HOUSE BILL 232
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019
Debra M. Sariñana
RELATING TO MOTOR VEHICLES; PROVIDING FOR THE REFUND OF VEHICLE REGISTRATION FEES FOR REQUESTED REVOCATIONS OF VEHICLE REGISTRATIONS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 66-3-19 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1978, Chapter 35, Section 39, as amended by Laws 1995, Chapter 44, Section 2 and also by Laws 1995, Chapter 135, Section 12) is amended to read:
"66-3-19. RENEWAL OF REGISTRATION--STAGGERED PERIOD FOR VEHICLES--EXCEPTION FOR MANUFACTURED HOMES AND FREIGHT
TRAILERS--LATE REGISTRATION--REFUND OF FEES.--
A. The department, in order to operate a more uniform system of vehicle registration, is authorized for certain or all vehicles to:
(1) prorate registration fees by quarterly increments for periods in excess of twelve months, but not exceeding twenty-four months;
(2) determine the specific registered vehicle owners and the numbers of these to be assigned to each registration period in order to maintain the system;
(3) notify each registered vehicle owner by mail at the last known address within an appropriate period prior to the expiration of the current registration period. The notice shall include a renewal-of-registration application form specifying the amount of registration fees due and the specific dates of the registration period covered by the renewal application;
(4) provide for the retention of registration plates;
(5) provide for the issuance of validating stickers to be affixed either to retained registration plates or elsewhere on the vehicles as prescribed by the department to signify the registration of the vehicles for the current registration period; and
(6) provide for identification purposes clearly recognizable distinctions between current and expired registration plates and validation stickers. To this end, the department, by whatever system or device the secretary may direct that is approved by the chief of the New Mexico state police division of the department of public safety, shall ensure a practicable display of the proper and current registration of vehicles.
B. Certificates of title need not be renewed annually but shall remain valid until canceled by the department for cause or upon transfer of any interest shown in the certificate of title.
C. The vehicle registration of vehicles registered under the provisions of Subsection A of this section expires on the last day of the period for which the vehicle has been registered. Every vehicle registration other than vehicles registered in accordance with Subsection A of this section, manufactured homes and freight trailers expires December 31. The department may receive applications for renewal of registration and may issue new registration evidence and registration plates or validating stickers at any time prior to expiration of the current registration.
D. The registration of a manufactured home or freight trailer need not be renewed annually, and the initial registration shall be effective and considered a current registration for the purpose of the Motor Vehicle Code as long as the ownership of the vehicle is not transferred. The transfer of title provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code do apply to manufactured homes and freight trailers, and the transferee is required to register the vehicle in accordance with Section 66-3-103 NMSA 1978. The department is authorized and directed to issue distinctive registration plates for manufactured homes and freight trailers that identify the plates as permanent registration plates.
E. It is unlawful to operate or transport or cause to be transported upon any highways in this state any vehicle, except a commercial motor vehicle registered in another state or a manufactured home, subject to registration under the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code without having paid the registration fee or without having secured and constantly displayed the registration plate required by the Motor Vehicle Code. If a vehicle, other than a manufactured home, is operated or transported after the expiration of the vehicle registration, the owner of the vehicle is subject to a penalty of the greater of ten dollars ($10.00) or, if the vehicle is operated or transported thirty-one or more days after the expiration of the registration, an amount equal to seventy-five percent of the registration fee. Any duly appointed deputy or agent of the department has the authority to seize the vehicle and hold it until the fee, penalty and any fine that may be imposed for violation of law are paid and may sell the vehicle in the manner provided by law for the distraint and sale of personal property.
F. It is unlawful to operate, transport or cause to be transported upon any highways in this state or to maintain in any place in this state a manufactured home subject to registration under the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code without having paid the registration fee or without having secured and constantly displayed the registration plate required by the Motor Vehicle Code. Violation of this subsection subjects the owner to a penalty of five dollars ($5.00), and no other administrative penalty for failure to register under the Motor Vehicle Code shall be imposed upon manufactured homes that are subject to the provisions of Section 66-6-10 NMSA 1978. Any duly appointed deputy or agent of the department has authority to seize the manufactured home and hold it until the fee, penalties and any fine that may be imposed for violation of law are paid and may sell the manufactured home in the manner provided by law for the distraint and sale of personal property.
G. If a vehicle owner requests revocation of a vehicle registration and returns the registration plate issued for that vehicle, the department shall refund the registration fee for the time remaining on the registration prorated on quarterly increments.
[G.] H. This section authorizes a staggered system of registration of vehicles."
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