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Introduced by   Committee on Transportation


Subject:  Motor vehicles; dealers; special plates; nonresident operators; license; motorcycle learner permits; inspection mechanics; inspection stickers; point accumulations; gasoline tax bonds; purchase and use tax

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to:

(1)  Require motor vehicle dealers to be open for business at least 146 days per year.

(2)  Permit special registration plates to be issued for vehicles leased by persons with disabilities and allow certified physician’s assistants and licensed advanced practice registered nurses in addition to physicians to complete applications for plates or special parking placards.

(3)  Prohibit nonresidents from being issued Vermont operators’ licenses.

(4)  Establish a fee for a motorcycle learner permit.

(5)  Establish a term of validity for inspection mechanic certificates.

(6)  Increase the fee for motor vehicle inspection stickers from 50 cents to $1.00.

(7)  Eliminate the requirement to send letters warning persons that they have accumulated one-half the number of points required for a suspension.

(8)  Provide that motor vehicle points shall not be assessed until the conclusion of an appeal.

(9)  Change the time when gasoline tax bond amounts are reviewed from November to September.

(10)  Allow registration in another jurisdiction to be considered in establishing purchase and use tax credit.


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

* * * Motor Vehicle Dealers – Open for Business * * *

Sec. 1.  23 V.S.A. § 4(8) is amended to read:

(8)  “Dealer” shall mean a person, partnership, or corporation who is engaged in the business of buying, selling, or exchanging new or used motor vehicles, as well as other types of motor vehicle dealers, except finance and auction dealer and transporter:

(A)  who may, as part of or incidental to such business, repair such vehicles, sell parts and accessories or lease or rent motor vehicles and who:

* * *

(v)  Is open for business at least 104 146 days during the calendar year.  When the application for registration as a new car dealer or used car dealer is made, the applicant shall provide the commissioner with the hours of operation of the business which the person shall maintain during the registration period;

* * *

* * * Special Plates for Persons with Disabilities * * *

Sec. 2.  23 V.S.A. § 304a(b) and (f) are amended to read:

(b)  Special registration plates or removable windshield placards or both shall be issued by the Vermont commissioner of motor vehicles.  The placard shall be issued without a fee to a person who is blind or has an ambulatory disability.  One set of plates shall be issued without additional fees for a vehicle registered or leased to a person who is blind or has an ambulatory disability.  The commissioner shall issue these placards or plates under rules adopted by him or her after proper application has been made to the commissioner by any person residing within the state of Vermont.  Application forms shall be available on request at the department of motor vehicles.

(1)  Upon application for a special registration plate or removable windshield placard, the commissioner shall send a form prescribed by him or her to the applicant to be signed and returned by a licensed physician, certified physician’s assistant, or licensed advanced practice registered nurse.  The commissioner shall file the form for future reference and issue the placard or plate.  A new application shall be submitted every four years in the case of placards and at every third registration renewal for plates but in no case greater than every four years.  When a licensed physician, certified physician’s assistant, or licensed advanced practice registered nurse has previously certified to the commissioner that an applicant’s condition is both permanent and stable, a special registration plate or placard may be renewed by the applicant without submission of a form signed by a licensed physician, certified physician’s assistant, or licensed advanced practice registered nurse.

* * *

(5)  If the authenticity of the medical need for the special registration is challenged with reasons in writing, the commissioner may have physicians with the Vermont department of health review the medical facts, with the knowledge of the person with a disability and the licensed medical doctor physician, certified physician’s assistant, or licensed advanced practice registered nurse who filled in the medical form for the special registration, in order to determine eligibility and so notify all concerned of the facts and the recommendations.

* * *

(f)  Persons who are temporarily disabled with an ambulatory disability may apply for a temporary removable windshield placard to the commissioner on a form prescribed by him or her.  The placard shall be valid for a period of up to six months and displayed as required under the provisions of 23 V.S.A. § 304a(c) subsection (c) of this section.  The application shall be signed by a licensed physician, certified physician’s assistant, or licensed advanced practice registered nurse.  The validation period of the temporary placard shall be established on the basis of the written recommendation from a licensed physician, certified physician’s assistant, or licensed advanced practice registered nurse.  The commissioner shall promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this subsection.

