language to be deleted (2) new language
CHAPTER 250-S.F.No. 435 An act relating to motor vehicles; making technical change to clarify that pickup truck with slip in camper may be registered depending upon its weight; providing registration tax refund for total loss vehicle damaged by flood; eliminating in 2009 the authority for the appointment of corporations as deputy registrars; restricting telephonic access to certain information related to vehicle registration; allowing vehicle dealers 21 days to send purchase receipt to department of public safety if vehicle not sold; providing for display of fleet vehicle license plates; removing sunset date relating to recreational vehicle combination length; allowing waiver of six-month possession requirement for driver's instruction permit in limited cases; providing for driver's license agents; requiring adoption of rules; requiring study and report on deputy registrar costs; amending Minnesota Statutes 1996, sections 168.011, subdivision 25; 168.16; 168.33, subdivision 2; 168.345, subdivision 1; 168A.11, subdivision 2; 169.79; 169.81, subdivision 3c; 171.05, subdivision 2a; 171.06, subdivision 4; 373.33; and 373.35, subdivision 1; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 171; repealing Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 171.06, subdivision 4. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 168.011, subdivision 25, is amended to read: Subd. 25. [RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT.] (a) "Recreational equipment" means travel trailers including those which telescope or fold down, chassis mounted campers, house cars, motor homes, tent trailers, slip in campers, and converted buses that provide temporary human living quarters. A vehicle is considered to provide temporary living quarters if it: (1) is not used as the residence of the owner or occupant; (2) is used for temporary living quarters by the owner or occupant while engaged in recreational or vacation activities; and (3) is self-propelled or towed on the public streets or highways incidental to the recreational or vacation activities. (b) For the purposes of this subdivision, a motor home means a unit designed to provide temporary living quarters, built into as an integral part of, or permanently attached to, a self-propelled motor vehicle chassis or van. A motor home must contain permanently installed independent life support systems which meet the American National Standards Institute standard number A119.2 for recreational vehicles and provide at least four of the following facilities, two of which must be from the systems listed in clauses (1), (5), and (6): (1) cooking facility with liquid propane gas supply, (2) refrigerator, (3) self-contained toilet or a toilet connected to a plumbing system with connection for external water disposal, (4) heating or air conditioning separate from the vehicle engine, (5) a potable water supply system including a sink with faucet either self-contained or with connections for an external source, and (6) separate 110-125 volt electrical power supply. For purposes of this subdivision, "permanently installed" means built into or attached as an integral part of a chassis or van, and designed not to be removed except for repair or replacement. A system which is readily removable or held in place by clamps or tie downs is not permanently installed. (c) Motor homes include but are not limited to, the following: (1) Type A Motor Home -- a raw chassis upon which is built a driver's compartment and an entire body that provides temporary living quarters as defined in this paragraph; (2) Type B Motor Home -- a van-type vehicle that conforms to the motor home definition in this paragraph and has been completed or altered by the final stage manufacturer; and (3) Type C Motor Home -- an incomplete vehicle upon which is permanently attached a body designed to provide temporary living quarters as defined in this paragraph.
(c)(d) Slip in campers are mounted into a vehicle commonly known as a pickup truck, in the pickup box, either by bolting through the floor of the pickup box or by firmly clamping to the side of the pickup box. The vehicle mustmay not be registered as a passenger automobilerecreational vehicle. Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 168.16, is amended to read: 168.16 [REFUNDS; APPROPRIATION.] After the tax upon any motor vehicle shall have been paid for any year, refund shall be made for errors made in computing the tax or fees and for the error on the part of an owner who may in error have registered a motor vehicle that was not before, nor at the time of registration, nor at any time thereafter during the current past year, subject to tax in this state as provided by section 168.012. Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, a claim for a refund of an overpayment of registration tax must be filed within 3-1/2 years from the date of payment. The refundment shall be made from any fund in possession of the registrar and shall be deducted from the registrar's monthly report to the commissioner of finance. A detailed report of the refundment shall accompany the report. The former owner of a transferred vehicle by an assignment in writing endorsed upon the registration certificate and delivered to the registrar within the time provided herein may sell and assign to the new owner thereof the right to have the tax paid by the former owner accredited to the owner who duly registers the vehicle. Any owner at the time of such occurrence, whose vehicle is declared by an insurance company to be a total loss due to flood damage, permanently destroyed, or sold to the federal government, the state, or political subdivision thereof, and any owner who sells a rental motor vehicle and transfers the license plates issued to that motor vehicle under section 168.15, subdivision 3, shall upon filing a verified claim be entitled to a refund of the unused portion of the tax paid