About Bill -- Links
HOUSE BILL NO. 606
INTRODUCED BY S. ANDERSON, K. GILLAN, L. GROSFIELD, D. HARGROVE, J. HERTEL, B. KEENAN, J. MANGAN, A. MOHL, K. OHS, F. THOMAS, C. YOUNKIN
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT ESTABLISHING A GRADUATED DRIVER LICENSING PROGRAM FOR PERSONS UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE; CREATING AN AGRICULTURAL DRIVING PERMIT FOR CERTAIN FARM-RELATED VEHICLE OPERATION BY THE HOLDER OF AN INSTRUCTION PERMIT OR A PROVISIONAL LICENSE; AUTHORIZING THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO ISSUE INSTRUCTION PERMITS, PROVISIONAL LICENSES, AND FULL DRIVER'S LICENSES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE GRADUATED DRIVER LICENSING PROGRAM; REQUIRING A PERSON UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE THE REQUIREMENTS OF EACH LICENSING STAGE PRIOR TO ADVANCEMENT; CONDITIONING ADVANCEMENT UPON THE MAINTENANCE OF A CONVICTION-FREE DRIVING RECORD FOR A CERTAIN PERIOD OF TIME; AMENDING SECTIONS 61-5-105, 61-5-106, 61-5-107, AND 61-5-111, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE AND AN APPLICABILITY DATE."
WHEREAS, graduated licensing systems enacted in other states have resulted in significant statistical decreases in teenage driving violations, collisions, and fatalities; and
WHEREAS, a graduated licensing program in Montana must be adapted so as not to impose any unnecessary or unduly burdensome restrictions on farm families or communities; and
WHEREAS, a graduated licensing program in Montana must preserve the right of parents or legal guardians to decide whether to allow their child to participate in a driver education course, approved by the department of justice and the superintendent of public instruction, prior to receiving an instruction permit or a provisional license or whether the training and instruction will be provided within the family; and
WHEREAS, the number of crashes and crash-related deaths for teen drivers is disproportionately high; and
WHEREAS, in 1997, 35 drivers aged 15 to 19 years old were killed in automobile crashes in Montana; and
WHEREAS, in 1997, 15- to 20-year-olds accounted for only 10.1% of all Montana drivers but were involved in 21% of fatal crashes and nearly 35% of all traffic accidents; and
WHEREAS, in 1996, 6,300 drivers aged 15 to 20 years old were killed in automobile crashes in the United States--an average of one every 84 minutes; and
WHEREAS, the risk of crash involvement for each mile driven by drivers aged 16 to 19 years old is four times the risk among older drivers; and
WHEREAS, in 1996, two-thirds of teen passengers killed were riding in vehicles driven by other teens; and
WHEREAS, in 1996, 53% of motor vehicle deaths of teens occurred on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday; and
WHEREAS, in 1996, 43% of motor vehicle deaths of teens occurred between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Purpose. The legislature recognizes the need to develop a graduated licensing system in light of the disproportionately high incidence of motor vehicle crashes involving youthful motorists. The system is designed to improve highway safety by progressively developing and improving the skills of younger drivers in the safest possible environment, thereby reducing the number of vehicle crashes.
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Definitions. As used in [sections 1 through
9 8], the following definitions apply:
(1) "Conviction-free driving record" means the absence of a moving violation or administrative license suspension, revocation, or cancellation on the driving record of a holder of an instruction permit, a provisional license, or a full driver's license.
(2) "Motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle as defined in 61-1-102, including a motorcycle or quadricyle for which a separate endorsement is required under 61-5-110 and 61-5-111.
(3) "Moving violation" means any violation of local, state, or federal law relating to operation of a motor vehicle on any highway that occurs while a person is holding an instruction permit or a provisional license and that results in one or more habitual traffic offender conviction points being recorded on a person's driving record, pursuant to Title 61, chapter 11, part 2.
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Age requirements -- effect on other laws. (1) Except as provided in 61-5-105(1)(b), the
department may not issue a license or permit to any person under 18 years of age unless the person presents evidence of
having satisfactorily completed the requirements of
[section 5, 7, or 8] [SECTION 6 OR 7], 61-5-105, AND 61-5-106 OR
THE PERSON HAS BEEN LICENSED IN ANOTHER JURISDICTION FOR AT LEAST 1 YEAR AND SURRENDERS
A VALID DRIVER'S LICENSE FROM THAT JURISDICTION.
