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AB-957 Transportation omnibus bill.(2011-2012)

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Assembly Bill No. 957
CHAPTER 536

An act to amend Sections 102051, 102100.2, 102161, 102281, 102332, 102333, and 102430 of, and to repeal Sections 102102, 102103, and 102580 of, the Public Utilities Code, to amend Sections 188.5, 339, and 525 of the Streets and Highways Code, and to amend Section 21100.4 of the Vehicle Code, relating to transportation.

[ Approved by Governor  October 07, 2011. Filed with Secretary of State  October 07, 2011. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 957, Committee on Transportation. Transportation omnibus bill.
(1) Existing law, the Sacramento Regional Transit District Act, creates the Sacramento Regional Transit District, with specified powers and duties relative to providing transit services in the Sacramento region. Existing law provides that the district is comprised of specified cities and unincorporated territories in the Counties of Sacramento and Yolo. Existing law sets forth provisions for transition from the Sacramento Transit Authority to the district and also sets forth provisions applicable to the establishment of the first board of the district.
This bill would provide that the district includes the Cities of Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova, and West Sacramento. The bill would delete obsolete provisions relating to the transition from the authority to the district and establishment of the district’s first board.
The California Constitution prohibits a local government, as defined, from imposing any special tax unless it is approved by a 2/3 vote of the electorate. The Sacramento Regional Transit District Act prohibits the district from imposing or collecting any property tax within any city or unincorporated area of a county unless it is approved by a majority of the voters of the city or unincorporated area, as specified.
This bill would make conforming changes to the Sacramento Regional Transit District Act indicating that the district may not impose or collect any property tax within any city or unincorporated area of a county unless it is approved by a 2/3 vote of the electorate.
Existing law authorizes the Sacramento Regional Transit District to provide for a retirement system if certain requirements are met.
This bill would authorize the district to establish trust accounts for that purpose.
(2) Existing law requires, commencing January 1, 2004, until completion of the seismic retrofit of specified state-owned toll bridges, the Department of Transportation to provide quarterly seismic reports to the transportation committees of both houses of the Legislature and to the California Transportation Commission for other seismic retrofit programs.
This bill would delete this requirement.
(3) Existing law provides for the California Transportation Commission to adopt locations for state highways on routes authorized by law, and provides for relinquishment of certain segments of state highways from the state to local agencies.
This bill would provide for the relinquishment of the portion of Route 39 in the City of Buena Park and all of Route 225 in the City of Santa Barbara under certain terms and conditions.
(4) Existing law authorizes the impoundment of a vehicle operating as a taxicab or other passenger vehicle for hire in violation of licensing requirements adopted by a local authority for a period of 30 days or less. Existing law requires an impoundment agency to release to the registered owner or his or her agency a vehicle so impounded prior to the expiration of the impoundment period under specified circumstances.
This bill would additionally require the release of an impounded vehicle operating as a taxicab or other passenger vehicle for hire in violation of the licensing requirements if the vehicle is a rental car. Because a violation of this provision is a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(5) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 102051 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

