BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                    SB 1399

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          Date of Hearing:  June 13, 2016


                                 Jim Frazier, Chair

          1399 (Hueso) - As Amended April 26, 2016

          SENATE VOTE:  36-0

          SUBJECT:  Department of Motor Vehicles:  license plate  
          alternatives pilot program

          SUMMARY:  Extends the sunset on an existing Department of Motor  
          Vehicles (DMV) pilot program evaluating alternatives to license  
          plates, registration stickers, and registration cards from  
          January 1, 2017, to January 1, 2019, and the deadline for DMV to  
          report on the pilot to the Legislature from July 1, 2018, to  
          July 1, 2020.

          EXISTING LAW:

          1)Requires DMV to issue two reflectorized license plates for  
            vehicles and specifies that: 

             a)   Each plate must display the word "California," the  
               vehicle's registration number, and the year for which the  
               vehicle's registration is valid, and;


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             b)   For license plates other than motorcycles, the license  
               must be rectangular in shape, 12 inches in length, and six  
               inches in width.  

          2)Prohibits DMV from letting a contract to any non-governmental  
            entity for purposes of manufacturing license plates.  

          3)Authorizes DMV to issue one or more stickers, tabs, or other  
            suitable devices in lieu of a license plate as specified.

          4)Authorizes DMV to conduct a pilot program to evaluate  
            alternatives to vehicle license plates, registration stickers,  
            and registration cards until no later than January 1, 2017,  
            and requires DMV to report on the results of the pilot program  
            to the Legislature no later than July 1, 2018.

          5)Requires the Department of the California Highway Patrol to  
            approve any DMV-selected alternative to license plates or  
            registration stickers and cards.

          6)Requires a vendor to be responsible for the cost associated  
            with any alternative products used in the pilot program.

          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown

          COMMENTS:  DMV has issued license plates and registration  
          stickers since 1959.  Currently, in order to register a vehicle,  
          the registered owner must submit proof of insurance, pay  
          registration and other fees, and when required, provide proof  
          that the vehicle passed a smog check inspection.  DMV then  
          issues, typically by mail, a vehicle registration card and the  


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          appropriate sticker for the vehicle's rear license plate.  For  
          annual renewal of a vehicle registration, DMV mails the  
          registered owner a notice and reply envelope approximately 60  
          days prior to the vehicle's renewal date.  The owner can remit  
          fees and required documentation by mail, via DMV's website, in  
          person at a DMV field office, or at the office of one of DMV's  
          private industry partners, such as the American Automobile  
          Association (AAA).  DMV registers 33 million vehicles annually,  
          with over 10 million renewals taking place in DMV field offices  
          each year.

          In 2013, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed SB 806  
          (Hueso), Chapter 569, Statutes of 2013, authorizing DMV to  
          establish a pilot program to evaluate the use of alternatives to  
          license plates, registration stickers, and registration cards.   
          At the time, that bill's author sought to facilitate DMV's  
          ability to explore alternatives to the traditional metal license  
          plate, plastic-coated registration stickers, and paper  
          registration cards in order to improve efficiency and lower the  
          cost of DMV vehicle registration services.

          Since the enactment of SB 806, DMV has developed specifications  
          and completed procurements for each of the three authorized  
          alternatives.  The procurement process ran longer than was  
          anticipated when SB 806 was initially considered, and field  
          testing for some of the technologies by the contracted vendors  
          did not begin until as late as November 2015.  Due to the  
          abbreviated nature of the testing window, the vendors carrying  
          out the pilot are seeking to extend the pilot's authorization.   
          The author believes that by extending the authorization by two  
          years, the vendors will have ample time to complete their  
          testing as well as account for any additional delays.  The  
          additional time to conduct the pilot will allow the vendors to  
          expand field testing and collect additional, more extensive data  
          to share with DMV, which will then be reported by the department  
          to the Legislature to assist in determining the viability of  
          these technologies for future use.


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          Because existing statute merely authorizes DMV to establish a  
          pilot but does not require the department to purchase any  
          technology from the vendors, the extension of the pilot would  
          not require extending or renegotiating any contracts that would  
          result in costs to DMV.

          Previous legislation:  SB 806 (Hueso), Chapter 569, Statutes of  
          2013, authorized DMV to conduct a pilot program to evaluate  
          alternatives to license plates, registration stickers, and  
          registration cards.



          ReviverMX (Sponsor)

          Motor Vehicle Software Corporation


          None on file


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          Analysis Prepared by:Justin Behrens / TRANS. / (916)