Las Vegas Sun

August 4, 2015

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DMV feels major impacts from Legislature

The Legislature has left town but the state Department of Motor Vehicles is gearing up to deal with almost 100 new laws, including driver privilege cards for immigrants without documentation, renewal of licenses after eight years instead of four, and a crackdown on out-of-state businesses that don't register their vehicles.

The department will start producing a special license plate in July in observance of Nevada's 150th birthday next year. People taking driving tests will be examined on their knowledge of the law prohibiting use of cellphones or texting. And those who issue bum checks to register their vehicles will lose their license plates.

Troy Dillard, interim director of the department, held a workshop Tuesday for an estimated 70 managers, project leaders and others to brief them on the new laws and how it will affect their duties.

He said he wants to make sure nothing is left out in putting these laws into effect.

The Legislature set aside $1.8 million for design of a new DMV building at the present Sahara Street location and $1.6 million for expansion of the parking lot and other repairs at its Flamingo Street office in Las Vegas.

And $3.8 million has been allocated to build a new license plate factory to replace the one at the now-closed Nevada State Prison in Carson City.

The two main priorities will be to get ready by next Jan. 1 for issuing driver privilege cards to undocumented workers who are residents of Nevada, and extending the life of driver's licenses from four to eight years.

There was testimony during the Legislature that an expected 60,000 persons would apply for these authorized licenses, which must be renewed annually. They cannot be used for identification. They would have to pass both the written and driving tests.

The department was authorized 18 additional employees to handle the anticipated increased workload.

And come the first of the year, the department will start its expanded renewal time for driver's licenses to be phased in through 2018.

Those with an odd year of birth will initially receive a four-year license and those with an even year birthday will get an eight-year permit. Then the odd-year applicants will receive the eight-year license.

The current fee of $18.50 will double to $37 for the eight-year license. But the motorist would be saving $3 since he or she would have to have a photo taken every eight years instead of four.

Those 65 years and older would still be required to renew their licenses every four years.

Dillard told the employees he did not expect a decreased workload from this program until fully implemented in 2018.

As for out-of-state contractors who come into Nevada to perform work but never get their vehicles registered, the new law says they must register within 10 days by paying a $200 fee for the first vehicle and $100 for each additional car or truck. And they must submit proof of insurance.

Department officials at the workshop estimated there may be 30,000 vehicles that fall under this new law. A person who evades the law is subject to a penalty of $500 for the first offense.

One new law requires state agencies to put their forms on the online by June 30, 2015. Dillard said the department will not be able to meet that deadline and will have to seek an exemption from the Interim Finance Committee. The agency has some 800 forms and will work to reach that deadline, Dillard said, but added it was "not feasible" to comply by that date.

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