102051.
 The district may comprise the Cities of Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Davis, Folsom, Rancho Cordova, Roseville, Sacramento, West Sacramento, and Woodland, and the following described territory of the Counties of Sacramento and Yolo, to the extent they are not included in the above-mentioned cities:
(a) The territory of the County of Sacramento which may be included is described as follows:
(1) Beginning at the northeasterly corner of the Sacramento County line running southeasterly to State Highway Route 50; thence southwesterly along Route 50 to Prairie City Road; thence southeasterly along Prairie City Road to White Rock Road; thence along White Rock Road to Grant Line Road; thence along Grant Line Road to Douglas Road; thence westerly along Douglas Road to Sunrise Blvd.; thence southerly along Sunrise Blvd. to Kiefer Blvd.; thence westerly along Kiefer Blvd. to Excelsior Road; thence southerly along Excelsior Road to Jackson Road; thence northwesterly along Jackson Road to Bradshaw Road; thence southerly along Bradshaw Road to Grant Line Road; thence westerly along Grant Line Road to State Highway Route 99; thence northwesterly along Route 99 to Elk Grove Blvd.; thence westerly along Elk Grove Blvd. to Bruceville Road; thence southerly along Bruceville Road to Bilby Road; thence westerly along Bilby Road to Franklin Blvd.; thence northeasterly along Franklin Blvd. to Elk Grove Blvd.; thence westerly along Elk Grove Blvd. to the intersection of State Highway Route 5; thence northerly along Route 5 to the Sacramento City Limits; thence along the Sacramento City Limits to the Sacramento River; thence along the Sacramento River upstream to the intersection of the Sacramento River and prolongation of San Juan Road; thence easterly along the prolongation of San Juan Road to the Sacramento City Limits; thence along the Sacramento City Limits to Elk Horn Blvd.; thence easterly along Elk Horn Blvd. to the Union Pacific Railroad; thence along the Union Pacific Railroad to Elverta Road; thence easterly along Elverta Road to 16th Street; thence northerly along 16th Street to the Sacramento County line; thence easterly along the Sacramento County line to the point of beginning, and excluding the Cities of Sacramento and Folsom.
(2) Beginning at the southwesterly corner of the intersection of Route 5 and Power Line Road; thence northerly along Power Line Road to Elverta Road; thence easterly along Elverta Road to Lone Tree Road; thence southerly along Lone Tree Road to Route 5; thence westerly along Route 5 to the point of beginning.
(3) All of that property known as the Sacramento County Metropolitan Airport in Natomas Elkhorn Subdivision and Sec. 36, T. 10 N., R. 3 E., M.D.B. & M. and filed for record the 29th day of January, 1968, at 4:45 P.M., in Book 26 of Surveys, at Page 12, in the office of the Sacramento County Recorder.
(4) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this subdivision, the unincorporated territory of the County of Sacramento included in the district shall include the same area as the urban service area proposed to be adopted by the County of Sacramento, as adopted and as hereafter amended.
(b) The unincorporated territory of the County of Yolo which may be included is described as follows:
(1) Beginning at the northeast corner of Sec. 36, T. 9 N., R. 3 E., M.D.B. & M.; thence north 1/2 mile along the west line of Sec. 30, T. 9 N., R. 4 E., to the west 1/4 corner of Sec. 30; thence east1/2 mile to the center of Sec. 30; thence north 1/8 mile, more or less, to the north line of Swamp Land Survey No. 970, the point being on the centerline of Tule Lake Road; thence northeasterly along the north line of Swamp Land Survey No. 970 to the centerline of the Sacramento River; thence easterly and southerly down and along the Sacramento River to the south line of Swamp Land Survey No. 815; thence northwesterly along the south line of Swamp Land Survey No. 815 to its southwest corner; thence northeasterly along the west line of Swamp Land Survey No. 815 to a point where it is intersected by the quarter section line running east and west through Sec. 30, T. 8 N., R. 4 E.; thence west 3/4 mile, more or less, to the east 1/4 corner of Sec. 25, T. 8 N., R. 3 E.; thence north 51/2 miles, more or less, to the point of beginning.
(2) Beginning at the intersection of State Highway Route 113 and the Yolo County line southern boundary; thence easterly along the Yolo County line southern boundary to the Davis City Limits; thence meandering along the Davis City Limits to Russell Boulevard; thence westerly along Russell Boulevard to Route 113; thence southerly along Route 113 to the point of beginning.
For purposes of this section, any reference to an avenue, boulevard, highway, railroad, road, or street includes the right-of-way thereof.

SEC. 2.

 Section 102100.2 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

102100.2.
 The first board of directors shall consist of seven members appointed within 30 days after the district is formed as provided in Section 102052. Four members of the first board of directors shall be appointed by the City Council of the City of Sacramento. Three members of the first board of directors shall be appointed by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Sacramento.

SEC. 3.

 Section 102102 of the Public Utilities Code is repealed.

