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AB-853 Vehicles: motorsport license plates.(2013-2014)

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AB853:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 853


Introduced by Assembly Member Brown
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Linder)

February 21, 2013


An act to amend Section 5157 of, and to add Section 5156.2 to, the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 853, as introduced, Brown. Vehicles: motorsport license plates.
Existing law, subject to exceptions, requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to, upon registering a vehicle, issue the owner 2 partially or fully reflectorized license plates. Existing law also authorizes the department to issue a variety of specialty license plates. Existing law authorizes a state agency to apply to the department to sponsor a specialized license plate program, as specified.
This bill would authorize the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol to apply to the Department of Motor Vehicles to sponsor a program for a series of motorsports and auto-enthusiast themed license plates. The bill would provide that the original issue and renewal fee for those plates would be deposited in the Motorsport License Plate Account of the Specialized License Plate Fund, which account is created by the bill. The bill would authorize, upon appropriation by the Legislature, the funds collected to be used by the Office of Traffic Safety, as specified. The bill would make additional conforming changes.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 5156.2 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

5156.2.
 (a) (1) Notwithstanding Sections 5154, 5155, and 5156, the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol may apply to the department to sponsor a program for a series of motorsports and auto-enthusiast themed license plates, and the department shall issue, or cause to be issued, specialized license plates for that program, if the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol complies with the provisions of this article. This series of plates may bear emblems, seals, vehicle images, or other symbols or designs displaying motorsports and automobile enthusiast themes or professional motorsports drivers. The design of each specialty plate in the series shall be proposed by the commissioner and approved by the department.
(2) The department shall not issue specialized license plates for a vehicle that is exempt from the payment of registration fees pursuant to Section 9101 or 9103.
(b) The department shall not establish a specialized license plate program described in subdivision (a) until the department has received at least 7,500 applications for the specialized license plates. The commissioner shall collect and hold applications for the plates. Once the commissioner has received at least 7,500 applications, the commissioner shall submit the applications, along with the necessary fees, to the department. The department shall not issue a specialized license plate until the commissioner has received and submitted to the department not less than 7,500 applications collectively for that particular specialized license plates within five years of the initial application to sponsor the specialized license plates. Advance payment to the department by the commissioner representing the department’s estimated or actual administrative costs associated with the issuance of a particular specialized license plate shall not constitute compliance with this requirement. The commissioner shall have 12 months, following the date of approval of the initial application to sponsor a specialized license plate program, to receive the required number of applications. If, after that 12 months, 7,500 applications have not been received, the commissioner shall immediately do either of the following:
(1) Refund to all applicants all fees or deposits that have been collected.
(2) Contact the department to indicate the commissioner’s intent to undertake collection of additional applications and fees or deposits for an additional period, not to exceed 12 months, in order to obtain the minimum 7,500 applications. If the commissioner elects to exercise the option under this paragraph, the commissioner shall contact each applicant who has submitted an application with the appropriate fees or deposits to determine if the applicant wishes a refund of fees or deposits or requests the continuance of the holding of the application and fees or deposits until that time that the commissioner has received 7,500 applications. The commissioner shall refund the fees or deposits to an applicant so requesting. The commissioner shall not collect and hold applications for a period exceeding 24 months following the date of approval of the initial application to sponsor a specialized license plate program.
(c) The department shall cause to be issued any plate in this series without a minimum number of applications for a specific design.
(d) The fees for original issuance and renewal of registration for the specialty plates shall be deposited in the Motorsports License Plate Account, which is hereby created in the Specialized License Plate Fund, and notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 5157, shall, upon appropriation, be distributed quarterly to the department for its actual costs of administering this program, and the balance to the commissioner, who shall transfer the funds to the Office of Traffic Safety.
(e) (1) The commissioner or the commissioner’s designee shall secure license rights for any emblem, seal, vehicle image, or other motorsports or automobile enthusiast symbol or design displaying automotive themes or themes of professional motorsports, or professional motorsports drivers, for use on specialized license plates authorized by this section. However, the commissioner shall not pay or provide more than nominal monetary compensation for those license rights.
(2) The terms of the license rights agreements shall hold the state, the commissioner, and the Office of Traffic Safety harmless and shall indemnify the state, the commissioner, and the Office of Traffic Safety from all losses, costs, expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees, claims, demands, liabilities, causes of action, and damages, arising out of the unauthorized use or infringement of a trademark, service mark, copyright, patent, method, device, or other proprietary right, in connection with the issuance of the specialized license plates authorized by this section.
(f) The commissioner, the department, and the Office of Traffic Safety may require the hold harmless and indemnity agreements to be supported by policies of commercial general liability insurance, or other insurance, in amounts and by insurance companies that are acceptable to the commissioner and the department.
(g) The commissioner and the Office of Traffic Safety may solicit, negotiate, and collect contributions from third parties to augment the program authorized by this section.

SEC. 2.

 Section 5157 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

5157.
 (a) In addition to the regular fees for an original registration or renewal of registration, except as provided in paragraph (6), the following additional fees shall be paid for the issuance, renewal, or transfer of the specialized license plates:
(1) For the original issuance of the plates, fifty dollars ($50).
(2) For a renewal of registration with the plates, forty dollars ($40).
(3) For transfer of the plates to another vehicle, fifteen dollars ($15).
(4) For each substitute replacement plate, thirty-five dollars ($35).
(5) In addition, for the issuance of environmental license plates, as defined in Section 5103, with a specialized license plate design, the additional fees prescribed in Sections 5106 and 5108. The additional fees prescribed in Sections 5106 and 5108 shall be deposited in the California Environmental License Plate Fund.
(6) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), for the original issuance of specialty license plates pursuant to Section 5156.2, sixty dollars ($60), and for the renewal of registration with the plates, fifty dollars ($50).
(b) The Gold Star Family specialized license plate program as provided in subdivision (d) of Section 5156 shall not be subject to the fees specified in paragraphs (1), (2), and (5) of subdivision (a) and shall only be issued in a sequential series.
(c) Except as provided in paragraph paragraphs (5) and (6) of subdivision (a), and Section 5156.2, and after deducting its administrative costs under this section, the department shall deposit the additional revenue derived from the issuance, renewal, transfer, and substitution of the specialized license plates in the Specialized License Plate Fund, which is hereby established in the State Treasury. Upon appropriation by the Legislature, the moneys in that fund shall be allocated to each sponsoring agency, in proportion to the amount in the fund that is attributable to the agency’s specialized license plate program. Except as authorized under Section 5159, the sponsoring agency shall expend all funds received under this section exclusively for projects and programs that promote the state agency’s official policy, mission, or work.
(d) (1) The Department of Veterans Affairs may actively request and receive donations for the Gold Star Family License Plate Account which is hereby created in the Specialized License Plate Fund and which may consist of donations from public and private entities. Earnings generated by the Gold Star Family License Plate Account shall be retained by the account.
(2) Upon the determination of the department that there are sufficient funds in the Gold Star Family License Plate Account for this purpose, moneys in the Gold Star Family License Plate Account shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to the department for the necessary administrative costs of establishing the Gold Star Family specialized license plate program.