83(R) - 2013
Transportation & Infrastructure
Relating to the regulation of motor vehicles by counties and the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
The bill would also generate $5 in revenue for each trailer or semitrailer title transaction in acounty. This would be a positive revenue gain to counties but is not anticipated to be significant.
Summary: This legislation updates language relating to County Tax Assessor Collectors and TxDMV powers of licensing and registration.
- The bill authorizes the governor to suspend certain fees under a declared disaster or emergency.
- This bill clarifies that the TxDMV may delegate any power relating to a contested case hearing or delegate authority to issue a final order in contested case hearings.
- This bill strikes certain application requirements regarding distributors licenses.
- This bill specifies authority over renewal of dealers licenses. Strikes provisions requiring valid warranty agreements to be reported to the board before a challenge.
- This bill clarifies language relating to VIN’s on travel trailers, trailers, and semi-trailers. Additionally it clarifies penalties and suspensions for certificate and documentation fraud or alteration.
- Clarifies language determining seating and weight capacity of public transportation.
- Makes license plate flippers illegal and license plate alteration an offense.
- This bill makes contracts between counties relating to mail-in or online applications for titles easier.
- Restricts local government from regulating vehicles and loads on State roads.
- Upon registration, denial notice is not required and gives 26 days for an appeal to be filed.
- Upon seizure or revocation of a placard, the placards are not required to be destroyed.
- This bill provides immunity from liability for damages resulting from official operations unless intentional malicious malfeasance is found in the disposition.
- Finally this bill authorizes the director to hire a business entity to perform certain department functions.
Analysis: This bill would up outdated legislative language concerning TxDMV functions and relations with counties. The bill also streamlines registration and renewal processes and gives the governor leeway to suspend certain fees and regulations during a disaster or emergency. Unfortunately, this legislation also allows immunity from liability for damages resulting from official operations. The government should not be immune from paying restitution for accidental damages caused during routine operations. This provision infringes on the property rights of people or businesses whose property is damaged by the government. Due to the conflict between the government limiting provisions and the property rights diminishing provisions, we are neutral on this legislation.