Bills of interest:
· HB 417: Department of Motor Vehicles transactions. (Bagby)(Chapter 368)
Amends Va. Code §§ 46.2-205.2, 46.2-214, 46.2-328, and 46.2-330, and adds § 46.2-214.4.
Eliminates the requirement that individuals under the age of 21 who have one or more convictions re-take the driver’s license written examination prior to renewal. In addition, this bill removes the requirement that driver’s licenses and learner’s permits expire on an applicant’s 20th birthday. Effective July 1, 2016, drivers age 16 and 17 will be issued a driver’s license for the standard 8 year duration.
· HB 653 and SB 176: Consent to organ donation. (O’Bannon and Howell)(Chapters 743 and 135)
Amends Va. Code §§ 32.1-292.2, 46.2-342, and 46.2-345
This bill eliminates the requirement that a person indicate his willingness to make an anatomical gift (be an organ donor) every time he renews or replaces his license. Once an applicant responds “yes,” DMV will no longer be required to ask a person if he wants to remain an organ, eye and tissue donor. If a person wishes to rescind his consent to be an organ donor, he may do so in person at the customer service center, by telephone or by going to Donate Life VA Registry at www.DonateLifeVirginia.org. To remove the organ donor indicator from the driver’s license or ID card, a replacement license or original ID card would be issued.
· HB 748: Driver education; certification of online courses. (Greason)(Chapter 437)
Amends Va. Code §§ 46.2-1700, 46.2-1701, and 46.2-1702 and adds § 46.2-1701.4
This bill allows DMV to license Virginia driver training schools to provide computer-based driver education courses for the classroom portion of driver education. The content of such programs shall be comparable to that of courses offered in the Commonwealth’s public schools. DMV will establish minimum standards for testing students who complete an online course. These requirements will include such things as requirements for the test sites and methods to verify that the person taking the test is the person enrolled in the course.
· HB 1287: Behind-the-wheel and knowledge examinations; retake of examinations. (Carr)(Chapter 381)
Amends Va. Code § 46.2-325
This bill allows a person less than 19 years of age who has failed the behind-the-wheel examination for a driver's license three times to take a course of instruction based on the Virginia Driver's Manual before taking the examination a fourth time if such person has previously completed the classroom component of driver instruction at a driver training school.
· SB 555: Learner's permit or provisional driver's license holder; completion of driver ed. (Cosgrove) (Chapter 488)
Amends Va. Code §§ 46.2-323, 46.2-324.1, 46.2-334, 46.2-334.01, 46.2-335, and 46.2-335.2
• Limits holders of a learner’s permit to having no more than one passenger under age 21. This prohibition does not apply to members of the driver’s family. The bill also prohibits the holder of a learner’s permit from operating a motor vehicle on the highways of the Commonwealth while using any cellular telephone or any other wireless telecommunications device, regardless of whether or not such device is handheld except in a driver emergency or when the vehicle is lawfully parked or stopped.
Removes the exception that a provisional driver's license holder under age 18 may have more than one passenger under age 21 if a parent is present, and clarifies that the passenger limitations on all provisional driver's licenses do not include household or family members. The bill also amends the definition of “a member of the driver's family or household” to include first cousin.
• Changes the minimum learner’s permit holding periods and driver’s education requirements for 18 year olds. Prior to these changes, 18 year olds had a minimum 9 month holding period for both a learner’s permit and motorcycle learner’s permit and they were required to successfully complete approved driver’s education. This bill changes these requirements as follows:
o Individuals age 17 and younger must hold a learner’s permit for at least 9 months and applicants age 18 and older are required to hold a learner’s permit for at least 60 days.
o Applicants for a motorcycle classification who are age 17 or younger are required to hold a motorcycle learner’s permit for at least 9 months and motorcycle classification applicants age 18 or older are required to hold a motorcycle learner’s permit for at least 30 days.
Driver’s license applicants age 17 and younger are required to present proof of acceptable driver’s education; applicants age 18 and older are not required to present proof of driver’s education.
· HB 1276: Motorcycle rider safety training courses; clarification of definition. (Robinson)(Chapter 380)
Amends Va. Code § 46.2-1188
This bill provides that "motorcycle rider safety training courses" means courses of instruction in the operation of motorcycles for the purposes of obtaining a waiver from the examination or road test for (i) both two-wheeled and three-wheeled motorcycles, (ii) two-wheeled motorcycles, or (iii) three-wheeled motorcycles.