SEC. 4.

 Section 102103 of the Public Utilities Code is repealed.

SEC. 5.

 Section 102161 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

102161.
 At any time, any city, county, or other public agency may contract with the district for the performance of services on behalf of the district by the legal counsel, controller or fiscal officer, or treasurer of the city, county, or public agency.

SEC. 6.

 Section 102281 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

102281.
 (a) The district may engage in the business of providing charter bus service, sightseeing service, special school service, and other service, including any other service as may be provided by its predecessor, the Sacramento Transit Authority.
(b) No bus equipment which is designed solely for charter service shall be purchased. No intercity model bus shall be operated in charter service; however, nothing in this section shall limit the features and equipment on, or the use of, transit and suburban model buses.
(c) The board shall hold a public hearing prior to adopting a charter rate schedule or any amendment thereof. Notice of the hearing shall be mailed at least 30 days in advance to each charter-party carrier maintaining an office or equipment point within the district, and to each charter-party carrier or representative thereof who has requested, in writing, to be notified of such hearings. A notice shall include the proposed charter rate schedule. At the close of the public hearing, the board may adopt charter rate schedules which shall not be less than the lowest of the three largest private charter-party carriers operating similar service in the district. For any charter service between points within the district, the district may establish a lower minimum charge. The designation “three largest private charter-party carriers” refers to the three carriers with the highest gross revenue generated from charter service originating within the district.
(d) A charter trip shall have its origin within the district, and the return trip shall have its destination within the district, unless the district is requested by a private charter-party carrier to provide a trip not having origin and return destination within the district.

SEC. 7.

 Section 102332 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

102332.
 The district shall not levy or collect a property tax within any city or within all or any part of the unincorporated area of any county until:
(a) The legislative body of the city or county adopts a resolution declaring there is need for the district to operate and levy a tax within the city or the unincorporated area, or part thereof, of the county.
(b) Two-thirds of the voters of the city or the unincorporated area, or part thereof, following the adoption of the resolution under subdivision (a), voting on the question at an election called for that purpose, approves the operation of the district, and the levy of a property tax by the district, within the city or within the unincorporated area, or part thereof, of the county.

SEC. 8.

 Section 102333 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

102333.
 The district may conduct a single election in an area comprising the area of a city and the unincorporated area of a county or more than one unincorporated area of a county or counties, or any combination of those areas, with the approval of the cities and counties concerned, in which event two-thirds of the voters voting at the election shall be sufficient to approve the proposition submitted for the entire area included in the election. Where more than one election will be held, the approval of the voters in one election pertaining to an area may be conditioned upon the approval of voters in one or more other elections pertaining to other areas.

SEC. 9.

 Section 102430 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

102430.
 The district may provide for a retirement system; provided, that the adoption, terms, and conditions of any retirement system covering employees of the district represented by a labor organization in accordance with this section shall be pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement between such labor organization and the district. The district may establish trust accounts for the purposes of this section.

SEC. 10.

 Section 102580 of the Public Utilities Code is repealed.

SEC. 11.

 Section 188.5 of the Streets and Highways Code is amended to read:

188.5.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) The department has determined that in order to provide maximum safety for the traveling public and to ensure continuous and unimpeded operation of the state’s transportation network, six state-owned toll bridges are in need of a seismic safety retrofit, and one state-owned toll bridge is in need of a partial retrofit and a partial replacement.
(2) The bridges identified by the department as needing seismic retrofit are the Benicia-Martinez Bridge, the Carquinez Bridge, the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge, the San Pedro-Terminal Island Bridge (also known as the Vincent Thomas Bridge), the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, and the west span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The department has also identified the east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge as needing to be replaced. That replacement span will be safer, stronger, longer lasting, and more cost efficient to maintain than completing a seismic retrofit for the current east span.
(3) The south span of the Carquinez Bridge is to be replaced pursuant to Regional Measure 1, as described in Section 30917.
(4) The cost estimate to retrofit the state-owned toll bridges and to replace the east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is four billion six hundred thirty-seven million dollars ($4,637,000,000), as follows:
(A) The Benicia-Martinez Bridge retrofit is one hundred ninety million dollars ($190,000,000).
(B) The north span of the Carquinez Bridge retrofit is one hundred twenty-five million dollars ($125,000,000).
(C) The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge retrofit is six hundred sixty-five million dollars ($665,000,000).
(D) The San Mateo-Hayward Bridge retrofit is one hundred ninety million dollars ($190,000,000).
(E) The San Pedro-Terminal Island Bridge retrofit is sixty-two million dollars ($62,000,000).
(F) The San Diego-Coronado Bridge retrofit is one hundred five million dollars ($105,000,000).
(G) The west span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge retrofit, as a lifeline bridge, is seven hundred million dollars ($700,000,000).
(H) Replacement of the east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is two billion six hundred million dollars ($2,600,000,000).
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the following amounts from the following funds shall be allocated until expended, for the seismic retrofit or replacement of state-owned toll bridges:
(1) Six hundred fifty million dollars ($650,000,000) from the 1996 Seismic Retrofit Account in the Seismic Retrofit Bond Fund of 1996 for the seven state-owned toll bridges identified by the department as requiring seismic safety retrofit or replacement.
(2) One hundred forty million dollars ($140,000,000) in surplus revenues generated under the Seismic Retrofit Bond Act of 1996 that are in excess of the amount actually necessary to complete Phase Two of the state’s seismic retrofit program. These excess funds shall be reallocated to assist in financing seismic retrofit of the state-owned toll bridges.
(3) Fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000) from the Vincent Thomas Toll Bridge Revenue Account.
(4) The funds necessary to meet both of the following:
(A) A principal obligation of two billion two hundred eighty-two million dollars ($2,282,000,000) from the seismic retrofit surcharge, including any interest therefrom, imposed pursuant to Section 31010, subject to the limitation set forth in subdivision (c) and subdivision (b) of Section 31010.
(B) All costs of financing, including capitalized interest, reserves, costs of issuance, costs of credit enhancements and any other financial products necessary or desirable in connection therewith, and any other costs related to financing.
(5) Thirty-three million dollars ($33,000,000) from the San Diego-Coronado Toll Bridge Revenue Fund.
(6) Not less than seven hundred forty-five million dollars ($745,000,000) from the State Highway Account to be used toward the eight hundred seventy-five million dollars ($875,000,000) state contribution, to be achieved as follows:
(A) (i) Two hundred million dollars ($200,000,000) to be appropriated for the state-local transportation partnership program described in paragraph (7) of subdivision (d) of Section 164, prior to its repeal by Chapter 622 of the Statutes of 1997, for the 1998–99 fiscal year.
(ii) The remaining funds intended for that program and any program savings to be made available for toll bridge seismic retrofit.
(B) A reduction of not more than seventy-five million dollars ($75,000,000) in the funding level specified in paragraph (4) of subdivision (d) of Section 164, prior to its repeal by Chapter 622 of the Statutes of 1997, for traffic system management.
(C) Three hundred million dollars ($300,000,000) in accumulated savings by the department achieved from better efficiency and lower costs.
(7) Not more than one hundred thirty million dollars ($130,000,000) from the Transit Capital Improvement Program funded by the Public Transportation Account in the State Transportation Fund to be used toward the eight hundred seventy-five million dollars ($875,000,000) state contribution. If the contribution in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (6) exceeds three hundred seventy million dollars ($370,000,000), it is the intent that the amount from the Transit Capital Improvement Program shall be reduced by an amount that is equal to that excess.
(8) (A) The funds necessary to meet principal obligations of not less than six hundred forty-two million dollars ($642,000,000) from the state’s share of the federal Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation (HBRR) Program.
(B) If the project costs exceed four billion six hundred thirty-seven million dollars ($4,637,000,000), the department may program not more than four hundred forty-eight million dollars ($448,000,000) in project savings or other available resources from the Interregional Transportation Improvement Program, the State Highway Operation and Protection Program, or federal bridge funds for that purpose.
(C) None of the funds identified in subparagraph (B) may be expended for any purpose other than the conditions and design features described in paragraph (9).
(9) The estimated cost of replacing the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge listed in subparagraph (H) of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) is based on the following conditions:
(A) The new bridge shall be located north adjacent to the existing bridge and shall be the Replacement Alternative N-6 (preferred) Suspension Structure Variation, as specified in the Final Environmental Impact Statement, dated May 1, 2001, submitted by the department to the Federal Highway Administration.
(B) The main span of the bridge shall be in the form of a single tower cable suspension design and shall be the Replacement Alternative N-6 (preferred) Suspension Structure Variation, as specified in the Final Environmental Impact Statement, dated May 1, 2001, submitted by the department to the Federal Highway Administration.
(C) The roadway in each direction shall consist of five lanes, each lane will be 12 feet wide, and there shall be 10-foot shoulders as an emergency lane for public safety purposes on each side of the main-traveled way.
(c) If the actual cost of retrofit or replacement, or both retrofit and replacement, of toll bridges is less than the cost estimate of four billion six hundred thirty-seven million dollars ($4,637,000,000), there shall be a reduction in the amount provided in paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) equal to the proportion of total funds committed to complete the projects funded from funds generated from paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) as compared to the total funds from paragraphs (6), (7), and (8) of subdivision (b), and there shall be a proportional reduction in the amount specified in paragraph (8) of subdivision (b).
(d) If the department determines that the actual costs exceed the amounts identified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (8) of subdivision (b), the department shall report to the Legislature within 90 days from the date of that determination as to the difference and the reason for the increase in costs.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commission shall adopt fund estimates consistent with subdivision (b) and Section 188.6 and provide flexibility so that state funds can be made available to match federal funds made available to regional transportation planning agencies.
(f) For the purposes of this section, “principal obligations” are the amount of funds generated, either in cash, obligation authority, or the proceeds of a bond or other indebtedness.