upon the vehicle, computed as follows: (1) if the vehicle is registered under the calendar year system of registration, the refund is computed pro rata by the month, 1/12 of the annual tax paid for each month of the year remaining after the month in which the plates and certificate were returned to the registrar; (2) in the case of a vehicle registered under the monthly series system of registration, the amount of the refund is equal to the sum of the amounts of the license fee attributable to those months remaining in the licensing period after the month in which the plates and certificate were returned to the registrar. There is hereby appropriated to the persons entitled to a refund, from the fund or account in the state treasury to which the money was credited, an amount sufficient to make the refund and payment. Refunds under this section to licensed motor vehicle lessors must be made annually in a manner the registrar determines. Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 168.33, subdivision 2, is amended to read: Subd. 2. [POWERS REGARDING DEPUTY REGISTRARS.] (a) The registrar may appoint, hire, and discharge and fix the compensation of the necessary employees, in the manner provided by law, as may be required to enable the registrar to properly carry out the duties imposed by this chapter. The registrar may appoint, and for cause discontinue, a deputy registrar for any statutory or home rule charter city as the public interest and convenience may require, without regard to whether the county auditor of the county in which the city is situated has been appointed as the deputy registrar for the county or has been discontinued as the deputy registrar for the county, and without regard to whether the county in which the city is situated has established a county license bureau which issues motor vehicle licenses as provided in section 373.32. (b) The registrar may appoint, and for cause discontinue, a deputy registrar for any statutory or home rule charter city as the public interest and convenience may require, if the auditor for the county in which the city is situated chooses not to accept appointment as the deputy registrar for the county or is discontinued as a deputy registrar, or if the county in which the city is situated has not established a county license bureau which issues motor vehicle licenses as provided in section 373.32. A person appointed by the registrar as a deputy registrar for any statutory or home rule charter city must be a resident of the county in which the city is situated. (c) The registrar may appoint, and for cause discontinue, the county auditor of each county as a deputy registrar. Upon approval of the county board, the auditor, with the approval of the director of motor vehicles, may appoint, and for cause discontinue, the clerk or equivalent officer of each statutory or home rule charter city or any other person as a deputy registrar as public interest and convenience may require, regardless of the appointee's county of residence. At the request of the governing body of a statutory or home rule charter city, the auditor shall appoint, and may for cause discontinue, the clerk or equivalent officer of a city, or another officer or employee of the city designated by the governing body, as a deputy registrar: (1) if the city is a county seat or, if not, is larger than the seat of the county in which it is situated; and (2) no office of a deputy registrar is situated within the city or within 15 miles of the city by the most direct public route. (d) Notwithstanding any other provision, a person other than a county auditor or a director of a county license bureau, who was appointed by the registrar before August 1, 1976, as a deputy registrar for any statutory or home rule charter city, may continue to serve as deputy registrar and may be discontinued for cause only by the registrar. The county auditor who appointed the deputy registrars is responsible for the acts of deputy registrars appointed by the auditor. Each deputy, before entering upon the discharge of duties, shall take and subscribe an oath to faithfully discharge the duties and to uphold the laws of the state. If a deputy registrar appointed under this subdivision is not an officer or employee of a county or statutory or home rule charter city, the deputy shall in addition give bond to the state in the sum of $10,000, or a larger sum as may be required by the registrar, conditioned upon the faithful discharge of duties as deputy registrar. (e) Until January 1, 2009, a corporation governed by chapter 302A may be appointed a deputy registrar. Upon application by an individual serving as a deputy registrar and the giving of the requisite bond as provided in this subdivision, personally assured by the individual or another individual approved by the commissioner of public safety, a corporation named in an application shall become the duly appointed and qualified successor to the deputy registrar. The appointment of any corporation as a deputy registrar expires January 1, 2009. A county board shall appoint, or the commissioner shall appoint if the county board declines to do so, an individual as successor to the corporation as a deputy registrar. The county board or commissioner shall appoint as the successor agent to a corporation whose appointment expires under this paragraph an officer of the corporation if the officer applies for appointment before July 1, 2009. (f) Each deputy registrar appointed under this subdivision shall keep and maintain, in a convenient public place within or in close proximity to the place for which appointed, a registration and motor vehicle tax collection bureau, to be approved by the registrar, for the registration of motor vehicles and the collection of taxes on motor vehicles. The deputy registrar shall keep records and make reports to the registrar as the registrar, from time to time, may require. The records must be maintained at the facility