SB 0019 Extensive revision motor vehicle and driver's license law, including graduated licenses for those 16 to 18 years of age
LR Number:S0634.14T Fiscal Note:0634-14
Last Action:07/13/99 - Signed by Governor (w/EC) Journal page:
Effective Date:Varies
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Current Bill Summary

CCS/HS/SS/SCS/SB 19 - This act makes various changes to the current laws affecting the registration, inspection, emission testing, insuring and towing of motor vehicles.

ELECTRONIC VERIFICATION OF REGISTRATION FORMS - This act allows the Director of Revenue to accept and renew motor vehicle registrations by electronic means. The documents required for registration may be verified by electronic means.

BIENNIAL REGISTRATION - Motor vehicle owners are given the option of registering their vehicles on an annual or biennial basis. The fee for a biennial registration shall include a prorata amount for the additional year. Beginning July 1, 2000, fee agents shall receive $4.00 (currently $2.50) for every motor vehicle license renewed on a biennial basis. Fee agents will also be able to collect $4.00 (up from $2.50) for six year drivers' licenses.

PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES - No license registration shall be issued unless the personal property tax receipt shows that the previous year's taxes and delinquent taxes, if any, have been paid. Assessors must list taxes to be imposed upon omitted taxable personal property in the current year and the prior year. In the event the registration is a renewal of a registration made 2 or 3 years previously, the application must be accompanied by proof that taxes were not due or have been paid for the 2 or 3 years which immediately precede the year in which the vehicle registration is due. If a motor vehicle owner does not pay the personal property tax on his or her motor vehicle within 30 days, the county collector may notify the Director of Revenue to suspend the owner's vehicle registration. The suspension of the motor vehicle registration will remain in effect until the taxes are paid and a $20 reinstatement fee is paid. This act also allows cities to pass ordinances to collect unpaid parking tickets by including the unpaid tickets on the person's personal property tax.

DEALER PLATES - Buyers may operate a motor vehicle with dealer plates for a period of thirty days after purchase. Currently, a purchaser may operate a motor vehicle with dealer plates for fifteen days after purchase.

DISABLED LICENSE PLATES - This act allows optometrists to certify that for purposes of obtaining a disabled license plate or placard a person is disabled. A physician, chiropractor, podiatrist or optometrist certifying an individual for a disabled license plate outside his or her specialty will be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. These provisions are similar to HB 315.

HANDICAPPED PARKING CONES - This act allows handicapped individuals issued a handicapped license plate or placard to obtain parking cones designated with the words "wheelchair parking space".

HOMEMADE TRAILER INSPECTIONS - This act authorizes the Missouri State Highway Patrol to inspect homemade trailers. This portion of the act is similar to Senate Bill 500 and HB 60 (1999).

OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE WITHOUT A VALID LICENSE - A person operating a motor vehicle or motorcycle without a valid license is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. A third or subsequent offense constitutes a Class D felony.

PARENTAL VETO - This act prohibits those persons under age eighteen from receiving drivers' licenses if their parents or legal guardians file a certified document with the Department of Revenue stating that the Director shall not issue a drivers' license. This act shall not apply to persons who are legally emancipated. The parents or legal guardians may later file an additional document to reinstate the child's ability to receive a drivers' license. This provision is contained in SB 392 et al.

GRADUATED DRIVER'S LICENSE - This act establishes a graduated driver's license system. Current law allows people 16 and older to apply for unrestricted driver's licenses. Starting in January 2001, applicants age 16 to 18 can apply for intermediate drivers' licenses. They must have had temporary permits for at least six months and proof from a parent or guardian that they have had 20 hours of supervised driving. Drivers with an intermediate license would be banned from driving alone between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless traveling to and from school or a job. Anyone with an intermediate license who gets six or more points for driving violations in a 12-month period would have to complete a driver improvement program. Those who meet the conditions can apply for a full license at the age of 18. The graduated driver's license provisions are similar to those in SB 392 et al.

DRIVERS' LICENSES - This act requires an applicant for a drivers' license to take and successfully complete a sign recognition test before a license may be issued. All applicants for a chauffeur's or operator's license who are 21 years or older will be issued a license for 6 years to expire on the person's date of birth. The fee for a chauffeur's license is doubled from $15 to $30. The fee for an operator's license is doubled from $7.50 to $15. An applicant between 18 and 21 who applies for a chauffeur's license will be issued a 3 year license that will expire on the applicant's date of birth. The fee is $15. An applicant under the age of 21 or over the age of 69, who apply for an operator's license, will be issued a 3 year license that will expire on the applicant's date of birth. The fee for a commercial driver's license (CDL) is doubled from $20 to $40. A duplicate CDL will cost $20. All applicants for a CDL, 21 years of age or older, will be issued 6 year licenses expiring on the applicant's date of birth. An applicant between the age of 18 and 21 will be issued a 3 year CDL expiring on the applicant's date of birth. The fee is $20. These provisions are similar to SB 392 et al and HB 723 (1999). Nondriver's licenses are extended to six years and persons over 70 years of age will be issued a nonexpiring nondriver's license.

