ENGROSSED HOUSE BILL NO. 1545



                                                                            C 192 L 89



State of Washington                               51st Legislature                              1989 Regular Session


By Representatives Schmidt, R. Fisher, Betrozoff, Jacobsen, Rust, Holland, Walk, Wood, H. Sommers, Walker, Sprenkle, Hankins, S. Wilson, Patrick, Smith, Haugen, Horn and Winsley; by request of Legislative Transportation Committee



Read first time 1/27/89 and referred to Committee on Transportation.



AN ACT Relating to fraudulent failure to register a vehicle; amending RCW 46.16.010; creating a new section; prescribing penalties; and providing an effective date.




          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.     The legislature recognizes that there are residents of this state who intentionally register motor vehicles in other states to evade payment of taxes and fees required by the laws of this state.  This results in a substantial loss of revenue to the state.  It is the intent of the legislature to impose a stronger criminal penalty upon those residents who defraud the state, thereby enhancing compliance with the registration laws of this state and further enhancing enforcement and collection efforts.

          In order to encourage voluntary compliance with the registration laws of this state, administrative penalties associated with failing to register a motor vehicle are waived until September 1, 1989.  It is not the intent of the legislature to waive traffic infraction or criminal traffic violations imposed prior to the effective date of this act.


        Sec. 2.  Section 46.16.010, chapter 12, Laws of 1961 as last amended by section 1, chapter 186, Laws of 1986 and RCW 46.16.010 are each amended to read as follows:

          (1) It ((shall be)) is unlawful for a person to operate any vehicle over and along a public highway of this state without first having obtained and having in full force and effect a current and proper vehicle license and display vehicle license number plates therefor as by this chapter provided.  Failure to make initial registration before operation on the highways of this state is a misdemeanor, and any person convicted thereof shall be punished by a fine of no less than ((one hundred sixty-five)) three hundred thirty dollars, no part of which may be suspended or deferred.  Failure to renew an expired registration before operation on the highways of this state is a traffic infraction.

          (2) The licensing of a motor vehicle in another state by a resident of this state, as defined in RCW 46.16.028, with willful intent to evade the payment of any tax or license fee imposed in connection with registration, is a gross misdemeanor punishable as follows:

          (a) For a first offense, up to one year in the county jail and a fine equal to twice the amount of delinquent taxes and fees, no part of which may be suspended or deferred;

          (b) For a second or subsequent offense, up to one year in the county jail and a fine equal to three times the amount of delinquent taxes and fees, no part of which may be suspended or deferred.

          (3) These provisions shall not apply to farm vehicle as defined in RCW 46.04.181 if operated within a radius of fifteen miles of the farm where principally used or garaged, farm tractors and farm implements including trailers designed as cook or bunk houses used exclusively for animal herding temporarily operating or drawn upon the public highways, and trailers used exclusively to transport farm implements from one farm to another during the daylight hours or at night when such equipment has lights that comply with the law:  PROVIDED FURTHER, That these provisions shall not apply to spray or fertilizer applicator rigs designed and used exclusively for spraying or fertilization in the conduct of agricultural operations and not primarily for the purpose of transportation, and nurse rigs or equipment auxiliary to the use of and designed or modified for the fueling, repairing or loading of spray and fertilizer applicator rigs and not used, designed or modified primarily for the purpose of transportation:  PROVIDED FURTHER, That these provisions shall not apply to fork lifts operated during daylight hours on public highways adjacent to and within five hundred feet of the warehouses which they serve:  PROVIDED FURTHER, That these provisions shall not apply to  equipment defined as follows:

          "Special highway construction equipment" is any vehicle which is designed and used primarily for grading of highways, paving of highways, earth moving, and other construction work on highways and which is not designed or used primarily for the transportation of persons or property on a public highway and which is only incidentally operated or moved over the highway.  It includes, but is not limited to, road construction and maintenance machinery so designed and used such as portable air compressors, air drills, asphalt spreaders, bituminous mixers, bucket loaders, track laying tractors, ditchers, leveling graders, finishing machines, motor graders, paving mixers, road rollers, scarifiers, earth moving scrapers and carryalls, lighting plants, welders, pumps, power shovels and draglines, self-propelled and tractor-drawn earth moving equipment and machinery, including dump trucks and tractor-dump trailer combinations which either (1) are in excess of the legal width or (2) which, because of their length, height or unladen weight, may not be moved on a public highway without the permit specified in RCW 46.44.090 and which are not operated laden except within the boundaries of the project limits as defined by the contract, and other similar types of construction equipment, or (3) which are driven or moved upon a public highway only for the purpose of crossing such highway from one property to another, provided such movement does not exceed five hundred feet and the vehicle is equipped with wheels or pads which will not damage the roadway surface.


          "Special highway construction equipment" does not include any of the following:

          Dump trucks originally designed to comply with the legal size and weight provisions of this code notwithstanding any subsequent modification which would require a permit, as specified in RCW 46.44.090, to operate such vehicles on a public highway, including trailers, truck-mounted transit mixers, cranes and shovels, or other vehicles designed for the transportation of persons or property to which machinery has been attached.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.     Section 2 of this act shall take effect September 1, 1989.

                                                                                                                           Passed the House March 8, 1989.


                                                                                                                                         Speaker of the House.


                                                                                                                             Passed the Senate April 7, 1989.


                                                                                                                                       President of the Senate.