[First Reprint]

ASSEMBLY, No. 2136

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 10, 1996

 

By Assemblymen ROONEY and CORODEMUS

 

 

An Act concerning the establishment and issuance of alternative fuel vehicle license plates and supplementing Title 39 of the Revised Statutes.

 

    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

    1. As used in this act:

    "Alternative fuel" means methanol, ethanol, or other alcohols, natural gas, compressed natural gas, propane, liquefied petroleum gas, hydrogen, coal-derived liquid fuels, electricity, or any other fuel substantially composed of nonpetroleum substances as defined pursuant to the "Energy Policy Act of 1992," 1Pub. L. 102-486 (142 U.S.C. §13211 et seq.1)1;

    "Alternative fuel vehicle" means a motor vehicle that is a dedicated alternative fuel vehicle or a 1[flexi-fuel] multi-fuel1 vehicle;

    "Converted" means the alteration, change, reconstruction, transmutation, transconfiguration, or transmogrification of a motor vehicle propelled solely by means of a fuel that is not an alternative fuel into an alternative fuel vehicle;

    "Dedicated alternative fuel vehicle" means a motor vehicle constructed or converted to operate solely on alternative fuel;

    “Director” means the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles in the Department of Transportation;

    "1[Flexi-fuel] Multi-fuel1 vehicle" means a motor vehicle that can operate on alternative fuel and on a fuel that is not an alternative fuel.

 

    2. a. The Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Transportation shall solicit, collect and receive private donations for the establishment and issuance of an alternative fuel vehicle license plate. Any private donation collected for this purpose shall be deposited in the Alternative Fuel Vehicle License Plate Fund created pursuant to section 4 of this act. No alternative fuel vehicle license plates shall be issued until sufficient funds have been collected from private donations to pay for the cost of producing, issuing, renewing, and publicizing the availability of alternative fuel vehicle license plates, including the cost of any initial computer programming changes that may be necessary to implement an alternative fuel vehicle license plate program.

    b. The Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles in the Department of Transportation shall establish an alternative fuel vehicle license plate program and, upon proper application therefor, shall issue alternative fuel vehicle license plates for any motor vehicle owned or leased and registered in the State as an alternative fuel vehicle. In addition to the registration number and other markings or identification otherwise prescribed by law, an alternative fuel vehicle license plate shall display words or a slogan and an emblem indicating support for, or an interest in, the improvement and preservation of air quality and the reduction of air pollution from motor vehicles by the promotion and use of alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles. The words or slogan and emblem shall be chosen by the director; however, the director shall solicit, in conjunction with the Legislature, input from the general public on the design of the plate and shall review the submissions prior to choosing the design. Issuance of alternative fuel vehicle license plates in accordance with this section shall be subject to the 1[limitations of section 3 of P.L.1959, c.56 (C.39:3-33.5) and other]1 applicable requirements of chapter 3 of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes, except as hereinafter otherwise specifically provided.             

    

    3. a. Application for issuance of an alternative fuel vehicle license plate shall be made to the Division of Motor Vehicles on forms and in a manner as may be prescribed by the director, except that the division shall charge no fee for the alternative fuel license plate in addition to fees otherwise required by law for the registration of the motor vehicle. 1 The fee collected for the registration of the alternative fuel vehicle shall be deposited in the Alternative Fuel Vehicle License Plate Fund created pursuant to section 4 of this act.1

    b. There shall be no fee in addition to the annual fee otherwise required by law for the renewal of the registration of the motor vehicle that has been issued an alternative fuel vehicle license plate pursuant to the provisions of this act, in each year subsequent to the year of issuance. The annual fee for the renewal of the registration certificate of a motor vehicle that has been issued an alternative fuel vehicle license plate shall be collected by the Division of Motor Vehicles and deposited in the Alternative Fuel Vehicle License Plate Fund created pursuant to section 4 of this act.

    4. 1[ a.]1 There is created in the Department of Environmental Protection a special non-lapsing fund to be known as the "Alternative Fuel Vehicle License Plate Fund." There shall be deposited in the fund the amount collected from private donations pursuant to subsection 1 [a] a.1 of section 2 of this act and all license plate fees collected pursuant to 1subsections a. and b. of1 section 3 of this act. Monies deposited in the fund shall be dedicated for support and funding of projects and programs concerned with the preservation and improvement of air quality through the promotion and use of alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles. Monies deposited in the fund shall be held in interest-bearing accounts in public depositories as defined pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1970, c.236 (C.17:9-41), and may be invested or reinvested in such securities as are approved by the State Treasurer. Interest or other income earned on monies deposited in the fund, and any monies which may be appropriated or otherwise become available for the purposes of the fund, shall be credited to and deposited in the fund for use as set forth in this act. The Department of Environmental Protection shall administer the fund.

 

    5. a. From the amounts deposited in the fund from private donations, the Department of Environmental Protection annually shall reimburse the Division of Motor Vehicles for all costs reasonably and actually incurred, as stipulated by the director, for:

    (1) producing, issuing, renewing, and publicizing the availability of alternative fuel vehicle license plates; and

    (2) any initial computer programming changes that may be necessary to implement the alternative fuel vehicle license plate program established by this act.

    b. The Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles shall annually certify to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection the average cost per license plate incurred in the immediately preceding year by the division in producing, issuing, renewing, and publicizing the availability of alternative fuel vehicle license plates. The annual certification of the average cost per license plate shall be approved by the Joint Budget Oversight Committee, or its successor.

    c. In the event that the annual cost of the program, as certified by the director and approved by the Joint Budget Oversight Committee or its successor, exceeds the balance in the fund from private donations collected and deposited in the fund pursuant to subsection a. of section 2 of this act, the director may discontinue the issuance of alternative fuel vehicle license plates.

 

    6. The Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles shall notify eligible motorists of the opportunity to obtain alternative fuel vehicle license plates by including a notice with all motor vehicle registration renewals, and by posting appropriate posters or signs in all facilities and offices of the division. The notices, posters, and signs shall be designed by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection. The designs shall be subject to the approval of the director, and the Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall supply the division with the notices, posters, and signs to be circulated or posted by the division.

 

    7. a. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection, the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, and the State Treasurer shall develop and enter into an interagency memorandum of agreement setting forth the procedures to be followed by the departments and the Division of Motor Vehicles in carrying out their respective responsibilities under this act.

    b. The Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Transportation may adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), such rules and regulations as may be necessary to implement this act.

 

    8. Sections 1, 2, 4 and 7 of this act shall take effect immediately. Sections 3, 5 and 6 shall take effect on the 180th day after enactment, but the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles and the State Treasurer may take such anticipatory acts in advance of that date as may be necessary for the timely implementation of the provisions of those sections of this act upon the effective date thereof.

 

 

                             

Establishes alternative fuel vehicle license plate program.