Senate Bill No. 327
(By Senators Jenkins and Plymale)
[Originating in the Committee on Transportation and
Infrastructure; reported March 16, 2009.]
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
A BILL to amend and §17A-1-1 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as
amended; to amend and reenact §17A-3-7 of said code; to amend
and reenact §17A-3A-2 and §17A-3A-3 of said code; and to amend
and reenact §17A-10-1 of said code, all relating to
registration and operation of mini-trucks by a city, county,
state or other governmental entity for the purpose of parking
enforcement or other governmental purposes.
That §17A-1-1 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted; that §17A-3-7 of said code be amended and
reenacted; that §17A-3A-2 and §17A-3A-3 of said code be amended and
reenacted; and to amend and reenact §17A-10-1 of said code, all to
read as follows:
ARTICLE 1. WORDS AND PHRASES DEFINED.
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the following words and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the
meanings respectively ascribed to them in this article:
(a) "Vehicle" means every device in, upon or by which any
person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a
highway, excepting devices moved by human power or used exclusively
upon stationary rails or tracks.
(b) "Motor vehicle" means every vehicle which is
self-propelled and every vehicle which is propelled by electric
power obtained from overhead trolley wires, but not operated upon
(c) "Motorcycle" means every motor vehicle, including
motor-driven cycles and mopeds as defined in sections five and
five-a, article one, chapter seventeen-c of this code, having a
saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more
than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding a
(d) "School bus" means every motor vehicle owned by a public
governmental agency and operated for the transportation of children
to or from school or privately owned and operated for compensation
for the transportation of children to or from school.
(e) "Bus" means every motor vehicle designed to carry more
than seven passengers and used to transport persons; and every
motor vehicle, other than a taxicab, designed and used to transport
persons for compensation.
(f) "Truck tractor" means every motor vehicle designed and
used primarily for drawing other vehicles and not so constructed as to carry a load other than a part of the weight of the vehicle and
load so drawn.
(g) "Farm tractor" means every motor vehicle designed and used
primarily as a farm implement for drawing plows, mowing machines
and other implements of husbandry.
(h) "Road tractor" means every motor vehicle designed, used or
maintained for drawing other vehicles and not so constructed as to
carry any load thereon either independently or any part of the
weight of a vehicle or load so drawn.
(I) "Truck" means every motor vehicle designed, used or
maintained primarily for the transportation of property.
(j) "Trailer" means every vehicle with or without motive power
designed for carrying persons or property and for being drawn by a
motor vehicle and so constructed that no part of its weight rests
upon the towing vehicle, but excluding recreational vehicles.
(k) "Semitrailer" means every vehicle with or without motive
power designed for carrying persons or property and for being drawn
by a motor vehicle and so constructed that some part of its weight
and that of its load rests upon or is carried by another vehicle.
(l) "Pole trailer" means every vehicle without motive power
designed to be drawn by another vehicle and attached to the towing
vehicle by means of a reach, or pole, or by being boomed or
otherwise secured to the towing vehicle and ordinarily used for
transporting long or irregularly shaped loads such as poles, pipes
or structural members capable, generally, of sustaining themselves
as beams between the supporting connections.
(m) "Specially constructed vehicles" means every vehicle of a
type required to be registered hereunder not originally constructed
under a distinctive name, make, model or type by a generally
recognized manufacturer of vehicles and not materially altered from
its original construction.
(n) "Reconstructed vehicle" means every vehicle of a type
required to be registered hereunder materially altered from its
original construction by the removal, addition or substitution of
essential parts, new or used.
(o) "Essential parts" means all integral and body parts of a
vehicle of a type required to be registered hereunder, the removal,
alteration or substitution of which would tend to conceal the
identity of the vehicle or substantially alter its appearance,
model, type or mode of operation.
(p) "Foreign vehicle" means every vehicle of a type required
to be registered hereunder brought into this state from another
state, territory or country other than in the ordinary course of
business by or through a manufacturer or dealer and not registered
in this state.
(q) "Implement of husbandry" means every vehicle which is
designed for or adapted to agricultural purposes and used by the
owner thereof primarily in the conduct of his or her
operations, including, but not limited to, trucks used for spraying
trees and plants: Provided,
That the vehicle may not be let for
hire at any time.
(r) "Special mobile equipment" means every self-propelled vehicle not designed or used primarily for the transportation of
persons or property and incidentally operated or moved over the
highways, including, without limitation, road construction or
maintenance machinery, ditch-digging apparatus, stone crushers, air
compressors, power shovels, graders, rollers, well-drillers,
wood-sawing equipment, asphalt spreaders, bituminous mixers, bucket
loaders, ditchers, leveling graders, finishing machines, motor
graders, road rollers, scarifiers, earth-moving carryalls,
scrapers, drag lines, rock-drilling equipment and earth-moving
equipment. The foregoing enumeration shall be deemed partial and
may not operate to exclude other such vehicles which are within the
general terms of this subdivision.
(s) "Pneumatic tire" means every tire in which compressed air
is designed to support the load.
(t) "Solid tire" means every tire of rubber or other resilient
material which does not depend upon compressed air for the support
of the load.
(u) "Metal tire" means every tire the surface of which in
contact with the highway is wholly or partly of metal or other
hard, nonresilient material.
(v) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles of
(w) "Division" means the Division of Motor Vehicles of this
state acting directly or through its duly authorized officers and
(x) "Person" means every natural person, firm, copartnership, association or corporation.
(y) "Owner" means a person who holds the legal title to a
vehicle, or in the event a vehicle is the subject of an agreement
for the conditional sale or lease thereof with the right of
purchase upon performance of the conditions stated in the agreement
and with an immediate right of possession vested in the conditional
vendee or lessee, or in the event a mortgagor of a vehicle is
entitled to possession, then the conditional vendee or lessee or
mortgagor shall be deemed the owner for the purpose of this
(z) "Nonresident" means every person who is not a resident of
(aa) "Dealer" or "dealers" is a general term meaning,
depending upon the context in which used, either a new motor
vehicle dealer, used motor vehicle dealer, factory-built home
dealer, recreational vehicle dealer, trailer dealer or motorcycle
dealer, as defined in section one, article six of this chapter, or
all of the dealers or a combination thereof and, in some instances,
a new motor vehicle dealer or dealers in another state.
(bb) "Registered dealer" or "registered dealers" is a general
term meaning, depending upon the context in which used, either a
new motor vehicle dealer, used motor vehicle dealer, house trailer
dealer, trailer dealer, recreational vehicle dealer or motorcycle
dealer, or all of the dealers or a combination thereof, licensed
under the provisions of article six of this chapter.
(cc) "Licensed dealer" or "licensed dealers" is a general term meaning, depending upon the context in which used, either a new
motor vehicle dealer, used motor vehicle dealer, house trailer
dealer, trailer dealer, recreational vehicle dealer or motorcycle
dealer, or all of the dealers or a combination thereof, licensed
under the provisions of article six of this chapter.
(dd) "Transporter" means every person engaged in the business
of delivering vehicles of a type required to be registered
hereunder from a manufacturing, assembling or distributing plant to
dealers or sales agents of a manufacturer.
(ee) "Manufacturer" means every person engaged in the business
of constructing or assembling vehicles of a type required to be
registered hereunder at a place of business in this state which is
actually occupied either continuously or at regular periods by the
manufacturer where his or her
books and records are kept and a
large share of his or her
business is transacted.
(ff) "Street" or "highway" means the entire width between
boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part
thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular
(gg) "Motorboat" means any vessel propelled by an electrical,
steam, gas, diesel or other fuel propelled or driven motor, whether
or not the motor is the principal source of propulsion, but may not
include a vessel which has a valid marine document issued by the
bureau of customs of the United States government or any federal
agency successor thereto.
(hh) "Motorboat trailer" means every vehicle designed for or ordinarily used for the transportation of a motorboat.
(ii) "All-terrain vehicle" (ATV) means any motor vehicle
designed for off-highway use having a seat or saddle designed to be
straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control.
(jj) "Travel trailer" means every vehicle, mounted on wheels,
designed to provide temporary living quarters for recreational,
camping or travel use of such size or weight as not to require
special highway movement permits when towed by a motor vehicle and
of gross trailer area less than four hundred square feet.
(kk) "Fold-down camping trailer" means every vehicle
consisting of a portable unit mounted on wheels and constructed
with collapsible partial sidewalls which fold for towing by another
vehicle and unfold at the camp site to provide temporary living
quarters for recreational, camping or travel use.
(ll) "Motor home" means every vehicle, designed to provide
temporary living quarters, built into an integral part of or
permanently attached to a self-propelled motor vehicle, chassis or
van including: (1) Type A motor home built on an incomplete truck
chassis with the truck cab constructed by the second stage
manufacturer; (2) Type B motor home consisting of a van-type
vehicle which has been altered to provide temporary living
quarters; and (3) Type C motor home built on an incomplete van or
truck chassis with a cab constructed by the chassis manufacturer.
