CHAPTER _______

An act to amend Sections 34501.12, 34622, and 36305 of, and to add and repeal Section 36103 of, the Vehicle Code, relating to farm vehicles.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 995, Bigelow. Farm vehicles: registration exemptions.

Existing law exempts specified farm vehicles from registration with the Department of Motor Vehicles if the vehicles have, and display, an identification plate, including a cotton module mover and a vehicle equipped with a water tank that is owned by a farmer and used exclusively to service his or her own implements of husbandry. Existing law exempts a person driving or operating an implement of husbandry over a highway from obtaining a driver’s license, except under specified circumstances.

This bill would, until January 1, 2020, establish a pilot program in specified counties to evaluate an exemption from vehicle registration for specified farm vehicles. The bill would require applicants to meet specified requirements before participating in the pilot program. The bill would require the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of the California Highway Patrol to submit a report to the Legislature on or before July 1, 2018, regarding the pilot program. The bill would require vehicles participating in the program to remain subject to specified fees and requirements. The bill would prohibit a person from operating a vehicle pursuant to the pilot program unless the person has in his or her possession a valid driver’s license for the applicable vehicle type. A violation of these provisions would be punishable as an infraction.

This bill would incorporate additional changes to Section 34501.12 of the Vehicle Code proposed by AB 1960, that would become operative only if this bill and AB 1960 are both chaptered and become effective on or before January 1, 2017, and this bill is chaptered last.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

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

SECTION 1.  

Section 34501.12 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

34501.12.  

(a) Vehicles and the operation thereof, subject to this section, are those described in subdivision (a), (b), (e), (f), (g), (j), or (k) of Section 34500.

(b) It is unlawful for a motor carrier to operate any vehicle of a type described in subdivision (a) without identifying to the department all terminals, as defined in Section 34515, in this state where vehicles may be inspected by the department pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 34501 and where vehicle inspection and maintenance records and driver records will be made available for inspection. Motor carriers shall make vehicles and records available for inspection upon request by an authorized representative of the department. If a motor carrier fails to provide vehicles and records, an unsatisfactory terminal rating shall be issued by the department.

(1) The number of vehicles that will be selected for inspection by the department at a terminal shall be based on terminal fleet size and applied separately to a terminal fleet of power units and trailers, according to the following schedule:

 

Fleet Size

Representative
Sample

 1 or 2

All

 3 to 8

  3

 9 to 15

  4

16 to 25

  6

26 to 50

  9

51 to 90

 14

91 or more

 20

 

(2) The lessor of any vehicle described in subdivision (a) shall make vehicles available for inspection upon request of an authorized representative of the department in the course of inspecting the terminal of the lessee. This section does not affect whether the lessor or driver provided by the lessor is an employee of the authorized carrier lessee, and compliance with this section and its attendant administrative requirements does not imply an employee-employer relationship.

(c) (1) The department may inspect any terminal, as defined in Section 34515, of a motor carrier who, at any time, operates any vehicle described in subdivision (a).

(2) The department shall adopt rules and regulations establishing a performance-based truck terminal inspection selection priority system. In adopting the system’s rules and regulations, the department shall incorporate methodologies consistent with those used by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, including those related to the quantitative analysis of safety-related motor carrier performance data, collected during the course of inspection or enforcement contact by authorized representatives of the department or any authorized federal, state, or local safety official, in categories, including, but not limited to, driver fatigue, driver fitness, vehicle maintenance, and controlled substances and alcohol use. The department shall also incorporate other safety-related motor carrier performance data in this system, including citations and accident information. The department shall create a database to include all performance-based data specified in this section that shall be updated in a manner to provide real-time information to the department on motor carrier performance. The department shall prioritize for selection those motor carrier terminals never previously inspected by the department, those identified by the inspection priority selection system, and those terminals operating vehicles listed in subdivision (g) of Section 34500. The department is not required to inspect a terminal subject to inspection pursuant to this section more often than once every six years, if a terminal receives a satisfactory compliance rating as the result of a terminal inspection conducted by the department pursuant to this section or Section 34501, or if the department has not received notification by the system of a motor carrier operating while exceeding the threshold of the inspection selection priority system. Any motor carrier that is inspected and receives less than a satisfactory compliance rating, or that falls below the threshold of the selection priority system, shall be subject to periodic inquiries and inspections as outlined in subdivision (f), and these inquiries and inspections shall be based on the severity of the violations.