SPECIALTY LICENSE PLATES - This act allows individuals to apply for Lions Club, professional sports team, emergency medical technician and Ducks Unlimited License plates. In order to obtain the specialty license plate, the individual must pay a fee to the appropriate organization and pay a fee, in addition to regular registration fees, to the Department of Revenue. These provisions are similar to the ones contained in HB 60 and SB 498 (1999).

BIENNIAL INSPECTIONS - Motor vehicles shall submit to a biennial (rather than annual) inspection. Motor vehicles manufactured in even-numbered years shall be inspected in even-numbered calendar years and vehicles manufactured in odd-numbered years shall be inspected in odd-numbered years.

MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE - Officers shall issue a citation to a driver who fails to produce an insurance card, if requested. The separate violation for failing to carry an insurance card is eliminated. The court may suspend the driver's license, assess four points under Section 302.302, RSMo, or place the driver under court ordered supervision. A person submitting false proof of insurance to a law enforcement officer or altering an insurance card is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. Auto insurance policies may exclude coverage for damages arising out the use of a vehicle by a member of the insured's household who is specifically excluded by the policy.

UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE - This act provides that underinsured motor vehicle policies with limits less than two times the limits for bodily injury or death under Section 303.030 (currently $25,000 for death or bodily injury to one person and $50,000 for death and bodily injury to two or more persons), will be construed to provide that coverage in addition to the liability coverage provided by the policy of the underinsured motor vehicle involved in the accident. This section is similar to SB 429, et al (1999).

MOTORIST INSURANCE IDENTIFICATION DATABASE PROGRAM ACT - Permits the Department of Revenue to enter into a contract with a designated agent to establish a motorist insurance identification database program to verify compliance with the motor vehicle financial responsibility laws. Insurance companies will be required to provide information to the designated agent. The insurance identification database will be accessible by state and federal law enforcement agencies. The Department of Revenue shall disclose whether an individual is maintaining insurance to the individual, the individual's parents or legal guardians, any person suffering loss due to a motor vehicle accident with the individual, and the office of the state auditor. The designated agent will compare current motor vehicle registrations with the information provided to it by the insurance companies to see if individuals are maintaining insurance. Any person knowingly disclosing information from the database for an unauthorized purpose will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

DRIVING WITH A REVOKED LICENSE - Any person with a prior alcohol- related offense convicted a third or subsequent time of driving with a revoked license is guilty of a Class D felony. Driving with a revoked license on the fourth or subsequent conviction for any other offense is a Class D felony. This provision is similar to SB 164.

FORFEITURE OF DRIVER'S LICENSE - Under current law, any person who fails to dispose of a moving traffic violation of any municipality with a population of at least 1,000 is subject to loss of driver's license. This act repeals the population qualification. This provision is similar to HB 452 (1999).

MOTOR VEHICLE LENGTH - This act permits a motor vehicle with a length of 45 feet to be operated on the highways. This is increased from 40 feet.

WATERCRAFT LIENS - This act permits the Director of Revenue to establish a system to verify certificates of title and the perfection of liens for motorboats by electronic means.

WEIGH STATION STOPS - Under this act, commercial motor vehicles that are identified through automated means approved by this state and determined to be in compliance are exempted from the requirement to stop at an official weigh station. Commercial motor vehicle enforcement officers or inspectors are given authority to require a vehicle to stop or be identified. Any person who fails to stop or improperly evades stopping at a weigh station and who is later determined not to be in compliance with the weight limits may, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not less than $5 nor more than $500 or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding one year, or by both. This provision is similar to HB 907 (1999).

INSPECTION LAWS - This act allows a vehicle owner to rectify defects found from an inspection within 20 days (up from 15 days). Inspection fees are raised from $7 to $12. Inspection fees for motorcycles and trailers are raised from $6 to $10. The owner shall not be charged an additional inspection fee after correcting the defects if completed within 20 days (up from 10 days). Brakes may be inspected by visual inspection or computerized means. The Highway patrol may assign qualified persons to investigate inspection safety and emissions testing.

EMISSIONS TESTING - The Bar 90 program shall not apply to Franklin County residents who have chosen the biennial registration option. The Air Conservation Commission may establish an IM-240 emissions inspection program for Franklin County residents who have chosen the biennial registration option. Franklin County motor vehicles shall be subject to IM- 240 testing if the owner has opted for biennial registration.

