TITLE 21

Motor Vehicles

General Provisions

CHAPTER 1. DEFINITIONS


For the purposes of this title, unless the context otherwise clearly indicates:

(1) "Axle load scale" means a scale having a platform adapted to determine the combined weight of all wheels on a single axle or of all wheels on a tandem or tri-axle of a vehicle.

(2) "Bicycle" shall include that certain class of vehicles which are exclusively human-powered by means of foot pedals, which the driver normally rides astride, which have not in excess of 3 wheels and which may be commonly known as unicycles, bicycles and tricycles. The term "bicycle" also includes a 2- or 3-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 horsepower), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 miles per hour.

(3) "Business district" means the territory contiguous to and including a highway when 50 percent or more of the frontage thereon for a distance of 300 feet or more is occupied by buildings in use for business.

(4) "Camping trailer" includes any nonmotorized vehicular portable unit mounted on wheels and designed to provide temporary living quarters for recreational, camping or travel use. A "camping trailer" may be constructed with or without collapsible partial side walls that fold for towing by another vehicle and unfold in set-up mode, however, the trailer must weigh 5,000 pounds or less.

(5) "Certificate of origin" means the document, in the form prescribed by the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, issued in conformance with this chapter certifying the manufacturer's vehicle identification number and the motor number, when used, of the motor vehicle sold, the name of the manufacturer, the manufacturer's shipping weight, a general description of the body, if any, and the type and model.

(6) "Chauffeur" includes every person who is employed for the principal purpose of operating a motor vehicle and every person who drives a motor vehicle while in use as a public or common carrier of persons or property.

(7) "Combination of vehicles" means any series of trucks, truck tractors, trailers or semi-trailers connected to each other by whatever means.

(8) "Commercial vehicle" means a vehicle of a type required to be registered under this title designed, used or maintained for the transportation of persons or property for hire, compensation or profit, except taxicabs.

(9) "Competition vehicle" is a vehicle that is specifically designated by its manufacturer as being intended solely for use during a special or competition event, and which is exclusively so used.

(10) "Crane" means any self-propelled vehicle to which has been permanently mounted or attached any crane, whether or not such vehicle was originally a truck, tractor or other type of motor vehicle or was designed and built as a complete crane unit; but the word "crane," as herein defined, shall not be construed to mean any truck or other vehicle equipped with or to which has been affixed any device used for the purpose of providing a means for towing other vehicles.

(11) "Dealer" includes every person engaged in the business of buying, selling or exchanging motor vehicles, trailers or semitrailers in this State and having an established place of business in this State.

(12) "Decal" means the self-adhesive sticker issued by the Department bearing the registration number assigned to an off-highway vehicle.

(13) "Department" means the Department of Transportation of this State acting directly or through its duly authorized officers and agents.

(14) "Electric personal assistive mobility device" (EPAMD) means a self-balancing, 2-nontandem-wheeled device designed to transport only 1 person, with an electric propulsion system that limits the maximum speed of the device to 15 miles per hour or less.

(15) "Electronic" or "electronically" means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic or similar capabilities.

(16) "Electronic signature" means an electronic sound, symbol or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.

(17) "Essential parts" means all integral parts and body parts, the removal, alteration or substitution of which will tend to conceal the identity or substantially alter the appearance of the vehicle.

(18) "Express highway" means a state highway especially designed for through traffic over which owners of abutting property shall have no easement or right of direct access, light or air, by reason of the fact that such property abuts such highway.

(19) "Farm equipment" means an implement that:

a. Is designed and adapted only for agricultural, horticultural or livestock raising operations; or

b. Is designed and adapted only for lifting or carrying an implement described in paragraph (19)a. of this section.

(20) "Farm tractor" includes every motor vehicle designed and used primarily as a farm implement for drawing plows, mowing machines and other implements of husbandry.

(21) "Foreign vehicle" includes every motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer which is brought into this State otherwise than in the ordinary course of business by or through a manufacturer or dealer and which has not been registered in this State.

(22) "Highway" means the entire width between boundary lines of every way or place of whatever nature open to the use of the public as a matter of right for purposes of vehicular travel, but does not include a road or driveway upon grounds owned by private persons, colleges, universities or other institutions.