* * * Nonresidents Not Issued a Vermont Operator’s License * * *

Sec. 3.  23 V.S.A. § 601(a) is amended to read:

(a)  A resident who intends to operate motor vehicles shall procure a proper license.  Nonresidents may procure operators’ Operators’ licenses as provided in this title for the licensing of shall not be issued to nonresidents.  All operator licenses issued under this chapter shall expire every four years at midnight on the eve of the anniversary of the date of birth of the applicant at the end of the term for which they were issued.  All junior operator licenses shall expire at midnight on the eve of the anniversary of the date of birth of the applicant at the end of the term for which they were issued.  A person born on February 29 shall, for the purposes of this section, be considered as born on March 1.

* * * Fee for Motorcycle Learner Permit * * *

Sec. 4.  23 V.S.A. § 617(a) and (d) are amended to read:

(a)  Any person Vermont resident 15 years of age or over, but under 18 years of age, who has no convictions under sections 601, 674, 676, 1091, 1094, 1128, 1133, or 1201 of this title, suspensions under section 1205 of this title, or civil traffic violations under section 1216 of this title in the previous two years, or any person Vermont resident 18 years of age or over, may apply to the commissioner of motor vehicles for a learner’s permit in the form prescribed by the commissioner.  A nonresident may be issued a learner permit if the permit is required for purposes of participation in a driver education and training course.  After the applicant has successfully passed all parts of the driver license examination other than the driving test, the commissioner may issue to the applicant a learner’s permit which entitles the applicant, subject to section 615 of this title, to operate a motor vehicle upon the public highways for a period of two years from the date of issuance.  Any learner’s permit may be renewed.  This section shall not affect section 602 of this title.

(d)  An applicant shall pay $10.00 to the commissioner for each learner’s permit that is not a motorcycle learner’s permit or a duplicate or renewal thereof.

* * * Inspection Mechanic Certificates; Fee for Inspection Stickers * * *

Sec. 5.  23 V.S.A. § 1227(c) is amended to read:

(c)  Applicants for certification under this section shall be examined on the inspection requirements for each type of vehicle to be inspected.  Upon satisfactory completion of the examination, the commissioner shall issue a certification which shall remain in effect for a period of two years or until surrendered, suspended, or revoked.  Inspection mechanics certified by their employer as competent to perform inspections and who were continuously employed by one or more designated inspection stations for a period of at least one year at any time prior to July 1, 1998 shall not be required to take the examination.

Sec. 6.  23 V.S.A. § 1230 is amended to read:

§ 1230.  FEES

For each inspection certificate issued by the department of motor vehicles, the commissioner shall be paid $0.50 $1.00; provided that state and municipal inspection stations that inspect only state or municipally owned and registered vehicles shall not be required to pay a fee.

* * * Motor Vehicle Points * * *

Sec. 7.  23 V.S.A. § 2501 is amended to read:


For the purpose of identifying habitually reckless or negligent drivers and frequent violators of traffic regulations governing the movement of vehicles a uniform system is established assigning demerit points for convictions of violations of this title, or of ordinances adopted by local authorities regulating the operation of motor vehicles.  Notice of each assessment of points may be given, but notice is required when the point accumulation reaches 50 percent of the number at which suspension is authorized.  No points shall be assessed for violating a provision of a statute or municipal ordinance regulating standing, parking, equipment, size, or weight.  The conviction report from the court shall be prima facie evidence of the points assessed.  The department is also authorized to suspend the license of a driver when his the driver’s driving record identifies him the driver as an habitual offender under section 673a of this title.

Sec. 8.  4 V.S.A. § 1107(a) is amended to read:

(a)  A decision of the hearing officer may be appealed to the district court. The proceeding before the district court shall be on the record, or at the option of the defendant, de novo.  The defendant shall have the right to trial by jury. An appeal shall stay payment of a penalty but not and the imposition of points.

* * * Gasoline Tax Bonds – When Reviewed * * *

Sec. 9.  23 V.S.A. § 3102(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The amount of the surety bonds required shall be reviewed annually in November September.  The minimum amount required shall be the sum of the highest two months’ payment during the preceding year or $1,000.00, whichever is greater, but in no case shall it exceed $400,000.00.  For new licenses, the bond amount shall be based on an estimate of the tax liability for a two-month period.

* * * Calculating Purchase and Use Tax; Registration Out‑of‑State * * *

Sec. 10.  32 V.S.A. § 8911(22) is added to read:

(22)  motor vehicles that have been registered to the applicant for a period of at least three years in a jurisdiction that imposes a state sales or use tax on motor vehicles.  An applicant for exemption under this subdivision shall bear the burden of establishing to the satisfaction of the commissioner that the vehicle was registered in a qualifying jurisdiction for the requisite period.  

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont