Bill Summary for H 199 (2023-2024)

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Summary date: 

Jun 6 2024

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2023-2024 Session
House Bill 199 (Public) Filed Thursday, February 23, 2023
Intro. by B. Jones, Shepard, McNeely, Tyson.

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Bill summary

Senate committee substitute to the 3rd edition makes the following changes.  Changes the act’s long title. Removes the following provisions from the act:

  • Amendments to GS 20-43.1 that would have authorized the DMV to adopt rules restricting disclosure of personal information about a judicial officer and increased the fee for a records request from $1 to $5 per individual record.
  • Amendments to GS 20-63.1 (pertaining to license plates) which would have: (1) eliminated the requirement that the DMV develop standards for reflectivity that use the most current technology available while maintaining a competitive bid prices and (2) eliminated the requirement that all registration plates be removed every seven years.
  • Amendments to GS 20-63.02, which would have changed the membership of the License Plate Agent (LPA) advisory committee.
  • Amendments to GS 20-84, which would have clarified EMS/rescue entity eligibility for permanent registration plates.
  • Amendments to GS 20-79.5, which would have authorized the issuance of multiple State government official special registration plates for vehicles registered to the same State official.
  • Amendments to GS 20-79.1, which would have increased the penalty for violation of a registration provision involving a temporary registration plate from a Class 3 misdemeanor to a Class I felony.
  • Amendments to GS 143-341, which would have authorized the DMV to own and operate a fleet of vehicles.

Extends the effective dates by one year of the act’s following changes to GS Chapter 20: GS 20-17.8 (restoration of a license after certain driving while impaired convictions), GS 20-42 (authority of DMV officers and employees to administer oaths and certify copies of records), GS 1-105 (service of process upon nonresident drivers), GS 66-201.1 (recovery of vehicle licenses and registration fees), GS 20-292.2 (electronic transactions-new), and GS 20-79.1 (use of temporary registration plates).  Extends the DMV’s and any partner institutions’ reporting deadlines to the specified NCGA committees and other institutions by one year on the following matters: (1) the study and plan on implementing mobile drivers’ licenses and mobile special identification cards; (2) the study on the use of alternative materials for manufacturing registration plates issued by the DMV; and (3) the study on ways to modernize and improve dealer license plates issued by the DMV.

Section 8 (Former Section 13)

Extends the DMV’s implementation deadline a statewide print-on-demand temporary registration plate system from January 1, 2024, to January 1, 2025, under GS 20-79.1B. Extends the mandatory participation deadline for all motor vehicle dealers from October 1, 2024, to October 1, 2025.

Section 12 (Former Section 18)

Makes technical change to GS 66-201.1 (recovery of vehicle license and registration fees).

Adds the following new content.

Section 15

Amends GS 20-17.4 (concerning disqualifications from driving a commercial vehicle) so that a person is now disqualified for drug and alcohol violations upon the DMV’s receipt of notice of the person’s prohibited status in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. Also adds a conviction of fraud in connection with issuance of a commercial driver's license or commercial learner's permit to the disqualifications from driving a commercial vehicle for one year. Amends GS 20-37.13 (qualification standards for CDLs) by giving drivers 60 days to comply with medical certification requirements (was, 60 days to provide required documentation). Effective October 1, 2024.

Amends GS 20-37.20 (notification of traffic convictions) so that the DMV must electronically notify (currently, just notify) the driver licensing authority in the licensing state or foreign jurisdiction of the following convictions: (1) those of any nonresident holder of a CDL or commercial learner's permit (currently, just CDL holders) for any violation of State law or local ordinance relating to motor vehicle traffic control, other than parking violations, committed in a motor vehicle or (2) any nonresident holder of a driver’s license for any violation of State law or local ordinance relating to motor vehicle traffic control, other than parking violations, committed in a commercial motor vehicle. Effective August 1, 2024.

Section 16

Amends GS 20-63 to require the DMV to review an application and issue a decision on commission contractor applications within 60 days of the date the application is submitted. Provides for extension of deadline if the DMV requests additional information. Effective October 1, 2024, and applies to commission contract applications submitted on or after that date.

Section 17

Amends GS 20-63(h) (concerning commission contracts for issuance of plates and certificates) as follows. Requires commission contracts to allow the contractor to sell their business and assign contractual rights to another qualified contractor (defined) prior to the expiration of the contract. Provides for transference of DMV equipment and software upon sale in accordance with DMV guidelines. Requires the DMV to enter into contracts using the business entity's name, unless it is contracting with the individual.

