Connecticut Laws - Title 14 Motor Vehicles. Use Of The Highway By Vehicles. Gasoline
CHAPTER 246* MOTOR VEHICLES
Sec. 14-144. No fees for arrests for motor vehicle violations.

PART VII GENERAL PROVISIONS (1631)(1-click HTML)

Sec. 14-145. Towing or removal of motor vehicle from private property. (1632)(1-click HTML)

(a) An owner or lessee of private property, or his agent, may remove or cause to be removed any motor vehicle left without authorization on such property in accordance with the provisions of this section and sections 14-145a to 14-145c, inclusive. This section shall not apply to law enforcement, fire-fighting, rescue, ambulance or emergency vehicles which are marked as such, or to the removal of motor vehicles from property leased by any governmental agency. (1633)

(b) When such motor vehicle is towed or otherwise removed by a wrecker licensed under section 14-66, the licensee or operator of the wrecker shall notify the local police department of the tow or removal within two hours. No such licensee or operator may charge a storage fee for such motor vehicle for the time it is stored prior to such notification. If the motor vehicle is not claimed by its owner within the time periods specified in subsection (e) of section 14-150, the licensee or operator of the wrecker or of the garage where such motor vehicle is stored may dispose of it in accordance with the provisions of subsection (e) of section 14-150. (1634)

(c) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall, for a first offense, be deemed to have committed an infraction and be fined fifty dollars, and, for each subsequent offense, shall be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days or be both fined and imprisoned. (1635)

Sec. 14-145a. Express instruction of property owner or lessee required for towing or removal of motor vehicle. Rebate prohibited. (1636)(1-click HTML)

(a) No vehicle shall be towed or removed from private property except upon express instruction of the owner or lessee, or his agent, of the property upon which the vehicle is trespassing. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the right of a municipality or the state to remove an abandoned motor vehicle in accordance with the provisions of section 14-150. (1637)

(b) No person or firm which tows or removes a motor vehicle from private property shall rebate or pay any money or other valuable consideration to the owner or lessee, or his agent, of the property from which the vehicle is towed or removed for the privilege of towing or removing that vehicle. (1638)

Sec. 14-145b. Storage and release of towed motor vehicles. (1639)(1-click HTML)

(a) Any vehicle towed or removed from private property pursuant to sections 14-145 to 14-145c, inclusive, shall be stored at the site of the towing company's business in a secured storage lot. The site shall be open during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and be reasonably available on Saturday, Sunday and holidays, for the purpose of vehicle redemption. (1640)

(b) When a vehicle has been towed or removed pursuant to sections 14-145 to 14-145c, inclusive, it shall be released to its owner, or a person authorized by the owner to regain possession, upon demand, provided the demand is made between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday or at a reasonable time on Saturday, Sunday or holidays and the owner or authorized person presents proof of registration and pays the costs of towing or removal and of storage. Any vehicle owner, or agent of the owner, shall have the right to inspect the vehicle before accepting its return. No general release of any kind which would release the person or firm towing or removing or storing the vehicle from liability for damages or from liability for any claim that the vehicle was towed without justification may be required from any vehicle owner, or agent of the owner, as a condition of release of the vehicle. A receipt showing the name of the person or firm towing or removing the vehicle and an itemization of the charges shall be provided to the person paying the towing or removal and storage costs at the time of payment. (1641)

Sec. 14-145c. Liability of property owner or lessee for improper towing or removal of motor vehicle. (1642)(1-click HTML)

Whenever an owner or lessee of private property, or his agent, improperly causes a motor vehicle to be towed or removed from such property, the owner or lessee of the property shall be liable to the owner of the vehicle for the costs of towing or removal and of storage of the vehicle and for reasonable attorney's fees and court costs, if applicable. (1643)

Sec. 14-146. Objects not to be thrown at motor vehicles. (1644)(1-click HTML)

No person shall throw any object at a motor vehicle or at a person in such motor vehicle or on any highway, which may cause injury to such vehicle or the tires thereon or to any person therein. Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined for the first offense not more than five hundred dollars and, for each subsequent offense, may be imprisoned for not more than sixty days. (1645)

Sec. 14-147. Improper use of marker, registration or license. (1646)(1-click HTML)

(a) Any person who counterfeits any number plate or marker, or makes any substitute or temporary marker except as provided in section 14-18, or who counterfeits or in any manner alters any motor vehicle registration or operator's license, and any person who gives, loans or sells any such counterfeited or altered number plate, marker, motor vehicle registration or operator's license, shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days or both. (1647)

(b) Any person who loans or sells any operator's license issued by the commissioner, for use by any person, or any marker or certificate of registration issued by the commissioner, for use on any car, except as provided in sections 14-59 and 14-60, shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars. (1648)

(c) No person shall use any motor vehicle registration or operator's license other than the one issued to him by the commissioner, except as provided in section 14-18; and no person shall use a motor vehicle registration on any motor vehicle other than that for which such registration has been issued. Any person who violates any provision of this subsection shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days or both. (1649)

Sec. 14-147a. Theft or illegal possession of number plate or sticker. (1650)(1-click HTML)

Any person who takes any motor vehicle number plate or sticker denoting the expiration date of the registration from such number plate or possesses such number plate or sticker without the permission of the person to whom such number plate or sticker was issued shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars or more than five hundred dollars. (1651)

