Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Motor vehicle fees go up Friday; several laws changing

A press release from the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles:

WETHERSFIELD – A number of Department of Motor Vehicles fees will increase and various laws will change beginning Friday as part of legislative action during the recent session of the General Assembly.

Changes in fees and laws cover a wide variety of services and responsibilities that DMV provides to the public.

“These fee increases are modest and are part of the shared sacrifice needed to help resolve the state’s budget issues,” said DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey. She added that the changes in laws are part of the continuing effort to streamline DMV services and make them more efficient.

“We are addressing a number of issues beginning July 1 and we want to keep the public aware of those changes,” she said.

In addition, those with late or current registration renewals beginning July 1 will be unable to renew at a branch office. DMV will enforce an existing policy requiring all renewals to be mailed. Although some exceptions were made in the past, the change is related to streamlining service. Customers bringing a registration renewal will be given a pre-addressed envelope for mailing the registration to DMV’s processing unit.

While increased fees are spread among a number of areas, the following changes affect some of the more frequently used services:
  • Obtaining a drivers’ license: from $66 to $72 for the customary six-year license.
  • A new late fee for failing to renew the driver’s license or commercial driver’s license, $25.
  • Obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License (must already have Connecticut driver’s license): increase in surcharge from $15 to 17.50 per year.
  • Two-year registration of a passenger vehicle, including those with vanity plates, from $75 to $80.
  • The fee for obtaining a vanity plate, from $65 to $69.
  • Two-year registration of a motorcycle, from $40 to $42.
  • Temporary registration of a non-commercial motor vehicle: $20 to $21 for a 10-day period.
  • Transfer of registration from $20 to $21.
The full list of DMV’s new fees as well as information about the hours of the DMV photo license centers and other facilities can be found at ct.gov/dmv. Customers can also call the DMV telephone center at 860-263-5700 in the Greater Hartford area and 800-842-8222 for the remainder of the state.

Some of the law changes July 1 include:
  • Shifting responsibility for the state’s six weigh stations solely to the DMV. At present DMV’s Commercial Vehicle Safety Division is responsible only for the station in Union.
  • Amending state law to add that any person under the age of 21 who is convicted for possession of less than 0.5 ounce of cannabis will have a license suspension for 60 days. Persons under 21 who are not licensed and who are convicted of possession will be unable to obtain a license for 150 days.
  • Increasing the fine to $1,000 for a resident who operates a vehicle with marker plates issued by another state.
  • Changing the name of the handicapped driver training program to “driver training program for persons with disabilities,” and transferring the responsibility for the program to the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services.
  • Authorizing towns to issue temporary registrations when persons pay property tax or parking tickets in full. Fees for the temporary registration would go to the town. At present DMV is exploring a pilot program to test this approach.
  • Adding email addresses to the privacy protection under Section 14-10 by defining them as “personal information.”
  • Permitting video-monitoring equipment installed on a school bus by a municipality or its vendor and that captures an image of a vehicle passing a school bus with flashing red signals to be used to write a violation. For a first violation, which brings a $450 fine, the fine is divided into: $54 for the state transportation fund, $36 for the state general fund and $360 for municipality.
  • Expanding authority of AAA to renew licenses and IDs and issue duplicates.
  • Allowing regular license renewals, commercial driver license renewals, vehicle registration renewals, vessel registration renewals and automobile dealer license renewals to be sent other than by mail.
  • Allowing the DMV to stop mailing to an address at which mail is undeliverable.
  • Adding texting while operating a commercial motor vehicle to the definition of “serious traffic violation" for enforcement of commercial driver license penalties.
  • Requiring knowledge testing for motorcycle endorsement when a training permit has not been issued.
  • Allowing dealers to register commercial motor vehicles, trailers service and school buses electronically.
  • Creating misdemeanor (“B” ) for operating a driving school without a license and creating misdemeanor (“B” ) for acting as a driving school instructor without a license.
  • Changing the requirement from 10 days to 48 hours after reviewing a report containing the names of suspended/revoked operators that a school bus carrier has to remove such an employee from driving duties.

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