Dems: Transportation – week of Feb. 15, 2016

February 22, 2016

SF 2015 – Persons with disabilities plates for vehicles owned by irrevocable trust

SF 2224 (SF 2076) – Motor vehicles passing bicyclists

SF 2228 (SSB 3078) – Electronic motor vehicle registration

SSB 3110 – Annual Department of Transportation policy bill

SSB 3124 – Motor vehicle dealer licenses



SF 2015 allows an authorized individual to apply for persons with disabilities license plates when the primary user of a vehicle owned by an irrevocable trust has a disability.

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SF 2224 (SF 2076) addresses motor vehicles overtaking and passing bicyclists. The bill:

  • Broadens “lanes of travel” to include bike lanes and paved shoulders, thereby prohibiting a driver from steering unreasonably close to or toward a bicyclist in these lanes, per Code section 321.281. Under current law, a violation is punishable by a scheduled fine of $250.
  • Requires a driver to pass to the left of a bicycle in an adjacent travel lane or on the opposite side of the road until safely clear of the bicyclist, in accordance with Code section 321.281. Under current law, a violation is punishable by a scheduled fine of $100.


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SF 2228 (SSB 3078, as amended in committee) requires the Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop and implement a program for electronic applications and transfer of funds for motor vehicle registration, titling and related statements required by law the program by July 1, 2018. If the program is not implemented by July 1, 2018, vehicle owners may apply to the treasurer of the county where they reside or any contiguous county.


Code section 322.4 requires an applicant for a motor vehicle dealer’s license to furnish a surety bond. The bill increases the required amount from $50,000 to $100,000.


A motor vehicle dealer may charge a documentary fee of up to $180 to prepare documents related to titling and registering. The maximum documentary fee will be reduced to $155 after implementation of electronic titling and registration. A documentary fee is part of the price of a vehicle and must be disclosed in advertising, price negotiations and the required notice to purchasers. Failure to comply is a violation of the consumer fraud law.

[2/16: 13-0]


SSB 3110, as approved in committee, is the Senate version of the annual Department of Transportation policy bill.


DIVISION I addresses a new type of vehicle called an autocyle. The bill:

  • Defines autocycles as having two front wheels and one rear wheel, a steering wheel, one or more permanent seats that are not straddled, and foot pedals that control the brakes, acceleration and clutch.
  • Establishes a motor vehicle category for autocycles in the Iowa Code, which:
    • Requires them to be registered and to display one license plate.
    • Requires them to operate with two front headlamps.
    • Allows them to transport packages in the vehicle.
    • Requires them to be operated under a class C driver’s license.
    • Requires them to adhere to lighting equipment requirements.
    • Requires them to adhere to brake requirements for motor vehicles.
    • Requires them to adhere to safety belt and child restraint requirements for motor vehicles.


DIVISION II simplifies the process for out-of-state salvage vehicles to be titled in Iowa. The bill allows a repaired vehicle to obtain an Iowa title indicating it was previously titled as salvage in another state by surrendering the out-of-state salvage title and a salvage theft examination certificate executed within 30 days of being assigned the out-of-state title. Current law requires repaired vehicles with salvage title from another state to apply for and be issued an Iowa salvage title before apply for and be issued an Iowa title indicating the repaired vehicle was previously titled as salvage. As amended, the bill increases to $50 the fee for a salvage theft exam and makes it due at the time the examination is scheduled. Under current law, a $30 fee for a salvage theft examination is due upon completion of the examination.


DIVISION III improves safety for young drivers by limiting where a student with a minor school license may drive for extracurricular activities to within the school district where they reside or to a contiguous district. Under current law, a special minor’s driver’s license allows a student to drive between their residence or school and any other school to participate in extracurricular activities.


DIVISION IV puts Iowa on equal footing with 37 other states by allowing excessive size and weight vehicles to have a weight of 46,000 pounds on a single tandem axle of the truck tractor and 46,000 pounds on a single tandem axle of the trailer as long as each axle of each tandem group has at least four tires. Current law limits the weight to 20,000 pounds per axle, or 40,000 pounds per tandem axle.


DIVISION V makes registration fees for aerial applicators fairer by prohibiting them from receiving a registration refund. Currently, nonresident owners of aerial applicators are prohibited from receiving a refund, but some are getting around the system by becoming Iowa residents for short periods of time and receiving a refund when they leave the state. This allows them to operate more cheaply than legitimate Iowans who are aerial applicators.

[2/17: 13-0]


SSB 3124, as amended in committee:

  1. Adds advertising to the definition of “engaged in the business” as the term relates to motor vehicle manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and dealers in Code chapter 322.
  2. Prohibits a licensed motor vehicle dealer or wholesaler from allowing anyone else to use their license to sell cars. This provision does not, however, require separate licensing of a dealer’s employed salespeople. Anyone convicted of three or more violations within a three-year period will be prohibited from being an owner, salesperson, employee, officer of a corporation, or representative of a licensed motor vehicle dealer for five years.
  3. Requires print or digital media ads for the sale of a specific motor vehicle to include the dealer’s business name and license number. Under current law, a violation of Code chapter 322 for which a penalty is not specifically provided is a simple misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $250 to $1,500 or up to 30 days in jail.

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