The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 101. Commissioner
The Department of Motor Vehicles is created and established, and the head of the Department shall be a Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. (Amended 1989, No. 127 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. March 15, 1990.)
§ 102. Duties of Commissioner
(a) The Commissioner shall:
(1) register motor vehicles and dealers;
(2) license operators;
(3) file reports received concerning accidents involving motor vehicles;
(4) prepare full statistics from and preserve, properly filed and indexed, such registrations, operator licenses, and accident reports for three years after their dates;
(5) file and record reports received of convictions and adjudications of persons violating motor vehicle laws;
(6) keep a record of the suspension and revocation of licenses and registrations;
(7) prepare full statistics from and preserve, properly filed and indexed, such records of convictions, suspensions, and revocations for at least six years after their dates;
(8) issue certificates of title for motor vehicles;
(9) issue nondriver identification cards; and
(10) maintain commercial driver records and driver identification data in accordance with the provisions of 49 C.F.R § 384.231(d).
(b) The records enumerated in subsection (a) of this section shall be deemed official records.
(d) The Commissioner may authorize background investigations for potential employees, which may include criminal, traffic, and financial records checks; provided, however, that the potential employee is notified and has the right to withdraw his or her name from application. Additionally, employees who are involved in the manufacturing or production of operator's licenses and identification cards, including enhanced licenses, or who have the ability to affect the identity information that appears on a license or identification card, or current employees who will be assigned to such positions, shall be subject to appropriate background checks and shall be provided notice of the background check and the contents of that check. These background checks shall include a name-based and fingerprint-based criminal history records check using at a minimum the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Crime Information Center and the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification database and State repository records on each covered employee. Employees may be subject to further appropriate security clearances if required by federal law, including background investigations that may include criminal and traffic records checks and providing proof of U.S. citizenship. The Commissioner may, in connection with a formal disciplinary investigation, authorize a criminal or traffic record background investigation of a current employee; provided, however, that the background review is relevant to the issue under disciplinary investigation. Information acquired through the investigation shall be provided to the Commissioner or designated division director and must be maintained in a secure manner. If the information acquired is used as a basis for any disciplinary action, it must be given to the employee during any pretermination hearing or contractual grievance hearing to allow the employee an opportunity to respond to or dispute the information. If no disciplinary action is taken against the employee, the information acquired through the background check shall be destroyed. (Amended 1969, No. 259 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1969, No. 297 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1971; 1977, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 31, 1978; 1979, No. 187 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1997, No. 55, § 3, eff. June 26, 1997; 2003, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 37, eff. June 9, 2004; 2007, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 38; 2007, No. 188 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2009, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 2011, No. 46, § 19; 2013, No. 20, § 2; 2019, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 135.)
§ 103. Appointment of officials and inspectors
With the approval of the Governor, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may appoint and employ inspectors who shall devote their entire time to the duties of their appointment while so employed. In addition, the Commissioner shall appoint the Deputy Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, the Director of the Gasoline Tax Division, and examiners of new operators, including regular office employees whose duties require such appointment and who shall have the authority of inspectors. With the approval of the Governor, at the expense of the State, the Commissioner may furnish suitable uniforms for a part of or all the inspectors provided for in this section.
§ 104. Public records
(a) Any information contained in Department records is subject to and shall be released pursuant to the Driver's Privacy Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. chapter 123 as amended.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, except for requests from government agencies or persons acting on behalf of government agencies, the Commissioner shall not furnish to any person copies of photographs or imaged likenesses of persons to whom licenses, permits, or nondriver identification cards have been issued without the written consent of the person depicted in the photograph or imaged likeness.
(c) If there is a request by any governmental agency for the entire database or the substantial database of any class of documents containing a photograph or imaged likeness of a person or any class of documents containing any other personal information, the Department of Motor Vehicles shall notify the Speaker of the House, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Attorney General.
(d) Any photographs or imaged likenesses furnished to an authorized recipient shall not be made available or redisclosed to any succeeding person or entity, except for use by a law enforcement agency, a court or tribunal, a State's Attorney, the Office of the Attorney General, or the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Vermont in carrying out its official business or in response to any court order. The Commissioner shall so condition any release of the information and require that the recipient subject itself to the jurisdiction of the Washington Superior Court in the event that the condition is violated.
(e) A person who violates subsection (b), (c), or (d) of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000.00 per occurrence. A civil action to assess a civil penalty may, in the discretion of the Attorney General, be commenced by the Attorney General in Washington Superior Court. (Amended 1969, No. 259 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1977, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. March 31, 1978; 1979, No. 187 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 1983, No. 252 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 1985, No. 85, § 2; 1987, No. 112, § 4; 1989, 1987, No. 127 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 15, 1990; 1991, No. 165 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2001, No. 75 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2003, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2019, No. 60, § 1; 2019, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 136.)
