Legislature(1997 - 1998)

02/23/1998 01:45 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE BILL NO. 231                                                             
"An Act relating to regulation of snowmobiles."                                
Co-Chair Therriault provided members with a proposed                           
committee substitute, Work Draft 0-LS0501\L, dated 2/23/98                     
(copy on file).  He noted that the sections relating to                        
accident reporting and required equipment were deleted.  The                   
sponsor indicated that these subjects might be considered in                   
separate legislation at another time.                                          
Representative Foster asked if bush areas would be exempted.                   
He felt that registration of snow machines in bush areas                       
would be onerous.                                                              
ADMINISTRATION noted that the registration of snowmobiles is                   
currently under Title 5.  Currently, all snowmobiles are                       
required to be registered.  The legislation would move                         
registration of snowmobiles from Title 5 and place it in                       
Title 28.  Snowmobiles would be registered at the time of                      
Co-Chair Therriault pointed out that there is no new                           
requirement.  Ms. Hensley noted that current statutes                          
require payment of a fee.  The only change would be to                         
authorize snowmobile dealers to register the machine at the                    
time of sale.                                                                  
Representative Martin questioned if the law should be                          
repealed.  Ms. Hensley clarified that registration is                          
required every two years.  Registration can occur through                      
the Internet, phone, or by mail.  She emphasized that the                      
legislation will protect owners from theft.  She noted that                    
the legislation was requested by the industry and owners of                    
snow machines.                                                                 
Representative Martin questioned if the legislation would                      
burden the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  Ms. Hensley                      
noted that the sponsor worked to limit the amount of work                      
that the DMV has to perform.  One full time position would                     
negotiate contracts with dealers, and audit and train                          
dealers.  She did not think that the legislation would add                     
very much to their workload.                                                   
There are approximately 14,000 snow machines that are                          
currently registered.  Snow machine clubs estimate that                        
there are approximately 70,000 unregistered snow machines.                     
They expect another 8,000 new snow machines to be registered                   
per year.  The Division would have to register approximately                   
10,000 a year due to a turnover of used machines.  She                         
discussed the Division's fiscal note.  She observed that                       
$100 thousand dollars in revenues would be generated in the                    
first two years.                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault noted that the Division of Parks would                     
use the statistics on the number of registered vehicles to                     
apply for federal grants.                                                      
In response to a question by Representative Kelly, Ms.                         
Hensley clarified that snow machines are not titled.  Lien                     
holders are not identified on registration. Lien holders                       
could be identified by implementing programming changes.                       
The programming changes would require additional costs.                        
Representative Grussendorf spoke in support of the                             
In response to a question by Representative Mulder, Ms.                        
Hensley noted that registration costs $10 dollars every two                    
years.  She stated that the registration fee is sufficient                     
to administer the program.                                                     
In response to comments by Representative Martin, Co-Chair                     
Therriault clarified that money collected for registration                     
is not used to match federal funds.  Ms. Hensley explained                     
that federal grants are based on the number of snow machines                   
that are registered.                                                           
Representative Kohring noted that the public is not adhering                   
to the laws regarding registration of snowmobiles.  He                         
questioned if the law should be repealed.                                      
Representative Foster asked what is the fine or penalty for                    
not registering a snowmobile.  Ms. Hensley stated that the                     
fine would be the same as for not registering a car.  Four-                    
wheelers are not required to be registered.                                    
Representative Davies spoke against repealing the statute.                     
Representative Davies MOVED to ADOPT Work Draft 0-LS0501\L,                    
dated 2/23/98.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                   
Representative Davies MOVED to report CSHB 231 (FIN) out of                    
Committee with the accompanying fiscal notes.  There being                     
NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                               

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