Sec. 14-148. Abandoned markers. (1652)(1-click HTML)

(a) Any person who has found, or has in his possession, any number plate or number plates, or identifying part thereof, currently in use, which plate or plates were not issued to him, shall immediately deliver the same to the commissioner or to any officer. Such officer shall, within twenty-four hours, notify the commissioner that he holds such number plate or number plates or identifying part thereof to his order. (1653)

(b) Any officer may remove any number plate or number plates from any motor vehicle when such motor vehicle is apparently abandoned or when such number plate or number plates have been or are being used illegally and shall forward them to the commissioner with a statement of the reason for such removal. (1654)

(c) Violation of any provision of subsection (a) of this section shall be an infraction. (1655)

Sec. 14-149. Mutilated or removed vehicle identification, factory or engine number. Discovery of vehicle reported as stolen or of vehicle or major component part with mutilated or missing identification, engine or factory number. Disposition of vehicle or part held in custody. Penalty. Fee. (1656)(1-click HTML)

(a) No person shall purchase, sell or have in such person's possession any motor vehicle, including construction equipment, or a major component part thereof, as defined in section 14-67h, or agricultural tractors or farm implements with a mutilated, altered or removed vehicle identification, factory or engine number or a number which shows evidence of having been tampered with, except as hereinafter provided. (1657)

(b) Any officer attached to an organized police department, any state police officer or inspector of the Department of Motor Vehicles, upon discovery of any motor vehicle, including construction equipment, or major component part thereof, as defined in section 14-67h, or agricultural tractors or farm implements, the vehicle identification, engine or factory number of which has been mutilated, altered or removed, shall take such motor vehicle or major component part if not affixed to such vehicle, or agricultural tractor or farm implement into custody. Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, any such motor vehicle or major component part or agricultural tractor or farm implement shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of section 54-36a, and in the case of a motor vehicle for which the owner, registration or title has been identified, a report of such action shall be made to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. Such officer or inspector may take into custody the operator of such motor vehicle or agricultural tractor or farm implement or person in possession of such part and present such operator or person before a proper court. No such operator or person shall be discharged from custody until such operator or person has proved to the satisfaction of the court the ownership of such motor vehicle or such part or such agricultural tractor or farm implement and such operator's or person's right to its custody, provided any such operator or person may be admitted to bail pending proceedings thereon. If such operator or person is unable to establish ownership of such motor vehicle or such part or such agricultural tractor or farm implement to the satisfaction of the court, the court shall order such motor vehicle or part to be forfeited and turned over to the police department or agency whose officer or inspector seized such motor vehicle or part or agricultural tractor or farm implement to be used for such department or agency's purposes or sold at auction with the proceeds given to such department or agency. No officer or inspector shall be personally liable for any official act performed under the provisions of this section. (1658)

(c) Any inspector of the Department of Motor Vehicles, upon discovery of any motor vehicle or major component part, the vehicle identification, engine or factory number of which has been mutilated, altered or removed in the possession of any licensee of the department, including a new or used car dealer who has been issued an auction permit in accordance with the provisions of section 14-65, or a motor vehicle dealer or repairer authorized to tow or transport and store motor vehicles in accordance with the provisions of section 14-66, shall take such motor vehicle or major component part into custody. If the motor vehicle or major component part is owned by any such licensee or an insurance company, or if such licensee or insurance company has the right to transfer and dispose of such vehicle or major component part, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may, upon receipt of transfer of title or forfeiture of all right and interest therein and notwithstanding the method of disposition required under subsection (b) of this section, make any disposition of such motor vehicle or major component part that the commissioner deems necessary or advisable. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to construction equipment, agricultural tractors or farm implements, the vehicle identification, engine or factory number of which has been mutilated, altered or removed. (1659)

(d) Any officer attached to an organized police department, any state police officer or inspector of the Department of Motor Vehicles, upon discovery of any motor vehicle, construction equipment, agricultural tractor or farm implement which has been reported as stolen, shall take such motor vehicle, construction equipment, agricultural tractor or farm implement into custody and have it returned to its rightful owner or, if such owner cannot be determined or if such motor vehicle, construction equipment, agricultural tractor or farm implement is needed for evidence, shall have it taken to and stored in a suitable place. (1660)

(e) No motor vehicle shall be registered unless it has permanently cut, impressed or embossed on some portion thereof a factory, serial or identification number or mark. Any person who knowingly has in such person's possession any motor vehicle, construction equipment, agricultural tractor or farm implement from which the factory, serial or other identification number has been removed, defaced, obliterated or changed shall immediately file with the commissioner a sworn statement describing such motor vehicle, construction equipment, agricultural tractor or farm implement and showing the source of such person's title and, if known, the reason for such removal, defacement, obliteration or change, together with a fee in the amount of fifty dollars. If satisfied as to the facts, the commissioner may grant permission to cut, impress or emboss permanently into the motor of such motor vehicle, construction equipment, agricultural tractor or farm implement a special identification number or mark which shall thereafter be deemed sufficient for the purpose of registration of such motor vehicle, construction equipment, agricultural tractor or farm implement. No person shall wilfully remove, deface, obliterate or change or cause to be removed, obliterated, defaced or changed any factory, serial or other identification number or mark on or from any motor vehicle, construction equipment, agricultural tractor or farm implement. (1661)