(mm) "Snowmobile" means a self-propelled vehicle intended for
travel primarily on snow and driven by a track or tracks in contact
with the snow and steered by a ski or skis in contact with the snow.
(nn) "Recreational vehicle" means a motorboat, motorboat
trailer, all-terrain vehicle, travel trailer, fold down camping
trailer, motor home or snowmobile.
(oo) "Mobile equipment" means every self-propelled vehicle not
designed or used primarily for the transportation of persons or
property over the highway but which may infrequently or
incidentally travel over the highways among job sites, equipment
storage sites or repair sites, including farm equipment, implements
of husbandry, well-drillers, cranes and wood-sawing equipment.
(pp) "Factory-built home" includes mobile homes, house
trailers and manufactured homes.
(qq) "Manufactured home" has the same meaning as the term is
defined in section two, article nine, chapter twenty-one of this
code which meets the federal Manufactured Housing Construction and
Safety Standards Act of 1974 (42 U. S. C. §5401, et seq
effective June 15, 1976, and the federal manufactured home
construction and safety standards and regulations promulgated by
the Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban
(rr) "Mobile home" means a transportable structure that is
wholly, or in substantial part, made, fabricated, formed or
assembled in manufacturing facilities for installation or assembly
and installation on a building site and designed for long-term
residential use and built prior to enactment of the Federal
Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 (42 U. S. C. §5401, et seq
.), effective June 15, 1976, and usually
built to the voluntary industry standard of the American national
standards institute (ANSI) -- A119.1 standards for mobile homes.
(ss) "House trailers" means all trailers designed and used for
human occupancy on a continual nonrecreational basis, but may not
include fold-down camping and travel trailers, mobile homes or
(tt) "Parking enforcement vehicle" means a motor vehicle which
does not fit into any other classification of vehicle in this
chapter, has three or four wheels and is designed for use in an
incorporated municipality by a city, county, state or other
governmental entity primarily for parking enforcement or other
governmental purposes as follows
with an operator area with sides permanently
enclosed with rigid construction and a top which may be
convertible, sealed beam headlights, turn signals, brake lights,
horn, at least one rear view mirror on each side and such other
equipment that will enable it to pass a standard motorcycle vehicle
(2) An imported truck manufactured for use in Japan or another
foreign country typically weighing less than two thousand pounds
commonly referred to as a mini-truck and not meeting federal motor
vehicle safety standards, but equipped with at least headlights,
turn signals, brake lights, horn and at least one rear view mirror
on each side and meeting a minimum motor vehicle safety inspection.
A vehicle titled and registered under this subdivision may only be operated on roads with a speed limit of less than forty miles per
hour. In lieu of annual inspection, the owner of a vehicle
described in this subdivision shall self-certify that all lights,
brakes, tires and seat belts are in good working condition and
shall be maintained in good condition during the period of
operation before the division may title and register the vehicle.
(uu) "Low-speed vehicle" means a four-wheeled motor vehicle
whose attainable speed in one mile on a paved level surface is more
than twenty miles per hour, but not more than twenty-five miles per
ARTICLE 3. ORIGINAL AND RENEWAL OF REGISTRATION; ISSUANCE OF
CERTIFICATES OF TITLE.
§17A-3-7. Grounds for refusing registration or certificate of
The division shall refuse registration or issuance of a
certificate of title or any transfer of registration upon any of
the following grounds:
(1) That the application contains any false or fraudulent
statement or that the applicant has failed to furnish required
information or reasonable additional information requested by the
division or that the applicant is not entitled to the issuance of
a certificate of title or registration of the vehicle under this
(2) That the applicant fails to present a statement of
insurance or proof of other security as required pursuant to the provisions of section three of this article;
(3) That the vehicle is mechanically unfit or unsafe to be
operated or moved upon the highways, except that a mini-truck used
by a city, county, state or other governmental entity in accordance
with section one, article one of this chapter may be titled and
registered without regard to federal safety or emission standards;
(4) That the division has reasonable grounds to believe that
the vehicle is a stolen or embezzled vehicle or that the granting
of registration or the issuance of certificate of title would
constitute a fraud against the rightful owner or other person
having a valid lien upon such vehicle;
(5) That the registration of the vehicle stands suspended or
revoked for any reason as provided in the motor vehicle laws of
(6) That the required fee has not been paid; or
(7) That the vehicle is operated by a commercial motor carrier
who has failed to provide a federal motor carrier identification
number (USDOT number) or whose authority to operate in interstate
commerce has been denied or suspended by the federal Motor Carrier
ARTICLE 3A. VEHICLE COMPLIANCE WITH FEDERAL CLEAN AIR STANDARDS
AND VEHICLE SAFETY.