(2) This part is not intended to restrict the scope of the department's authority to issue a license to any other person, or to revoke, cancel, or suspend a license previously issued or issued after [the effective date of this act] to any person.
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Application approval. The department may not grant the application for an
instruction permit, a provisional license, or a full driver's license to anyone under 18 years of age unless
the application is signed by both the applicant and the applicant's parent or legal guardian and the
applicant has satisfactorily completed the requirements provided in
[section 5, 7, or 8] [SECTION 6 OR 7],
61-5-105, AND 61-5-106. NEW SECTION. Section 5. Limitations on issuance of instruction permit. (1) An instruction permit may be issued
to an applicant who: (a) has passed a vision test and a knowledge test as prescribed by the department; (b) has paid the fee required under 61-5-111; and (c) (i) is 16 years of age; or (ii) is 15 years of age and has successfully completed a driver education course approved by the department and the
superintendent of public instruction. (2) A holder of an instruction permit may operate a motor vehicle while in possession of the permit, subject to the
following restrictions: (a) (i) the person must be accompanied by a parent, a legal guardian, or, with the permission of the parent or legal
guardian, a person who is 21 years of age or older, who holds a valid driver's license, and who is seated beside the driver in
the motor vehicle; and (ii) all motor vehicle occupants must be wearing seatbelts; and (b) as applied to the operation of a motorcycle, the person must be under the immediate and proximate supervision of an
NEW SECTION. Section 5. Agricultural permit. (1) The department may issue an agricultural permit to the holder of an instruction permit who:
(a) is 15 years old;
(b) has successfully completed a driver education course approved by the department and the superintendent of public instruction; and
(c) has successfully completed a road test conducted by the department, unless waived under 61-5-110.
(2) The holder of an agricultural permit may operate a motor vehicle, without the immediate supervision of a parent or
legal guardian, for the sole purpose of transporting farm products, farm machinery, or farm supplies
within 150 miles of
farm headquarters WITHIN 100 MILES OF FARM HEADQUARTERS.
NEW SECTION. Section 6. Provisional license. (1) A person may be issued a provisional license to operate a motor vehicle if the person:
(a) has had an instruction permit OR TRAFFIC EDUCATION LEARNER LICENSE for not less than 6 months immediately preceding a request for provisional license status;
(b) has maintained a conviction-free driving record for the 6-month period immediately preceding a request for provisional license status;
(c) presents a certification, signed under penalty of law by a parent or legal guardian, that the person has accumulated a total of not less than 50 hours of behind-the-wheel experience, not less than 10 hours of which were at night, while accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who has a valid driver's license. A certification is considered sufficient if it is fully completed and it substantially conforms to the following statement: "I certify, under penalty of law, that (name of instruction permitholder) has had a minimum of 50 hours of behind-the-wheel supervised driving practice, not less than 10 of which were at night, and is sufficiently prepared and able to safely operate a motor vehicle without direct supervision. (Signed by parent or legal guardian.)"; and
(d) has successfully completed a road test conducted by the department, unless waived by the department pursuant to 61-5-110.
(2) A person holding a provisional license may operate a motor vehicle while in possession of the provisional license:
(a) from the hours of 5 a.m. to midnight without supervision;
(b) from the hours of midnight to 5 a.m. only if:
(i) accompanied by
a parent, a legal guardian, or, with the permission of the parent or legal guardian, any licensed driver
who is 21 years of age or older who has a valid driver's license;
(ii) driving to and from a school-sponsored event;
(iii) driving to and from work;
(iv) driving to and from an event sponsored by a religious organization;
(v) driving for the purpose of a medical, fire, or law enforcement related emergency;
(vi) driving for the
express SOLE purpose of transporting farm products, farm machinery, or farm supplies within 150
miles of farm headquarters WITHIN 100 MILES OF FARM HEADQUARTERS; or
(vii) the person is an emancipated minor;
(c) if all vehicle occupants are wearing seatbelts;
(d) if no more than one passenger occupies the front seat of the motor vehicle and the number of passengers in the back seat does not exceed the number of seatbelts; AND
(E) WITH NO MORE THAN TWO OTHER PASSENGERS UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE WHO ARE NOT MEMBERS OF THE DRIVER'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY.