SEC. 12.

 Section 339 of the Streets and Highways Code is amended to read:

339.
 Route 39 is from:
(a) Route 1 near Huntington Beach to Route 72 in La Habra via Beach Boulevard.
(b) Beach Boulevard to Harbor Boulevard in La Habra via Whittier Boulevard.
(c) Whittier Boulevard in La Habra to Route 2 via Harbor Boulevard to the vicinity of Fullerton Road, then to Azusa Avenue, Azusa Avenue to San Gabriel Canyon Road, San Gabriel Avenue southbound between Azusa Avenue and San Gabriel Canyon Road, and San Gabriel Canyon Road, other than the portion of the segment described by this subdivision that is within the city limits of Azusa, Covina, and West Covina.
The relinquished former portions of Route 39 within the city limits of Azusa, Covina, and West Covina are not state highways and are not eligible for adoption under Section 81. For the relinquished former portions of Route 39, the Cities of Azusa, Covina, and West Covina shall maintain within their respective jurisdictions signs directing motorists to the continuation of Route 39.
(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the commission may relinquish to the City of Buena Park the portion of Route 39 within the city limits of Buena Park from the Anaheim/Buena Park city limits to the junction with State Highway Route 5 (post mile 12.9 to post mile 15.1), on terms and conditions that the commission finds to be within the best interests of the state, if the department and the city enter into an agreement providing for that relinquishment. The following conditions shall apply upon relinquishment:
(1) The relinquishment shall become effective on the date following the county recorder’s recordation of the relinquishment resolution containing the commission’s approval of the terms and conditions of the relinquishment.
(2) On and after the effective date of the relinquishment, the portion of Route 39 relinquished under this subdivision shall cease to be a state highway and shall be ineligible for future adoption under Section 81.
(3) For the portion of Route 39 relinquished under this subdivision, the City of Buena Park shall maintain within its jurisdiction signs directing motorists to the continuation of Route 39.

SEC. 13.

