Veterans' Affairs Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-303

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING MOTORCYCLE ENDORSEMENTS FOR MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES.

Vote Date:

3/7/2013

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Change of Reference to Transportation

PH Date:

2/19/2013

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Veterans' Affairs Committee

Sen. Kane, 32nd Dist.

REASONS FOR BILL:

Enables the DMV Commissioner to waive the requirements for completion of an instate novice motorcycle safety course if the applicant is: on active duty with the armed forces, stationed outside of the state, and has completed a novice motorcycle safety course utilizing the curriculum of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation not more than two years prior to the date of the application. The bill also enables the waiver of a vision test if the applicant can provide documentation of a vision test administered by the United States Armed forces no later than two years prior to the date of application.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Sen. Robert J. Kane, 32nd Dist.:

Sen. Kane testified that this bill would be much easier for active members of the military to receive a motorcycle endorsement by simply allowing the DMV to accept the equivalent qualifications that members of the armed services can receive from the United States Department of Defense.

Melody Curry, Commissioner Department of Motor Vehicles:

The department wanted to note that it has proposed a similar provision in its own Department sponsored legislation for the 2013 General Assembly Session. The proposal would waive the exam for applicants seeking a motorcycle endorsement who are active members of the military stationed out of state or out of the country provided that they have successfully completed an approved Motorcycle Safety Foundation course.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Christopher J. Curtin:

He is an active duty United States Marine who believes that this bill is an easier path to receive a motorcycle endorsement. He states that under current law, a member of the armed forces has to pay for a course that is given by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. The course is given by the same organization on most military installations as well as in the state that the service member is stationed in. Often it is difficult for a military member to return to Connecticut, once deployed out of state. Not only is the timing bad, but the extra cost that is incurred is a hardship as well.

Sandra Clark, Chairman, Connecticut Motorcycle Riders Association:

The present legislation is a hardship to our Armed Forces trying to obtain their motorcycle endorsements. She states soldiers have limited time on leave and also have a limited budget. The Basic Rider Course, which is required for the motorcycle endorsement, takes a total of 5 days from start to finish in addition to a fee that is charged. The same course is offered free on a military base. It is a more stringent course and is approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Eye exams are also a requirement for this endorsement as well. An eye exam is part of any enlisted personnel's initial physical to enter the armed forces.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

NONE

Reported by: Carolyn Gaetano

Date: March 14, 2013