Provides a mechanism for contracts to be amended where the DMV had required a business entity to contract in the individual contractor’s name. 

Effective October 1, 2024.

Section 18

Amends GS 20-63.01 (bond required for commission contractors) to now require the contractors that are not subdivisions of the State to obtain surety (was, guaranty) bonds. Makes conforming changes. Removes the DMV’s authority to negotiate bonds for contractors who qualify for bonds as a group under favorable rates or circumstances.

Section 19

Amends GS 20-63.02 to require the LPA Advisory Committee to comply with State open meetings law (Article 33C of GS Chapter 143).

 Section 20

Repeals GS 20-85.1 (registration renewal by mail and one-day title service), effective July 1, 2024.  Effective July 1, 2024, makes the following changes that incorporate provisions previously in GS 20-85.1. Adds a $105.75 fee for each application of certificate of title prepared and delivered using a one-day title service under GS 20-85 (the one-day title fee) and requires $2 of the fee be credited to the Highway Fund. Adds this one-day title fee to those transactions that should be assessed at $2 fee for commission contract agents performing the service under GS 20-63. Provides for renewal of vehicle registration by mail in GS 20-66 (renewal of vehicle registration). Makes conforming changes to GS 20-4.02. 

Section 21

Amends GS 20-63(j) (concerning DMV contracts with other online vehicle registration vendors) to include out of state entities, such as dealers, fleet, leasing and rental car companies as entities that the DMV is authorized to contract with under the statute. Prevents the DMV from unreasonably denying a contract or access to any entity.

Section 22

Amends the farm vehicle exemption in (1) the CDL requirements under GS 20-37.16(e), (2) the weight and height exemptions under GS 20-118, and (3) the exemption from certain federal regulations under GS 20-381 so that the exemption(s) applies to farm vehicles that are traveling intrastate within the official state border (currently, there is a 150-mile use limit from the user’s farm on farm vehicles for them to fall within the exemption(s)).

Section 23

Increases the annual permit fee to move commodities other than a house trailer or trailer frames under GS 20-119 from $100 to $185. Specifies that electric vehicle batteries, transported on the same vehicle with a weight up to 132,000 pounds, are considered a non-divisible load for purposes of permit issuance. Requires an additional $498 fee to the Department of Transportation (DOT) upon issuance of an annual permit to transport electric vehicle batteries.

Section 24

Removes requirement that a new motor vehicle dealer display an LD license plate on certain loaner vehicles under GS 20-79.02. Makes conforming changes. Removes expiration date of changes to GS 20-4.01(48a) (concerning U-drive-it vehicles) set forth in Section 1.1(b) of SL 2015-232, as amended.  Removes expiration date of changes to GS 20-79(d) (concerning restrictions on dealer license plates) set forth in Section 1.4(b) of SL 2015-232, as amended. 

Section 25

Amends GS 20-79.4(b) to allow the DMV to issue two new special registration plates: (1) the Home of the Venus Flytrap and (2) NC School of Science and Mathematics. Establishes a special plate fee of $30 for each plate.  Requires that $20 of the fee for the Venus Flytrap plate be transferred quarterly to the North Carolina Botanical Garden Foundation, Inc., to support plant conservation and research. Requires that $20 of the fee for the NC School of Science and Mathematics plate be transferred quarterly to the NCSSM foundation. Effective July 1, 2024.

Section 26

Amends the definition of established salesroom in GS 20-286 (definitions provision of the Motor Vehicle Dealers and Manufacturers Licensing Law [Law]) so that the definition’s requirement that a salesroom contain at least 96 square feet of floor space in a permanent enclosed building does not preclude a dealer from using the same permanent enclosed building for other business uses, including uses conducted by a separate business entity, as long as all requirements for an established salesroom are met. 

Section 27

Amends GS 20-288 (applications for motor vehicle dealer licenses) to extend those licenses from one to two years. Makes conforming changes. Requires that applicants take one six-hour course approved by the DMV for each year of their licensing period immediately preceding the renewal. Allows for notices of cancellation and notices of nonrenewal by a corporate surety to be delivered electronically. Effective October 1, 2024, and applies to licenses issued on or after that date. For licensed used motor vehicle dealers applying for renewal on or after October 1, 2024, requires the DMV to stagger the expiration dates of licenses issued to those dealers such that, if a license was initially issued to the dealer in an even-numbered year, the first license issued on or after October 1, 2024, will expire in the next even-numbered year, and, if a  license was initially issued to the dealer in an odd-numbered year, the first license issued on or after October 1, 2024, will expire in the next odd-numbered year.