 Section 525 of the Streets and Highways Code is amended to read:

525.
 (a) Route 225 is from Route 101 near Santa Barbara to Route 101 near the Santa Barbara Central Business District.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the commission may relinquish to the City of Santa Barbara the entire Route 225 within the jurisdiction of the city, between the Route 101/225 separation at Las Positas Road and the Castillo Street interchange with Route 101, on terms and conditions that the commission finds to be in the best interests of the state, if the department and the city enter into an agreement providing for that relinquishment. The following conditions shall apply upon relinquishment:
(1) The relinquishment shall become effective on the date following the county recorder’s recordation of the relinquishment resolution containing the commission’s approval of the terms and conditions of the relinquishment.
(2) On and after the effective date of the relinquishment, Route 225 shall cease to be a state highway and shall be ineligible for future adoption under Section 81.

SEC. 14.

 Section 21100.4 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

21100.4.
 (a) (1) A magistrate presented with the affidavit of a peace officer or a designated local transportation officer establishing reasonable cause to believe that a vehicle, described by vehicle type and license number, is being operated as a taxicab or other passenger vehicle for hire in violation of licensing requirements adopted by a local authority under subdivision (b) of Section 21100 shall issue a warrant or order authorizing the peace officer or designated local transportation officer to immediately seize and cause the removal of the vehicle. As used in this section, “designated local transportation officer” means any local public officer employed by a local authority to investigate and enforce local taxicab and vehicle for hire laws and regulations.
(2) The warrant or court order may be entered into a computerized database.
(3) A vehicle so impounded may be impounded for a period not to exceed 30 days.
(4) The impounding agency, within two working days of impoundment, shall send a notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the legal owner of the vehicle, at an address obtained from the department, informing the owner that the vehicle has been impounded and providing the owner with a copy of the warrant or court order. Failure to notify the legal owner within two working days shall prohibit the impounding agency from charging for more than 15 days’ impoundment when a legal owner redeems the impounded vehicle. The law enforcement agency shall be open to issue a release to the registered owner or legal owner, or the agent of either, whenever the agency is open to serve the public for regular, nonemergency business.
(b) (1) An impounding agency shall release a vehicle to the registered owner or his or her agent prior to the end of the impoundment period and without the permission of the magistrate authorizing the vehicle’s seizure under any of the following circumstances:
(A) When the vehicle is a stolen vehicle.
(B) When the vehicle was seized under this section for an offense that does not authorize the seizure of the vehicle.
(C) When the vehicle is a rental car.
(2) A vehicle may not be released under this subdivision, except upon presentation of the registered owner’s or agent’s currently valid license to operate the vehicle under the licensing requirements adopted by the local authority under subdivision (b) of Section 21100, and proof of current vehicle registration, or upon order of the court.
(c) (1) Whenever a vehicle is impounded under this section, the magistrate ordering the storage shall provide the vehicle’s registered and legal owners of record, or their agents, with the opportunity for a poststorage hearing to determine the validity of the storage.
(2) A notice of the storage shall be mailed or personally delivered to the registered and legal owners within 48 hours after issuance of the warrant or court order, excluding weekends and holidays, by the person or agency executing the warrant or court order, and shall include all of the following information:
(A) The name, address, and telephone number of the agency providing the notice.
(B) The location of the place of storage and a description of the vehicle, which shall include, if available, the name or make, the manufacturer, the license plate number, and the mileage of the vehicle.
(C) A copy of the warrant or court order and the peace officer’s affidavit, as described in subdivision (a).
(D) A statement that, in order to receive their poststorage hearing, the owners, or their agents, are required to request the hearing from the magistrate issuing the warrant or court order in person, in writing, or by telephone, within 10 days of the date of the notice.
(3) The poststorage hearing shall be conducted within two court days after receipt of the request for the hearing.
(4) At the hearing, the magistrate may order the vehicle released if he or she finds any of the circumstances described in subdivision (b) or (e) that allow release of a vehicle by the impounding agency.
(5) Failure of either the registered or legal owner, or his or her agent, to request, or to attend, a scheduled hearing satisfies the poststorage hearing requirement.