NEW SECTION. Section 7. Full driver's license. A person may be issued a full driver's license if the person has:
(1) (a) had a provisional license for not less than 6 months; and
(b) maintained a conviction-free driving record for the preceding 12-month period; or
(2) has reached the age of 18.
NEW SECTION. Section 8. Penalty
-- suspension -- revocation. (1) A person who knowingly operates a motor
vehicle outside the restrictions imposed for an instruction permit, an agricultural permit, or a provisional license under
[section 5, 6 or 7] is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to a fine of not more than $500. (2) Upon receipt of a conviction of a restricted-use period violation or a moving violation, the department shall suspend
the instruction permit or provisional license of the convicted person for a period of not less than 90 days. The suspension
period must run from the date of conviction. The suspension period may be waived by the department if the holder
participates in and successfully completes a remediation program approved by the department. (3)(2) (a) If the department receives notice that a provisional licensee or full driver's license holder received a moving
violation or a restricted-use period violation during a prior graduated licensing stage after the person has been advanced to
the next licensing stage, the department may revoke the person's status as a provisional licensee or full driver's license
holder and return the person to the prior licensing stage until the person maintains a conviction-free driving record, as
required under [section 7 or 8 6 OR 7], or reaches the age of 18.
(b) For purpose of this subsection
(3) (2), the date of the citation for the violation must be used in determining whether
the violation occurred during a prior licensing stage.
Section 9. Section 61-5-105, MCA, is amended to read:
"61-5-105. Who may not be licensed. The department may not issue a license under this chapter to a person:
(1) who is under
16 18 years of age unless:
(a) the person
is at least 15 years of age and has passed a driver's education course approved by the department and the
superintendent of public instruction has satisfied the requirements of [sections 5, 7, and 8] IS AT LEAST 15 YEARS OF
AGE, HAS PASSED A TRAFFIC EDUCATION COURSE APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT AND THE
SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION, AND HAS HELD AN INSTRUCTION PERMIT OR TRAFFIC
EDUCATION LEARNER LICENSE FOR AT LEAST 6 MONTHS; or
(b) the person is at least 13 years of age and, because of individual hardship, to be determined by the department, needs a restricted license;
(2) whose license or driving privilege is currently suspended or revoked in this or any state;
(3) who is addicted to the use of alcohol or narcotic drugs;
(4) who has previously been adjudged to be afflicted with or suffering from any mental disability or disease and who, at the time of application, has not been restored to competency by the methods provided by law;
(5) who is required by this chapter to take an examination;
(6) who has not deposited proof of financial responsibility when required under the provisions of chapter 6 of this title; or
(7) who has any condition characterized by lapse of consciousness or control, either temporary or prolonged, that is or may become chronic. However, the department may in its discretion issue a license to an otherwise qualified person suffering from a condition if the afflicted person's attending physician attests in writing that the person's condition has stabilized and would not be likely to interfere with that person's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely and, if a commercial driver's license is involved, the person is physically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle under applicable state or federal regulations."
Section 10. Section 61-5-106, MCA, is amended to read:
"61-5-106. Instruction permits -- traffic education learner licenses and permits -- temporary licenses. (1) The
department may issue an instruction permit to a person
satisfying the age requirements specified in 61-5-105(1) after the
applicant has successfully passed the knowledge test and the vision examination as provided in 61-5-110. An instruction
permit entitles the permittee, while in immediate possession of the permit and accompanied by a licensed driver seated
beside the permittee, to drive a motor vehicle upon the public highways for a period of 6 months from the date the fees
required in 61-5-111 are paid in accordance with the provisions of [section 5] SATISFYING THE AGE REQUIREMENTS
SPECIFIED IN 61-5-105(1) AFTER THE APPLICANT HAS SUCCESSFULLY PASSED THE KNOWLEDGE TEST
AND THE VISION EXAMINATION AS PROVIDED IN 61-5-110. AN INSTRUCTION PERMIT ENTITLES THE
PERMITHOLDER, WHILE IN IMMEDIATE POSSESSION OF THE PERMIT AND ACCOMPANIED BY A
LICENSED DRIVER SEATED BESIDE THE PERMITHOLDER, TO DRIVE A MOTOR VEHICLE UPON THE
PUBLIC HIGHWAYS. IF THE PERMITHOLDER IS UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE, THE LICENSED DRIVER
ACCOMPANYING THE PERMITHOLDER MUST BE THE PERMITEE'S PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN OR,
WITH THE PERMISSION OF THE PERMITEE'S PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN, A LICENSED DRIVER 18
YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER.