Section 28

Increases the minimum fines for intentionally or recklessly littering up to ten pounds of litter (was, 15 pounds) that is for noncommercial purposes from $250 to $500 for a first offense and from a range of $500 to $2,000 to $1,000 to $3,000 for subsequent violations within three years of the first violation.  

Increases the fines for littering up to ten pounds of litter (was, 15 pounds) from $100 to $200 for a first offense and from $200 to $500 for subsequent violations within three years of the first violation.  

Increases the fines for intentionally or recklessly littering between ten (was, 15 pounds) and 500 pounds of litter not for commercial purposes from not less than $500 to not less than $1,000 and no more than $3,000 (was, $2,000) for the first offense. Increases the minimum amount of community service that a court may order from 24 to 50 hours. 

Increases the fines for littering between ten (was, 15 pounds) and 500 pounds of litter not for commercial purposes from $200 to $500. Increases the minimum amount of community service that a court may order from eight to 24 hours and the maximum amount from 24 to 50 hours. 

Imposes a $5,000 fine for intentionally or recklessly littering more than 500 pounds or for commercial purposes or discarding litter that is a hazardous waste. Requires the court to require the violator to perform community service of not less than 100 hours, and to pick up litter during that service if feasible, and if not feasible, to perform other community service commensurate with the offense committed.

Increases the fine for littering more than 500 pounds from $300 to $2,500. Requires the court to require the violator to perform community service of not less than 50 hours, and to pick up litter during that service if feasible, and if not feasible, to perform other community service commensurate with the offense committed.

Lowers the triggering amount of litter from fifteen pounds to ten pounds which requires the court order the violator to remove the litter and other provisions pertaining to property damage and community service.

Specifies that any disposal of litter into the State’s waters will be punished in line with the section’s provisions on intentionally or recklessly littering.

Effective December 1, 2024, and applies to  offenses committed on or after that date.

Section 29

Amends GS 74C-3 by excluding a person performing duties as a Civilian Traffic Investigator from the definition of private protective services, as that term is used in GS Chapter 74C, Private Protective Services.

Section 30

Amends GS 105-561 by increasing the cap on registration taxes levied by a transportation authority from $8/year to $10/year. Makes conforming changes. Effective July 1, 2024.

Section 31

Amends GS 136-89.56 to require the DOT to contract with a private entity to administer the erection of signs and placement of logos for signs indicating the location of fuel, gas, food, lodging, camping, and attraction facilities. Sets out the responsibilities of these entities. Sets out provisions governing the fee that the vendor may charge. Specifies that the provisions do not authorize any DOT contractor to conduct any commercial activity upon signs erected and maintained within the right-of-way of fully and partially controlled-access highways. No longer requires that the logo sign program be administered by the DOT’s Transportation Mobility and Safety Division.

Allows DOT to adopt temporary rules and requires the adoption of permanent rules consistent with these provisions.

Require DOT, no later than 120 days after this section’s effective date, to issue a request for proposals and select a vendor.

Section 32

Amends GS 136-89.183 by amending the provision giving the Turnpike Authority power to design, establish, purchase, construct, operate the specified projects by adding in Phases 1 and 2 of Complete 540.

Amends GS 136-189A to allow the Turnpike Authority to contact with one or more private firms (was, a single private firm) to design, obtain necessary permits, and construct the Mid-Currituck Bridge.

Section 33

Adds new Article 33, Rail Transportation Corridor Authority, to GS Chapter 160A, providing as follows. Sets out and defines terms used in the Article. Defines rail corridor as a combination of rail line and real and personal property, structures, improvements, buildings, equipment, vehicle parking, and other appurtenant fixtures essential to rail operations and public transportation, including any facilities, maintenance yard, marshalling yard, transfer yard, utilities, pedestrian foot paths, and bicycle paths. Defines rail corridor project as any of the following that is part of or used in connection with a rail corridor and is not a special user project (as defined): (1) any land, equipment, or buildings or other structures, whether located on one or more sites within a rail corridor, or (2) the addition to or the rehabilitation, improvement, renovation, or enlargement of any property described above. Specifies that the term rail corridor project includes infrastructure improvements, such as improvements to railroad facilities, roads, bridges, and water, sewer, or electric utilities. Allows a rail corridor project to include a facility leased to one or more entities under a true lease. Defines a unit of local government as a county, city, town, or municipality of this State, and any other political subdivision, public corporation, authority, or district in this State, that is or may be authorized by law to acquire, establish, construct, improve, maintain, own, or operate a rail corridor.