(6) The agency employing the peace officer or designated local transportation officer who caused the magistrate to issue the warrant or court order shall be responsible for the costs incurred for towing and storage if it is determined in the poststorage hearing that reasonable grounds for the storage are not established.
(d) The registered owner or his or her agent is responsible for all towing and storage charges related to the impoundment, and any administrative charges authorized under Section 22850.5.
(e) A vehicle removed and seized under subdivision (a) shall be released to the legal owner of the vehicle or the legal owner’s agent prior to the end of the impoundment period and without the permission of the magistrate authorizing the seizure of the vehicle if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The legal owner is a motor vehicle dealer, bank, credit union, acceptance corporation, or other licensed financial institution legally operating in this state or is another person, not the registered owner, holding a security interest in the vehicle.
(2) (A) The legal owner or the legal owner’s agent pays all towing and storage fees related to the seizure of the vehicle. A lien sale processing fee shall not be charged to the legal owner who redeems the vehicle prior to the 15th day of impoundment. Neither the impounding authority nor any person having possession of the vehicle shall collect from the legal owner of the type specified in paragraph (1), or the legal owner’s agent, any administrative charges imposed pursuant to Section 22850.5 unless the legal owner voluntarily requested a poststorage hearing.
(B) A person operating or in charge of a storage facility where vehicles are stored pursuant to this section shall accept a valid bank credit card or cash for payment of towing, storage, and related fees by a legal or registered owner or the owner’s agent claiming the vehicle. A credit card shall be in the name of the person presenting the card. “Credit card” means “credit card” as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1747.02 of the Civil Code, except, for the purposes of this section, credit card does not include a credit card issued by a retail seller.
(C) A person operating or in charge of a storage facility described in subparagraph (B) who violates subparagraph (B) shall be civilly liable to the owner of the vehicle or to the person who tendered the fees for four times the amount of the towing, storage, and related fees, but not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500).
(D) A person operating or in charge of a storage facility described in subparagraph (B) shall have sufficient funds on the premises of the primary storage facility during normal business hours to accommodate, and make change in, a reasonable monetary transaction.
(E) Credit charges for towing and storage services shall comply with Section 1748.1 of the Civil Code. Law enforcement agencies may include the costs of providing for payment by credit when making agreements with towing companies on rates.
(3) (A) The legal owner or the legal owner’s agent presents to the law enforcement agency or impounding agency, or any person acting on behalf of those agencies, a copy of the assignment, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 7500.1 of the Business and Professions Code; a release from the one responsible governmental agency, only if required by the agency; a government-issued photographic identification card; and any one of the following as determined by the legal owner or the legal owner’s agent: a certificate of repossession for the vehicle, a security agreement for the vehicle, or title, whether paper or electronic, showing proof of legal ownership for the vehicle. The law enforcement agency, impounding agency, or any other governmental agency, or any person acting on behalf of those agencies, shall not require the presentation of any other documents.
(B) The legal owner or the legal owner’s agent presents to the person in possession of the vehicle, or any person acting on behalf of the person in possession, a copy of the assignment, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 7500.1 of the Business and Professions Code; a release from the one responsible governmental agency, only if required by the agency; a government-issued photographic identification card; and any one of the following as determined by the legal owner or the legal owner’s agent: a certificate of repossession for the vehicle, a security agreement for the vehicle, or title, whether paper or electronic, showing proof of legal ownership for the vehicle. The person in possession of the vehicle, or any person acting on behalf of the person in possession, shall not require the presentation of any other documents.
(C) All presented documents may be originals, photocopies, or facsimile copies, or may be transmitted electronically. The law enforcement agency, impounding agency, or any person in possession of the vehicle, or anyone acting on behalf of them, shall not require any documents to be notarized. The law enforcement agency, impounding agency, or any person acting on behalf of those agencies, may require the agent of the legal owner to produce a photocopy or facsimile copy of its repossession agency license or registration issued pursuant to Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 7500) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, or to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the law enforcement agency, impounding agency, or any person in possession of the vehicle, or anyone acting on behalf of them, that the agent is exempt from licensure pursuant to Section 7500.2 or 7500.3 of the Business and Professions Code.