The Department of Natural Resources may license or contract to provide inspections stations and shall be exempted from state laws regarding site procurement. Licenses shall be for up to seven years and shall be annually reviewed.

A motor vehicle dealer may sell a vehicle with prior inspection and approval within 120 days preceding the date of sale. A dealer may also sell a vehicle without prior inspection and approval. This act allows such a vehicle, if returned by the buyer for failing the emissions inspection, to be inspected and approved without the option for a waiver and then be returned to the buyer. The requirement for a dealer to provide a full refund if the vehicle is not returned with inspection and approval in five days is removed by the act.

Repair costs may be applied toward reaching the emissions standards waiver amount only if the repairs are performed by a recognized repair technician.

The twenty dollar emissions inspection fee reduction for persons required to wait more than one hour for an inspection is removed by the act. The maximum fee reduction is ten dollars for any person required to wait more than thirty minutes for an inspection. The waiting time shall begin when the vehicle is on the premises of the inspection station and available for inspection. Any person who misrepresents himself or herself as an official emissions inspector or a recognized repair technician is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor on the first offense and a Class B misdemeanor on any subsequent offense. The emissions provisions are similar to SB 118.

TRANSPORTING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS - This act exempts drivers transporting agricultural products from the federal regulations regarding maximum driving hours and logging requirements. Current federal regulations already provide that drivers transporting agricultural commodities are exempt from the maximum driving time regulations. The federal exemption is limited to operations within a 100 air mile radius from the source of the commodities or distribution point for farm supplies when conducted during the planting and harvesting season determined by the state. This act exempts those types of drivers from the logging regulations if the employer keeps a record of the number of hours the driver is on duty each day and the time the driver reports to work and leaves work.

RECREATIONAL VEHICLES - This act removes recreational vehicles from many of the regulations of Chapter 700, the chapter governing manufactured housing. The act also prohibits manufacturers from selling recreational vehicles and park trailers that are not manufactured in compliance with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). No state agency nor municipality may require a recreational vehicle or park trailer to comply with any codes or inspection programs other than those established by ANSI. These provisions are similar to those contained in SB 359.

TOWING OF ABANDONED VEHICLES - Police and government agencies authorizing tows shall make out a report form. Tows by local government agencies shall be reported to local law enforcement instead of to the Highway Patrol. The authorization to tow form is eliminated. All involuntary repossessions shall be reported, and reports shall be made within two hours to local police.

Lienholders shall be notified of any possible title change by the towing company. Storage charges shall be reasonable, shall not exceed charges on a negotiated basis and shall depend upon compliance with all sections of the towing law. The towing company may get an original title after inspection by the Highway Patrol. Insurers paying a total loss on abandoned property shall remove the property from the storage facility or arrange for transfer of title.

Property managers may authorize tows. A vehicle left unattended on owner-occupied residential property may be towed ten hours after notifying a law enforcement agency. Other abandoned property on private property may be towed after 96 hours have elapsed since notifying the appropriate law enforcement agency. An abandoned property report shall be completed at the time of the tow. This report shall have information on the towing company and the law enforcement agency receiving the report. The towing company shall report the tow to law enforcement within two hours or within twenty-four hours, depending on the situation. The report may be faxed if it can be received and if the company is registered.

Upon receiving the report, law enforcement shall make a crime inquiry promptly, sign the report and give the towing company information on the vehicle's owner and lienholder. A copy of the report shall be sent to the Department of Revenue by the towing company if the vehicle is not claimed within 10 working days. Any wrongful authorization by a landowner or lessee is a misdemeanor.

Notice about the tow shall be made in writing to the registered owner and lienholder within 5 days. The landowner has double liability for wrongfully authorizing tows. Credit cards are no longer required to be accepted by towing companies.

Municipalities are authorized to established ordinances which prohibit the storage of inoperable vehicles or vehicles deemed to be a storage hazard. The towing provisions are similar to SCS/SB 84.

.08 BAC ADVISORY GROUP - This act establishes an advisory group to study review the impact of all the states that have lowered their blood alcohol content limits to 0.08 and to determine the impact of the legislation on alcohol-related fatalities. The advisory group is to submit a report of its findings to the general assembly by March 1, 2000.

TRAFFIC LAW ENFORCEMENT AND PROFILING - This act permits the highway patrol and local law enforcement to collect, correlate, and maintain data regarding traffic law enforcement. This information is to be used to determine whether law enforcement agencies are using profiling techniques.

This act has penalty provisions and delayed effective dates for certain sections.