Allows the creation of a Rail Transportation Corridor Authority (Authority) for any area of the State that, at the time of creation of the Authority meets the following: (1) the area consists of three or more contiguous counties each containing portions of an existing rail corridor; (2) the distance between the rail corridor milepost origination and termination points is no more than 25 miles long; (3) if the Authority intends to receive existing rail corridor interests in property, those interests can be transferred to the Authority without purchase of those interests; and (4) an Authority must not have jurisdiction over any Class I railroad, nor a rail line or rail corridor owned or operated by the US Department of Defense. Requires the Authority’s territorial jurisdiction to be coterminous with the boundaries of the three or more organizing counties, except when the Authority intends to receive existing rail corridor interests in property than can be transferred without purchase. Requires the Authority’s rail corridor service area to be designated by and recorded in the minutes of the Authority’s Board of Trustees (BOT), consistent with its purpose, and must not exceed immediately adjacent and proximate area of the rail corridor as owned or otherwise controlled by the Authority. Requires the boundaries of the Authority’s rail corridor to be designated by and recorded in the BOT’s minutes once the properties and rail line making up the rail corridor are in the Authority’s possession or control. Sets out the conditions that must be met before the Authority can extend the rail corridor into a political subdivision that is not an organizing entity. Sets out requirements for how the rail corridor boundaries are to be described.

Requires the adoption of a resolution to create an Authority by the boards of commissioners of all three or more counties within an area for which an Authority may be created and the elected board of municipality containing a portion of the rail corridor. Requires a public hearing before adoption of the resolution and sets out requirements for notice of the public hearing. Requires the resolution to form an Authority to include articles of incorporation that set forth specified information. Requires that a certified copy of each resolution organizing an Authority to be filed with the Secretary of State, along with proof of publication of the notice of hearing. Upon finding that those items conform to this Article, requires the Secretary of State to issue a certificate of incorporation. Sets out the process under which counties or municipalities may join the Authority when the Authority intends to extend the rail corridor into a new county or municipality. Specifies that members of the BOT are not subject to personal liability or accountability by reason of their execution of any debt, or the issuance of any debt. Pays BOT members $50 for each Authority meeting they attend. Requires the Authority to submit an annual report to the Governor, NCGA, and Local Government Commission; specifies what must be included in the report. Also requires the Authority to submit its annual reports to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations.

Requires the BOT to consist of one member of each organizing entity that has adopted a resolution for the creation of or a resolution to join the Authority, and one member for each regional council of government containing a portion of the rail corridor. Sets out additional provisions governing the appointment of members, establishing a quorum, election of chairs and vice-chairs, and filling of vacancies. Require an affirmative vote equal to a majority of all members not excused from voting in order to authorize or commit the expenditure of public funds, or make, ratify, or authorize any contract on behalf of the Authority.

Allows the BOT to select advisory committees it may find appropriate.

Gives the Authority all powers necessary to execute the Article, which includes as least the 16 specified powers, including powers to: (1) operate a rail corridor and enter and perform contracts to provide and operate rail and rail corridor services and facilities within the rail corridor service area; (2) charge and collect fees and rents for the use of the rail corridor or for services rendered in the operation of the rail corridor; (3) make or enter contracts, agreements, deeds, leases with or without option to purchase, conveyances, or other instruments, including contracts and agreements with the US, the State, units of local government, public transportation authorities, and private parties, to effectuate the purpose of this Article; (4) with the consent of the unit of local government that would otherwise have jurisdiction to exercise the powers enumerated in this subdivision, to issue certificates of public convenience and necessity, and to grant franchises and enter into franchise agreements, and in all respects to regulate the operation of rail, buses, trams, taxicabs, and other methods of public transportation that originate and terminate within the rail corridor as fully as the unit of local government is now or hereafter empowered to do within the jurisdiction of the unit of local government; and (5) issue debt for the purpose of financing the costs (defined as the capital costs of a rail corridor project or special user project) of a rail corridor project or any part thereof and to refund, whether or not in advance of maturity or the earliest redemption date, any such debt. Requires the BOT to, in order to execute these powers, to determine the policies of the Authority by majority vote of those members present and voting. Gives the chair the sole and exclusive authority the execute the polity of the Authority.

Specifies that an Authority is a public authority and is subject to GS Chapter 159, The Local Government Finance Act.

