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NO. 55. AN ACT RELATING TO SNOWMOBILE, MOTORBOAT AND ATV REGISTRATIONS; NONDRIVER IDENTIFICATION CARDS; HAZARD WARNING LIGHTS; AND NOTICE OF HEARINGS.

(H.34)

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 persons violating 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. 201 is amended to read:

201. APPLICATIONS TO BE UNDER OATH

All applications for registration of motor vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, motorboats, or vessel validation for certificate of title, for operators' and junior operators' licenses, for learners' permits, for nondriver identification cards, for registration of dealers, for zone and nonresident registration and all proofs which the commissioner may require relative to the cancellation of the registration of any motor vehicle, all-terrain vehicle, snowmobile, or motorboat and all requests for personal information shall be under oath or such applications and proofs shall contain and be verified by written declarations that the same are made subject to the penalties prescribed in section 202 of this title, and each question and answer and each statement made in any application, or in any proof required, shall be deemed material. When an applicant for registration, license or cancellation is a corporation or partnership, the individual signing the application shall be considered the person making oath thereto or the person subject to the penalties of section 202.

Sec. 6. 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 a first-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]* canceled in any jurisdiction.

Sec. 7. 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]* serving a sentence of incarceration to include furlough. 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 person appreciates that he or she cannot drink any amount 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 operateshall 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. 8. 23 V.S.A. 3010 is amended to read:

3010. TEMPORARY AUTHORIZATION

*[Whenever the commissioner is satisfied that unforeseen or uncertain circumstances have arisen which require a user to operate in this state a motor truck for which no identification marker has been obtained, and if the commissioner is satisfied that prohibition of such operation would cause undue hardship, he may provide the user with temporary authorization for the operation of such motor truck pending payment of the license fee as required by section 3007(b) of this title. The fee for the temporary authorization for motor trucks with a gross weight of 18,000 pounds or over shall be $50.00, and shall also constitute payment of the license fee required under section 3007(b). Temporary authorizations shall be kept with the vehicle while being operated and shall authorize its operation without the attachment of a tag, plate or sticker for a period not to exceed 21 days from the date of issue of the license.]*

Any vehicle registered in a jurisdiction other than Vermont that is eligible for motor fuel tax licensing under the International Fuel Tax Agreement Plan that is not licensed in Vermont for fuel tax reporting purposes may obtain a trip permit prior to entering this state. The fee for the permit shall be $15.00. The permit shall be valid for a period of 72 hours and shall satisfy motor fuel tax reporting and payment obligations that may arise from the trip. Trip permits shall be kept with the vehicle while being operated.

Sec. 9. 23 V.S.A. 4115(a) is amended to read:

(a) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a person may drive a commercial motor vehicle in this state if the person has a valid commercial driver license issued by any state of the United States or province or territory of Canada in accordance with the minimum federal standards for the issuance of commercial motor vehicle driver licenses, or commercial driver licenses issued by states in the Republic of Mexico, if the person's license is not suspended, revoked or *[cancelled]* canceled and if the person is not disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle or subject to an out-of-service order.

Sec. 10. 32 V.S.A. 8911(12) is amended to read:

The tax imposed by this chapter shall not apply to:

* * *

(12) one motor vehicle owned or leased and operated by a permanently physically handicapped person for whom the vehicle's controls have been altered to enable the person to drive, or owned by a permanently handicapped person or by a parent or guardian of a permanently handicapped person for whom a mechanical lifting device has been installed to allow for entry and exit of the vehicle, provided that the handicapped person has been certified exempt from the tax by the commissioner of motor vehicles under the provisions of section 8901 of this title;

Sec. 11. REPEAL

The following provisions of Title 23 are repealed:

(1) 1121(a) (coasting in a motor vehicle); and

(2) 2504 (warning letter of point assessment record).

Sec. 11a. 23 V.S.A. 3507(g) is added to read:

(g) Notwithstanding any other provision of law or rule to the contrary, the commissioner may authorize the temporary operation of all-terrain vehicles not registered in this state on Route 253 in Beecher Falls for an annual special event, provided the all-terrain vehicle is registered in another state or province.

Sec. 12. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect from passage. The provisions of Sec.11a shall sunset on July 1, 1999.

Approved: June 26, 1997