(23) "Intersection" means the area embraced within the prolongation of the lateral curb lines or, if none, then the lateral boundary lines of 2 or more highways which join one another at an angle, whether or not 1 such highway crosses the other.

(24) "Judgment" includes any judgment which has become final by expiration without appeal of the time within which an appeal might have been perfected or by final affirmation on appeal, rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction of any state or of the United States, upon a cause of action arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of any motor vehicle, for damages, including damages for care and loss of services, because of bodily injury to or death of any person, or for damages because of injury to or destruction of property, including the loss of use thereof or upon a cause of action on an agreement of settlement for such damages.

(25) "Jurisdiction" shall mean any state, territory or federal district of the United States or a foreign country.

(26) "License" means any license, temporary instruction permit or temporary license issued under the laws of this State pertaining to the licensing of persons to operate motor vehicles.

(27) "Local authorities" includes every county, municipal and other local board or body having authority to adopt local police regulations under the Constitution and laws of this State.

(28) "Manufacturer" includes every person engaged in the business of manufacturing motor vehicles, trailers or semitrailers or OHVs.

(29) "Metal tires" means all tires the surface of which on contact with the highway is wholly or partly of metal or other hard, nonresilient material.

(30) "Mobile home" is a structure transportable in 1 or more sections, which in the traveling mode is 8 body feet or more in width or 40 body feet or more in length, or when erected on-site, is more than 400 square feet, and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating and air conditioning. The structure must be constructed in accordance with construction requirements promulgated by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

(31) "Moped" shall mean a pedal or nonpedal bicycle having 2 tandem wheels, either of which is 10 inches or more in maximum diameter, and having an internal combustion motor characterized in that the maximum piston displacement is less than 55 cc, or an electric motor rated between 751 watts and 2,000 watts.

(32) "Motorcycle" includes every motor vehicle designed to travel on not more than 3 wheels in contact with the ground, except any such vehicle as may be included within the definition of "tractor" and excepting electric personal assistive mobility device (EPAMD).

(33) "Motorized skateboard or scooter" means any device that is designed to travel on at least 2 wheels with the deck or chassis of such device open and close to the ground, that has handlebars or a hand-controlled throttle or brake, that is designed to be stood or sat upon by the operator, and that is powered by a motor that is capable of propelling the device without human propulsion. "Motorized skateboard or scooter" shall not include any automobile or device that is included within the definitions of "moped," "motorcycle," "off-highway vehicle (OHV)," any type of "tractor," "triped," "motorized wheelchair" or "electric personal assistive mobility device (EPAMD)" set forth in this section.

(34) "Motorized wheelchair" includes any self-propelled vehicle which is incapable of a speed in excess of 8 miles per hour and which is designed for, and used by, a handicapped person.

(35) "Motor vehicle" includes every vehicle, as defined in this section, which is self-propelled, except farm tractors, electric personal assistive mobility devices and OHVs.

(36) "Multiple draft weighting" means separately weighing each end or individual element of a vehicle or combination of vehicles and adding together the results obtained.

(37) "Nonresident" means every person who is not a resident of this State.

(38) "Nonresident's operating privilege" means the privilege conferred upon a nonresident by the laws of this State pertaining to the operation by the nonresident of a motor vehicle or OHV, or the use of a motor vehicle or OHV owned by the nonresident, in this State.

(39) "Off-highway vehicle" or "OHV" means a motor driven off-road vehicle capable of cross-country travel without benefit of a road or trail, on or immediately over land, snow, ice, marsh, swampland or other natural terrain. It includes, but is not limited to, a multi-wheel drive or low pressure tire vehicle, a motorcycle or related 2-wheel vehicle, an amphibious machine, a ground effect air-cushion vehicle or other means of transportation deriving motive power from a source other than muscle or wind. "OHV" does not include a farm vehicle being used for farming, a vehicle used for military, fire, emergency or law-enforcement purposes, a construction or logging vehicle used in performance of its common function, electric personal assistive mobility device or a registered aircraft. However, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to include snowmobiles.

