Bill Summary for H 165 (2021)

Summary date: 

Sep 22 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
House Bill 165 (Public) Filed Thursday, February 25, 2021
AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO THE TRANSPORTATION AND MOTOR VEHICLE LAWS OF THE STATE.
Intro. by B. Jones, Iler, Shepard.

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Bill summary

Senate committee substitute to the 3rd edition makes the following changes.

Part I.

Makes a technical change to the effective date provision in Section 2.

Deletes the following: (1) Sections 3 and 4, which made changes to the Highway Maintenance Improvement Program; and (2) Section 5, which amended GS 143-64.24 by providing that the North Carolina State Ports Authority may only contract to obtain the services of a consultant after the proposed contract is approved by the Board of the North Carolina State Ports Authority.

Adds the following to Part I.

Amends GS 136-189.11(e), which allows varying from the Transportation Investment Strategy Formula if the specified conditions are met. Current law requires the Secretary to calculate the amount of Regional Impact and Division Need funds allocated in that year to each division and region, the amount of funds obligated, and the amount the obligations exceeded or were below the allocation. Requires the targeted amounts obtained according the Formula to be adjusted to account for any differences between allocations and obligations reported for the previous fiscal years (was, for the previous five fiscal years).

Amends GS 136-28.10 to provide that for Highway Fund or Highway Trust Fund construction and repair projects of $1 million (was, $500,00) or less, and maintenance projects of $1 million (was, $500,000) or less per year, the Board of Transportation may, after soliciting and receiving (was, soliciting) at least three informal written bids from Small Business Enterprises, award contracts to the lowest responsible bidder. 

Amends GS 143-215.73F(c1), by specifying that no cost-share is required for dredging projects located in a development tier one area for a ferry channel used (was, maintained) by the Department of Transportation.

Deletes the current provisions of GS 136-28.12 and instead requires the Department of Transportation (DOT), for state-maintained roads, to coordinate litter removal and mowing as follows: (1) if the highway right-of-way to be mowed is part of the primary road system, DOT must schedule the removal of litter before the right-of-way is mowed; and (2) if the highway right-of-way to be mowed is part of the secondary road system, DOT must schedule, to the extent practicable, the removal of litter before the right-of-way is mowed. Requires DOT to require as a term of any contract to mow or remove litter that the contracting party agree to these provisions. Applies to contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2022. Requires DOT, on or before January 15, 2022, to report to the specified NCGA committee and division on the effectiveness of DOT's Litter Management System website and interactive map. 

Part II. 

Deletes the following Sections: (1) Section 7, which authorized the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to establish and maintain electronic systems and means for renewals of all licenses, permits, certificates, and registrations, and that set out reporting requirements; (2) Section 9.1 which required DOT, Ferry Division, to lease a passenger ferry vessel for operation between Hatteras and Ocracoke, with the lease ending no later than September 12, 2021, and required specified funds to be used for this purpose; (3) Section 9.2 which required specified funds be used to reimburse funds Carteret County provided on behalf of Hyde County to fulfill the local match requirements for grant funds to dredge the Cedar Island ferry channel; and (4) Section 9.3 which required specified funds to be used for North Carolina coastal dredging.

Adds the following new content to Part II.

Amends SL 2021-134 as follows. Requires the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), in addition to the DMV, to consult with the Attorney General (previously, required DMV to consult with OAH and the Attorney General) in studying the feasibility of transferring (1) dealer license hearings pursuant to GS 20-296 and (2) safety and emissions inspection hearings pursuant to Article 3A of GS Chapter 20 from the DMV to OAH. Changes the deadline for reporting on the study from January 31, 2022, to March 31, 2022. Makes Section 9, which amends the effective date of certain license revocations, effective on February 1, 2022 (was, October 1, 2021).

Part III.

Adds the following new content.

Amends GS 20-309.2 to require the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to ensure that its records accurately reflect the insurance coverage status of each owner of a registered motor vehicle or one required to be registered by reconciling the notices received under the statute. Directs the DMV not to record a termination notice received under the statute as a lapse in financial liability if the DMV has received an earlier notice that establishes the owner has met the requirements for the vehicle through a liability policy that is not the subject of the later termination notice.

Amends GS 20-311 to require the DMV to notify the owner by mail or electronically (was, mail only) upon receipt of evidence that the owner of a motor vehicle registered or required to be registered does not have financial responsibility for the operation of the vehicle. Makes clarifying changes. Adds that the DMV must assess no penalty against an owner that responds within the time period specified in existing law and establishes the following: (1) the owner sold the vehicle or transferred the title pursuant to State law regarding transfer of title or surrender of title to salvage vehicles within 10 days of the termination of financial responsibility for the vehicle; (2) the owner did not operate or allow the vehicle to be operated during the lapse due to damage or mechanical defect, or nonpossession due to sale or transfer for which there was a delay between the physical transfer and completion of the required paperwork; and (2) the owner has returned the NC registration plate or has submitted an affidavit indicating the plate has been lost, stolen, or destroyed. 

Directs the DMV to develop a plan to implement a system for accepting documentation from insurers pursuant to GS 20-309.2, as amended, in an electronic format that allows for immediate transmission of insurance coverage status for owners of vehicles registered or required to be registered in the State. Requires the plan to also provide for electronic submission of documentation required from insurers to license an individual or register a motor vehicle. Directs the DMV to report to the specified NCGA committee chairs by March 1, 2021, detailing the plan developed.

Amends GS 136-89.199, which provides for designating high-occupancy toll and managed lanes, by making a violation of a use requirement or use condition for lanes designated under the statute an infraction. Makes a conforming change to GS 20-176. Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2021.

Amends GS 20-116 by specifying that the statute does not prevent the operation of passenger buses that are owned and operated by local governments, operated as a single vehicle and having an overall length of 45 feet or less or as an articulated vehicle and having an overall length of 65 feet or less.

Amends GS 20-11(d)(3) by amending the requirements to be met in order for a person who is at least 16 years old but less than 18 years old to obtain a limited provisional license, to require passing a road test administered by either DMV (was, DMV only) or by a commercial driver training school certified by the DMV to administer road tests. Enacts new GS 20-329 authorizing a licensed commercial driver training school to administer road tests required for licensure under GS 20-11(d)(3) only when certified under by the DMV. Allows a person who passes a road test required for licensure administered by a commercial driver training school to submit proof to the DMV of passage of the road test for the purpose of meeting the requirement of GS 20-11(d)(3). Allows the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to adopt rules for school certification to administer road tests. Amends GS 20-320 by amending the definitions of the following terms as they are used in GS Chapter 20, Article 14 (Driver Training School Licensing Law): (1) amends the definition of commercial driver training school, or school, to also include a business enterprise conducted by an individual, association, partnership, or corporation which administers road tests under new GS 20-329; and (2) amends the definition of instructor to also include a person who administers road tests.

Amends the act's long title.

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