H. B. 4279

(By Delegates Mezzatesta and Michael)
[Introduced February 5, 1998; referred to the
Committee on Finance.]

A BILL to amend and reenact sections four, five and six, article sixteen, chapter seventeen-c of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to inspections of motor vehicles; increasing fees for inspection stickers; and exempting from the inspection requirement vehicles with an odometer reading of fifty thousand or fewer miles.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections four, five and six, article sixteen, chapter seventeen-c of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

§17C-16-4. Commissioner to require periodical inspection; acceptance of certificate of inspection from another state; suspension of registration of unsafe vehicles.
(a) The commissioner of motor vehicles shall once each year require that every motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, and pole trailer registered in this state and having an odometer reading of more than fifty thousand miles, be inspected and that an official certificate of inspection and approval be obtained for each such vehicle.
Such inspections shall be made and such certificates obtained with respect to the mechanism, brakes, and equipment of every such vehicle as shall be designated by the commissioner.
The commissioner is hereby authorized to make necessary rules and regulations for the administration and enforcement of this section and to designate any period or periods of time during which owners of any vehicles, subject to this section, shall display upon such vehicles certificates of inspection and approval or shall produce the same upon demand of any officer or employee of the department designated by the commissioner or any police or peace officer when authorized by the commissioner.
(b) The commissioner may authorize the acceptance in this state of a certificate of inspection and approval issued in another state having an inspection law similar to this chapter and may extend the time within which a certificate shall be obtained by the resident owner of a vehicle which was not in this state during the time an inspection was required.
(c) The commissioner may suspend the registration of any vehicle which he or she determines is in such unsafe condition as to constitute a menace to safety or which after notice and demand is not equipped as required in this chapter or for which a required certificate has not been obtained.
§17C-16-5. Permit for official inspection stations; fees for and certificate of inspection.

The superintendent of the department of public safety state police shall be responsible for the inspection as provided in this article and shall prescribe requirements and qualifications for official inspection stations. He or she shall select and designate such stations and shall issue permits therefor and furnish instructions and all necessary forms thereto for the inspection of vehicles as herein required and the issuance of official certificates of inspection and approval. The certificate of inspection shall be a paper sticker or decal to be affixed to the windshield of a motor vehicle, shall be serially numbered and shall properly identify the official inspection station by which issued. A charge of one dollar two dollars per sticker shall be charged by the department of public safety state police to the inspection station, and the funds so received shall be deposited into the state treasury and credited to the account of the department of public safety state police for application in the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this article. Any balance remaining in the fund on the last day of June of each fiscal year, not required for operating expenses, construction, repairs or alterations of police barracks for the ensuing fiscal year and for the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this article, shall be transferred to the state road fund. The superintendent is authorized to exchange stickers or to make refunds to official inspection stations for stickers on hand when permits are revoked or when, for any reason, the stickers become obsolete.
Application for permit shall be made upon an official form prescribed by the superintendent and permits shall be granted only when the superintendent is satisfied that the station is properly equipped, and has competent personnel to make such inspections and adjustments and that the inspections and adjustments will be properly conducted. The superintendent, before issuing a permit, may require the applicant to file a bond with surety approved by the superintendent, conditioned that such applicant, as a station operator, will make compensation for any damage to a vehicle during an inspection or adjustment due to negligence on the part of such station operator or employees thereof.
The superintendent shall properly supervise and cause inspections to be made of such stations. Upon finding that a station is not properly equipped or conducted, the superintendent may, upon a first violation, suspend the permit for a period of up to one year. Upon a second or subsequent finding that a station is not properly equipped or conducted, the superintendent shall permanently revoke and require the surrender of the permit. The superintendent may reinstate the permit of any person whose permit was permanently revoked prior to the effective date of this section upon a first finding that a station was not properly equipped or conducted, upon application, at any time after the expiration of six months from the time of revocation, and shall reinstate such permit, upon application, after the expiration of one year. He or she shall maintain and post at his or her office and at such other places as he or she may select lists of all stations holding permits and of those whose permits have been suspended or revoked.
§17C-16-6. Assignment, transfer and posting of official inspection station permit; issuance and record of certificate of inspection; inspection fee.
No permit for an official inspection station shall be assigned or transferred or used at any location other than therein designated and every said permit shall be posted in a conspicuous place at the station location designated.
The person operating any such station shall issue a certificate of inspection and approval, upon an official form, to the owner of a vehicle upon inspecting such vehicle and determining that its equipment required hereunder is in good condition and proper adjustment, but otherwise no certificate shall be issued, except such as may be issued pursuant to section two of this article. When required by the superintendent, a record and report shall be made of every inspection and every certificate so issued.
A fee of not more than seven fifteen dollars may be charged for an inspection and any necessary headlight adjustment to proper focus, not including any replacement parts required, and the issuance of such certificate, but the imposition of such charge shall not be mandatory.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase the fees for inspection stickers and inspections of motor vehicles; and to eliminate the inspection requirement for vehicles with fifty thousand or fewer miles.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.