(f) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall, for the first offense, be fined not more than two thousand five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than three years, or both, and, for the second or subsequent offense, be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. (1662)

Sec. 14-149a. Ownership or operation of chop shop. (1663)(1-click HTML)

(a) As used in this section: (1664)

(1) "Chop shop" means any area, building, storage lot, field or any other premises or place, except an impoundment or storage area authorized by and under the control or direction of a state or municipal law enforcement agency, (A) where one or more persons are engaged or have engaged in altering, dismantling, reassembling or in any way concealing or disguising the identity of a stolen motor vehicle or of any major component part of a stolen motor vehicle, (B) where there are three or more stolen motor vehicles present, or (C) where there are major component parts from three or more stolen motor vehicles present. (1665)

(2) "Major component part" means one of the following parts of a motor vehicle: (A) The engine, (B) the transmission, (C) the right or left front fender, (D) the hood, (E) a door allowing entrance to or egress from the passenger compartment of the vehicle, (F) the front or rear bumper, (G) the right or left rear quarter panel, (H) the deck lid, tailgate or hatchback, (I) the trunk floor pan, (J) the cargo box of a pickup, (K) the frame, or if the vehicle has a unitized body, the supporting structure or structures which serve as the frame, (L) the cab of a truck, (M) the body of a passenger vehicle, or (N) any other part of a motor vehicle which the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles determines is comparable in design or function to any of the parts listed in subparagraphs (A) to (M), inclusive, of this subdivision. (1666)

(3) "Motor vehicle" means motor vehicle, as defined in section 14-1, but shall include construction equipment, agricultural tractors and farm implements. (1667)

(b) Any person who knowingly owns, operates or conducts a chop shop or who knowingly aids and abets another person in owning, operating or conducting a chop shop shall, for a first offense, be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years or both, and, for a second or subsequent offense, be fined not less than ten thousand dollars and imprisoned not more than five years. (1668)

(c) Upon conviction of any person for a violation of this section, the court may, in addition to, but not in lieu of, imposing a fine or a term of imprisonment, order such person to make restitution to the rightful owner of a stolen motor vehicle or of a stolen major component part, or to the owner's insurer if the owner has already been compensated for the loss by the insurer, for any financial loss sustained as a result of the theft of such motor vehicle or major component part. (1669)

Sec. 14-150. Abandoned or unregistered motor vehicles and motor vehicles which are a menace to traffic. Notice. Removal. Storage. Hearing. Lien. Sale. (1670)(1-click HTML)

(a) Any person who abandons any motor vehicle within the limits of any highway or upon property other than such person's own without the consent of the owner thereof for a period longer than twenty-four hours shall have committed an infraction and shall be fined not less than eighty-five dollars. The last owner of record of a motor vehicle found abandoned, as shown by the files of the Department of Motor Vehicles, shall be deemed prima facie to have been the owner of such motor vehicle at the time it was abandoned and the person who abandoned the same or caused or procured its abandonment. (1671)

(b) Any inspector of the Department of Motor Vehicles, any officer attached to an organized police department, any enforcement officer of a parking authority authorized under an ordinance adopted pursuant to section 7-204a to enforce parking regulations in the municipality in which it is located or any state police officer upon discovery of any motor vehicle, whether situated within or without any highway of this state, which is a menace to traffic or public health or safety, shall take such motor vehicle into such inspector's or officer's custody and cause the same to be taken to and stored in a suitable place. (1672)

(c) Any inspector of the Department of Motor Vehicles, any officer attached to an organized police department, any enforcement officer of a parking authority authorized under an ordinance adopted pursuant to section 7-204a to enforce parking regulations in the municipality in which it is located or any state police officer, upon discovery of any motor vehicle apparently abandoned or a motor vehicle without proper registration, whether situated within or without any highway of this state, shall affix to such motor vehicle a notification sticker in a manner so as to be readily visible. This notification sticker shall contain the following information: (1) The date and time the notification sticker was affixed to the motor vehicle; (2) a statement that pursuant to this section, if the motor vehicle is not removed within twenty-four hours of the time the sticker was affixed, it shall be taken into custody and stored at the owner's expense; (3) the location and telephone number where additional information may be obtained; and (4) the identity of the affixing officer. If the motor vehicle is not removed within such twenty-four-hour period, the affixing department or parking authority shall take such motor vehicle into its custody and cause the same to be stored in a suitable place, except that such department or parking authority shall make a reasonable attempt to notify the owner of any such motor vehicle which is determined to be stolen prior to taking such vehicle into its custody and shall allow such owner to make arrangements for removal of such vehicle. (1673)

(d) If the motor vehicle has no registration marker plates or invalid registration marker plates, and if such inspector or officer makes a determination in good faith that (1) the motor vehicle is apparently abandoned, (2) the market value of such motor vehicle in its current condition is five hundred dollars or less, and (3) the motor vehicle is so vandalized, damaged, or in disrepair as to be unusable as a motor vehicle, title to such motor vehicle shall, upon taking custody of such motor vehicle, immediately vest in the municipality in which the motor vehicle was discovered. Within forty-eight hours of the time that such motor vehicle is taken into custody, the affixing department or parking authority shall notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, in writing, of the vehicle identification number and a description of the motor vehicle. Upon sale or other disposition of the motor vehicle, the affixing department or parking authority shall give written notice by certified mail to the person who was the owner of such motor vehicle at the time of abandonment, if known, which notice shall state that the motor vehicle has been sold or otherwise disposed of. The proceeds of the sale or disposition, or the fair market value of the motor vehicle in its current condition, whichever is greater, less the towing and sale or disposal expenses and the amount of any fines due, shall be paid to such person or such person's representatives, if claimed by such person or them within one year from the date of sale. If such balance is not claimed within such period, it shall escheat to the municipality. If the expenses incurred by the municipality for towing and the sale or disposition of such motor vehicle and any such fines exceed the proceeds of such sale or disposition, such person shall be liable to such municipality for such excess amount. (1674)

