CHAPTER 452

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 496

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 & 2

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 13, 29. 21. 18 AND 30 OF THE DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend subchapter 11, Chapter 5, Title 13 of the Delaware Code by adding a new § 520 to read as follows:

"§ 520. Drivers', professional, occupational and business licenses.

(a) As used in this Section and in § 516(g) of this Title, the term 'license' means a commercial driver license or license to operate a motor vehicle issued or renewed under Chapter 26 or 27 of Title 21; and a license, permit, certificate, approval, registration or other similar form of permission or authorization to practice or engage in any profession, occupation or business, issued or renewed by the Division of Revenue under Chapter 23, 25, 27 or 29 of Title 30, or by any commission, board or agency under the authority of the Division of Professional Regulation which is named in § 8810 of Title 29 (but not including any license issued on behalf of a non-profit applicant by the Gaming Control Board as set forth in Chapter 15 of Title 28).

(a) In order to provide for the denial or suspension of licenses to delinquent child support obligors, the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Director of the Division of Revenue, and the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation shall each enter into a cooperative agreement with the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement to make available or otherwise provide to the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement information regarding any person who applies for or holds a license issued or renewed by their respective Divisions. The specific information and the manner and frequency with which it is made available or otherwise provided to the Division of Child Support Enforcement shall be as determined by each cooperative agreement, but such information shall be made available or otherwise provided at least once each calendar year. Each cooperative agreement shall be revised as necessary to effectuate the provisions and purposes of this Section. From such information provided by the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Division of Revenue and the Division of Professional Regulation, the Division of Child Support Enforcement, at such intervals as it determines, may identify such applicants or licensees who are delinquent child support obligors as described in this Section, and undertake enforcement action pursuant to this Section.

(b) Subject to the notice and hearing provisions of this Section, the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement may give notice that a license shall not be issued or renewed by the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Division of Revenue or by any commission, board or agency under the authority of the Division of Professional Regulation which is named in § 8810 of Title 29 if:

(1) the applicant is the subject of an outstanding capias or bench warrant issued by the Family Court for failure to appear at any paternity or child support proceeding in a ease enforced by the Division of Child Support Enforcement pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (42 U.S. C. Sec. 651, et seq.); or

(2) the applicant is under an order of the Family Court to pay child support in a case enforced by the Division of Child Support Enforcement pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651, et seq.), owes $1,000.00 or more in arrears or retroactive support, and is 30 or more days delinquent in payment of the support order.

(d) Subject to the notice and hearing provisions of this Section, the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement may give notice that a license issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Division of Revenue or by any commission, board or agency under the authority of the Division of Professional Regulation which is named in § 8810 of Title 29 shall be suspended if:

(1) the licensee is the subject of an outstanding capias or bench warrant issued by the Family Court for failure to appear at any paternity or child support proceeding in a case enforced by the Division of Child Support Enforcement pursuant to Title 1V-D of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. sec. 651, et seq.); or

(2) the licensee is under an order of the Family Court to pay child support in a case enforced by the Division of Child Support Enforcement pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651, et seq.), owes $1,000.00 or more in arrears or retroactive support, and is 30 or more days delinquent in payment of the support order.

(d) The Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement shall give written notice of the proposed denial or suspension of a license to the obligor, together with the amount of arrears or retroactive support and the date of the last payment on the child support order. The denial or suspension of the license becomes effective upon final written notice to the obligor from the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Director of the Division of Revenue and/or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation unless, within 20 days of the date the notice of proposed denial or suspension is mailed by the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement, the obligor:

(1) Requests in writing an administrative hearing before the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement or his or her designee;

(2) Pays the arrears or retroactive support in full;

(3) Surrenders to the Family Court on any outstanding capias or bench warrant and pays any arrears or retroactive support in full; or

(4) Consents to a payment plan acceptable to the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement or his or her designee, and fully complies therewith.

(f) The Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement or his or her designee shall convene a hearing within 30 days after receipt of the obligor's timely written request, and shall issue a written decision within 5 working days after the hearing. The only issues to be addressed at the hearing are whether the applicant or licensee is the obligor named in the child support order; whether the obligor owes $1,000.00 or more in arrears or retroactive support; and whether the obligor is 30 or more days delinquent in payment of the child support order. No evidence of the appropriateness of the child support order or of the obligor's ability to comply shall be received or considered at the hearing. The records of the Division of Child Support Enforcement shall be presumptive of the amount of arrears or retroactive child support and of the obligor's payment history.