(2) The department may issue a traffic education learner license to any person who is at least 14 1/2 years of age and
who has successfully completed or is successfully participating in a traffic education course approved by the department
and the superintendent of public instruction. A traffic education learner license entitles the licensee to operate a motor
vehicle only when accompanied by an approved instructor or licensed parent or guardian
and SEATED BESIDE THE
LICENSEE. A TRAFFIC EDUCATION LEARNER LICENSE may be restricted to specific times or areas.
(3) (a) An instructor of a traffic education program approved by the department and by the superintendent of public instruction may issue a traffic education permit that is effective for a school year or more restricted period to an applicant who is enrolled in a traffic education program approved by the department and who meets the age requirements specified in 20-7-503.
(b) When in immediate possession of the traffic education permit, the permittee may operate on a designated highway or within a designated area:
(i) a motor vehicle when an approved instructor is seated beside the permittee; or
(ii) a motorcycle or quadricycle when under the immediate and proximate supervision of an approved instructor.
(4) The department may in its discretion issue a temporary driver's permit to an applicant for a driver's license permitting the applicant to operate a motor vehicle while the department is completing its investigation and determination of all facts relative to the applicant's right to receive a driver's license. The temporary driver's permit must be in the permittee's immediate possession while operating a motor vehicle, and it is invalid when the applicant's license has been issued or for good cause has been refused.
(5) The department may in its discretion issue a temporary commercial driver's license to an applicant permitting the applicant to operate a commercial motor vehicle while the department is completing its investigation and determination of all facts relative to the applicant's right to receive a commercial driver's license. The temporary license must be in the applicant's immediate possession while operating a commercial motor vehicle and is invalid when the applicant's license has been issued or for good cause has been refused."
Section 11. Section 61-5-107, MCA, is amended to read:
"61-5-107. (Bracketed language terminates on occurrence of contingency or July 1, 1999) Application for license,
instruction permit, or motorcycle endorsement. (1) Each application for an instruction permit, driver's license, or
motorcycle endorsement must be made upon a form furnished by the department. A motorcycle endorsement is required for
the operation of a quadricycle. Each application must be accompanied by the proper fee, and payment of the fee entitles the
applicant to not more than three attempts to pass the
examination within a period of 6 months from the date of application
knowledge test and the road test or skills test required under 61-5-110. A voter registration form for mail registration as
prescribed by the secretary of state must be attached to each driver's license application. If the applicant wishes to register to
vote, the department shall accept the registration and forward the form to the election administrator.
(2) Each application must state the full name, date of birth, sex, residence address of the applicant[, and if the application is for a commercial vehicle operator's license, social security number], must briefly describe the applicant, and must state whether:
(a) the applicant has previously been licensed as a driver or commercial vehicle operator, and, if so, when and by what state or country;
(b) any commercial operator license has ever been suspended or revoked; or
(c) an application has ever been refused, and, if so, the date of and reason for suspension, revocation, or refusal.
[(3) The department shall keep the applicant's social security number from this source confidential, except that the number may be used for purposes of subtitle VI of Title 49 of the U.S.C. or as otherwise permitted by state law administered by the department and may be provided to the department of public health and human services for use in administering Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.]
(4) When application is received from an applicant previously licensed by another jurisdiction, the department shall request a copy of the applicant's driving record from the previous licensing jurisdiction. The driving record may be transmitted manually or by electronic medium. When received, the driving records become a part of the driver's record in this state with the same force and effect as though entered on the driver's record in this state in the original instance. (Bracketed language terminates on occurrence of contingency or July 1, 1999--sec. 104, Ch. 552, L. 1997.)"