§ 105. Hearing before Commissioner
(a) In the administration of the laws relating to motor vehicles and to the operators and the operation of motor vehicles, the Commissioner may conduct hearings, subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and take testimony. He or she may also cause depositions to be taken and order the production of books, papers, and records relating to the matter under investigation. The fees for travel and attendance of witnesses and fees for officers shall be the same as for witnesses and officers before a court and shall be paid by the State upon presentation of proper bills of cost to the Commissioner of Finance and Management. The fees of witnesses summoned or used by the petitioner shall be paid by him or her. The Commissioner may appoint a hearing examiner to conduct hearings. At all hearings, conducted by either the Commissioner or a hearing examiner, an oath shall be administered.
(b) A person aggrieved by the decision of a hearing under subsection (a) of this section may have such decision reviewed by the Superior Court pursuant to Rule 74 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure unless otherwise specifically provided by law.
(c) If a presuspension or prerevocation hearing is available by law, the written notice of suspension or revocation shall so state. Unless otherwise specifically provided by statute, a written request for a hearing must be received at the Department of Motor Vehicles within 15 days after the date of the notice or the right to a hearing is deemed to be waived. (Amended 1965, No. 194, § 10, operative Feb. 1, 1967; 1977, No. 260 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 19, 1978; 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b); 1991, No. 165 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1993, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1999, No. 34, § 3; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238.)
§ 106. Procedure upon hearings
The Commissioner shall determine the rules and procedure under which such hearings shall be held. On request of the Commissioner, the State's Attorney of the county where such hearing is to be held shall attend and represent the State.
§ 107. Notice of hearings
Notice of a hearing held by the Commissioner or the hearing officer under the provisions of sections 105 and 106 of this title shall state the place, day, and hour thereof, and warn the petitioner that he or she may then appear through himself, herself, or counsel. Service of such notice shall be sufficient if sent by first-class mail to the address given by the petitioner at least five days before the day set for the hearing. (Amended 1977, No. 260 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 19, 1978; amended 1997, No. 55, § 4, eff. June 26, 1997.)
§ 108. Application forms
The Commissioner shall prepare and furnish all forms for applications, accident reports, conviction reports, a pamphlet containing the full text of the motor vehicle laws of the State, and all other forms needed in the proper conduct of his or her office. He or she shall furnish an adequate supply of such registration forms, license applications, and motor vehicle laws each year to each town clerk, and to such other persons as may so request.
§ 109. Lists of suspensions
(b) Notwithstanding 1 V.S.A. chapter 5, subchapter 3, a list of all persons whose operating license, nonresident operating privileges, or privilege of an unlicensed operator to operate a vehicle is suspended or revoked in this State shall be available on request in such form as the Commissioner may determine. The list shall be available in an electronic format for law enforcement officers with computer access through the Department of Public Safety. (Amended 1965, No. 194, § 10, operative Feb. 1, 1967; 1969, No. 259 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 2015, No. 50, § 28.)
§ 110. Bad checks received for fees
(a) Whenever any check issued in payment of any fee or for any other purpose is tendered to the Department of Motor Vehicles and payment is not honored by the bank on which the check is drawn, the Commissioner shall send a written notice of its nonpayment to the maker or person presenting the check and if the check is not made good forthwith, he or she shall suspend the license or registration of the person or persons. In no case shall the license or registration be reinstated until settlement has been made in full. Settlement in full shall also include the payment of any penalties assessed by the State Treasurer.
(b) The Commissioner may require payment for any transaction solely by certified check or in cash from persons whose licenses or registrations are under suspension pursuant to subsection (a) of this section or from persons who have repeatedly tendered checks to the Department that have not been honored by the bank on which drawn.
(c) Any refund otherwise due from the Department to a person whose license or registration has been suspended pursuant to this section may be offset against the amount due the Commissioner under this section. (Amended 1969, No. 276 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1971, No. 14, § 7, eff. March 11, 1971; 1989, No. 84, § 3; 1993, No. 27, § 4; 1993, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 13, eff. June 11, 1994; 2007, No. 19, § 2.)
§ 111. Emergency extension of time
The Commissioner, with the approval of the Governor, may in an emergency extend the period for which any vehicle registration, operator's license, or vehicle certificate of periodic inspection is valid for periods not to exceed 30 days each. (Added 1973, No. 11.)
