Transportation Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5290

Title:

AN ACT REVISING MOTOR VEHICLE LAWS.

Vote Date:

3/14/2014

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

2/28/2014

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Transportation Committee.

REASONS FOR BILL:

To propose changes regarding the administration of motor vehicle laws and make technical changes to existing laws.

**SUBSTITUTE**: In section 19, sub-section b, “[subsection (e)] was changed to “subsection (e).” Section 23 was re-lettered and re-numbered and these were conforming changes throughout.

Section 28 was added with the following language (underlined is new language): Sec. 28. Subsection (b) of section 14-44 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2014): (b) No operator's license bearing an endorsement shall be issued or renewed in accordance with the provisions of this section or section 14-803 36a, until the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, or the commissioner's authorized representative, is satisfied that the applicant is a proper person to receive such an operator's license bearing an endorsement, holds a valid motor vehicle operator's license, or, if necessary for the class of vehicle operated, a commercial driver's license and is at least eighteen years of age. Each applicant for an operator's license bearing an endorsement or the renewal of such a license shall furnish the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, or the commissioner's authorized representative, with satisfactory evidence, under oath, to prove that such person has no criminal record and has not been convicted of a violation of subsection (a) of section 14-227a within five years of the date of application and that no reason exists for a refusal to grant or renew such an operator's license bearing an endorsement. Each applicant for such an operator's license bearing an endorsement shall submit with the application proof satisfactory to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles that such applicant has passed a physical examination administered not more than ninety days prior to the date of application, and which is in compliance with safety regulations established from time to time by the United States Department of Transportation. Each applicant for renewal of such license shall present evidence that such applicant is in compliance with the medical qualifications established in 49 CFR 391, as amended, provided an applicant for a Class D operator's license bearing an endorsement described in subsection (c) of section 14-36a shall be deemed medically qualified if such applicant controls with medication, as certified by a licensed physician, a medical condition that would otherwise deem such applicant not medically qualified. Each applicant for such an operator's license bearing an endorsement shall be fingerprinted before the license bearing an endorsement is issued.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Commissioner Melody A. Currey, Department Of Motor Vehicles – Asks support for HB 5290 which is the Department's legislation. She gave a breakdown of the bill, section by section, as follow:

Sections 4, 5, 6–Technical (Change reference from public passenger “permit” to “endorsement”.

Sections 23 and 29-39 – Technical (Renumber the evasion of responsibility statute in order to separate it into three sections, one for death, one for physical injury and one for property damage.

Section 1- allows a 10 year old taxi cab to operate on a current registration until it expires

Section 3 - provides the exception for the 90 day waiting period applicable to adult learner permit to people who previously held out-of-state driver licenses.

Section 7 – requires that the arrest of persons who hold a public passenger endorsement (not just school bus endorsement) be reported to the DMV within 48 hours by law enforcement.

Sections 8 & 9 – Makes technical changes to bring Connecticut into compliance with updated federal law for CDL instruction permit holders and DL holders.

Section 10 – Removes the partial year fee for a new DCL that is over four years because of the operator's birthdate.

Section 11 – Deletes obsolete language and allows DMV to expedite a driver's license for a fee of $75.

Section 12 –clarifies who may recover under a dealer bond

Section 13 – allows DMV to deny or renew a dealer and repairer license to anyone who is delinquent in sales tax payment to the state.

Section 14 – requires dealers to produce electronic records on demand by DMV during a dealer's business hours rather than 3 business days.

Section 15 – requires a dealer to have name, address and license number displayed on the customer purchase order and invoice.

Section 16 – deletes obsolete

Section 18 – removes language that requires driving school instructors to attend an additional 45 hour of instructor training within 3 years of being licensed.

Section 19 – Requires law enforcement to check their databases within 48 hours of being notified of a tow to check if vehicle is stolen. If the vehicle is not claimed within 48 hours the tow company must notify the owner and lienholder.

Section 20 - permits a tower to place a lien for services.

Section 21 – requires that an insurance policies issued to a commercial motor vehicle owner be in the amount required under federal law.

Section 22 – gives the Commissioner discretion to issue a title for vehicles over 20 years old.

Section 24 – requires that the lettering for the business name and number located on the back of school bus be in contrasting colors from the vehicle color.

Section 25 – gives DMV the flexibility regarding the number of inspectors needed to carry out the department's functions and eliminates an outdated statue restricting DMV operational procedures and its motor vehicle inspectors.

Section 26 –updates language on artificer's liens applicable to motor vehicles and requires notice be filed with the commissioner immediately if a lien is not dissolved through bond within 30 days.

Section 27 – removes the mandatory requirement that student transportation vehicles must remove/cover portable signs when not transporting school children.

Section 28 - defines which provisions of law will be subject to motor vehicle related fines, penalties or other charges.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Lee Telke, Executive Director Towing & Recovery Professionals of Connecticut—They support the bill, but it will create unnecessary hardships for the small business owner. Therefore, they support it with changes stated below.

Delete sections 14 and 17 because they remove the three days presently allowed to produce records in a written format, which they maintain electronically. The DMV would like the records produced on demand during the licensee's business hours and considering these business owners are working owners, they can't produce records like that on demand. The current three days right now works for them and they've heard no problems from the DMV.

Modify section 19 because under current law the tow company is required to notify police it has custody of a vehicle two hours after a tow and the police place the vehicle on a national informational law enforcement network (NCIC) and the Connecticut system (COLLECT). The responsibility for owner and lienholder notification should fall to the police, not the tow company because the tow company does not have access to the ownership information and therefore compliance with this change would not be possible.

Erl Slayton, President of CATRALA (Car and Truck Rental and Leasing Association of Connecticut)—Supports it, especially the language in section 19b that amends section 14-15. “If such motor vehicle is not claimed within forty-eight hours, the licensee or operator of the wrecker or of the garage where such motor vehicle is stored shall immediately complete a notice of such tow, on a form prescribed by the commissioner, and mail a copy of such form by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner and all lienholders of record.” They have had repeated incidents where towing/storage yards have towed one of their rentals or leased cars and didn't send a notification to them or the owner. When they finally find their vehicle, the tow/storage yard charges extra for the days the car has been there. This section of this bill is a step in the right direction to enabling information to be shared in a timely manner.

Steve Sicklick, President of Boulevard Leasing Corporation—Supports this bill because under current statute, the towing company/vehicle storage yard operator has the information from the vehicle V.I.N. to find out that there is a third party owner who would want to recover the vehicle and can contact him, but doesn't need to. Every month the vehicle sits in tow/storage yard it is costing him hundreds of dollars until he finds the vehicle. This bill would make a tow/storage yard contact him and save him a lot of money.

Gary Bazzano, Vice President of Preston Leasing Corporation—His companies' leased vehicles have been held in storage yards without him or his company knowing and accrued large fees. This legislation would help avoid that situation and is a step in the right direction toward getting non-consensual towing notification laws tightened up.

Lewis Schatten, Owner of Cheap Auto Rental—Supports this bill because his customers don't always tell him when they get in an accident because they may be in the hospital or incarcerated and thus the car gets towed to a storage yard and he doesn't always know where. This vehicle accumulates fees and this legislation will require notification within 48 hours, saving his company thousands of dollars a year in storage charges and allows the company to use all its vehicles for their intended purposes.

Michael Black, President of Jay Harland Corporation—In support of this legislation because it would require the operator of the towing/storage yard to complete a notice and send it by certified mail to the owner and all lien holders of record.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None expressed.

Reported by: Nicholas Neeley

Date: 3/24/14