(3) As used in this section and Section 34505.6, subdivision (f) of Section 34500 includes only those combinations where the gross vehicle weight rating of the towing vehicle exceeds 10,000 pounds, but does not include a pickup truck or any combination never operated in commercial use, and subdivision (g) of Section 34500 includes only those vehicles transporting hazardous material for which the display of placards is required pursuant to Section 27903, a license is required pursuant to Section 32000.5, or for which hazardous waste transporter registration is required pursuant to Section 25163 of the Health and Safety Code. Notwithstanding Section 5014.1, vehicles that display special identification plates in accordance with Section 5011, historical vehicles, as described in Section 5004, implements of husbandry and farm vehicles, as defined in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 36000) of Division 16 with the exception of vehicles operating in the pilot program established pursuant to Section 36103, and vehicles owned or operated by an agency of the federal government are not subject to this section or Section 34505.6.

(d) It is unlawful for a motor carrier to operate, or cause to be operated, any vehicle that is subject to this section, Section 34520, or Division 14.85 (commencing with Section 34600), unless the motor carrier is knowledgeable of, and in compliance with, all applicable statutes and regulations.

(e) It is unlawful for a motor carrier to contract or subcontract with, or otherwise engage the services of, another motor carrier, subject to this section, unless the contracted motor carrier has complied with subdivision (d). A motor carrier shall not contract or subcontract with, or otherwise engage the services of, another motor carrier until the contracted motor carrier provides certification of compliance with subdivision (d). This certification shall be completed in writing by the contracted motor carrier in a manner prescribed by the department. The certification, or a copy of the certification, shall be maintained by each involved party for the duration of the contract or the period of service plus two years, and shall be presented for inspection immediately upon the request of an authorized employee of the department. The certifications required by this subdivision and subdivision (b) of 34620 may be combined.

(f) (1) An inspected terminal that receives an unsatisfactory compliance rating shall be reinspected by the department within 120 days after the issuance of the unsatisfactory compliance rating.

(2) If a motor carrier’s Motor Carrier of Property Permit or Public Utilities Commission operating authority is suspended as a result of an unsatisfactory compliance rating, the department shall not conduct a reinspection for permit or authority reinstatement until requested to do so by the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Public Utilities Commission, as appropriate.

(g) A motor carrier issued an unsatisfactory terminal rating may request a review of the rating within five business days of receipt of the notification of the rating. The department shall conduct and evaluate the review within 10 business days of the request.

(h) The department shall publish performance-based inspection completion data and make the data available for public review.

(i) This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Basic Inspection of Terminals program or BIT program.

SEC. 1.5.  

Section 34501.12 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

34501.12.  

(a) Vehicles and the operation thereof, subject to this section, are those described in subdivision (a), (b), (e), (f), (g), (j), or (k) of Section 34500, except an agricultural vehicle as defined in Section 34500.6.

(b) It is unlawful for a motor carrier to operate any vehicle of a type described in subdivision (a) without identifying to the department all terminals, as defined in Section 34515, in this state where vehicles may be inspected by the department pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 34501 and where vehicle inspection and maintenance records and driver records will be made available for inspection. Motor carriers shall make vehicles and records available for inspection upon request by an authorized representative of the department. If a motor carrier fails to provide vehicles and records, an unsatisfactory terminal rating shall be issued by the department.