§ 112. Motor vehicle law book
The pamphlet of the motor vehicle laws of the State, issued by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, may be furnished to interested parties for a fee of $30.00. The fee for any supplement shall be $15.00. This pamphlet shall be made available to all State law enforcement officers, upon request, at no charge. (Added 1977, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 27, 1978; amended 1989, No. 51, § 8; 2001, No. 102 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. May 15, 2002.)
§ 113. Recall of defective vehicles; fee to manufacturers
The Commissioner shall charge a fee, to be fixed by him or her at cost, to a person or company requesting listings to be furnished of motor vehicles to be recalled by a manufacturer or company. (Added 1977, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. March 27, 1978.)
§ 114. Fees
(a) The Commissioner shall be paid the following fees for miscellaneous transactions:
(1) Listings of 1 through 4 registrations $8.00
(2) Certified copy of registration application $8.00
(3) Sample plates $18.00
(4) Lists of registered dealers, transporters,
periodic inspection stations, fuel dealers,
and distributors, including gallonage sold
or delivered and rental vehicle companies $8.00 per page
(6) Periodic inspection sticker record $8.00
(7) Certified copy individual accident crash report $12.00
(8) Certified copy police accident crash report $18.00
(9) Certified copy suspension notice $8.00
(10) Certified copy mail receipt $8.00
(11) Certified copy proof of mailing $8.00
(12) Certified copy reinstatement notice $8.00
(13) Certified copy operator's license application $8.00
(14) Certified copy three-year operating record $14.00
(16) Government official photo identification card $6.00
(17) Listing of operator's licenses of 1 through 4 $8.00
(18) Statistics and research $42.00 per hour
(19) Insurance information on crash $8.00
(20) Certified copy complete operating record $20.00
(21) Records not otherwise specified $8.00 per page
(22) Public records request for Department $100.00
records requiring custom per hour, but not
computer programming less than $500.00
(23) Public records request for
Department records requiring custom
computer programming (updated) $119.00
(b) The Commissioner shall furnish the items listed in subsection (a) of this section upon a request that completely identifies the information sought or pursuant to a contract with an outside entity for purposes permitted under law, including the Driver's Privacy Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. chapter 123 as amended. For purposes of this subsection, a request that completely identifies the information sought for an individual shall mean name and date of birth, and for a vehicle shall mean either the registration number or the vehicle identification number. (Added 1977, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 27, 1978; amended 1979, No. 202 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, Pt. I, eff. Sept. 1, 1980; 1985, No. 85, § 3; 1989, No. 51, § 9; 1995, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 12a; 2001, No. 102 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. May 15, 2002; 2005, No. 175 (Adj. Sess.), § 25; 2009, No. 50, § 35; 2009, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 12; 2011, No. 128 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 2015, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 2019, No. 60, § 2.)
§ 115. Nondriver identification cards
(a) Any Vermont resident may make application to the Commissioner and be issued an identification card that is attested by the Commissioner as to true name, correct age, residential address unless the listing of another address is requested by the applicant or is otherwise authorized by law, and any other identifying data as the Commissioner may require that shall include, in the case of minor applicants, the written consent of the applicant's parent, guardian, or other person standing in loco parentis. Every application for an identification card shall be signed by the applicant and shall contain such evidence of age and identity as the Commissioner may require, consistent with subsection (l) of this section. New and renewal application forms shall include a space for the applicant to request that a "veteran" designation by placed on his or her identification card. If a veteran, as defined in 38 U.S.C. § 101(2), requests a veteran designation and provides a Department of Defense Form 214 or other proof of veteran status specified by the Commissioner, and the Office of Veterans Affairs confirms his or her status as an honorably discharged veteran or a veteran discharged under honorable conditions, the identification card shall include the term "veteran" on its face. The Commissioner shall require payment of a fee of $24.00 at the time application for an identification card is made, except that an initial nondriver identification card shall be issued at no charge to an individual who surrenders his or her license in connection with a suspension or revocation under subsection 636(b) of this title due to a physical or mental condition.
(b) Every identification card shall expire, unless earlier canceled, at midnight on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the date of birth of the cardholder following the date of original issue, and may be renewed every four years upon payment of a $24.00 fee. A renewed identification card shall expire, unless earlier canceled, at midnight on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the date of birth of the cardholder following the expiration of the card being renewed. At least 30 days before an identification card will expire, the Commissioner shall mail first-class to the cardholder or send the cardholder electronically an application to renew the identification card; a cardholder shall be sent the renewal notice by mail unless the cardholder opts in to receive electronic notification. An individual born on February 29 shall, for the purposes of this section, be considered as born on March 1.