(e) Within forty-eight hours of the time that a motor vehicle is taken into custody and stored pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of this section, the affixing department or parking authority shall give written notice by certified mail to the owner and any lienholders of such motor vehicle, if the same appears on the records of the Department of Motor Vehicles, which notice shall state (1) that the motor vehicle has been taken into custody and stored, (2) the location of storage of the motor vehicle, (3) that, unless title has already vested in the municipality pursuant to subsection (d), such motor vehicle may be sold after fifteen days if the market value of such motor vehicle does not exceed one thousand five hundred dollars or after forty-five days if the value of such motor vehicle exceeds one thousand five hundred dollars, and (4) that the owner has a right to contest the validity of such taking by application, on a form prescribed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, to the hearing officer named in such notice within ten days from the date of such notice. Such application forms shall be made readily available to the public at all offices of the Department of Motor Vehicles, parking authorities authorized under an ordinance adopted pursuant to section 7-204a to enforce parking regulations and state and local police departments. (1675)

(f) (1) The chief executive officer of each town shall appoint a suitable person, who shall not be a member of any state or local police department, to be a hearing officer to hear applications to determine whether or not the towing within such municipality of such motor vehicle was authorized under the provisions of this section. Two or more towns may join in appointing such hearing officer; provided any such hearing shall be held at a location which is as near to the town within which such motor vehicle was towed as is reasonable and practicable. The commissioner shall establish by regulation the qualifications necessary for hearing officers and procedures for the holding of such hearings. If it is determined at such hearing that the vehicle was not a menace to traffic, abandoned or unregistered, as the case may be, the owner of such motor vehicle shall not be liable for any expenses incurred as a result of the taking and storage of such motor vehicle, the lien provisions of this section shall not apply to such owner, and the department which took and stored such motor vehicle shall be liable for such expenses. If the owner, prior to such determination, pays such expenses and the storage charges of such motor vehicle, and it is determined at such hearing that the motor vehicle was not a menace to traffic, abandoned or unregistered, as the case may be, the department or parking authority which took such motor vehicle shall be liable to such owner for the amount paid by such owner. Any person aggrieved by the decision of such hearing officer may, within fifteen days of the notice of such decision, appeal to the superior court for the judicial district wherein such hearing was held. (1676)

(2) The chief executive officer of each municipality shall designate a suitable person who shall be responsible for the collection of data concerning abandoned motor vehicles within such municipality and the preparation and submission of periodic reports to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles which shall contain such information as the commissioner may require. (1677)

(g) The owner or keeper of any garage or other place where such motor vehicle is stored shall have a lien upon the same for such owner's or keeper's towing and storage charges. Unless title has already vested in the municipality pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, if the current market value of such motor vehicle as determined in good faith by such owner or keeper does not exceed one thousand five hundred dollars and such motor vehicle has been stored for a period of not less than fifteen days, such owner or keeper may, unless an application filed by the owner pursuant to subsection (e) of this section is pending and the owner of such motor vehicle has notified such owner or keeper that such application for hearing has been filed, sell the same for storage and towing charges owed thereon, provided a notice of intent to sell shall be sent to the commissioner, the owner and any lienholder of record of such motor vehicle, if known, five days before the sale of such vehicle. If the current market value of such motor vehicle as determined in good faith by such owner or keeper exceeds one thousand five hundred dollars and if such motor vehicle has been so stored for a period of forty-five days, such owner or keeper shall, unless an application filed by the owner pursuant to subsection (e) of this section is pending and the owner of such motor vehicle has notified such owner or keeper that such application for hearing has been filed, sell the same at public auction for cash, at such owner's or keeper's place of business, and apply the avails of such sale toward the payment of such owner's or keeper's charges and the payment of any debt or obligation incurred by the officer who placed the same in storage, provided if the last place of abode of the owner of such motor vehicle is known to or may be ascertained by such garage owner or keeper by the exercise of reasonable diligence, notice of the time and place of sale shall be given to such owner and any lienholder of record by mailing such notice to such owner in a registered or certified letter, postage paid, at such last usual place of abode, at least five days before the time of sale. At any public auction held pursuant to this subsection, such garage owner or keeper may set a minimum bid equal to the amount of such owner's or keeper's charges and obligations with respect to the tow and storage of the motor vehicle. If no such bid is made, such owner or keeper may sell or dispose of such vehicle. (1678)

(h) The garage owner or keeper shall report the sales price, storing, towing and repair charges, if any; buyer's name and address; identification of the vehicle and such other information as may be required in regulations which shall be adopted by the commissioner in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to the commissioner within fifteen days after the sale of the motor vehicle. The proceeds of such sale, after deducting the amount due such garage owner or keeper and all expenses connected with such sale, including the expenses of the officer who placed such motor vehicle in storage, shall be paid to the owner of such motor vehicle or such owner's legal representatives, if claimed by such owner or them at any time within one year from the date of such sale. If such balance is not claimed within said period, it shall escheat to the state. (1679)