§17A-3A-2. Consumer disclosure.
Before a motor vehicle not originally manufactured in
accordance with the laws and regulations of the United States Clean Air Act and the Motor Vehicle Safety Act can be sold to a consumer
in this state, the seller must provide the purchaser with full
written disclosure of all modifications performed to the vehicle.
This disclosure consists of a description phrased in terms
reasonably understandable to a consumer with no specialized
technical training, accompanied by a copy of the technical
submissions made to the Environmental Protection Agency and
Department of Transportation in order to obtain certification of
compliance. Failure to make this disclosure renders the sale
voidable. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, a
governmental entity may not sell or transfer a mini-truck
originally purchased and used for parking enforcement or other
governmental purposes without first modifying the vehicle to comply
with federal motor vehicle safety standards unless such sale is to
another governmental entity for parking enforcement or other
§17A-3A-3. Certificates of title.
(a) Before any imported vehicle which has not previously been
titled or registered in the United States may be titled in this
state, the applicant must submit: (1) A manufacturer's certificate
of origin issued by the actual vehicle manufacturer together with
a notarized translation thereof; or (2) the documents constituting
valid proof of ownership by an individual owner or exporter and
evidencing a change of such ownership to the applicant, together
with a notarized translation of any document; or (3) with regard to
vehicles imported from countries which cancel the vehicle registration and title for export, the documents assigned to such
vehicle after the registration and title have been canceled,
together with a notarized translation thereof, and proof
satisfactory to the division that the motor vehicle complies with
the United States Clean Air Act and the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.
(b) In the event that the documents submitted as required by
subsection (a) of this section do not name as owner the current
applicant for a certificate of title, the applicant must also
submit reliable proof of a chain of title. For those countries
which utilize documents of registration rather than a certificate
of title, proof of a chain of title for purposes of this subsection
shall be accomplished by presenting the change of ownership
certificate referred to in subsection (a) of this section.
(c) Mini-trucks titled by government entities for parking
enforcement or other governmental activities are exempt from the
provisions of this section.
ARTICLE 10. FEES FOR REGISTRATION, LICENSING, ETC.
§17A-10-1. Classification of vehicles for purpose of registration.
Vehicles subject to registration under the provisions of this
chapter shall be placed in the following classes for the purpose of
Class A. Motor vehicles of passenger type and trucks with a
gross weight of not more than eight thousand pounds and mini-trucks
operated by governmental entities for parking enforcement as
defined in subdivision (2), subsection (tt), section one, article
one of this chapter.
Class B. Motor vehicles designated as trucks with a gross
weight of more than eight thousand pounds, truck tractors or road
Class C. All trailers and semitrailers, except house trailers
and trailers or semitrailers designed to be drawn by Class A motor
vehicles and having a gross weight of less than two thousand
Class G. Motorcycles and parking enforcement vehicles as
defined in subdivision (1), subsection (tt), section one, article
one of this chapter
Class H. Motor vehicles operated regularly for the
transportation of persons for compensation under a certificate of
convenience and necessity or contract carrier permit issued by the
public service commission;
Class J. Motor vehicles operated for transportation of
persons for compensation by common carriers, not running over a
regular route or between fixed termini;
Class M. Mobile equipment as defined in subdivision (oo),
section one, article one of this chapter;
Class R. House trailers;
Class T. Trailers or semitrailers of a type designed to be
drawn by Class A vehicles and having a gross weight of less than
two thousand pounds; and
Class Farm Truck. Motor vehicles designated as trucks having
a minimum gross weight of more than eight thousand pounds and a
maximum gross weight of eighty thousand pounds, used exclusively in the conduct of a farming business, engaged in the production of
agricultural products by means of: (a) The planting, cultivation
and harvesting of agricultural, horticultural, vegetable or other
products of the soil; or (b) the raising, feeding and care of
livestock, poultry, bees and dairy cattle. A farm truck may be used
only for the transportation of agricultural products produced by
the owner of the truck, for the transportation of agricultural
supplies used in the production or for private passenger use.
(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow cities and other
government agencies to title and operate mini-trucks for limited
use on public highways for parking enforcement.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would