(40) "OHV dealer" includes every person engaged in the business of buying, selling or exchanging off-highway vehicles in that portion of this State located north of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. Persons offering OHVs for final delivery in that portion of this State located north of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal through direct-mail order or through a catalog-order facility, regardless of where located, are considered to be OHV dealers and subject to this chapter.

(41) "OHV operator" includes every person who is in actual physical control of an off-highway vehicle.

(42) "Operator" includes every person who is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle upon a highway, except that for the purposes of Chapter 29 of this title the term "operator" shall include a chauffeur.

(43) "Organized or special event" is any competition involving motor vehicles that is conducted under the auspices of a recognized sanctioning body or under the authority of a governmental agency having jurisdiction over the area concerned.

(44) "Overweight vehicle" means any vehicle having a gross weight, including load thereon, in excess of that permitted by law; including, but not limited to, a gross weight in excess the weight for which a valid registration has been issued.

(45) "Owner" means a person who holds the legal title of a vehicle or in the event a vehicle is the subject of an agreement for the conditional sale or lease thereof with the right of purchase upon performance of the conditions stated in the agreement and with an immediate right of possession vested in the conditional vendee or lessee or in the event a mortgagor of a vehicle is entitled to possession then such conditional vendee or lessee or mortgagor shall be deemed the owner for the purpose of this title.

(46) "Park trailer" is a vehicle more than 8 body feet in width that is primarily designed to provide temporary living quarters for recreation camping or seasonal use; built on a single chassis mounted on wheels which has a gross trailer area not exceeding 400 square feet in the set-up mode and is certified by the manufacturer as complying with ANSI 119.5 standard.

(47) "Person" means any individual, partnership, corporation, joint venture or legal entity of whatever nature.

(48) "Pneumatic tires" means all tires inflated with compressed air.

(49) "Private road or driveway" includes every road or driveway not open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.

(50) "Proof of financial responsibility" means proof of ability to respond in damages for liability on account of accidents occurring subsequent to the effective date of said proof arising out of ownership, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle in the amount of $15,000 because of bodily injury to or death of 1 person in any 1 accident, and, subject to such limit for 1 person, in the amount of $30,000 because of bodily injury to or death of 2 or more persons in any 1 accident and in the amount of $10,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any 1 accident, or a combined single limit of $40,000.

(51) "Reconstructed vehicle" means any vehicle which has been assembled or constructed largely by means of essential parts, new or used, derived from other vehicles or makes of vehicles of various names, models and types, or which, if originally otherwise constructed, has been materially altered by the removal of essential parts or by the addition or substitution of essential parts, new or used, derived from other vehicles or makes of vehicles.

(52) "Recreational trailer" includes every trailer which weighs more than 5,000 pounds, is designed to provide temporary living quarters and which is built into and is an integral part of, or permanently attached to, a trailer chassis. The trailer must contain permanently installed independent life support systems which meet the ANSI/NFPA 501 C Standard [ANSI A119.2/NFPA 501C], and provide at least 4 of the following facilities: Cooking facilities; refrigeration or ice box; self-contained toilet; heating and/or air conditioning; a portable water supply system, including a faucet and sink; separate 110-125 volt electrical power supply; or an LP-gas supply.

(53) "Recreational vehicle" includes every motor vehicle used for temporary human living quarters, not the residence of the owner or occupant, and used for recreational or vacation activities, including motor homes, self-propelled campers and other motor vehicles with permanently attached camper components. Recreational vehicle may also include every van which is used primarily for personal pleasure and not for commercial use, regardless of the equipment or furnishings contained within such van.

(54) "Registration" means the registration certificate or certificates and registration plates issued under the laws of this State pertaining to the registration of motor vehicles.

(55) "Residence district" means the territory contiguous to and including a highway not comprising a business district where 50 percent or more of the property on such highway for a distance of 300 feet or more is improved with residences or residences and buildings in use for business.

(56) "Right-of-way" means the privilege of the immediate use of the highway.

(57) "Road tractor" includes every motor vehicle designed and used for drawing other vehicles and not so constructed as to carry any load thereon independently or any part of the weight of a vehicle or load so drawn.