of the deputy registrar. The records and facilities of the deputy registrar must at all times be open to the inspection of the registrar or the registrar's agents. The deputy registrar shall report to the registrar by the next working day following receipt all registrations made and taxes and fees collected by the deputy registrar. The filing fee imposed under subdivision 7 must be deposited in the treasury of the place for which appointed or, if not a public official, a deputy shall retain the filing fee, but the registration tax and any additional fees for delayed registration the deputy registrar has collected the deputy registrar shall deposit by the next working day following receipt in an approved state depository to the credit of the state through the state treasurer. The place for which the deputy registrar is appointed through its governing body must provide the deputy registrar with facilities and personnel to carry out the duties imposed by this subdivision if the deputy is a public official. In all other cases, the deputy shall maintain a suitable facility for serving the public. Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 168.345, subdivision 1, is amended to read: Subdivision 1. [TELEPHONE INFORMATION.] Information concerning motor vehicle registrations shall not be furnished on the telephone to any person except the personnel of law enforcement agencies and the personnel of federal, state, and localgovernmental unitsmotor vehicle and registration offices. Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 168A.11, subdivision 2, is amended to read: Subd. 2. [PURCHASE RECEIPT.] A dealer, on buying a vehicle which is subject to an outstandingfor which the seller does not present a certificate of title, shall at the time of taking delivery of the vehicle execute in triplicate a purchase receipt for the vehicle in a form designated by the department, and deliver one copy to the seller. Within 48 hours thereafterWhen a vehicle purchased by a dealer has not been resold after 21 days, the dealer shall mail, transmit, or deliver one copy of suchthe receipt to the department. Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 169.79, is amended to read: 169.79 [VEHICLE REGISTRATION.] No person shall operate, drive or park a motor vehicle on any highway unless the vehicle is registered in accordance with the laws of this state and has the number plates for the current year only, except as provided in section 168.12, subdivision 2f, as assigned to it by the commissioner of public safety, conspicuously displayed thereon in a manner that the view of any plate is not obstructed. If the vehicle is a semitrailer, the number plate displayed must be assigned to the registered owner and correlate to the certificate of title documentation on file with the department and shall not display a year indicator. If the vehicle is a motorcycle, motor scooter, motorized bicycle, motorcycle sidecar, trailer, semitrailer, or vehicle displaying a dealer plate, one plate shall be displayed on the rear thereof; if the vehicle is a truck-tractor, road-tractor or farm truck, as defined in section 168.011, subdivision 17, but excluding from that definition semitrailers and trailers, one plate shall be displayed on the front thereof; if it is any other kind of motor vehicle, one plate shall be displayed on the front and one on the rear thereof. All plates shall be securely fastened so as to prevent them from swinging. The person driving the motor vehicle shall keep the plate legible and unobstructed and free from grease, dust, or other blurring material so that the lettering shall be plainly visible at all times. It is unlawful to cover any assigned letters and numbers or the name of the state of origin of a license plate with any material whatever, including any clear or colorless material that affects the plate's visibility or reflectivity. License plates issued to vehicles registered under section 168.017 must display the month of expiration in the lower left corner as viewed facing the plate and the year of expiration in the lower right corner as viewed facing the plate. License plates issued to vehicles registered under section 168.127 must display either fleet registration validation stickers in the lower right corner as viewed facing the plates or distinctive license plates, issued by the registrar, with "FLEET REG" embossed on the bottom center portion of the plate. Sec. 7. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 169.81, subdivision 3c, is amended to read: Subd. 3c. [RECREATIONAL VEHICLE COMBINATIONS.] Notwithstanding subdivision 3, a recreational vehicle combination may be operated without a permit if: (1) the combination does not consist of more than three vehicles, and the towing rating of the pickup truck is equal to or greater than the total weight of all vehicles being towed; (2) the combination does not exceed 60 feet in length; (3) the camper-semitrailer in the combination does not exceed 28 feet in length until August 1, 1997, and 26 feet thereafter; (4) the operator of the combination is at least 18 years of age; (5) the trailer carrying a watercraft meets all requirements of law; (6) the trailers in the combination are connected to the pickup truck and each other in conformity with section 169.82; and (7) the combination is not operated within the seven-county metropolitan area, as defined in section 473.121, subdivision 2, during the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays. Sec. 8. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 171.05, subdivision 2a, is amended to read: Subd. 2a. [PERMIT FOR SIX MONTHS.] (a) An applicant who has applied for and received an instruction permit pursuant to subdivision 2 must possess the instruction permit for not less than six months before qualifying for a driver's license. (b) Until May 31, 1999, the commissioner may waive the six-month requirement of this subdivision for an applicant for a class D driver's license if: (1) at least six months has elapsed since the applicant successfully completed the written examination requirement of the approved driver education program pursuant to subdivision 2; and (2) the applicant subsequently obtained a permit and successfully completed all of the approved driver education program requirements before applying for the class D driver's license. This paragraph is effective the day following final enactment and expires June 1, 1999. Sec. 9. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 171.06, subdivision 4, is amended to read: Subd. 4. [APPLICATION, FILING; FEE RETAINED FOR EXPENSES.] Any applicant for an instruction permit, a driver's license, restricted license, or duplicate license may file an application with a court administrator of the district court or at a state office. The administrator or state office shall receive and accept the application. To cover all expenses involved in receiving, accepting, or forwarding to the department applications and fees, the court administrator of the district court may retain a county fee of $3.50 for each application for a Minnesota identification card, instruction permit, duplicate license, driver license, or restricted license. The amount allowed to be retained by the court administrator of the district court shall be paid into the county treasury and credited to the general revenue fund of the county. Before the end of the first working day following the final day of an established reporting period, the court administrator shall forward to the department all applications and fees collected during the reporting period, less the amount herein allowed to be retained for expenses. The court administrators of the district courts may appoint agents to assist in accepting applications, but the administrators shall require every agent to forward to the administrators by whom the agent is appointed all applications accepted and fees collected by the agent, except that an agent shall retain the county fee to cover the agent's expenses involved in receiving, accepting or forwarding the applications and fees. The court administrators shall be responsible for the acts of agents appointed by them and for the forwarding to the department of all applications accepted and those fees collected by agents and by themselves as are required to be forwarded to the department. The commissioner shall suspend or revoke the appointment of a license agent or issue a correction order to a license agent who violates any requirement of this section or when grounds exist that would justify revocation or suspension of a deputy registrar appointment under Minnesota Rules, parts 7406.0800 to 7406.1000. To revoke or suspend an appointment, the commissioner shall follow procedures for suspension and revocation hearings set forth in Minnesota Rules, parts 7406.1100 to 7406.2600. Sec. 10. [171.061] [DRIVER'S LICENSE AGENTS.] Subdivision 1. [DEFINITIONS.] For purposes of this section: (1) "applicant" means an individual applying for a driver's license, restricted license, duplicate license, instruction permit, Minnesota identification card, or motorized bicycle operator's permit; and (2) "application" refers to an application for a driver's license, restricted license, duplicate license, instruction permit, Minnesota identification card, or motorized bicycle operator's permit. Subd. 2. [APPOINTMENT AND DISCONTINUANCE.] (a) The commissioner of public safety may appoint an individual, and for cause discontinue the appointment of an agent, to serve as a driver's license agent. (b) A county board may appoint an individual, and for cause discontinue the appointment of an agent, to serve as an agent, pursuant to sections 373.32 to 373.38, with the approval of the commissioner. If a county board does not discontinue an agent's appointment, although cause for discontinuance exists, the commissioner may discontinue the appointment. If a county board does not appoint an individual, the commissioner may establish an office and appoint an individual to accept applications as the public interest and convenience may require. (c) The county board is responsible for the acts of an agent appointed by the board and for forwarding to the department all applications accepted and fees collected by the agent as required by the department. Subd. 3. [APPLICATIONS.] An applicant may file an application with an agent. The agent shall receive and accept applications in accordance with the laws and rules of the department of public safety for a driver's license, restricted license, duplicate license, instruction permit, Minnesota identification card, or motorized bicycle operator's permit. Subd. 4. [FEE; EQUIPMENT.] (a) The agent may charge and retain a filing fee of $3.50 for each application. Except as provided in paragraph (b), the fee shall cover all expenses involved in receiving, accepting, or forwarding to the department the applications and fees required under sections 171.02, subdivision 3; 171.06, subdivisions 2 and 2a; and 171.07, subdivisions 3 and 3a. (b) An agent with photo identification equipment provided by the department before January 1, 1999, may retain the photo identification equipment until the agent's appointment terminates. The department shall maintain the photo identification equipment for these agents. An agent appointed before January 1, 1999, who does not have photo identification equipment provided by the department, and any new agent appointed after December 31, 1998, shall procure and maintain photo identification equipment. All photo identification equipment must be compatible with standards established by the department. (c) A filing fee retained by the agent employed by a county board must be paid into the county treasury and credited to the general revenue fund of the county. An agent who is not an employee of the county shall retain the filing fee in lieu of county employment or salary and is considered