Low Speed Utility Vehicles – Senate Bill 231

Last week, DMV notified us that the legislature recently passed Senate Bill 231, relative to the regulation of tractors and low speed utility vehicles, and the rules became effective as of July 28, 2014. SB 231 defines the differences between a tractor and a low speed utility vehicle, which, unfortunately, means more work for you. Here’s what you need to know.

In order to determine if a vehicle qualifies to receive a SCOMM plate (low speed utility vehicle) or a TRAC plate (tractor), DMV is requiring all customers who currently have vehicles with a TRAC plate to actually visit your office in order to renew their registration (as opposed to mailing in the renewal or performing it online, where available). DMV will be sending clerks an email with the new procedure and qualifications you will need to follow to determine which plate type they will need.

In order to inform the customers of this change in procedure, DMV wanted a message added to the September renewal notices, informing the customer they will be required to renew the vehicle in person. Well that’s great, except most of you, if not all of you, have already mailed your September renewal notices. So, we can’t either stop the customers with existing TRAC plates from getting a renewal notice for September, or inform them that they can only renew them at your office. But, we can provide you with a script that will insert a Post-It note onto each vehicle with a TRAC plate that is up for renewal in the month of September. The Post-It will remind you to review the TRAC plate for low speed utility vehicle qualifications. Expect a call from us this week to implement the change.

Note, if you process online renewals or lockbox renewals and a customer renews their TRAC plate by either method, the process will not be stopped until you validate the batch in Avitar Clerk/MV. At which point, after we run the script mentioned above, you will have to suspend the renewal and process the registration over-the-counter. Also, if a TRAC plate renewal comes in through the mail, you should be notifying the customer of the new requirements. In any case, when you process these online, lockbox, or mail-in registration manually you can evaluate whether the registration can be renewed, based on the DMV’s procedures.

So, this takes care of September, but we still have another eleven more months of renewals to get through. The long term resolution will necessitate a software update that will include changes to the renewal notices. Expect more on that in a future blog post.

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