Honorable Todd Staples, Chair, Senate Committee on Transportation & Homeland Security
John S. O'Brien, Deputy Director, Legislative Budget Board
SB1670 by Staples (Relating to a motor vehicle financial responsibility verification program; providing a penalty.), As Introduced
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STATE HIGHWAY FUND
The bill would amend the Transportation Code as it relates to a motor vehicle financial responsibility verification program and provides for penalties.
Section 1 of the bill would require the Department of Public Safety, Department of Transportation, Department of Insurance, and the Department of Information Resources (implementing agencies) to jointly establish a program for verification of whether owners of motor vehicles have established financial responsibility. The implementing agencies would also be required to select an agent to develop, implement, operate, and maintain the financial responsibility verification program. The bill would direct the implementing agencies to jointly enter into a contract with the selected agent for aterm of not more than 10 years. Insurance companies that provide motor vehicle liability insurance policies would be required to provide the necessary information or chose an agent to provide the necessary information for administering the program.
A person would commit a Class B misdemeanor if the person knowingly uses information obtained for administering the financial responsibility verification program for a purpose not authorized.
Section 2 of the bill would require the additional $1 fee collected for registration or renewal of registration of a motor vehicle to be deposited to the credit of the state highway fund, subject to appropriation, to be used by the implementing agencies for administering the financial responsibility verification program.
Section 3 of the bill would repeal the requirements concerning the use of the additional fee prior to August 31, 2005.
Section 4 of the bill would require the Department of Public Safety to select an agent before December 31, 2005 and the implementing agencies to fully implement the financial responsibility verification program before September 1, 2006.
The bill would take effect September 1, 2005.
Section 1 of the bill would require implementing agencies to establish a financial responsibility verification program and to select an agent to operate and maintain the program.
The Department of Transportation (TXDOT) reports that programming modifications to the Registration and Title System (RTS) would need to be made to allow for real-time verification of insurance at the time of processing registrations for motor vehicles. TXDOT reports that approximately 4,200 hours at a cost of $420,000 would be needed in fiscal year 2006 for RTS programming. TXDOT estimated other operating costs ranging from $17,745 to $67,020 per fiscal year, but it is assumed these costs can be absorbed within existing resources.
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) reports that the current driver license system and the Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (TLETS) would need program modifications in order to comply with the provisions of the bill; however, these modifications can be accomplished within existing resources. The development of the insurance verification database is estimated by DPS to cost $5,535,987 (18,453,290 registered vehicles X $.30) in fiscal year 2006. DPS also estimates that the maintenance fee would be $.10 per vehicle in each fiscal year. The estimated costs for maintenance would be $1,946,781 in fiscal year 2007, $1,981,823 in fiscal year 2008, $2,017,496 in fiscal year 2009, and $2,053,811 in fiscal year 2010. The maintenance costs increase slightly each year based on the expected increase in the number of registered vehicles.
304 Comptroller of Public Accounts, 313 Department of Information Resources, 405 Department of Public Safety, 454 Department of Insurance, 601 Department of Transportation
JOB, SR, VDS, SJ