CHAPTER 167

MOTOR VEHICLES

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 165 OF THE REVISED CODE OF DELAWARE, 1935, AS AMENDED, BY PROVIDING THAT THE MOTOR VEHICLE DEPARTMENT SHALL BE A DEPARTMENT OF THE STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:

Section 1. That Chapter 165 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended, be and the same is hereby amended by repealing and striking out all of 5540. Sec. 2 thereof, and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

5540. Sec. 2. The Motor Vehicle Department is a Department of the State Government and to secure proper coordination shall be under the supervision and control of the State Highway Department.

The administrative head of the Motor Vehicle Department shall be the Motor Vehicle Commissioner, who shall be appointed by the State Highway Department for such time, not exceeding one year, as said Highway Department shall determine. The Motor Vehicle Commissioner shall have all powers and perform such duties as are herein vested in and conferred upon the Motor Vehicle Commissioner, and with the authority, subject to the approval of the State Highway Department, to hire and discharge, and to fix the compensation of such employees necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Chapter.

Section 2. That said Chapter 165 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended, be and the same is hereby amended by repealing and striking out all of 5678. Sec. 140 thereof and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Official Badge; Compensation: (a) Any Member of the State Highway Police or any Automobile Inspector shall, after the passage of this Chapter, be clothed with the authority and have the right and is hereby directed to summarily seize in the name of the State and take from any person, other than the rightful owner thereof, having in his or her possession any motorcycle or motor vehicle from which the manufacturer's serial number or any other manufacturer's trade or distinguishing number or identification mark has been removed and effaced, changed, covered or destroyed, and such officer making said seizure shall at once deliver such motorcycle or motor vehicle to the Motor Vehicle Commissioner, who is hereby empowered to hold said motor vehicle until he shall have determined the true owner thereof. Whereupon said Motor Vehicle Commissioner shall apprize such true owner of the fact that he has in his possession such motorcycle or motor vehicle and said Motor Vehicle Commissioner shall deliver the same to the rightful owner thereof. Said owner first paying to the Motor Vehicle Commissioner the cost of such delivery.

(b) The Motor Vehicle Commissioner shall be required to hold in his possession any motorcycle or motor vehicle seized as aforesaid for at least ten days after such seizure, during which time the person from whom the same was taken shall have the right to replevy the same.

(c) For the purpose of enforcing the motor vehicle statutes of the State of Delaware, the Motor Vehicle Commissioner, subject to the approval of the State Highway Department, is authorized to appoint one motor vehicle inspector for each county in the State, said inspectors to be under the jurisdiction and direction of the Motor Vehicle Commissioner and to wear an official badge bearing the inscription "Motor Vehicle Inspector, State of Delaware." The compensation of said inspectors shall not exceed the sum of One Hundred and Fifty Dollars 0150.00) per month to be paid by the State Treasurer out of any money received by him for the use of the State Highway Department upon warrants drawn by the Motor Vehicle Commissioner. The term of said inspectors shall extend from month to month at the discretion of the Motor Vehicle Commissioner.

Section 3. That said Chapter 165 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out of 5690. Sec. 152, 5691. Sec. 153, and 5697. Sec. 159, the words "Secretary of State" wherever such appear, and inserting in lieu thereof the words "Motor Vehicle Commissioner."

Section 4. Upon this Act becoming effective the Motor Vehicle Commissioner, also referred to as the Secretary of State, under the provisions of law to which this Act is an amendment, shall transfer and deliver to the Motor Vehicle Commissioner provided for by this Act, all records, files, papers, supplies, equipment and all paraphernalia, etc., belonging to the Motor Vehicle Department.

Section 5. All motor vehicle registrations, operator's and chauffeurs' licenses, Certificates of Title, and all other official acts heretofore issued or performed by the Motor Vehicle Commissioner, or the Secretary of State, under any of the provisions of the law to which this Act is an amendment shall be valid and continue in force and effect during the period of time authorized by the provisions of the law to which this Act is an amendment.

Section 6. This Act shall become effective immediately upon becoming a law pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of this State.

NOTE: This bill became a law on April 11, 1939 without the approval of the Governor and in accordance with Section 18, Article 3 of the Constitution of Delaware.