(1) The number of vehicles that will be selected for inspection by the department at a terminal shall be based on terminal fleet size and applied separately to a terminal fleet of power units and trailers, according to the following schedule:

 

Fleet Size

Representative
Sample

 1 or 2

All

 3 to 8

  3

 9 to 15

  4

16 to 25

  6

26 to 50

  9

51 to 90

 14

91 or more

 20

 

(2) The lessor of any vehicle described in subdivision (a) shall make vehicles available for inspection upon request of an authorized representative of the department in the course of inspecting the terminal of the lessee. This section does not affect whether the lessor or driver provided by the lessor is an employee of the authorized carrier lessee, and compliance with this section and its attendant administrative requirements does not imply an employee-employer relationship.

(c) (1) The department may inspect any terminal, as defined in Section 34515, of a motor carrier who, at any time, operates any vehicle described in subdivision (a).

(2) The department shall adopt rules and regulations establishing a performance-based truck terminal inspection selection priority system. In adopting the system’s rules and regulations, the department shall incorporate methodologies consistent with those used by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, including those related to the quantitative analysis of safety-related motor carrier performance data, collected during the course of inspection or enforcement contact by authorized representatives of the department or any authorized federal, state, or local safety official, in categories, including, but not limited to, driver fatigue, driver fitness, vehicle maintenance, and controlled substances and alcohol use. The department shall also incorporate other safety-related motor carrier performance data in this system, including citations and accident information. The department shall create a database to include all performance-based data specified in this section that shall be updated in a manner to provide real-time information to the department on motor carrier performance. The department shall prioritize for selection those motor carrier terminals never previously inspected by the department, those identified by the inspection priority selection system, and those terminals operating vehicles listed in subdivision (g) of Section 34500. The department is not required to inspect a terminal subject to inspection pursuant to this section more often than once every six years, if a terminal receives a satisfactory compliance rating as the result of a terminal inspection conducted by the department pursuant to this section or Section 34501, or if the department has not received notification by the system of a motor carrier operating while exceeding the threshold of the inspection selection priority system. Any motor carrier that is inspected and receives less than a satisfactory compliance rating, or that falls below the threshold of the selection priority system, shall be subject to periodic inquiries and inspections as outlined in subdivision (f), and these inquiries and inspections shall be based on the severity of the violations.

(3) As used in this section and Section 34505.6, subdivision (f) of Section 34500 includes only those combinations where the gross vehicle weight rating of the towing vehicle exceeds 10,000 pounds, but does not include a pickup truck or any combination never operated in commercial use, and subdivision (g) of Section 34500 includes only those vehicles transporting hazardous material for which the display of placards is required pursuant to Section 27903, a license is required pursuant to Section 32000.5, or for which hazardous waste transporter registration is required pursuant to Section 25163 of the Health and Safety Code. Notwithstanding Section 5014.1, vehicles that display special identification plates in accordance with Section 5011, historical vehicles, as described in Section 5004, implements of husbandry and farm vehicles, as defined in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 36000) of Division 16 with the exception of vehicles operating in the pilot program established pursuant to Section 36103, and vehicles owned or operated by an agency of the federal government are not subject to this section or Section 34505.6.

(d) It is unlawful for a motor carrier to operate, or cause to be operated, any vehicle that is subject to this section, Section 34520, or Division 14.85 (commencing with Section 34600), unless the motor carrier is knowledgeable of, and in compliance with, all applicable statutes and regulations.

(e) It is unlawful for a motor carrier to contract or subcontract with, or otherwise engage the services of, another motor carrier, subject to this section, unless the contracted motor carrier has complied with subdivision (d). A motor carrier shall not contract or subcontract with, or otherwise engage the services of, another motor carrier until the contracted motor carrier provides certification of compliance with subdivision (d). This certification shall be completed in writing by the contracted motor carrier in a manner prescribed by the department. The certification, or a copy of the certification, shall be maintained by each involved party for the duration of the contract or the period of service plus two years, and shall be presented for inspection immediately upon the request of an authorized employee of the department. The certifications required by this subdivision and subdivision (b) of 34620 may be combined.