(i) If the owner of such motor vehicle placed in storage in accordance with the provisions of this section does not claim such motor vehicle within thirty days, the owner of such garage or other place of storage shall, within forty days of the date such motor vehicle was placed in storage with such owner, send a written notice to the commissioner, stating the make, engine number and chassis number of such motor vehicle, the date such motor vehicle was left with such owner for storage and by whom and the registration number thereof if any number plates are on such motor vehicle, which notice shall be placed on file by the commissioner and shall be subject to public inspection. The fee for filing such notice shall be five dollars. Any sale under the provisions of this section shall be void, unless the notice required by this section has been given to the commissioner. (1680)

(j) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, (1) specifying the circumstances under which title to any motor vehicle abandoned within the limits of any highway may be transferred to any person, firm or corporation towing such vehicle, and (2) establishing the procedure whereby such person, firm or corporation may obtain title to such motor vehicle. (1681)

Sec. 14-150a. Removal of abandoned motor vehicles by municipalities. Notice. (1682)(1-click HTML)

Any municipality may, by action of its legislative body, provide for the removal of abandoned, inoperable or unregistered motor vehicles within the limits of such municipality which remain unmoved for thirty days after: (1) Notice to the owner of the property on which such motor vehicle so remains, requesting removal of such motor vehicle and (2) notice in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in such municipality. The legislative body shall designate the local board or officer who shall be responsible for notifying such owner, causing publication of the general notice and for removal and disposition of such motor vehicles. (1683)

Sec. 14-150b. Municipal Abandoned Vehicle Trust Fund. (1684)(1-click HTML)

Section 14-150b is repealed. (1685)

Sec. 14-151. State marshals and constables to enforce law concerning abandoned motor vehicles. (1686)(1-click HTML)

State marshals and the constables of the several towns shall have the same authority in respect to the provisions of section 14-150 as inspectors of the Department of Motor Vehicles, officers attached to an organized police department or state police officers. (1687)

Sec. 14-151a. Report by owner or person in lawful possession of theft of motor vehicle. Regulations re uniform procedure. Report as condition precedent to settling insurance claim. (1688)(1-click HTML)

(a) The owner or person in lawful possession of any motor vehicle which is stolen in this state shall make a report in writing to the office of the local police department in the municipality in which the theft occurred or to the office of the state police troop having jurisdiction over the municipality in which the theft occurred. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 which provide a standard, uniform procedure for reporting the theft of a motor vehicle to any state or local law enforcement officer. (1689)

(b) Each insurance company which issues in this state automobile theft insurance shall, as a condition precedent to settling any claim, require the insured to file a report in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section. (1690)

Sec. 14-152. Report by law enforcement agencies of theft or recovery of motor vehicle. (1691)(1-click HTML)

The Commissioner of Public Safety, each municipal police department and each constable of any town, within one week from the receipt of any complaint of the theft within or without this state of any Connecticut motor vehicle or the theft of any other registered motor vehicle within this state, or within one week from the recovery or notification of the recovery of any stolen motor vehicle, shall report such complaint, recovery or notification of recovery to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and the National Automobile Theft Bureau, upon a blank prepared and furnished by him. Any person who fails to comply with the provisions of this section shall be fined not more than twenty-five dollars. (1692)

Sec. 14-153. Renting of motor vehicles. (1693)(1-click HTML)

Any person, firm or corporation which rents a motor vehicle without a driver for a period of thirty days or less shall inspect or cause to be inspected the motor vehicle operator's license of the person initially operating such motor vehicle, shall compare the signature on such license with that of the alleged licensee written in his presence and shall keep and retain for a period of one year a record of the name of such licensee, the number of his license and the date of issue thereof, the registration number of the motor vehicle so rented and the mileage reading displayed by the odometer of such vehicle at the time such vehicle leaves and returns to the lessor's place of business, which record shall be subject to the inspection of any police officer, any Department of Motor Vehicles inspector or any Department of Motor Vehicles employee designated by the commissioner; provided no person shall rent or lease any motor vehicle without a driver to a minor without the written consent of a parent or guardian of such minor. (1694)

Sec. 14-153a. Exemption. Penalty. (1695)(1-click HTML)

(a) Section 14-153 shall not apply to any person, firm or corporation which, incidental to the conduct of its principal business, leases or rents any motor vehicle without a driver to other persons, firms or corporations whose principal business is the same as that of the lessor. (1696)

(b) Any person who violates any provision of section 14-153 shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars. (1697)

Sec. 14-153b. Proof of credit. (1698)(1-click HTML)

No person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of renting or leasing passenger motor vehicles without drivers, for periods of thirty days or less, shall require any customer to show proof that he or she holds a card provided by a credit card issuer as a condition to the rental of a passenger motor vehicle; provided such person, firm or corporation may require that a customer, seeking to rent for cash, apply for approval to rent up to three business days before the expected rental and that such customer provide both suitable identification and a reasonable deposit. (1699)

Sec. 14-154. Liability of owner for damage caused by rented or leased car. (1700)(1-click HTML)