Allows the State and any unit of local government to appropriate funds to support the establishment and operation of the Authority, or to dedicate, sell, convey, donate, or lease any of their interests in any property to the Authority. Allows an Authority to apply for grants from the State, or from the US or any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof. Allows the Department of Transportation to allocate to an Authority any funds appropriated for rail corridors, public transportation, or any funds whose use is not restricted by law.

Sets out the requirements that apply to public hearings that are required by federal tax law for the issuance of debt to finance a rail corridor project or special user project.

Sets out items that must be include in every special user project financing agreement. Requires the agreement, if in the nature of a lease agreement, to either provide that the obligor must have an option to purchase, or require that the obligor purchase, the special user project upon the expiration or termination of the financing agreement subject to the condition that payment in full of the debt principal shall have been made. Allows the financing agreement to give the Authority rights and remedies in the event of a default by the obligor, including, without limitation: (1) acceleration of all amounts payable under the financing agreement; (2) reentry and repossession of the special user project; (3) termination of the financing agreement; (4) leasing or sale of foreclosure of the special user project to others; and (5) taking whatever actions at law or in equity may appear necessary or desirable to collect the amounts payable under, and to enforce covenants made in, the financing agreement. Provides that the Authority's interest in a special user project under a financing agreement may be that of owner, lessor, lessee, conditional or installment vendor, mortgagor, mortgagee, secured party, or otherwise, but the Authority does not need to have any ownership or possessory interest in the special user project. Allows the Authority to assign all or any of its rights and remedies under the financing agreement to debt holders under a security document.

Allows a county or municipality in which all or part of the rail corridor is located to enter into an agreement with the Authority providing for payments to be made by the county or municipality, as applicable, to the Authority; such an agreement may be entered into only after the Authority designates the rail corridor.

Exempts the Authority’s real and personal property, its acts, activities, and income from taxation. Specifies that this exemption does not apply to the value of a leasehold interest or to a lessee’s income.

Specifies that the Article does not limit or affect the power or authority of the North Carolina Utilities Commission or the right of appeal to the North Carolina Utilities Commission as provided by law. Specifies that the North Carolina Utilities Commission does not have jurisdiction over rates, fees, charges, routes, and schedules of an Authority for service within the rail corridor.

Gives the Authority the power to require any public utility, railroad, or other public service corporation owning or operating any installations, structures, equipment, apparatus, appliances, or facilities in, upon, under, over, across, or along any ways on which the Authority has the right to own, construct, operate, or maintain its rail corridor, to relocate such installation, structures, equipment, apparatus, appliances, or facilities from their locations, or, in the sole discretion of the affected public utility, railroad, or other public service corporation, to remove such installations, structures, equipment, apparatus, appliances, or facilities from their locations. Allows the Authority to relocate the object if the owner or operator fails or refuses to do so. Requires the Authority to provide any necessary new locations and necessary real estate interests for such relocation, and may exercise eminent domain for that purpose if the new locations is not in, on, or above, a public highway; the Authority may also acquire the necessary new locations by purchase or otherwise. Requires compensation for any affected public utility, railroad, or other public service corporation for any real estate interest taken via eminent domain, subject to the right of the Authority to reduce the compensation due by the value of any property exchanged under this statute. Requires the method and procedures of a particular adjustment to the facilities of a public utility, railroad, or other public service corporation to be covered by an agreement between the Authority and the affected party. Requires the Authority to reimburse the public utility, railroad, or other public service corporation, for the cost of relocations or removals, to be calculated as specified.

Gives the Authority power to acquire the fee or any lesser interest in real or personal property for use by the Authority. Also allows the Authority to exchange any property it acquires for other property usable in carrying out the powers conferred on the Authority and also, upon the payment of just compensation, may remove a building or another structure from land needed for its purposes and reconstruct the structure on another location (prohibits using eminent domain to acquire property for exchange). Sets out issues that must be considered when the Authority selects one or more sites for adjoining rail facilities or property for shell or storage buildings. Sets out the process and effect of dissolving the Authority.

Amends GS 160A-20, concerning security interests, by adding an Authority to the definition of a unit of local government as it is used under the statute.

Section 34

Requires DOT’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), in consultation with the Office of State Budget and Management, Office of the State Controller, and the Fiscal Research Division, to align the DOT’s internal ledger and business practices with the DOT's certified budget in accordance with the standards established by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). Requires completion by July 1, 2025.

Requires the CFO, beginning October 1, 2024, and every quarter thereafter until the completion date above, to submit progress reports on implementation, including any legislative recommendations, to the specified NCGA committee and division.

Section 35

Requires DOT to designate the specified overpass in Columbus County as the Waccamaw Siouan Tribe Bridge.