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SB-750 Vehicles: Digital license plates.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 05/03/2017 09:00 PM
SB750:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 03, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  April 17, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 750


Introduced by Senator Hueso

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Sections 5200 and 5204 Section 4853 of, to add Sections 293, 294, and 4854 to, to add Article 8.7 (commencing with Section 5175) to Chapter 1 of Division 3 of, and to add Chapter 2.7 (commencing with Section 11450) to Division 5 of, the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 750, as amended, Hueso. Vehicles: Digital license plates.
Existing law requires a vehicle to display a license plate issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles on the rear of the vehicle. Existing law requires a vehicle to display tabs upon the license plate indicating the month and year of expiration of the vehicle registration and makes it a crime to display expired tabs. Existing law authorizes the department to conduct a pilot program program, to be completed no later than January 1, 2019, to evaluate the use of alternatives to stickers, tabs, license plates plates, and registration stickers. cards, subject to certain requirements, and to report the results of the pilot program, as specified, to the Legislature no later than July 1, 2020. Existing law also authorizes the department to enter into contracts with qualified private industry partners to provide specified service relating to the registration of vehicles. Existing law regulates the licensing of persons engaged in the business of a registration service.
This bill would specify that the authorization to establish the above-mentioned pilot program includes the authority to establish a pilot program to evaluate digital license plates. This bill would, as part of the pilot program, authorize a person who enters into a contract with the department and is licensed as a registration service to provide a digital license plate, as defined, and would provide requirements for a digital license plate. The bill would allow a digital license plate and digital registration tabs to be displayed on a vehicle in lieu of a rear license plate issued by the department. The bill would authorize a digital license plate provider to provide specialized digital license plates approved by the department and to receive donations and collect a fee for a specialized digital license plate. The bill would authorize a digital license plate provider to enter into a payment arrangement with a customer that includes a prorated monthly payment of registration fees. The bill would require a digital license plate provider to wirelessly update the registration tab display on a digital license plate, and to cancel or revoke a registration tab at the request of the department.
By allowing for the automatic updating of registration tabs, this bill would extend the application of the crime of displaying expired tabs to more persons, thereby creating a state-mandated local program.
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 293 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

293.
 A “digital license plate” is an electronic display, meeting the requirements set forth in Section 4854, that is mounted on the rear of a vehicle in lieu of a license plate issued by the department.

SEC. 2.

 Section 294 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

294.
 A “digital license plate provider” is a person engaged in the business of providing digital license plate hardware and services to vehicle owners, including the sale or lease of digital license plate hardware, processing of registration and collection of registration fees, and issuance of a digital license plate or specialized digital license plate and registration tab images displayed on a digital license plate.

SEC. 3.

 Section 4853 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

4853.
 (a) The department may issue one or more stickers, tabs, or other suitable devices in lieu of the license plates provided for under this code. Except where when the physical differences between the stickers, tabs, or devices and license plates by their nature render the provisions of this code inapplicable, all provisions of this code relating to license plates may apply to stickers, tabs, or devices.
(b) The department may establish a pilot program to evaluate the use of alternatives to the stickers, tabs, license plates, and registration cards authorized by this code, including, but not limited to, digital license plates as defined in Section 293, subject to all of the following requirements:
(1) The alternative products shall be approved by the Department of the California Highway Patrol.
(2) The pilot program shall be limited to no more than 0.5 percent of registered vehicles for the purpose of road testing and evaluation.
(3) The alternative products to be evaluated shall be provided at no cost to the state.
(4) Any pilot program established by the department pursuant to this subdivision shall be completed no later than January 1, 2019.
(5) Any pilot program established by the department pursuant to this subdivision shall be limited to vehicle owners who have voluntarily chosen to participate in the pilot program.
(c) In the conduct of any pilot program pursuant to this section, any data exchanged between the department and any electronic device or the provider of any electronic device shall be limited to those data necessary to display evidence of registration compliance. The department shall not receive or retain any information generated during the pilot program regarding the movement, location, or use of a vehicle participating in the pilot program.
(d) If the department conducts a pilot program authorized in subdivision (b), the department shall, no later than July 1, 2020, submit a report of the results of the pilot program to the Legislature, in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code, to include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) An evaluation of the cost effectiveness of the alternatives used in the pilot program when compared to the department’s current use of stickers, tabs, license plates, and registration cards.
(2) A review of all products evaluated in the pilot program and of the features of those products. The report shall note if the devices evaluated in the pilot program are available with the ability to transmit and retain information relating to the movement, location, or use of a vehicle, and if a product contains that feature, the report shall also note if the product includes any security features to protect against unauthorized access to information.
(3) Recommendations for subsequent actions, if any, that should be taken with regard to alternatives evaluated in the pilot program.

SEC. 3.SEC. 4.

 Section 4854 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

4854.
 (a) A digital license plate plate, as part of the pilot program authorized pursuant to Section 4853, shall comply with all of the following criteria:
(1) Have a display screen that is rectangular in shape, 12 inches in length, and 6 six inches in width.
(2) Display the registration number assigned to the vehicle in number and letter characters that have a minimum height of two and three-quarter inches, a minimum width of one and one-quarter inches, and a minimum spacing between characters of five-sixteenths of an inch.
(3) Display the word “California” or the abbreviation “Cal.”
(4) Display the month and year of the expiration of the registration.
(5) Be capable of being securely mounted on the rear of a vehicle in compliance with Section 5201.
(6) Be visible and legible in all lighting conditions and if photographed.
(7) Actively display at all times, including when the vehicle is parked.
(8) Have the capability to be wirelessly updated by the digital license plate provider or the department via a secure connection.
(b) A digital license plate and any plate design displayed on a digital license plate shall not be issued or displayed without the prior determination and approval of the department, in consultation with the Department of the California Highway Patrol, that the plate number, registration expiration, and state are sufficiently legible.