Section 14-154 is repealed. (1701)

Sec. 14-154a. Liability of owner for damage caused by rented or leased motor vehicle. Exceptions. (1702)(1-click HTML)

(a) Any person renting or leasing to another any motor vehicle owned by him shall be liable for any damage to any person or property caused by the operation of such motor vehicle while so rented or leased, to the same extent as the operator would have been liable if he had also been the owner. (1703)

(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to: (1704)

(1) Any person, with respect to the person's lease to another of a private passenger motor vehicle, if the total lease term is for one year or more and if, at the time damages are incurred, the leased vehicle is insured for bodily injury liability in amounts of not less than one hundred thousand dollars per person and three hundred thousand dollars per occurrence and the vehicle is not subject to subdivision (2) of this subsection. As used in this section, "private passenger motor vehicle" means a: (A) Private passenger type automobile; (B) station-wagon-type automobile; (C) camper-type motor vehicle; (D) truck-type motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than ten thousand pounds, registered as a passenger motor vehicle, as defined in section 14-1, or as a passenger and commercial motor vehicle, as defined in said section, or used for farming purposes; or (E) a vehicle with a commercial registration, as defined in subdivision (12) of said section. Private passenger motor vehicle does not include a motorcycle or motor vehicle used as a public or livery conveyance. (1705)

(2) Any person, with respect to the person's lease to another of a truck, tractor trailer or tractor-trailer unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of ten thousand pounds or more if the total lease term is for one year or more, or the applicable contract term is one year or more, and if, at the time damages are incurred, the loss or claim is insured by any combination of coverage through an insurer, as defined in section 38a-363, in an amount of not less than two million dollars. (1706)

Sec. 14-155. Fines and forfeitures to be paid to commissioner. (1707)(1-click HTML)

Section 14-155 is repealed. (1708)

Sec. 14-156. Receipts of Department of Motor Vehicles to be credited to Special Transportation Fund. (1709)(1-click HTML)

All receipts of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and of his department shall be paid promptly to the State Treasurer in accordance with section 13b-61. (1710)

Sec. 14-156a. Payment of State Police Department expenditures from Highway Fund. (1711)(1-click HTML)

Section 14-156a is repealed. (1712)

Sec. 14-157. (1713)(1-click HTML)

Transferred to Chapter 164, Sec. 10-24a. (1714)

Sec. 14-158. Fines and forfeitures paid to commissioner to be receipts of General Fund. (1715)(1-click HTML)

Section 14-158 is repealed. (1716)

Sec. 14-159. Refund of money paid to commissioner. (1717)(1-click HTML)

The Comptroller, upon application of the commissioner and with the approval of the Attorney General, may draw his order on the Treasurer in favor of any person equitably entitled to the refund of any money paid to said commissioner for the amount of such refund. (1718)

Sec. 14-160. Reservation of license numbers. Fee for low numbers. (1719)(1-click HTML)

The commissioner is authorized to reserve only the registration marker plate numbers of motor vehicles from the number one to the number ten thousand, inclusive, for passenger vehicles and from the number one to the number five hundred, inclusive, for dealers' plates. Said numbers may be issued at the discretion of the commissioner. A fee of sixty-five dollars shall be charged for the first registration period with respect to the issuance of any such plate or plates, in addition to the regular fee prescribed for registration. (1720)

Sec. 14-161. Impersonation of inspector or agent. (1721)(1-click HTML)

Any person who impersonates an inspector or agent of the Department of Motor Vehicles shall, for the first offense, be deemed to have committed an infraction, and for each subsequent offense shall be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars. (1722)

Sec. 14-162. Ordinances. (1723)(1-click HTML)

No town, city or borough, nor any board or officer thereof, shall make any ordinance respecting the regulation, use, lighting or other equipment of motor vehicles, or respecting the use of equipment or accessories upon the same; but any ordinance in force in any town, city or borough in respect to maintaining public service vehicles in a sanitary condition shall remain in force, and authority given to any town, city or borough, or to any board or officer thereof, to regulate shows, processions, assemblages, traffic or parades in streets and public places and to regulate the use of public parks, and ordinances enacted in pursuance of such authority, shall remain in force, and authorities of any town, city or borough shall have power to establish and enforce ordinances fixing traffic routes and public stands for public service vehicles and traffic rules for all vehicles. (1724)

Sec. 14-163. Commissioner to provide lists of motor vehicle and snowmobile owners to town assessors. Disclosure by assessor or tax collector prohibited. (1725)(1-click HTML)

(a) The commissioner shall compile information concerning motor vehicles and snowmobiles subject to property taxation pursuant to section 12-71 using the records of the Department of Motor Vehicles and information reported by owners of motor vehicles and snowmobiles. In addition to any other information the owner of a motor vehicle or snowmobile is required to file with the commissioner by law, such owner shall provide the commissioner with the name of the town in which such owner's motor vehicle or snowmobile is to be set in the list for property tax purposes, pursuant to section 12-71. On or before December 1, 2004, and annually thereafter, the commissioner shall provide to each assessor in this state a list identifying motor vehicles and snowmobiles that are subject to property taxation in each such assessor's town. Said list shall include the names and addresses of the owners of such motor vehicles and snowmobiles, and the vehicle identification numbers for all such vehicles for which such numbers are available. (1726)

