CHAPTER 274

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 4, TITLE 21, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO THE RECIPROCITY COMMISSION IN THEIR NEGOTIATIONS WITH OTHER JURISDICTIONS IN THE MATTER OF OPERATION, REGULATION AND TAXATION OF MOTOR VEHICLES PROPERLY REGISTERED IN SAID OTHER JURISDICTIONS.

WHEREAS, it is the policy of this State to promote and encourage the fullest possible use of its highway system by authorizing the making and execution of motor vehicle reciprocal registration agreements, arrangements and declarations with other States, Provinces, Territories and countries with respect to vehicles registered in this and such other States, Provinces, territories and countries thus contributing to the economic and social development and growth of this State.

NOW, THEREFORE,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Chapter 4, Title 21, Delaware Code, is amended by striking the following sections, § 402, § 403, § 404, and § 405 and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

§ 402. Power of commission to make agreements with other states; general character; conditions

The reciprocity commission may enter into an agreement or arrangement with the duly authorized representatives of another jurisdiction, granting to vehicles or to owners of vehicles which are properly registered or licensed in such jurisdiction and for which evidence of compliance is supplied, benefits, privileges and exemptions from the payment, wholly or partially, of any taxes, fees, or other charges imposed upon such vehicles or owners with respect to the operation or ownership of such vehicles under the laws of this State. Such an agreement or arrangement shall provide that vehicles properly registered or licensed in this State when operated upon highways of such other jurisdiction shall receive exemptions, benefits and privileges of a similar kind or to a similar degree as are extended to vehicles properly registered or licensed in such jurisdiction when operated in this State. Each such agreement or arrangement shall, in the judgment of the reciprocity commission, be in the best interest of this State and the citizens thereof, and shall be fair and equitable to this State and the citizens thereof, and all of the same shall be determined on the basis and recognition of the benefits which accrue to the economy of this State from the uninterrupted flow of commerce.

§ 403. Equalizing tax or fee

When the reciprocity commission enters into a reciprocal registration agreement or arrangement with another jurisdiction which has a motor vehicle or public utility tax, license or fee which is not subject to waiver by a reciprocity agreement, the reciprocity commission is empowered and authorized to provide as a condition of the agreement or arrangement that owners of vehicles licensed in such other jurisdiction shall pay some equalizing tax or fee to the State Highway Department of Delaware. The failure of any owner or operator of a vehicle to pay the taxes or fees provided in the agreement or arrangement shall prohibit them from receiving any benefits therefrom and they shall be required to register their vehicles and pay taxes as if there was no agreement or arrangement.

§ 404. Base State registration reciprocity

An agreement or arrangement entered into, or a declaration issued under the authority of this Section may contain provisions authorizing the registration or licensing in another jurisdiction of vehicles located in or operated from a base in such other jurisdiction which vehicles otherwise would be required to be registered or licensed in this State; and in such event the exemptions, benefits and privileges extended by such agreement, arrangement or declaration shall apply to such vehicles, when properly licensed or registered in such base jurisdiction.

§ 405. Declarations of extent of reciprocity, when

In the absence of an agreement or arrangement with another jurisdiction, the reciprocity commission and/or motor vehicle commissioner may examine the laws and requirements of such jurisdiction and declare the extent and nature of exemptions, benefits and privileges to be extended to vehicles properly registered or licensed in such other jurisdiction, or to the owners of such vehicles, which shall, in the judgment of the reciprocity commission be in the best interest of this State and the citizens thereof and which shall be fair and equitable to this State and the citizens thereof, and all of the same shall be determined on the basis and recognition of the benefits which accrue to the economy of this State from the uninterrupted flow of commerce.

§ 406. Extension of reciprocal privileges to lessees authorized

An agreement or arrangement entered into, or a declaration issued under the authority of this Section, may contain provisions under which a leased vehicle properly registered by the lessor thereof may be entitled, subject to terms and conditions stated therein, to the exemptions, benefits and privileges extended by such agreement, arrangement or declaration.

§ 407. Automatic reciprocity, when

On and after the effective date of this act, if no agreement, arrangement or declaration is in effect with respect to another jurisdiction as authorized by this Section, any vehicle properly registered or licensed in such other jurisdiction and for which evidence of compliance is supplied, shall receive, when operated in this State, the same exemptions, benefits and privileges granted by such other jurisdiction to vehicles properly registered in this State. Reciprocity extended under this section shall apply to commercial vehicles only when engaged exclusively in interstate operations.

§ 408. Suspension of reciprocity benefits

Agreements, arrangements or declarations made under the authority of this Section may include provisions authorizing the reciprocity commission and/or motor vehicle commissioner

to suspend or cancel the exemptions, benefits or privileges granted thereunder to a vehicle which is in violation of any of the conditions or terms of such agreements, arrangements or declarations.

§409. Agreements to be written, filed and available for distribution

All agreements, arrangement or declarations or amendments thereto shall be in writing and shall be filed in the office of the Motor Vehicle Commissioner. Copies thereof shall be made available by the Motor Vehicle Commissioner upon request and upon payment of a fee therefor in an amount necessary to defray the costs of reproduction thereof.

§ 410. Reciprocity agreements in effect at time of act

All reciprocity registration agreements, arrangements and declarations relating to vehicles in force and effect at the time this Section becomes effective shall continue in force and effect until specifically amended or revoked as provided by law or by such agreements or arrangements.

§ 411. Protection of State's income

The reciprocity commission and/or Motor Vehicle Commissioner shall enter into no agreement, etc., that shall result in a serious or appreciable reduction of income to the State of Delaware.

Approved May 5, 1964.