TRALA Continues to Engage Florida DHSMV on Central Issuance Proposal
As the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) continues to push a proposal to move to a centralized issuance process for license plates and decals, TRALA is actively working with DHSMV to ensure our concerns with the proposal are recognized. The Florida DHSMV is considering this new system as a means to save the state money. TRALA's biggest concern has been that moving to a central issuance process would result in a process that costs members time and money because of delays in waiting to receive license plates and decals from the central location in the mail.
Moving to a central issuance process would require legislative action, which would not happen until the next legislative session begins in January 2013 at the earliest. TRALA remains engaged with Florida DHSMV, as well as other stakeholders, to try to ensure that a flawed proposal does not gain steam before the next legislative session. TRALA, some TRALA members, and other stakeholders have participated on conference calls hosted by the Florida DHSMV, in which the DHSMV outlined their general plans for moving forward with the central issuance proposal, as well as their desire to receive feedback from the industry while doing so.
Subsequent to the initial conference call, TRALA sent a letter to DHSMV explaining its many concerns with moving to a centralized issuance process, as well as some potential unintended consequences the Department may not have been aware of when the proposal was first made public. First, TRALA was concerned that a move to a process where plates and decals are sent from one location in the state by one vendor will force TRALA members to wait to enter into a rental or lease agreement for a vehicle with their customers for two or more days, depending on day and time of shipping, for the credentials to arrive. Such a scenario would mean a loss of revenue to TRALA members, but also a loss of sales tax revenue to the State. While temporary credentials might be a viable solution for vehicles owned by individuals, TRALA's letter explains the unique problems commercial vehicles have with using temporary credentials. On a recent conference call, top DHSMV officials have stated that they agree with this concern, and that they would guarantee expedited delivery of credentials under the new process, and the truck renting and leasing industry would not be forced to use temporary credentials.
On a July 9 conference call between TRALA, TRALA members and allies, and DHSMV, the DHSMV asked TRALA to develop a "list of requirements" that would have to be met in order for our members to continue to operate as they currently do. TRALA submitted that list to DHSMV earlier this week. TRALA will now wait to see if DHSMV proceeds with the proposal by submitting a formal document to the Florida Governor Rick Scott and his cabinet, and if that happens, TRALA will review thoroughly and decide how to proceed.
TRALA appreciates the involvement of its members and allies throughout this process, particularly the leadership of Mary Lou Rajchel, President & CEO of the Florida Trucking Association.