(b) On or before October 1, 2004, and annually thereafter, the commissioner shall provide to each assessor in this state a list identifying motor vehicles and snowmobiles in each such assessor's town that were registered subsequent to the first day of October of the assessment year immediately preceding, but prior to the first day of August in such assessment year, and that are subject to property taxation on a supplemental list pursuant to section 12-71b. In addition to the information for each such vehicle and snowmobile specified under subsection (a) of this section that is available to the commissioner, the list provided under this subsection shall include a code related to the date of registration of each such vehicle or snowmobile. (1727)

(c) No assessor or tax collector shall disclose any information contained in any list provided by the commissioner pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this section if the commissioner is not required to provide such information or if such information is protected from disclosure under state or federal law. (1728)

Sec. 14-163a. Driving on ice. (1729)(1-click HTML)

Any person who drives any motor vehicle on the frozen surface of any public body of water shall have committed an infraction. The presence of any motor vehicle on any such frozen surface shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section. This section shall not apply to motor vehicles owned and being used by or being operated pursuant to a contract with governmental agencies or owned and being used by an educational institution. (1730)

Sec. 14-163b. Motor vehicles formerly used as ambulances. (1731)(1-click HTML)

Any person who is the owner or who becomes the owner of any motor vehicle originally designed for use primarily as an ambulance and who ceases to use such vehicle for its original or former purpose shall remove therefrom all exterior indication of and all exterior equipment solely used or related to the original or former use of such vehicle. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any motor vehicle registered as an antique, rare or special interest motor vehicle, in accordance with section 14-20. (1732)

Sec. 14-163c. Motor carrier safety regulations for intrastate or interstate commerce. Variations or exemptions. Enforcement powers of police officers and motor vehicle inspectors. (1733)(1-click HTML)

(a) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, which incorporate by reference the standards set forth in 49 CFR Parts 382 to 397, inclusive, as amended. Such regulations, adopted by reference to the provisions of 49 CFR Parts 382 to 397, inclusive, as amended, may be made applicable to any motor vehicle or motor carrier, as defined in 49 CFR Part 390, which (1) is in intrastate commerce and has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight of eighteen thousand one or more pounds; or (2) is in interstate commerce and has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight of ten thousand one or more pounds; or (3) (A) is designed or used to transport more than eight passengers, including the driver, for compensation, except a student transportation vehicle, as defined in section 14-212, or (B) is designed or used to transport more than fifteen passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or (4) is used in the transportation of hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placarding under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act, 49 USC App. 1801 to 1813, inclusive, unless exempted under the provisions of the code or the provisions of subsection (b) of this section. (1734)

(b) The provisions relative to maximum hours of service for drivers as set forth in 49 CFR Part 395, and as adopted by reference in regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, shall not apply to any driver of a utility service vehicle, as defined in 49 CFR Section 395.2, as amended. (1735)

(c) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may grant variations or exemptions from, or approve equivalent or alternate compliance with, particular provisions of 49 CFR Parts 382 to 397, inclusive, as amended, when strict compliance with such provisions would entail practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship or would be otherwise adjudged unwarranted, provided any such variation, exemption, approved equivalent or alternate compliance shall, in the opinion of the commissioner, secure the public safety. (1736)

(d) Any state or municipal police officer or motor vehicle inspector may (1) inspect any motor vehicle specified in subsection (a) of this section in operation and examine its operator to determine compliance with the provisions of 49 CFR Parts 382 to 397, inclusive, as amended, (2) enter upon the premises of any motor carrier, as defined in 49 CFR Section 390.5, as amended, for the purpose of inspecting and copying records maintained by such motor carrier, (3) conduct a safety rating procedure, safety audit or compliance review, in accordance with the provisions of 49 CFR Part 385, as amended, for any motor carrier that owns or operates any motor vehicle identified in subsection (a) of this section and, subject to notice and opportunity for hearing in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, order any motor carrier with an unsatisfactory safety rating to cease operations until such time as it achieves a satisfactory rating, (4) declare a motor vehicle or its operator out of service as provided in 49 CFR Section 395.13 and Section 396.9, as amended, or (5) issue an infractions complaint under the provisions of this section, provided such officer or inspector meets the standards established by the commissioner, in consultation with the Commissioner of Public Safety, in regulations adopted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54. (1737)

(e) (1) Any person who violates the provisions of this section or any regulations adopted under this section shall, for a first violation, have committed an infraction. (2) The commissioner may impose a civil penalty on any person for a second or subsequent violation of the provisions of this section or any regulations adopted under this section if the acts or conduct on which the conviction is based arise out of the operation of a motor vehicle in intrastate commerce and would, if such acts or conduct had occurred with respect to operation of a motor vehicle in interstate commerce, have subjected such person to a civil penalty under the provisions of 49 CFR Parts 382 to 397, inclusive, as amended. The commissioner may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to specify the amount of such civil penalty provided such amount shall be not less than one thousand dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars. Any person notified of the assessment of a civil penalty under the provisions of this subsection shall be entitled to an opportunity for an administrative hearing in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54. If any person fails to comply with the terms of a final decision and order of the commissioner made pursuant to this subsection, the commissioner may suspend any motor vehicle registration issued to such person or such person's privilege to register any motor vehicle in this state, or prohibit the operation of any motor vehicle owned or operated by such person, until such person complies with the terms of such final decision and order. As used in this section, "person" includes any motor carrier, as defined in 49 CFR Section 390.5, as amended. (1738)