(58) "Roadway" means that portion of a highway improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder. In the event a highway includes 2 or more separate roadways, the term "roadway" as used herein shall refer to any such roadway separately but not to all such roadways collectively.

(59) "Safety zone" means the area or space officially set aside within a highway for the exclusive use of pedestrians and which is so plainly marked or indicated by proper signs as to be plainly visible at all times while set apart as a safety zone.

(60) "Scale" means a device used to determine or calculate weight.

(61) "School bus" means a commercial motor vehicle used to transport preprimary, primary, or secondary school students from home to school, from school to home, or to and from school-sponsored events, or any vehicle which meets the regulatory requirements adopted by the Department of Education with the advice of the Division of Motor Vehicles as specified under § 2901 of Title 14. "School bus" does not include a bus used as a common carrier.

(62) "Secretary" means the Secretary of Transportation of this State or the Secretary's duly authorized designee.

(63) "Semitrailer" includes every vehicle of the trailer type so designed and used in conjunction with a motor vehicle that some part of its own weight and that of its own load rests upon or is carried by another vehicle, and piling and pole trailers are to be considered to fall within the meaning of this definition.

(64) "Single draft weighing" means weighing of the entire vehicle at 1 time by use of vehicle scales, axle load scales, wheel load weighers or any combination of these weighing devices.

(65) "Solid rubber tire" includes every tire made of rubber other than a pneumatic tire.

(66) "Special construction equipment" means every vehicle not designed or used primarily for the transportation of persons or property and only incidentally operated or moved over a highway, including but not limited to: Ditch-digging apparatus, well-boring apparatus, road construction or maintenance machinery such as asphalt spreaders, air compressors and drills, bituminous mixers, bucket loaders, tractors other than truck tractors, levelling graders, finishing machines, road rollers, scarifiers, earth-moving scrapers and carryalls, welders, power shovels and drag lines, self-propelled cranes, earth-moving equipment and construction box storage trailers (except when such trailers are used for transporting merchandise). The term does not apply to dump trucks, truck mounted transit mixers, tow trucks or shovels or other vehicles designed for the transportation of persons or property to which machinery has been attached.

(67) "Specialized vehicle" shall mean a vehicle or motor vehicle which may be registered by the Division of Motor Vehicles, but with special restrictions as determined by the Division of Motor Vehicles.

(68) "Specially constructed vehicle" means any vehicle which has not been originally constructed under a distinctive name, make, model or type by a generally recognized manufacturer of vehicles.

(69)a. "Special mobile equipment" means a motor vehicle that:

(1) Is not used primarily for highway transportation of people or property;

(2) Is operated or moved on a public highway or road only as an incident to its nonhighway use;

(3) Is used in agriculture;

(4) Is not operated at speeds greater than 30 miles per hour on the highway; and

(5) Does not travel a distance of greater than 50 miles on the highway on any 1 trip.

b. "Special mobile equipment" excludes a road construction or maintenance machine, mobile crane, ditch digger, well driller, concrete mixer, job-site office vehicle or portable power generator.

(70) "State" includes a state, territory, organized or unorganized, or district of the United States of America, except that for the purposes of Chapter 29 of this title the term "state" shall include any province of the Dominion of Canada.

(71) "Taxicab" includes every self-propelled motor vehicle as defined in § 1801(12) of Title 2.

(72) "Trackless trolley coach" includes every device for passenger transportation (commonly called an electric trackless trolley coach) equipped with tires of rubber or other resilient material, not operated on rails, propelled by electrical energy supplied through overhead wires, which device may also contain auxiliary means for self-propulsion by a motor using gasoline, oil or other similar fuel.

(73) "Trackless trolley operator" includes every person who is in actual physical control of any trackless trolley coach upon a highway.

(74) "Trailer" includes a mobile home, park trailer, travel trailer, house trailer, office trailer, camping trailer or any vehicle without motive power designed to carry property or passengers wholly on its own structure and to be drawn by a motor vehicle.

(75) "Transporter" means every person engaged in the business of delivering vehicles of a type to be registered under this title from a manufacturing, assembling and distributing plant to a point of destination or for the purpose of weighing, testing, transporting or delivering such vehicle or for the purpose of moving said vehicles in connection with making installations thereon or improvements or repairs thereto or the repossession or foreclosure thereof.