an independent contractor for pension purposes, coverage under the Minnesota state retirement system, or membership in the public employees retirement association. (d) Before the end of the first working day following the final day of the reporting period established by the department, the agent must forward to the department all applications and fees collected during the reporting period except as provided in paragraph (c). Subd. 5. [DISCONTINUANCE OR TRANSFER OF APPOINTMENT.] (a) An agent shall notify the department no less than 30 days before the discontinuance of service. (b) In the event of the notice specified in paragraph (a); death or retirement of the agent; or revocation or discontinuance of the appointment of the agent by the county board or commissioner, the appointment terminates and all equipment provided by the department reverts to the department. Subd. 6. [RULES.] The commissioner shall adopt rules that prescribe: (1) criteria, procedures, and requirements for appointing an individual as an agent of the commissioner; (2) criteria for establishment, operation, management, location, and movement of a license application office; (3) standards for the uniform administration of laws and rules governing the receipt of applications and fees for applications; (4) number of applications to be processed; (5) standards for submitting applications including valid forms of identification, depositing funds, maintaining records, and holding proper bonds; and (6) standards for discontinuing the individual's appointment and for enforcement action. Sec. 11. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 373.33, is amended to read: 373.33 [STATE LICENSES MAY BE ISSUED.] A county license bureau may issue, process or assist in preparing an application for any license or permit issued by the state or a state official including but not limited to game and fish, trapping, wild rice harvest, motor vehicle, manufactured home, trailer, snowmobile, watercraft or drivers license or as many of the licenses as designated by the county board. The processing of driver's license applications by a county license bureau is subject to the provisions of section 171.061. This authority does not include the issuance of marriage licenses. The county board may delegate the responsibility for the issuance of any county license or permit to the county license bureau. Sec. 12. Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 373.35, subdivision 1, is amended to read: Subdivision 1. [AUDITOR OR BOARD APPOINTEE.] The county auditor shall serve as the director of the county license bureau or, if the auditor chooses not to serve, the county board shall appoint any other county officer or employee, or any other person, to serve as the director upon the terms and conditions the county board deems advisable. The county board shall set the compensation of the director and may provide for the expenses of the office including the premium of any bond required to be furnished by the director. The director shall have the powers and duties imposed on the county officer who previously had the authority to issue or process the application for any license referred to in section 373.32. Notwithstanding section 168.33, subdivision 2, the commissioner of public safety may appoint, and for cause discontinue, the director as the deputy registrar of motor vehicles in the county. If the director is a deputy registrar, all provisions of section 168.33 and Minnesota Rules, chapter 7406, apply to a county license bureau. If the director is a driver's license agent, section 171.061 and rules promulgated thereunder apply to the county license board director. Sec. 13. [REAPPOINTMENT OF DRIVER'S LICENSE AGENTS.] The appointment of a driver's license agent appointed before January 1, 1999, expires on January 1, 1999, unless the agent applies to the commissioner before that date for reappointment to serve as an agent under Minnesota Statutes, section 171.061, subdivision 2, paragraph (a) or (c). The commissioner shall reappoint any agent who applies under this section unless the commissioner determines that the applicant's performance as a driver's license agent would be grounds for discontinuance as an agent under the rules adopted under Minnesota Statutes, section 171.061, subdivision 6, clause (6). Sec. 14. [TRANSITION.] The court administrators of the district courts may not appoint an agent before January 1, 1999, under Minnesota Statutes, section 171.06, other than an agent appointed to replace or succeed an already existing agent. Sec. 15. [APPOINTMENT BY THE COMMISSIONER.] Notwithstanding the effective date of section 10, subdivisions 1 to 4, the commissioner shall appoint an applicant that is an individual or corporation, and may for cause discontinue the appointment of an agent, as a driver's license agent if the applicant: (1) is a deputy registrar who is not a public official operating in Dakota county; (2) has operated for at least nine years the office at which the applicant will carry out the functions of a driver's license agent; and (3) procures and maintains photo identification equipment satisfactory to the commissioner. An agent appointed under this section is subject to section 13. Sec. 16. [STUDY OF DEPUTY REGISTRAR TRANSACTION COSTS.] The commissioner of public safety shall investigate, survey, and report findings regarding the costs of deputy registrar transactions in Minnesota. The commissioner shall submit a written report to the legislature by January 15, 1998. Sec. 17. [REPEALER.] Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 171.06, subdivision 4, is repealed. Sec. 18. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] Sections 10, subdivisions 5 and 6; 14; and 15 are effective the day following final enactment. Sections 9; 10, subdivisions 1 to 4; 11; 12; 16; and 17 are effective January 1, 1999. Presented to the governor May 30, 1997 Signed by the governor June 3, 1997, 2:12 p.m.