Sec. 14-163d. Owners of certain motor vehicles in intrastate or interstate commerce to provide evidence of security requirements and to file a motor carrier identification report. Suspension of motor vehicle registration. Amount of insurance or other security for certain motor carriers and motor vehicle owners. (1739)(1-click HTML)

(a) At least once every six months, each owner of a motor vehicle described in subsection (a) of section 14-163c shall file with the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles evidence that the owner has in effect the security requirements imposed by law for each such motor vehicle. The evidence shall be filed in such form as the commissioner prescribes in accordance with a schedule established by the commissioner. At least once every two years, the evidence of security shall be accompanied by a motor carrier identification report that meets the requirements of 49 CFR 390.19, as amended from time to time. The report shall be in such form as the commissioner prescribes. (1740)

(b) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may establish a system to verify, by means of electronic communication, that an owner of a motor vehicle described in subsection (a) of section 14-163c has the security requirements imposed by law. If the commissioner uses such system to make an inquiry to any insurance company that is licensed to issue automobile liability insurance in this state, or to any data source maintained by the United States Department of Transportation pursuant to the provisions of Title 49, Part 387 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as amended, the commissioner may accept the results of such inquiry in lieu of a filing by the owner pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, for the period for which such filing is required. (1741)

(c) In addition to other penalties provided by law, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, after notice and opportunity for hearing in accordance with chapter 54, shall suspend the registration of each motor vehicle registered in the name of any owner who fails to file a motor carrier identification report or to provide satisfactory evidence of the security requirements imposed by law. (1742)

(d) Each filing made in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section by each for-hire motor carrier or private motor carrier of property or passengers, and each owner of any motor vehicle that transports hazardous materials, as described in subsection (a) of section 14-163c, shall provide satisfactory evidence of insurance coverage or other security in amounts not less than are required by the provisions of Title 49, Part 387 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as amended. Such requirement concerning the amount of security that must be evidenced to the commissioner may be made applicable by the commissioner to the initial registration of any such motor vehicle, including the registration of any motor vehicle under the International Registration Plan, in accordance with the provisions of section 14-34a. (1743)

Sec. 14-164. General penalty. (1744)(1-click HTML)

Any person who violates any provision of this chapter, section 14-16c or section 14-67j for which no other penalty is provided or which is not designated an infraction shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars. (1745)

Sec. 14-164a. (Formerly Sec. 29-143). Motor vehicle racing. (1746)(1-click HTML)

(a) No person shall operate a motor vehicle in any race, contest or demonstration of speed or skill with a motor vehicle as a public exhibition except in accordance with the provisions of this section. Such race or exhibition may be conducted at any reasonable hour of any week day or after twelve o'clock noon on any Sunday. The legislative body of the city, borough or town in which the race or exhibition will be held may issue a permit allowing a start time prior to twelve o'clock noon on any Sunday, provided no such race or exhibition shall take place contrary to the provisions of any city, borough or town ordinances. The person conducting such race or exhibition shall provide for first-aid and medical supplies and equipment, including ambulances, and the attendance of doctors or other persons qualified to give emergency medical aid, police and fire protection, and such other requirements as will eliminate any unusual hazard to participants in such race or exhibition or to the spectators. Smoking or carrying a lighted smoking implement shall be prohibited in any area where fuel is stored or transferred. Each facility, other than a motor cross racing facility, where racing is conducted shall contain restricted areas which shall be posted with notice that only persons with the appropriate credentials may be admitted to such restricted areas. Areas of the facility subject to this requirement shall include, but need not be limited to, the pit area and pit lane, track, media area or areas and any other area that is unprotected from participating vehicles. (1747)

(b) No minor under the age of sixteen years may participate in motor cross racing, except that a minor thirteen years of age or older may participate in such racing with the written permission of the minor's parents or legal guardian. If weather or track conditions are such as to make such race or exhibition unusually hazardous, the person conducting such race or exhibition shall cancel or postpone the same or may require the use of tires of a type manufactured for such adverse conditions. No person shall conduct or participate in any motor vehicle race or contest or demonstration of speed or skill in any motor vehicle on the ice of any body of water. The provisions of this section shall not apply to a motor vehicle with a motor of no more than three horsepower or a go-cart-type vehicle with a motor of no more than twelve horsepower, when operated on a track of one-eighth of a mile or less in length. Preliminary preparations and practice runs, performed after eleven o'clock in the forenoon, on the date designated in the permit and prior to cancellation or postponement, shall not be construed to constitute a race or exhibition within the meaning of this section. No preliminary preparations or practice runs shall be performed before twelve o'clock noon on Sunday. For the purposes of this subsection, "motor cross racing" means motorcycle racing on a dirt track by participants operating motorcycles designed and manufactured exclusively for off-road use and powered by an engine having a capacity of not more than five hundred cubic centimeters piston displacement. (1748)

(c) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, concerning mandatory safety equipment for vehicles that participate in any race or exhibition conducted in accordance with the provisions of this section. Such regulations shall require any equipment necessary for the protection of drivers. (1749)

(d) Any person participating in or conducting any motor vehicle race or exhibition contrary to the provisions of this section shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than six months, or both. (1750)

  

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