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One-stop shop for commercial vehicle operators to register vehicles is being debated

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Creating a one-stop shop for commercial vehicle operators to register and license their vehicles with the state is proving contentious, legislators learned Tuesday.

Public Service Commissioner Ryan Palmer told a legislative interim committee that the PSC has serious concerns about a Division of Motor Vehicles progress report discussed Tuesday.

Palmer said the PSC is concerned that the DMV envisions taking over numerous functions now under the domain of the commission.

That includes Uniform Carrier Registration for commercial trucks and buses, and registration of solid waste collection vehicles and hazardous material carriers, along with issuing of enhanced weight permits for vehicles operating on designated coal roads, among other duties currently under the PSC.

"We're looking at several different sources of revenue, and several different compliance requirements," Palmer told the Select Committee on Infrastructure.

Mark Holmes, DMV executive assistant, said legislation passed to create the one-stop shop designates the DMV as the lead agency in developing the plan, in conjunction with the PSC, Tax Division and Division of Highways.

"There are a lot of issues -- legalities, privacy, budget -- that need to be addressed," he said.

Holmes said it took the state of Indiana five years to put its one-stop shop in place, and noted the West Virginia law just went into effect on July 1.

He said the DMV is working with the University of Kentucky and the Rahall Transportation Institute in Huntington to develop the plan.

However, Sen. Robert Plymale, D-Wayne, who is director of the Rahall Institute, said the institute hasn't even finalized a contract with DMV on the project.

"I think this is a very rushed report, and I for one don't want to put my name on a report that is not complete," he told committee members.

Currently, commercial vehicle operators have to file paperwork with numerous state agencies to operate in the state, a process that frequently requires multiple trips to Charleston, Holmes said.

Reach Phil Kabler at philk@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.


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