Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/13/1996 01:25 PM TRA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 440 - VEHICLE REGISTRATION & REGISTRATION FEES Number 0980 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said the next item on the agenda was HB 440, an act relating to motor vehicle registration and motor vehicle registration fees; and providing for an effective date. ROGER POPPE, Legislative Aide for Representative Kott, said HB 440 is a simple bill which raises the fees for all motor vehicle registration by $5. He said HB 440 does not include that $5 fee for a small group of vehicles. He referred to page three, line 16 through 25, and said it was in these circumstances that the current fee was retained. He said he was not aware of the reasons for exempting the $5 increase for these special license plates. He said the other request plate, subsection E on line 25, include university plates and other vanity plates. Number 1030 MR. POPPE said the other portion of HB 440 is a housekeeping section with the exception located on page two, Section 3, lines 6 through 11, which changes the current practice of the DOT/PF regarding the practice of charging $10, above and beyond the current fee structure, in order to encourage people to pay their fees by mail. He said HB 440 reduced the fee by $5 if the registration is mailed. Number 1148 MR. POPPE referred to the fiscal note and said that the state, even with the $5 savings for mailed in registration, would save money and HB 440, creating a negative fiscal note. He read from a portion of the fiscal note, "the total additional new revenue will be $1,545,000," and added that there will be a revenue loss because of the elimination of the $10 fee causing a loss of $870,000 with a net revenue change of a positive $675,000. He said the lines will be reduced at the Department of Motor Vehicles as people will choose to mail in their registration. Number 1209 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked for more information regarding exempting vanity license plates, and asked if the sponsor would be willing to amend this portion of HB 440 MR. POPPE said he could not see a reason why this would be an objectionable amendment. He said this section might have been included because of the military license plates. Number 1260 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said that it currently costs $35 dollars for a regular license plate and that it costs more for a vanity plate. Number 1308 JUANITA HENSLEY, Chief, Driver Services, Division of Motor Vehicles, Department of Public Safety, was next to testify. She said HB 440 raises the registration fee of everyone by $5, and gives those people who chose to register by mail a $5 savings. She said the reason, why Section 6 was exempted, was because people who chose vanity license plates pay $30 for the sets of plates in addition to the normal registration fee, plus a $50 one time fee. MS. HENSLEY said individuals who are applying for a new car will pay $5 more than they pay today. She said a brand new registration that the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has never processed will have to come into the office anyway which would result in an increased amount of revenue. Number 1470 MS. HENSLEY said the renewal by mail program was offered to keep people who didn't need to come in person from coming to the DMV office. She said some people have to do their business in person in order to title their cars, obtain driver's license and register their vehicle for the first time. She said the $10 fee was done in prior legislation as an incentive, but it was seen as a penalty. She said the registration, from that prior legislation, raised the fee by $10 and then reduced it by $10 if the registration was mailed to the DMV. She said renewal by mail has been increased by 100 percent and that the public has accepted this procedure. She said the DMV is not opposing HB 440, but that the public has accepted the $10 fee and the complaints have decreased. She said increasing the fee by $5 will increase complaints. She said the long range financial planning commission suggested a registration increase by twofold, which would bring in $21 million in revenue for the general fund. She said Alaska has the cheapest registration in the nation. Number 1531 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked how difficult it would be to increase the registration fee by $5 for those license plates listed in Section 6, with an exemption for the Alaskan National Guard plates, veterans or retired veterans plates and recipients of the Purple Heart license plates. Number 1563 MS. HENSLEY said this section regards vanity license plates and the decision to increase the fee would be at the discretion of the legislature, as long as there is no adverse fiscal impact to the DMV. She said she could obtain figures of how many people would be affected by this fee increase. She added that last March the new license plates with the caribou and the mountain scene and the blue and gold with the mountain scene have been extremely popular with a sale of over 5,000, at a cost of $30 per plate. Number 1655 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS asked for information regarding Section 6, subsection D and subsection E. Number 1704 MS. HENSLEY said all the plates in that section are vanity plates. Number 1691 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked if credentials need to be presented in order to get special military plates. Number 1704 MS. HENSLEY said a DD-214 must be presented to obtain those military plates. Number 1718 MR. POPPE said the other special request plates include two other categories, the university plates and the other plates that spell out your name, your girlfriend's name or some clever little saying. MS. HENSLEY said other special request plates include ham operator plates, farm plates, plus other things. Number 1761 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS asked for information on changes made to the mechanism of assessing fees, dependent on the evaluation of vehicles. He was told that this is not the case for the state of Alaska. He then asked the DMV's position on increasing the fees to bring Alaska's cost per plate in line with other states. Number 1831 MS. HENSLEY said she had a comparison of the fees charged by other states that she could send to the committee. She said some states charge a flat fee, but then tack on taxes and additional costs such as surcharges, taxes, title fees and title search fees. She said the state of Oklahoma charges 3.5 percent based on the blue book value of the vehicle and cited an example where the state of Washington charged a five year old motor home $1,800 for registration and fees. Number 1917 CHAIRMAN GARY DAVIS said $5 is probably a low increase and for the sake of additional revenue, as well as coming into parity with other states, it is probably not unreasonable to increase the rate by $8 to $10. Number 1958 MR. POPPE said, upon talking with Representative Kott the sponsor of HB 440, there was no problem with the concept of not exempting the D and E subsections of Section 6 if the committee decides to make this adjustment. A discussion ensued regarding the wording of the Amendment to HB 440. Number 2052 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE made motion to adopt Amendment 1 to HB 440, amending on page three, line 24 and line 25, "add $5" to each of those subsections D and E. Hearing no objection Amendment 1 was adopted to HB 440 by the House Standing Committee on Transportation. Number 2111 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE made a motion to move CSHB 440 (TRA) with accompanying fiscal notes and individual recommendations. Hearing no objection, CSHB 440 (TRA) was moved by the House Standing Committee on Transportation.