keeper
does not exceed  five  hundred  dollars  and  such
motor vehicle has  been stored for a period of not
less than fifteen  days, such owner or keeper may,
unless an application  filed by the owner pursuant
to subsection (d)  of  this section is pending and
the owner of  such motor vehicle has notified such
owner or keeper  that such application for hearing
has been filed,  sell  the  same  for  storage and
towing charges owed  thereon, provided a notice of
intent to sell  shall  be sent to the commissioner
and the owner  of  such  motor  vehicle, if known,
five days before  the sale of such vehicle. If the
current market value  of  such  motor  vehicle  as
determined in good  faith  by such owner or keeper
exceeds five hundred  dollars  and  if  such motor
vehicle  has  been  so  stored  for  a  period  of
[ninety] FORTY-FIVE days,  such  owner  or  keeper
shall, unless an  application  filed  by the owner
pursuant to subsection  (d)  of  this  section  is
pending and the  owner  of  such motor vehicle has
notified   such  owner   or   keeper   that   such
application for hearing  has  been filed, sell the
same at public  auction  for cash, at his place of
business, and apply the avails of such sale toward
the payment of  his charges and the payment of any
debt or obligation  incurred  by  the  officer who
placed the same  in  storage,  provided  such sale
shall be advertised  in  a  newspaper published or
having a circulation in the town where such garage
or other place  is located three times, commencing
at least five  days  before such sale; and, if the
last place of  abode  of  the  owner of such motor
vehicle is known  to or may be ascertained by such
garage  owner  or   keeper   by  the  exercise  of
reasonable diligence, notice of the time and place
of sale shall  be given him by mailing such notice
to  him  in  a  registered  or  certified  letter,
postage paid, at  such  last usual place of abode,
at least five days before the time of sale.
    (h) The garage  owner  or  keeper shall report
the  sales  price,   storing,  towing  and  repair
charges,  if  any;   buyer's   name  and  address;
identification  of  the  vehicle  and  such  other
information  as may  be  required  in  regulations
which shall be  adopted  by  the  commissioner  in
accordance with the  provisions  of chapter 54, to
the commissioner within  fifteen  days  after  the
sale of the  motor  vehicle.  The proceeds of such
sale, after deducting  the  amount due such garage
owner or keeper  and  all  expenses connected with
such sale, including  the  expenses of the officer
who placed such motor vehicle in storage, shall be
paid to the  owner  of  such  motor vehicle or his
legal representatives, if  claimed  by him or them
at any time  within one year from the date of such
sale. If such  balance  is not claimed within said
period, it shall escheat to the state.
    (i) If the  owner of such motor vehicle placed
in storage in  accordance  with  the provisions of
this section does  not  claim  such  motor vehicle
within thirty days,  the  owner  of such garage or
other place of storage shall, within forty days of
the date such  motor vehicle was placed in storage
with  him,  send   a   written   notice   to   the
commissioner, stating the  make, engine number and
chassis number of  such  motor  vehicle,  the date
such motor vehicle  was  left with him for storage
and by whom and the registration number thereof if
any number plates are on such motor vehicle, which
notice shall be placed on file by the commissioner
and shall be subject to public inspection. The fee
for filing such  notice shall be five dollars. Any
sale under the provisions of this section shall be
void, unless the  notice  required by this section
has been given to the commissioner.
    (j) The Commissioner  of  Motor Vehicles shall
adopt   regulations   in   accordance   with   the
provisions  of  chapter   54  (1)  specifying  the
circumstances  under  which  title  to  any  motor
vehicle abandoned within the limits of any highway
may  be  transferred   to   any  person,  firm  or
corporation   towing   such   vehicle,   and   (2)
establishing the procedure  whereby  such  person,
firm or corporation may obtain title to such motor
vehicle.
    Sec.  5.  (NEW)   (a)  (1)  Not  earlier  than
forty-five days and  not  later  than  ninety days
after the seizure  of  a motor vehicle pursuant to
section 14-12h of the general statutes, as amended
by section 2  of  this  act,  in connection with a
lawful stop or a lawful seizure, the Chief State's
Attorney  or  a  deputy  chief  state's  attorney,
state's attorney or  assistant or deputy assistant
state's attorney may  petition  the  court  in the
nature of a  proceeding in rem to order forfeiture
of such motor  vehicle.  Such  proceeding shall be
deemed a civil  suit in equity, in which the state
shall have the  burden  of  proving  all  material
facts by clear  and convincing evidence. The court
shall identify the owner of such motor vehicle and
any other person  who  appears to have an interest
therein, and order  the  state  to  give notice to
such owner and  interested  person by certified or
registered mail, and  shall promptly, but not less
than two weeks after notice, hold a hearing on the
petition.  No  testimony   offered   or   evidence
produced by such  owner  or  interested  person at
such  hearing and  no  evidence  discovered  as  a
result of or otherwise derived from such testimony
or evidence, may  be  used  against  such owner or
interested person in  any  proceeding, except that
no such owner or interested person shall be immune
from prosecution for perjury or contempt committed
while  giving such  testimony  or  producing  such
evidence. At such  hearing  the  court  shall hear
evidence  and make  findings  of  fact  and  enter
conclusions of law  and shall issue a final order,
from which the  parties  shall  have such right of
appeal as from a decree in equity.
