SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As Reported by Senate Committee On:
Transportation, January 30, 2014
Title: An act relating to processing certain motor vehicle-related violations applicable to rental cars.
Brief Description: Concerning the processing of certain motor vehicle-related violations applicable to rental cars.
Sponsors: Senators Hobbs, King and Eide.
Committee Activity: Transportation: 1/29/14, 1/30/14 [DP].
SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION
Majority Report: Do pass.
Signed by Senators Eide, Co-Chair; King, Co-Chair; Hobbs, Vice Co-Chair; Fain, Budget Leadership Cabinet; Angel, Brown, Cleveland, Dansel, Ericksen, Liias, Mullet, O'Ban and Rolfes.
Staff: Kelly Simpson (786-7403)
Background: Under current law, local jurisdictions and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) may report the following violations to the Department of Licensing (DOL) for purposes of withholding vehicle registration renewals applicable to the vehicle at issue:
two or more unpaid parking violations;
two or more unpaid automated traffic safety camera violations;
two or more unpaid automated school bus safety camera violations; and
one or more unpaid civil penalties for toll violations.
However, these reporting provisions do not apply if the vehicle at issue is a rented or leased vehicle.
Rental car businesses are relieved of liability for the violations by forwarding the renter's name and address to the jurisdiction or WSDOT in a timely manner.
Local courts may refer unpaid monetary obligations attached to parking or camera violations to a collections agency, which includes violations involving a rented or leased vehicle. This provision applies to whomever is ultimately liable for the violation – the rental car business or the renter.
Summary of Bill: The exception for rented or leased vehicles from the DOL reporting process for unpaid parking, camera, and toll violations is removed. This has the effect of allowing local jurisdictions and WSDOT to report unpaid parking, camera, or toll violations, for which rental car businesses are liable, to DOL for purposes of withholding vehicle registration renewals applicable to the vehicle at issue.
Consistent with language found in the automated camera statutes, language is added clarifying that if a rental car business forwards the renter's name and address to the jurisdiction, liability for an unpaid parking infraction transfers to the renter.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: This bill is a result of a recent television news piece identifying a problem with unpaid parking tickets applicable to rental cars. The bill removes the rental car exception from the DOL reporting process for unpaid parking tickets, which was enacted in the early 1980s at the request of the rental car industry.
Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator Hobbs, prime sponsor.