Section 12. Section 61-5-111, MCA, is amended to read:
"61-5-111. Renewals, expirations, and fees for licenses, permits, and endorsements -- notice of expiration. (1) The department may appoint county treasurers and other qualified officers to act as its agents for the sale of driver's licenses receipts and shall make necessary rules governing sales. In areas in which the department provides driver licensing services 3 days or more a week, the department is responsible for sale of receipts and may, in its discretion, appoint an agent to sell receipts. The department, upon receipt of payment of the fees specified in this section, shall issue a driver's license to each qualifying applicant. The license must contain a full-face photograph of the licensee in the size and form prescribed by the department; a distinguishing number issued to the licensee; the full name, date of birth, Montana mailing address, and a brief description of the licensee; and either the licensee's signature or a digital reproduction of the licensee's signature. A license is not valid until it is signed by the licensee.
(2) (a) When a person applies for renewal of a driver's license, the department shall test the applicant's eyesight and, in the department's discretion, may have the applicant complete a road test demonstrating the applicant's ability to operate and to exercise ordinary and reasonable care in the operation of a motor vehicle.
(b) In the case of a commercial driver's license, the department may also require that the applicant successfully complete a written examination as required by federal regulations.
(c) A person is considered to have applied for renewal of a Montana driver's license if the application is made within 6 months before or 3 months after the expiration of the person's license.
(d) The department shall mail a driver's license renewal notice no earlier than 60 days and no later than 30 days prior to the expiration date of a commercial driver's license if the licensee has previously submitted a written request for the notice, either at the time of initial application or of renewal of the license.
(3) (a) Except as provided in subsections (3)(b) and (3)(c), a license or an instruction permit expires on the anniversary of the licensee's birthday 8 years or less after the date of issue or on the licensee's 75th birthday, whichever occurs first. The department may adopt rules to stagger the implementation of the conversion to an 8-year license cycle over a 4-year period.
(b) A license or an instruction permit issued to a person who is 75 years of age or older expires on the anniversary of the licensee's birthday 4 years or less after the date of issue.
(c) A license or an instruction permit issued to a person who is under 21 years of age expires on the licensee's 21st birthday.
(4) Whenever the department issues an original license to a person under the age of 18 years, the license must be
designated and clearly marked as a "provisional license". Any license designated and marked as provisional may be
suspended by the department for a period of not more than 12 months when its records disclose that the licensee,
subsequent to the issuance of the license, has been guilty of careless or negligent driving. (5)(4) It is unlawful for any person to have in the person's possession or under the person's control more than one valid
Montana driver's license at any one time. A license is not valid for the operation of a motorcycle or quadricycle unless the
holder of the license has completed the requirements of 61-5-110 and the license has been clearly marked with the words
"motorcycle endorsement". A license is not valid for the operation of a commercial vehicle unless the holder of the license
has completed the requirements of 61-5-110 and the license has been clearly marked with the words "commercial driver's
license". (6)(5) Fees for driver's licenses are:
(a) driver's license, except a commercial driver's license -- $4 per year or fraction of a year;
(b) motorcycle endorsement -- 50 cents per year or fraction of a year;
(c) commercial driver's license:
(i) interstate -- $5 per year or fraction of a year;
(ii) intrastate -- $3.50 per year or fraction of a year.
(7)(6) The holder of a valid chauffeur's license may convert or renew the chauffeur's license to a commercial driver's
license by paying the appropriate fee and complying with the requirements established by the department."
NEW SECTION. Section 13. Codification instruction. [Sections 1 through
9 8] are intended to be codified as an
integral part of Title 61, chapter 5, part 1, and the provisions of Title 61, chapter 5, part 1, apply to [sections 1 through 9 8].
NEW SECTION. Section 14. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.
NEW SECTION. Section 15. Applicability. (1) [This act] applies to a person under the age of 18 who applies for a driver's license on or after October 1, 2000.
(2) [This act] does not apply to a person under 18 years of age who, prior to October 1, 2000, had been issued
permit or who had successfully completed or is successfully participating in a traffic education course approved by the
department and the superintendent of public instruction AN INSTRUCTION PERMIT, A TRAFFIC EDUCATION
LEARNER LICENSE, OR A TRAFFIC EDUCATION PERMIT.
- END -
Latest Version of HB 606 (HB0606.03)
Processed for the Web on February 23, 1999 (5:13PM)
New language in a bill appears underlined, deleted material appears stricken.
Sponsor names are handwritten on introduced bills, hence do not appear on the bill until it is reprinted. See the status of the bill for the bill's primary sponsor.
Status of this Bill | 1999 Session | Leg. Branch Home
This bill in WP 5.1 | All versions of all bills in WP 5.1
Prepared by Montana Legislative Services