(f) (1) An inspected terminal that receives an unsatisfactory compliance rating shall be reinspected by the department within 120 days after the issuance of the unsatisfactory compliance rating.

(2) If a motor carrier’s Motor Carrier of Property Permit or Public Utilities Commission operating authority is suspended as a result of an unsatisfactory compliance rating, the department shall not conduct a reinspection for permit or authority reinstatement until requested to do so by the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Public Utilities Commission, as appropriate.

(g) A motor carrier issued an unsatisfactory terminal rating may request a review of the rating within five business days of receipt of the notification of the rating. The department shall conduct and evaluate the review within 10 business days of the request.

(h) The department shall publish performance-based inspection completion data and make the data available for public review.

(i) This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Basic Inspection of Terminals program or BIT program.

SEC. 2.  

Section 34622 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

34622.  

This chapter does not apply to any of the following:

(a) Vehicles described in Section 5004 or 5011, and those that are exempt from vehicle registration fees with the exception of vehicles operating in the pilot program established pursuant to Section 36103.

(b) A household goods carrier transporting used office, store, and institution furniture and fixtures under its household goods carrier permit pursuant to Section 5137 of the Public Utilities Code.

SEC. 3.  

Section 36103 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

36103.  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, the Department of the California Highway Patrol and the Department of Motor Vehicles shall establish a pilot program in the Counties of Fresno, Kings, and Madera to evaluate exemption from vehicle registration for a motor vehicle designed and used exclusively for carrying, or returning from carrying, agricultural or farming products, and used on a highway between one part of a farm to another part of that farm, or from one farm to another farm, for a distance of no more than 20 air miles. The following requirements shall be met before participation is allowed in the pilot program:

(1) Operation on the highway is only incidental to a farming operation and not for hire.

(2) The vehicle displays a special identification plate issued pursuant to Section 5014.

(3) The applicant obtains a carrier identification number issued by the Department of the California Highway Patrol, pursuant to Section 34507.5.

(4) The applicant obtains a motor carrier permit issued pursuant to Section 34620 or 34621.

(5) The applicant agrees to conduct periodic inspections, pursuant to Section 34505.5, of vehicles participating in the pilot program.

(6) The employer of the driver enrolls in the Department of Motor Vehicles pull-notice system for the purpose of providing the employer with a report showing the driver’s current public record as recorded by the department and any subsequent conviction, failure to appear, accident, driver’s license suspension, driver’s license revocation, or any other action taken against the driving privilege if the vehicle requires a class A, class B, or class C license with a hazardous materials or any other applicable endorsement required by Section 15278. An owner or family member who drives the vehicle shall be enrolled as if he or she were an employee.

(b) On or before July 1, 2018, the Department of the California Highway Patrol and the Department of Motor Vehicles shall report to the Legislature on the status and effectiveness of the pilot program, including, but not limited to, a description of the number of vehicles enrolled, an evaluation of the loss of registration funding attributable to the program, and a description of collisions involving vehicles enrolled, enforcement issues, and safety issues. A report submitted pursuant to this subdivision shall be submitted pursuant to Section 9795 of the Government Code.

(c) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2020, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2020, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 4.  

Section 36305 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

36305.  

(a) The driver of any implement of husbandry shall possess a valid class C driver’s license when operating a combination of vehicles at a speed in excess of 25 miles per hour or towing any implement of husbandry as specified in subdivision (d), (e), or (j) of Section 36005.

(b) Notwithstanding Section 36300, a person shall not operate a vehicle pursuant to the pilot program established in Section 36103 unless the person has in his or her possession a valid driver’s license for the applicable vehicle type.

SEC. 5.  

Section 1.5 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 34501.12 of the Vehicle Code proposed by both this bill and Assembly Bill 1960. It shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2017, (2) each bill amends Section 34501.12 of the Vehicle Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after Assembly Bill 1960, in which case Section 1 of this bill shall not become operative.

SEC. 6.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

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