    (2) At any  time  prior  to the filing of such
petition, the registered  or legal owner of record
at the time  of  impoundment may request a hearing
to determine the validity of the impoundment. Such
hearing shall follow  the  procedures set forth in
subdivision (1) of this subsection.
    (b) No motor  vehicle shall be forfeited under
this section to  the  extent of the interest of an
owner  or lienholder  by  reason  of  any  act  or
omission committed by another person if such owner
or lienholder did  not  know  and  could  not have
reasonably  known  that  such  motor  vehicle  was
uninsured and subject to forfeiture.
    (c)  Any  motor   vehicle   ordered  forfeited
pursuant to subsection  (a)  of this section shall
be  sold  at   public  auction  conducted  by  the
Commissioner  of Administrative  Services  or  his
designee.
    (d) The proceeds  from  any  sale  of  a motor
vehicle under subsection (c) of this section shall
be distributed in  accordance  with  the following
priorities: (1) To  payment  of any costs incurred
for the storage, towing, maintenance, security and
forfeiture of such  motor  vehicle; (2) to payment
of the balance  e due on any lien preserved by the
court in the  forfeiture m proceedings; and (3) to
payment of court  costs.  The  balance,  if , any,
shall be deposited  in the uninsured motor vehicle
forfeiture r revolving  account  established under
section 6 of this act.
    Sec. 6. (NEW)  (a)  There  is  established and
created an account of the General Fund to be known
as  the  "uninsured   motor   vehicle   forfeiture
revolving account" for  the  purpose  of providing
funds for identifying uninsured motor vehicles and
causing the owners  of such vehicles to obtain the
required  insurance or  to  cease  operating  such
uninsured motor vehicles.
    (b) The account  shall consist of the proceeds
from  the sale  of  motor  vehicles  received  and
deposited pursuant to section 5 of this act.
    (c)   Moneys  in   such   account   shall   be
distributed as follows:  (1)  Fifty per cent shall
be   allocated   to   the   Automobile   Insurance
Enforcement Fund established  pursuant  to section
14-12i of the general statutes, (2) forty per cent
shall be allocated  to  the  Commissioner of Motor
Vehicles  who  shall  pay,  subject  to  available
funds, for confiscations  which  occur on or after
the effective date  of  this  act, in order of the
date  of  confiscation,   any   confiscation   fee
pursuant  to  section   14-12h   of   the  general
statutes, as amended  by  section  2  of this act,
which  remains  unpaid  after  forfeiture  to  the
sheriff,   deputy   sheriff   or   constable   who
confiscated the number  plates  or,  if the plates
were  confiscated  by   a   police  officer,  such
confiscation  fee  shall   be   remitted   to  the
governmental entity which employed such officer at
the time of the confiscation, and (3) ten per cent
shall be allocated  to  the  Department  of Public
Safety and local  police  departments  pursuant to
section 14-12h of the general statutes, as amended
by section 2  of this act, which shall be used for
enforcement of said section 14-12h.
    (d) Expenditures from the account allocated to
the Department of  Public  Safety and local police
departments  shall  be   authorized   by  a  panel
composed of: (1) The Commissioner of Public Safety
or his designee;  (2)  the  Commissioner  of Motor
Vehicles or his designee; and (3) the president of
the Connecticut Police  Chiefs  Association or his
designee. The panel shall adopt procedures for the
orderly authorization of  expenditures, subject to
the approval of the Comptroller. Such expenditures
may be authorized only to the Department of Public
Safety and to  organized  local police departments
within this state. Such expenditures shall be held
by the Department of Public Safety and the various
organized local police  departments in accounts or
funds established for  that  purpose.  In no event
shall the expenditures  be  placed  in  a state or
town  general fund  and  in  no  event  shall  the
expenditures be used for purposes other than those
provided in subdivision  (3)  of subsection (c) of
this section. The panel shall ensure the equitable
allocation of expenditures  to  the  Department of
Public Safety or any local police department which
participated directly in any of the acts which led
to the seizure  or forfeiture of the motor vehicle
so as to  reflect  generally  the  contribution of
said department or such local police department in
such acts. The  panel shall authorize expenditures
from the account  for  the  reimbursement  of  any
organized local police  department  which has used
its own funds  in  the  detection,  investigation,
apprehension and seizure  of  the  uninsured motor
vehicle and which  makes  application to the panel
for reimbursement.
    (e) Moneys remaining  in  the  uninsured motor
vehicle forfeiture revolving account at the end of
a fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund
but shall remain  in  the  revolving account to be
used for the purposes set forth in this section.
    Sec. 7. Subsection  (c)  of  section 14-12i of
the general statutes,  as  amended by section 2 of
public act 97-236,  is  repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (c) All restoration  fees  imposed  due to the
cancellation of the  registration for violation of
the mandatory security  requirements  of  sections
14-12c  and  38a-371  or  suspension  of  a  motor
vehicle operator's license  pursuant to subsection
[(b)] (c) of  section  14-12g,  AS AMENDED BY THIS
ACT, or section  14-213b,  AS  AMENDED,  shall  be
deposited    into   the    Automobile    Insurance
Enforcement   Fund   established    pursuant    to
subsection (a) of this section.

Approved June 8, 1998