(D) An administrative cost authorized under subdivision (a) of Section 22850.5 shall not be charged to the legal owner of the type specified in paragraph (1) who redeems the vehicle unless the legal owner voluntarily requests a poststorage hearing. A city, county, city and county, or state agency shall not require a legal owner or a legal owner’s agent to request a poststorage hearing as a requirement for release of the vehicle to the legal owner or the legal owner’s agent. The law enforcement agency, impounding agency, or any other governmental agency, or any person acting on behalf of those agencies, shall not require any documents other than those specified in this paragraph. The law enforcement agency, impounding agency, or other governmental agency, or any person acting on behalf of those agencies, may not require any documents to be notarized. The legal owner or the legal owner’s agent shall be given a copy of any documents he or she is required to sign, except for a vehicle evidentiary hold logbook. The law enforcement agency, impounding agency, or any person acting on behalf of those agencies, or any person in possession of the vehicle, may photocopy and retain the copies of any documents presented by the legal owner or legal owner’s agent.
(4) A failure by a storage facility to comply with any applicable conditions set forth in this subdivision shall not affect the right of the legal owner or the legal owner’s agent to retrieve the vehicle, provided all conditions required of the legal owner or legal owner’s agent under this subdivision are satisfied.
(f) (1) A legal owner or the legal owner’s agent that obtains release of the vehicle pursuant to subdivision (e) shall not release the vehicle to the registered owner of the vehicle or the person who was listed as the registered owner when the vehicle was impounded or any agents of the registered owner until the termination of the impoundment period.
(2) The legal owner or the legal owner’s agent shall not relinquish the vehicle to the registered owner or the person who was listed as the registered owner when the vehicle was impounded until the registered owner or that owner’s agent presents his or her valid driver’s license or valid temporary driver’s license, and an operator’s license that is in compliance with the licensing requirements adopted by the local authority under subdivision (b) of Section 21100, to the legal owner or the legal owner’s agent. The legal owner or the legal owner’s agent or the person in possession of the vehicle shall make every reasonable effort to ensure that the licenses presented are valid and possession of the vehicle will not be given to the driver who was involved in the original impoundment proceeding until the expiration of the impoundment period.
(3) Prior to relinquishing the vehicle, the legal owner may require the registered owner to pay all towing and storage charges related to the impoundment and the administrative charges authorized under Section 22850.5 that were incurred by the legal owner in connection with obtaining the custody of the vehicle.
(4) Any legal owner who knowingly releases or causes the release of a vehicle to a registered owner or the person in possession of the vehicle at the time of the impoundment or any agent of the registered owner in violation of this subdivision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a civil penalty in the amount of two thousand dollars ($2,000).
(5) The legal owner, registered owner, or person in possession of the vehicle shall not change or attempt to change the name of the legal owner or the registered owner on the records of the department until the vehicle is released from the impoundment.
(g) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the registered owner and not the legal owner shall remain responsible for any towing and storage charges related to the impoundment and the administrative charges authorized under Section 22850.5 and any parking fines, penalties, and administrative fees incurred by the registered owner.
(h) The law enforcement agency and the impounding agency, including any storage facility acting on behalf of the law enforcement agency or impounding agency, shall comply with this section and shall not be liable to the registered owner for the improper release of the vehicle to the legal owner or the legal owner’s agent if the release complies with this section. The legal owner shall indemnify and hold harmless a storage facility from any claims arising out of the release of the vehicle to the legal owner or the legal owner’s agent and from any damage to the vehicle after its release, including the reasonable costs associated with defending any such claims. A law enforcement agency shall not refuse to issue a release to a legal owner or the agent of a legal owner on the grounds that it previously issued a release.

SEC. 15.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.