(76) "Triped" shall mean a pedal or nonpedal cycle having 3 wheels, either of which is 10 inches or more in maximum diameter, and having an internal combustion motor characterized in that the maximum piston displacement is less than 55 cc, or an electric motor rated between 751 watts and 2,000 watts.

(77) "Truck camper" includes any portable unit that is constructed to provide temporary living quarters for recreational, camping or travel use, consisting of a roof, floor and sides, which is designed to be loaded onto and unloaded from the bed of a pickup truck.

(78) "Truck tractor" includes every motor vehicle designed and used primarily for drawing other vehicles and not so constructed as to carry a load other than a part of the weight of the vehicle and load so drawn.

(79) "Used vehicle" includes every motor vehicle or OHV which has been sold, bargained, exchanged, given away or title transferred from the person who first acquired it from the manufacturer or importer, dealer or agent of the manufacturer or importer and so used as to have become what is commonly known as "secondhand" within the ordinary meaning thereof.

(80) "Vehicle" means every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway, excepting devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks and excepting electric trackless trolley coaches, electric personal assistive mobility devices and excepting OHVs.

(81) "Vehicle scale" means a scale adapted to weighing highway vehicles and possessing a platform on which all wheels of a vehicle may rest simultaneously.

(82) "Well-drilling machine" means any self-propelled vehicle to which has been permanently mounted or attached any rig or other equipment used for the purpose of drilling wells, whether or not such vehicle was originally a truck, tractor or other type of motor vehicle or was designed and built as a complete well-drilling unit.

(83) "Wheel load weigher" means a scale especially adapted to determine the weight of any single or set of wheels on a vehicle.

(84) "When children are present" shall, when posted in conjunction with speed limitation signage in a school zone, refer to that period of time immediately before, during or immediately after a scheduled school day during which children are physically present along, adjacent to, or crossing the regulated roadway of the school zone. The phrase shall not refer to the presence of children in the school building as the time for imposition of the speed restriction.

36 Del. Laws, c. 10, §§ 1, 85, 86; 37 Del. Laws, c. 10, § 2; Code 1935, §§ 5539, 5623, 5719ii; 41 Del. Laws, c. 220, § 1; 42 Del. Laws, c. 166, § 1; 43 Del. Laws, c. 249, § 1; 44 Del. Laws, c. 194, § 1; 45 Del. Laws, c. 281, § 1; 46 Del. Laws, c. 270, § 2; 47 Del. Laws, c. 17, § 1; 47 Del. Laws, c. 133; 47 Del. Laws, c. 406, § 2; 48 Del. Laws, c. 305, § 1; 48 Del. Laws, c. 359, § 1; 21 Del. C. 1953, § 101; 54 Del. Laws, c. 160, §§ 3, 4; 57 Del. Laws, c. 188, § 24; 57 Del. Laws, c. 670, § 5; 58 Del. Laws, c. 112, § 2; 58 Del. Laws, c. 517; 59 Del. Laws, c. 57, § 1; 60 Del. Laws, c. 701, § 6; 61 Del. Laws, c. 63, § 1; 61 Del. Laws, c. 142, §§ 1-5; 62 Del. Laws, c. 114, § 1; 62 Del. Laws, c. 150, § 1; 62 Del. Laws, c. 151, § 1; 62 Del. Laws, c. 237, § 1; 62 Del. Laws, c. 249, § 1; 62 Del. Laws, c. 389, §§ 1-3; 63 Del. Laws, c. 414, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 198, § 3; 64 Del. Laws, c. 207, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 259, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 339, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 340, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 58, §§ 1, 2; 66 Del. Laws, c. 254, §§ 1, 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 217, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 454, §§ 1, 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 234, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 346, §§ 1-5; 74 Del. Laws, c. 110, §§ 7, 8, 9; 74 Del. Laws, c. 133, § 3; 74 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 251, §§ 1, 2; 76 Del. Laws, c. 334, § 2; 77 Del. Laws, c. 141, § 8; 77 Del. Laws, c. 312, § 8; 77 Del. Laws, c. 411, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 106, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 397, §§ 1, 2.;