(c) In the event an identification card is lost, destroyed, mutilated, or a new name is acquired, a replacement may be obtained upon furnishing satisfactory proof to the Commissioner and paying a $20.00 fee.
(d) The identification card shall bear the following notice: "For identification purposes only."
(e) The holder of an identification card shall notify the Commissioner, in writing, of a change in address within 30 days after the change is made.
(f) The Commissioner shall cancel the identification card if the card is fraudulently obtained, altered, or misused.
(g) An identification card issued to a first-time applicant and any subsequent renewals by that person shall contain a photograph or imaged likeness of the applicant. The photographic identification card shall be available at a location designated by the Commissioner. An individual issued an identification card under this subsection that contains an imaged likeness may renew his or her identification card by mail. Except that a renewal by an individual required to have a photograph or imaged likeness under this subsection must be made in person so that an updated imaged likeness of the individual is obtained not less often than once every nine years.
(h) An identification card issued to an individual who is under 18 years of age shall be distinguishable by color from an identification card issued to an individual who is 18 years of age or older but under 21 years of age, and both cards shall be distinguishable by color from an identification card issued to an individual 21 years of age or older. An identification card issued to an individual under 21 years of age shall clearly indicate, in prominent type, the date on which the individual will become 21. The distinguishing colors shall be the same as those used to distinguish operator's licenses issued under section 610 of this title.
(i) An identification card issued under this subsection to an initial or renewal applicant shall include data elements as prescribed in 6 C.F.R. § 37.19.
(j) Individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Income and individuals with a disability as defined in 9 V.S.A. § 4501(2) shall be provided with nondriver identification cards for the following fees:
(1) Original issuance: $10.00.
(2) Renewal every four years: $10.00.
(3) Replacement of lost, destroyed, or mutilated card, or a new name is required: $5.00.
(k) At the option of the applicant, his or her valid Vermont license may be surrendered in connection with an application for an identification card. In those instances, the fee due under subsection (a) of this section shall be reduced by:
(1) one-quarter of the four-year fee established by subsection 601(c) of this title for each remaining full year of validity; or
(2) one-half of the two-year fee paid for each remaining full year of validity.
(l)(1) The Commissioner shall issue identification cards to Vermont residents who are not U.S. citizens but are able to establish lawful presence in the United States if an applicant follows the procedures and furnishes documents as required under subsection 603(d) of this title and any applicable policies or adopted rules, and otherwise satisfies the requirements of this section. The identification cards shall expire consistent with subsection 603(d) of this title.
(2) The Commissioner shall issue non-REAL ID compliant identification cards to Vermont residents unable to establish lawful presence in the United States if an applicant follows the procedures and furnishes documents as required under subsection 603(e) of this title and any applicable policies or adopted rules, and otherwise satisfies the requirements of this section.
(3) The Commissioner shall issue non-REAL ID compliant identification cards to Vermont residents able to establish lawful presence in the United States but who otherwise fail to comply with the requirements of the REAL ID Act of 2005, Pub. L. No. 109-13, §§ 201-202, if the applicant follows the procedures and furnishes documents as required under subsection 603(f) of this title and any applicable policies or adopted rules, and otherwise satisfies the requirements of this section.
(4) A non-REAL ID compliant identification card issued under subdivision (2) or (3) of this subsection shall bear on its face text indicating that it is not valid for federal identification or official purposes.
(m) An individual sentenced to serve a period of imprisonment of six months or more committed to the custody of the Commissioner of Corrections who is eligible for a nondriver identification card under the requirements of this section shall, upon proper application and in advance of release from a correctional facility, be provided with a nondriver identification card for a fee of $0.00. (Added 1981, No. 94, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1981; amended 1981, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 2, 1982; 1989, No. 51, § 10; 1995, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 1999, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2001, No. 102 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. May 15, 2002; 2003, No. 70 (Adj. Sess.), § 31, eff. March 1, 2004; 2003, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2005, 2003, No. 175 (Adj. Sess.), § 26; 2009, No. 50, § 36; 2011, No. 46, § 18, eff. July 1, 2012; 2011, No. 128 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; 2013, No. 57, § 13; 2013, No. 74, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2014; 2013, No. 189 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2015, No. 47, § 3; 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 58; 2015, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 2019, No. 60, § 12; 2019, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 137; 2019, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
§ 115a. Legislative intent; existing nondriver identification card holders
It is the intent of the General Assembly that the provisions of subsection 115(g) of this title not require persons who, prior to July 1, 2004, were issued a nondriver identification card without a photograph or imaged likeness to obtain a photograph or imaged likeness after that date. (Added 2003, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)