Provides that ownership of unidentifiable part in identifiable motorcycle, other than a stolen motorcycle shall be returned to such owner, provided that department has made findings such owner had no knowledge part was unidentifiable and that owner wasn't responsible nor acted in concert to render such part unidentifiable; provides that a department investigation shall take place within thirty days after seizure of motorcycle; and requires commissioner to establish criteria to determine whether motorcycle shall be confiscated, seized or impounded and also to establish a system to ensure return of motorcycles to owners in undamaged condition.
BILL NUMBER: S1298
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the transfer of motorcycles having parts with unidentifiable identification numbers
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL :
To ensure the prompt return of motor cycles seized from innocent owners due to problems with vehicle identification numbers.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS :
Section One of the bill would assign a new identification number and return of motor vehicle, trailer or part to owner. If a person other than the person arrested be the owner, the motor vehicle, trailer or part shall be returned to his or her as soon as he or she has arranged to have the department of motor vehicles affix a new number, or in the case of a part, inspect such part, and the department has done so, as provided in section four hundred twenty-two of this (chapter) article. Prior to the return of the motor vehicle, trailer or part, or the transfer of custody of said motor vehicle, trailer or part, the arresting officer shall transmit notice of the arrest to the commissioner.
Section two of the bill would require the transfer of ownership of an unidentifiable part in an otherwise identifiable motorcycle (other than a stolen motorcycle) held by DMV or a local police department to the owner of the motorcycle, provided that DMV or such department has made findings that the owner had no knowledge that the part was unidentifiable and the owner was neither responsible for rendering the part unidentifiable nor acting in concert with any person to do so. This section also would require an investigation for making such findings, to be made no later than 30 days after seizure of the motorcycle. Upon such findings, the bill would require DMV or such police department to return such motorcycle to its Owner immediately. Finally, the bill would require DMV to establish a system of safeguards to ensure the return of a seized or confiscated motorcycle in an undamaged condition.
There have been instances in New York State where motorcycles have been seized from innocent owners, on the grounds that the vehicle identification numbers (VINs) of such motorcycles or parts thereof have been destroyed, removed, altered, defaced or covered in a manner so as to be effectually concealed. Despite the fact that such owners were neither arrested nor convicted of violating the law requiring retention of VINs on vehicles, often the motorcycles in question are not returned. This bill will ensure that persons innocent of any illegal action regarding VINs are able to have their property returned in a timely fashion. It also will ensure that the seizure of such vehicles in the first instance are pursuant to criteria established by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
A.8588A of 2006
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1298 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 28, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. DILAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the transfer of motorcycles having parts with unidentifiable identification numbers THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 423-a of the vehicle and traffic law, as added by chapter 976 of the laws of 1981, is amended to read as follows: 2. Assignment of a new identification number AND RETURN OF MOTOR VEHI- CLE, TRAILER OR PART TO OWNER. If a person other than the person arrested be the owner, the motor vehicle, trailer or part shall be returned to him OR HER as soon as he OR SHE has arranged to have the department of motor vehicles affix a new number, or in the case of a part, inspect such part, and the department has done so, as provided in section four hundred twenty-two of this
[chapter]ARTICLE. Prior to the return of the motor vehicle, trailer or part, or the transfer of custody of said motor vehicle, trailer or part, the arresting officer shall transmit notice of the arrest to the commissioner. S 2. Subdivision 3 of section 423-a of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new paragraph (d) to read as follows: (D) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS SECTION, OWNERSHIP OF AN UNIDENTIFIABLE PART IN AN OTHERWISE IDENTIFIABLE MOTORCYCLE, OTHER THAN A STOLEN MOTORCYCLE, HELD BY THE DEPARTMENT OR BY A POLICE DEPART- MENT SHALL BE TRANSFERRED TO THE OWNER OF SUCH MOTORCYCLE UPON HIS OR HER REQUEST, PROVIDED THAT THE DEPARTMENT OR POLICE DEPARTMENT MAKES AN INVESTIGATION AND, IF APPROPRIATE, HOLDS A HEARING AND FINDS THAT SUCH OWNER HAD NO KNOWLEDGE THAT THE PART WAS UNIDENTIFIABLE AND THAT SUCH OWNER WAS NEITHER RESPONSIBLE FOR RENDERING SUCH PART UNIDENTIFIABLE NOR ACTING IN CONCERT WITH ANY PERSON WHO RENDERED OR HAD SUCH PART RENDERED UNIDENTIFIABLE. SUCH TRANSFER SHALL BE MADE WITHOUT ANY PAYMENT BEINGEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03012-01-9 S. 1298 2
MADE TO THE DEPARTMENT OR POLICE DEPARTMENT PROVIDED THAT THE DEPART- MENT'S OR POLICE DEPARTMENT'S INVESTIGATION RESULTS IN A FINDING THAT THE PERSON HAS BEEN THE OWNER OF THE MOTORCYCLE WITH THE UNIDENTIFIABLE PART CONTAINED THEREIN FOR A PERIOD OF AT LEAST EIGHTEEN MONTHS. SUCH INVESTIGATION SHALL BE MADE BY THE DEPARTMENT OR THE POLICE DEPARTMENT WITHIN THIRTY DAYS OF THE REQUEST OF SUCH OWNER FOR THE RETURN OF SUCH UNIDENTIFIABLE PART. IF THE OWNER OF SUCH MOTORCYCLE CANNOT BE ASCER- TAINED, OR IF THE OWNER OR CUSTODIAN IS ARRESTED AND CONVICTED OF THE THEFT OR UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF SUCH MOTORCYCLE, SUCH A TRANSFER MAY BE MADE TO A PERSON ENGAGED IN THE BUSINESS OF BUYING OR SELLING MOTOR VEHICLES, TRAILERS OR PARTS WHO IS SUBJECT TO THE PRESUMPTION IN SUBDI- VISION ONE OF SECTION FOUR HUNDRED TWENTY-ONE OF THIS ARTICLE, ONLY UPON PAYMENT TO THE DEPARTMENT OR TO THE POLICE DEPARTMENT OF AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE REASONABLE WHOLESALE VALUE OF THE PART. PROCEEDS FROM THE TRANS- FER OF ANY SUCH PART SHALL BE PAID INTO THE GENERAL FUND OF THE STATE IF TRANSFERRED BY THE DEPARTMENT OR THE DIVISION OF STATE POLICE, OR INTO THE GENERAL FUND OF THE APPROPRIATE LOCAL AUTHORITY, IF TRANSFERRED BY A LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT. NO SUCH PART SHALL BE TRANSFERRED PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH UNTIL A SPECIAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER HAS BEEN AFFIXED TO SUCH PART AND THE APPROPRIATE FEE HAS BEEN PAID BY THE OWNER OF THE MOTORCYCLE. S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law.