(g) If the obligor fails to timely request a hearing or to otherwise timely comply with the requirements of subsection (e) of this Section to avoid denial or suspension of the license, or upon the issuance of a written decision adverse to the obligor after a hearing, the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement may notify the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Director of the Division of Revenue and/or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation that the provisions of this Section for denial or suspension of the obligor's license have been met. Such notification may be made electronically, by computer or by such other means as the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement and the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Director of the Division of Revenue and the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation may agree, and such notification shall constitute sufficient authority for the denial or suspension of any license. The Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Director of the Division of Revenue and/or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation shall forthwith deny the issuance or renewal of any license, or suspend the same, and so notify the applicant or licensee in writing. The notice from the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement shall be conclusive, and the action of the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Director of the Division of Revenue and/or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation in compliance therewith shall be effective 4 days after the date notice of same is mailed to the obligor at the address on record at the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Division of Revenue, or the Division of Professional Regulation. The obligor shall remain ineligible for the issuance. renewal or reinstatement of any license until the obligor obtains from the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement or his or her designee written certification that the grounds for denial or suspension of a license under this Section no longer exist.

(h) Except as otherwise provided herein, all hearings and proceedings under this Section shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act. Chapter 101 of Title 29.

(i) The obligor may appeal a decision entered after a hearing under this Section to the Family Court. The appeal shall be filed within 30 days of the day the notice of decision is mailed by the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Director of the Division of Revenue or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation. The appeal shall be on the record to the Family Court and shall he as provided in §§ 10102(4) and 10142 through 10145 of Title 29.

(j) The process described in this Section shall constitute the sole remedy for contesting the denial or suspension of a license based on the grounds in this Section.

(k) The remedies provided in this Section shall he in addition to any other remedies for the enforcement of a support order.

(l) Nothing in this Section shall be construed us limiting the Family Court's authority to order the denial or suspension of any license as provided in § 516(g) of this Title. Failure of the Family Court to order denial or suspension of a license under § 516(g) of this 'fide shall not in any way limit or affect the authority to deny or suspend a license as provided in this Section.

(m) The Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement may enter into such agreements with the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Director of the Division of Revenue, the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation and such other agencies as may be appropriate to effectuate the purposes of this Section."

Section 2. Amend § 516. Chapter 5. 'Fide 13 of the Delaware Code by adding a new subsection (g) to read as follows:

"(g) Upon a finding by the Court that an obligor owes $1,000.00 or more in arrears or retroactive support and is 30 or more days delinquent in payment of the child support order, in addition to any other orders, the Court may order the suspension of the obligor's license, as that term is defined in § 520 of this Title. Such an order shall also render the obligor ineligible for the issuance or renewal of any such license.

The Court shall notify the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles. the Director of the Division of Revenue and/or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation of the denial or suspension of a license pursuant to this subsection. Such notification may be made electronically, by computer or by such other means as the Court and the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Director of the Division of Revenue, and the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation may agree, and such notification shall constitute sufficient authority for the denial or suspension of any license.

The Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Director of the Division of Revenue and/or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation shall forthwith deny the issuance or renewal of any license, or suspend the same, and so notify the obligor. The order of the Court shall be conclusive, and the action of the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Director of the Division of Revenue and/or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation in compliance therewith shall be effective 4 days after the date notice of same is mailed to the obligor at the address on record at the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Division of Revenue, or the Division of Professional Regulation.

The obligor shall remain ineligible for the issuance, renewal or reinstatement of any license until the obligor obtains from the Court written certification that the grounds for denial or suspension of a license under this subsection no longer exist. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as limiting the denial or suspension of any license as provided in Section 520 of this Title."

Section 3. Amend § 2707(b), Chapter 27, Title 21 of the Delaware Code by adding a new paragraph (12) as follows:

"(12) Person who is the subject of an outstanding capias or bench warrant issued by the Family Court for failure to appear at any paternity or child support proceeding, or with respect to whom the Department has received notification from the Family Court as provided in § 516(g) of Title 13, or notice from the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement as provided in § 520 of Title 13 regarding the denial or suspension of a license because of such person's child support delinquency."

