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AB-226 Specialized license plates: mental health awareness.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 01/06/2020 02:00 PM
AB226:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  January 06, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 25, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 226


Introduced by Assembly Member Mathis

January 17, 2019


An act to amend Section 9105 of the Vehicle Code, relating to registration. An act to add Section 5166 to the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 226, as amended, Mathis. Registration renewal fees: exemptions. Specialized license plates: mental health awareness.
Under existing law, a state agency is authorized to apply to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to sponsor a specialized license plate program, and the DMV is required to issue those license plates if the agency meets certain requirements. Existing law also requires the DMV to charge specified fees for certain services related to the issuance of those plates.
This bill would require the State Department of Health Care Services to apply to the DMV to sponsor a mental health awareness license plate program, and would require the DMV to issue the license plates if the State Department of Health Care Services meets certain requirements. The bill would also establish the Mental Health Awareness Fund in the State Treasury and would require the revenue generated from the license plates to be deposited in the fund for use, upon appropriation by the Legislature to the State Department of Health Care Services, for mental health awareness and education.

Existing law authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew the registration of a vehicle upon the payment of the proper fees. Existing law requires the department to notify the registered owner of each vehicle, except as specified, of the date that the registration renewal fees for the vehicle are due. Existing law generally exempts vehicles that are owned by certain persons, including disabled veterans, former American prisoners of war, and recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, from fees imposed under the Vehicle Code, except as specified.

This bill would also exempt those vehicles from any other fees that are assessed as part of the registration renewal fee, as stated in the registration renewal notice mailed by the department.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 5166 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

5166.
 (a) The State Department of Health Care Services shall apply to the Department of Motor Vehicles, pursuant to Section 5156, to sponsor a mental health awareness license plate program. The Department of Motor Vehicles shall issue specialized license plates for that program if the State Department of Health Care Services complies with the requirements of this article.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 5157, the additional fees prescribed by Section 5157 for the issuance, renewal, or transfer of the specialized license plates shall be deposited, after the Department of Motor Vehicles deducts its administrative costs, in the Mental Health Awareness Fund, which is hereby established in the State Treasury. The funds in the account shall be used, upon appropriation by the Legislature to the State Department of Health Care Services, for mental health awareness and education.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that the Department of Motor Vehicles, in consultation with the Mental Health Services Division within the State Department of Health Care Services, will design and make available for issuance pursuant to this article special mental health awareness license plates. Specifically, it is the intent of the Legislature that the license plates issued pursuant to this section consist of a lime green mental health awareness ribbon to the left of the numerical series and a mental health awareness message, such as “Mental Health Matters,” below the numerical series.

SECTION 1.Section 9105 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
9105.

(a)Except for fees for duplicate license plates, duplicate certificates, or duplicate cards, the fees specified in this code, or any other fee assessed as part of the registration fee line item in the notice mailed by the department pursuant to Section 1661, need not be paid for a vehicle that is of a type subject to registration under this code, and that is not used for transportation for hire, compensation, or profit, when owned by any of the following:

(1)A disabled veteran.

(2)A former American prisoner of war.

(3)The surviving spouse of a former American prisoner of war who has elected to retain the special license plates issued under Section 5101.5.

(4)A Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.

(5)The surviving spouse of a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient who has elected to retain the special license plates issued under Section 5101.6.

(b)The exemption granted by subdivision (a) does not extend to more than one vehicle owned by a former American prisoner of war, a disabled veteran, or a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, or a surviving spouse, and is applicable to the same vehicle as described in subdivision (b) of Section 10783, or subdivision (b) of Section 10783.2, of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

(c)(1)The department may require a disabled veteran applying for an exemption under this section to submit a certificate signed by a physician and surgeon, or to the extent that it does not cause a reduction in the receipt of federal aid highway funds, by a nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife, physician assistant, chiropractor, or optometrist, substantiating the disability.

(2)The department may require a person applying for an exemption under this section for either of the following reasons to do any of the following:

(A)By reason of the person’s status as a former prisoner of war, to show, by satisfactory proof, the person’s former prisoner-of-war status.

(B)By reason of the person’s status of receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor, to show, by satisfactory proof, that the person is a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.

(d)For the purposes of this section, the term “vehicle” means any of the following:

(1)A passenger motor vehicle.

(2)A motorcycle.

(3)A commercial motor vehicle of less than 8,001 pounds unladen weight.