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H.34

Introduced by Representative Pembroke of Bennington

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject: Motor vehicles; motorboat registrations; town clerks; nondriver identification cards; public records

Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to:

(1) allow town clerks to renew snowmobile and motorboat registrations;

(2) add the issuance of nondriver identification cards to the statutory list of duties of the commissioner of motor vehicles;

(3) require a motor vehicle records inquiry prior to issuing a license or permit to a first-time applicant;

(4) eliminate the requirement to send scheduling notices of hearings by registered or certified mail; and

(5) eliminate the requirement to send points warning letters.

AN ACT RELATING TO SNOWMOBILE, MOTORBOAT AND ATV REGISTRATIONS; NONDRIVER IDENTIFICATION CARDS; HAZARD WARNING LIGHTS; AND NOTICE OF HEARINGS

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 23 V.S.A. § 4(21) is amended to read:

(21) "Motor vehicle" shall include all vehicles propelled or drawn by power other than muscular power, except tractors used entirely for work on the farm, vehicles running only upon stationary rails or tracks, motorized highway building equipment, road making appliances, *[or]* snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles or implements of husbandry;

Sec. 2. 23 V.S.A. § 6 is amended to read:

§ 6. VEHICLE REGISTRATION RENEWAL BY MUNICIPAL CLERKS

By written agreement, the commissioner may authorize any municipal clerk to renew vehicle, snowmobile or motorboat registrations upon receipt of a completed application and the required fees which shall be forwarded to the commissioner immediately. A clerk may assess, collect and retain an additional $2.00 administration fee for each renewal issued.

Sec. 3. 23 V.S.A. § 102 is amended to read:

§ 102. DUTIES OF COMMISSIONER

(a) The commissioner shall:

(1) Register motor vehicles and dealers;

(2) License operators;

(3) File reports received concerning accidents involving motor vehicles;

(4) Prepare full statistics from and preserve, properly filed and indexed, such registrations, operator licenses, and accident reports for three years after their dates;

(5) File and record reports received of convictions and adjudications of personsviolating motor vehicle laws;

(6) Keep a record of the suspension and revocation of licenses and registrations;

(7) Prepare full statistics from and preserve, properly filed and indexed, such records of convictions, suspensions, and revocations for at least six years after their dates; *[and]*

(8) Issue certificates of title for motor vehicles;

(9) Issue nondriver identification cards.

(b) The records enumerated in subsection (a) shall be deemed official records.

(c) The original records enumerated in subsection (a) of this section shall be maintained for two years and may thereafter be maintained on microfilm or by electronic imaging.

Sec. 4. 23 V.S.A. § 107 is amended to read:

§ 107. NOTICE OF HEARINGS

Notice of a hearing held by the commissioner or the hearing officer under the provisions of sections 105 and 106 of this title, shall state the place, day and hour thereof, and warn the petitioner that he or she may then appear through himself, herself or counsel. Service of such notice shall be sufficient if sent by *[registered]* first class mail to the address given by the petitioner at least five days before the day set for the hearing*[, provided a return receipt has been received]*.

Sec. 5. 23 V.S.A. § 603(b) and (c) are amended to read:

(b) Before issuing an operator license, junior operator license or learner permit to afirst-time applicant, the commissioner shall obtain driving record information through the National Driver Register and from each state in which the person has been licensed or has been issued a learner permit.

(c) An operator license, junior operator license or learner permit shall not be issued to a *[person]* first-time applicant whose license or learner permit is suspended, revoked or cancelled in any jurisdiction.

Sec. 6. 23 V.S.A. § 1209a(b) is amended to read:

(b) Abstinence. Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, a person whose license has been suspended for three years or more under this subchapter may apply to the driver rehabilitation school director and to the commissioner for reinstatement of his or her driving privilege. In the case of a suspension for three years, the person shall have completed two years of total abstinence from consumption of alcohol or drugs or both. In the case of a suspension for life, the person shall have completed three years of total abstinence from consumption of alcohol or drugs or both. In both cases, the beginning date for the period of abstinence shall be no sooner than the effective date of the suspension from which the person is requesting reinstatement and shall not include any period during which the person is incarcerated within the walls of a correctional facility or serving house arrest. If the commissioner, or a medical review board convened by the commissioner, is satisfied by a preponderance of the evidence that the applicant has abstained for the required number of years immediately preceding the application and has successfully completed a therapy program as required under this section and the personappreciates that he or she cannot drink any mount of alcohol and drive safely, the person's license shall be reinstated immediately upon such conditions as the commissioner may impose. If after notice and hearing the commissioner later finds that the person was operating, attempting to operate or in actual physical control of a vehicle while there was any amount of alcohol in the blood following reinstatement under this subsection, the person's operating license or privilege to operate shall be immediately suspended for the period of the original suspension. A person shall be eligible for reinstatement under this section only once following a suspension for life.

Sec. 7. 23 V.S.A. § 3023(a) is amended to read:

(a) Any aggrieved licensed user or taxpayer may have any decision, order or finding of the commissioner made under this chapter reviewed under Rule *[75]* 74 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure. Such review shall be to the Washington superior court or, in the discretion of the appellant, to the superior court in the county where the licensed person has his or her principal place of business or residence. *[The hearing on the review shall be de novo.]*

Sec. 8. 23 V.S.A. § 3115(a) is amended to read:

(a) Any aggrieved person may have any decision, or order or finding of the commissioner made under this chapter reviewed under Rule *[75]* 74 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure. The review shall be to the Washington superior court or, in the discretion of the applicant, to the superior court in the county where the person has his or her principal place of business or residence. *[The hearing on the review shall be de novo.]*

Sec. 9. REPEAL

(a) 23 V.S.A. § 2504 (warning letter of point assessment record) is repealed.

(b) 24 V.S.A. § 2261 (junkyard license application) is repealed.

(c) 24 V.S.A. § 2262 (junkyard license eligibility) is repealed.

(d) 24 V.S.A. § 2263 (junkyard license fee) is repealed.