SEC. 4.Article 8.7 (commencing with Section 5175) is added to Chapter 1 of Division 3 of the Vehicle Code, to read:
8.7.Specialized Digital Displays
5175.

(a)A digital license plate provider may offer a specialized license plate design to an applicant with a digital license plate issued by that provider.

(b)A digital license plate provider may require a donation for a specialized license plate design. The full amount of the donation collected be the provider shall be remitted to the organization benefited by the specialized license plate design.

(c)A digital license plate provider may charge a fee set by the department in addition to the required donation to pay for the design and administrative costs of issuing the specialized design.

(d)Any specialized license plate design issued by a digital license plate provider for display on a digital license plate must be approved pursuant to Sections 4854 and 5176.

5176.

(a)The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the placement of a design or message on a California license plate is a reflection of the government, state, and people of California that is carried across the highways of this country. California residents embrace a wide array of passions, interests, hobbies, and pursuits, and the digital license plate program gives these California residents a wide array of choices. However, it is the intent of the Legislature to limit this selection to those designs and messages that reflect positively on the state and that are not inconsistent with California’s unwavering commitment to equality, safety, and quality of life for its residents.

(b)A specialty plate design shall not be issued or displayed without the prior approval of the department, which has the authority to reject any design that contains obscene language or images, promotes alcohol or drugs, contains hateful or discriminatory language or images, is likely to incite confrontation, or, otherwise, in the opinion of the department, reflects poorly on the state, government, and people of California.

SEC. 5.Section 5200 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
5200.

(a)Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (c), when two license plates are issued by the department for use upon a vehicle, they shall be attached to the vehicle for which they were issued, one in the front and the other in the rear.

(b)When only one license plate is issued for use upon a vehicle, it shall be attached to the rear thereof, unless the license plate is issued for use upon a truck tractor, in which case the license plate shall be displayed in accordance with Section 4850.5.

(c)A digital license plate issued by a licensed digital license plate provider and compliant with Section 4854 may be attached to the rear of the vehicle for which it was issued in lieu of a license plate issued by the department. If a digital license plate is attached to a vehicle pursuant to this subdivision, a license plate issued by the department shall be attached to the front of the vehicle.

SEC. 6.Section 5204 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
5204.

(a)Except as provided by subdivisions (b) and (c), a tab shall indicate the year of expiration and a tab shall indicate the month of expiration. Current month and year tabs shall be attached to the rear license plate assigned to the vehicle for the last preceding registration year in which license plates were issued, and, when so attached, the license plate with the tabs shall, for the purposes of this code, be deemed to be the license plate, except that truck tractors, and commercial motor vehicles having a declared gross vehicle weight of 10,001 pounds or more, shall display the current month and year tabs upon the front license plate assigned to the truck tractor or commercial motor vehicle. Vehicles that fail to display current month and year tabs or display expired tabs are in violation of this section.

(b)The requirement of subdivision (a) that the tabs indicate the year and the month of expiration does not apply to fleet vehicles subject to Article 9.5 (commencing with Section 5300) or vehicles defined in Section 468.

(c)Subdivision (a) does not apply when proper application for registration has been made pursuant to Section 4602 and the new indicia of current registration have not been received from the department.

(d)This section is enforceable against any motor vehicle that is driven, moved, or left standing upon a highway, or in an offstreet public parking facility, in the same manner as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 4000.

(e)A vehicle utilizing a digital license plate in lieu of a license plate issued by the department, shall display electronic tabs indicating the month and year of expiration in the same location, size, and color as a tab issued by the department. A digital license plate provider shall ensure that the electronic tabs displayed on a digital license plate accurately indicate the current registration status of the vehicle.

SEC. 7.SEC. 5.

 Chapter 2.7 (commencing with Section 11450) is added to Division 5 of the Vehicle Code, to read:
CHAPTER  2.7. Digital License Plate Providers

11450.
 (a) A digital license plate provider provider, as part of the pilot program authorized pursuant to Section 4853, may enter into a contract with the department pursuant to Section 1685.
(b) A digital license plate provider shall be licensed by the department as a registration service pursuant to Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 11400).
(c) A digital license plate provider that has entered into a contract with the department and is properly licensed is authorized to provide the following services:
(1) Selling, leasing, installation, and repair of digital license plate hardware.
(2) Issuing a digital license plate image by causing such an image, including registration tabs, to be displayed upon a digital license plate. A provider may charge a reasonable monthly or annual fee, as determined by the department, for providing this service.
(3) Processing vehicle registrations and renewals and collecting registration fees. A provider may charge a fee, not to exceed the amount set by the department pursuant to Section 1685, for providing this service.
(4) Entering into a payment arrangement with a customer, allowing the customer to pay a monthly fee to the provider for hardware, service, and prorated monthly registration fees.

(5)Providing a specialty license plate pursuant to Article 8.7 (commencing with Section 5175) of Chapter 1 of Division 3.

(6)

(5) Updating digital registration tabs displayed on a digital license plate or canceling current registration tabs at the request of the department. A digital license plate provider shall not cancel or revoke registration by turning off a digital license plate or causing it to not display the registration number. Registration shall be revoked by changing the registration tab display to an expired date or by displaying the word “EXPIRED” in the place of the tab, as approved by the department.

SEC. 8.SEC. 6.

 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.