Section 4. Amend § 2717, Chapter 27, Title 21 of the Delaware Code by adding at the end of said section the following sentence: "An appeal of a denial of a license pursuant to § 516(g) or § 520 of Title 13 shall be only as provided in Title 13."

Section 5. Amend § 2732, Chapter 27, Title 21 of the Delaware Code by inserting the words or suspension" between the words "revocation" and "of' in the caption of said section.

Section 6. Further amend § 2732, Chapter 27, Title 21 of the Delaware Code by redesignating current subsection "(d)" as subsection "(e)" and by adding a new subsection "(d)" to read as follows:

"(d) Upon receipt of notification from the Family Court pursuant to § 516(g) of Title 13, or notice from the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement pursuant to § 520 of Title 13 regarding the suspension of a license because of such person's child support delinquency, the Department shall -forthwith suspend such person's commercial driver license or license to operate a motor vehicle. The provisions of § 516(g) and § 520 of Title 13 shall supersede any provisions of this Title to the contrary with respect to any matter relating to the denial or suspension of a license under § 516(g) or § 520 of Title 13. The Department shall create and maintain a record showing a suspended driving status for a person whose license is suspended pursuant to this subsection. A license so suspended shall remain suspended until the person obtains written certification from the Family Court or the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement or his or her designee that the grounds for suspension of the license under § 516(g) or § 520 of Title 13 no longer exist. No occupational license may be issued in any case in which a license has been suspended pursuant to §516(g) or § 520 of Title 13."

Section 7. Amend § 2734, Chapter 27, Title 21 of the Delaware Code by adding the following sentence at the end of said section: "An appeal of a suspension of a license pursuant to § 516(g) or § 520 of Title 13 shall be only as provided in Title 13."

Section 8. Amend Section 2905, Chapter 29, Title 21 of the Delaware Code, by redesignating current Subsection (c) as Subsection (d) and by adding a new Subsection (c) to read as follows:

"(c) No assignment may be made or surcharge added solely because a driver license is denied or suspended in accordance with 13 Del C §516(g) or §520."

Section 9. Amend Section 3912, Chapter 39, Title 18 of the Delaware Code by designating the first sentence of Section 3912 as Subsection (a) and the second sentence as Subsection (b), and by adding the following after the newly designated Subsection (b):

"(c) No premium may be increased on any contract of casualty insurance based solely on a license denial or suspension imposed in accordance with 13 Del. C § 5I6(g) or §520 on a named insured or any other operator who either resides in the same household or customarily operates an automobile insured under such policy."

Section 10. Amend § 3904, Chapter 39, Title 18 of the Delaware Code by adding the following new subsection (c):

"(c) A policy may not be subject to cancellation or nonrenewal solely because the insured's driver license is denied or suspended in accordance with § 516(g) or § 520 of Title 13."

Section 11. Amend § 8810, Chapter 88, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by adding the following new subsection (m):

"(m) The provisions of § 516(g) and § 520 of Title 13 shall supersede any provisions of this section to the contrary and any provisions or procedures, by statue or regulation, of any commission, board or agency named in this section with respect to matters involving any applicant or licensee under § 516(g) or § 520 of Title 13. Upon receipt of notification from the Family Court pursuant to § 516(g) of Title 13, or notice from the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement pursuant to § 520 of Title 13 regarding a licensee or applicant, the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation shall forthwith suspend, or deny to such licensee or applicant the issuance or renewal of, any license, permit, certificate, approval, registration or other similar form of permission or authorization to practice or engage in any profession, occupation or business of any commission, board or agency named in this section (but not including any license issued on behalf of a non-profit applicant by the Gaming Control Board as set forth in Chapter 15 of Title 28)."

Section 12. Amend § 2101, Chapter 21, Title 30 of the Delaware Code by adding the following language at the end thereof: "The provisions of § 516(g) and § 520 of Title 13 shall apply and supersede any license requirements of this part with respect to matters involving any applicant or licensee under § 516(g) or § 520 of Title 13. The Department shall forthwith deny the issuance or renewal of any license under this part, or suspend the same, upon receipt of notification from the Family Court pursuant to § 516(g) of Title 13 or notice from the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement pursuant to § 520 of Title 13 regarding an applicant or licensee."

Section 13. If any provision of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

Section 14. This Act shall become effective six (6) months after the day that it is enacted into law.

Approved July 5, 1996