CHAPTER 168

MOTOR VEHICLES

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 165 OF THE REVISED CODE OF DELAWARE, 1935, AS AMENDED, IN REFERENCE TO MOTOR VEHICLES; NUMBER PLATES TO BE FURNISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT; SPECIAL NUMBER PLATES TO BE FURNISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT; PROVIDING DATE OF REGISTRATION; RENEWAL OF REGISTRATION; REGISTRATION BY MANUFACTURERS OF REGISTRATION UPON NOTICE OF THEFT OR EMBEZZLEMENT.

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 further amended by striking out 5550. Section 12 of said Chapter, and by inserting in lieu thereof the following:

5550. Sec. 12. Number Plates to Be Furnished by Department:--(a) The Department shall also furnish to each owner whose vehicle shall be registered one number plate for a motorcycle, trailer or semi-trailer and two number plates for each other motor vehicle. The Commission shall have authority to require the return to the Department of all number plates upon termination of the lawful use thereof by the owner under this Chapter.

(b) Each number plate, excepting those provided for in paragraph (c) hereof, shall have displayed upon it the registration number assigned to the vehicle and to the owner thereof, also the name of this State which may be abbreviated and the date of expiration of such number plate. Such plate and the required letters and numerals thereon, except the date of expiration of such number plate, shall be of sufficient size to be plainly readable from a distance of one hundred feet during daylight.

(c) Beginning with the registration year 1940, the Department shall also furnish to each member of the Judicial Branch of the State Government, excepting Justices of the Peace, and to the Judge or Judges of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, to each Judge of the Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States residing within the State of Delaware, and to each member of Congress from the State of Delaware, whose vehicle shall be registered, number plates which shall have displayed thereon the registration number assigned to the vehicle and to the owner thereof; also the name of this State, which may be abbreviated, and the date of expiration of such number plate and in the case of the Judicial Department aforesaid, the Judge or Judges of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware and the Judge or Judges of the Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States, residing in the State of Delaware, the word "Judiciary" and in the case of the members of Congress from the State of Delaware the word "Congressional," such plates to be of the same size as the plates provided for in Section (b) hereof.

(d) The Department shall also furnish to members of the Legislative Branches of the State Government, automobile plates upon which shall be printed the word "Legislative." The said plates shall be two inches wide and of the same length as the license plates to which they are attached; they shall be of the same general design or pattern to correspond with the license plates issued; and the Department shall furnish proper attachments with which to attach the same. Not more than two sets of such plates shall be furnished any one person.

(e) The Department shall issue for every passenger motor vehicle, rented without a driver, the same type of number plates as the type of plates issued for private passenger vehicles.

(f) It shall be unlawful for any person not authorized under the provisions of this Section to use or exhibit said plates on any motor vehicle and any person convicted thereof shall be fined not more than Fifty Dollars for each and every offense.

Section 2. That Chapter 165 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1955, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out 5552. Section 14 of said Chapter, and by inserting in lieu thereof the following:

5552. Sec. 14. Renewal of Registration:--The Registration year 1939 shall be and the same hereby is extended to March thirty-first, 1940, and every vehicle registration under this Chapter issued for the registration year 1939 shall expire on March thirty-first, 1940. Thereafter every vehicle registration under this Chapter shall expire on March thirty-first of each year and shall be renewed annually upon application by the owner and by payment of the fees required by law, such renewal to take effect on the first day of April in each year.

(b) An owner, who has made proper application for renewal of registration of a vehicle previous to April first but who has not received the number plates, plate or registration card for the ensuing registration year, shall be entitled to operate or permit the operation of such vehicle upon the highways upon displaying thereon the number plate or plates issued for the preceding registration year for such time to be prescribed by the Department as it may find necessary for issuance of such new plates.

(c) An owner who has made proper application for registration of a vehicle previous to April first for the ensuing registration year, shall be entitled to operate or permit the operation of such vehicle upon the highways on and after March fifteenth of the current year; provided, the number plates or plate issued for said vehicle for the ensuing registration year shall be properly attached thereto.

Section 3. That Chapter 165 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out paragraph ('a) of 5554, Section 16 of said Chapter, and by inserting in lieu thereof the following:

5554. Sec. 16. Registration by Manufacturers and Dealers:--(a) A manufacture of or dealer in motor vehicles, trailers, or semi-trailers, owning or operating any such vehicle upon any highway in lieu of registering each such vehicle may obtain from the Department, upon application therefor upon the proper official form and payment of the fees required by law, and attach to each such vehicle one or duplicate number plates, as required for different classes of vehicles by Section 12 (a), which plate or set of plates shall each bear thereon a distinctive number, also the name of this State, which may be abbreviated, and the 'date of expiration of such plate or plates, together with the word ,"dealer" or a distinguishing symbol indicating that such plate or plates are issued to a manufacturer or dealer, and any such plates so issued may, during the registration year for which issued, be transferred from one such vehicle to another owned or operated by such manufacturer or dealer who shall keep a written record of the vehicles upon which such dealers' number plates are used and the time during which each set of plates is used on a particular vehicle, which record shall be open to inspection by any police officer or any officer or employee of the Department.

Section 4. That Chapter 165 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out paragraph (a) of 5556. Section 18 of said Chapter, and by inserting in lieu thereof the following:

5556. Sec. 18. Registration by ,Non-Residents:--(a) A nonresident owner, except as otherwise provided in this section, owning any foreign vehicle which has been duly registered for the current registration year in the State, Country or other place of which the owner is a resident and which at all times .when operated in this State has displayed upon it the number plate or plates issued for any such vehicle in the place of residence of such owner, may operate or permit the operation of such vehicle within this State without registering such ,vehicle or paying any fees to this State.

Section 5. That Chapter 165 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out 5558. Section 20 of said Chapter, and by inserting in lieu thereof the following:

5558. Sec. 20. Department to Suspend Registration Upon Notice of Theft or Embezzlement:--Whenever the owner of any motor vehicle, trailer or semi-trailer, which is stolen or embezzled, files an affidavit alleging either said fact with the Department, it shall immediately suspend the registration of such vehicle and shall not transfer the registration of or re-register such vehicle until such time as it shall be notified that the owner has recovered such vehicle, but notices given as heretofore provided shall be effective only during the current registration year in which given, but if during such registration year such vehicle is not recovered a new affidavit may be filed with like effect during the ensuing registration year. Every owner, who has filed an affidavit of theft or embezzlement, must immediately notify the Department of the recovery of such vehicle.

Approved April 7, 1939.