Lawmakers discuss possible changes in vehicle registration issues

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee discussed two bills in a hearing on Tuesday. The bills were introduced after the 2016 decision by PennDOT to no longer require drivers to display a registration sticker on their license plate.

​Representative Barry Jozwiak introduced House Bill 1509. It creates a new two-in-one sticker, verifying a vehicle is registered in Pennsylvania and has passed inspection.

​​”Since that time, however, we have seen that the elimination of the registration sticker on the license plate has caused a significant threat to public safety and the roadway safety of the consumer and the motoring public,” said Representative Jozwiak in a co-sponsorship memo. “The absence of stickers has hindered the performance of both law enforcement and PennDOT.”​​

Without the stickers, some law enforcement officers have turned to other technology, like Automated License Plate Reader Systems (ALPRs), which automatically find visible license plates, and ​determine whether the vehicle is in compliance with registration and other laws.

​​The other bill discussed at Tuesday’s hearing, House Bill 317, limits how the data obtained by ALPRs can be collected, who can use the technology, and how long that data can be stored.

​​”Obviously, privacy concerns are an issue for citizens. And we want them to be comfortable with the fact that this technology can be used properly by law enforcement,” said Steven Wheeler, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority. “Without registration stickers, ALPR devices are a great way to identify vehicles that are stolen.”​​

House Bill 1509 and House Bill 317 remain in the House Transportation Committee. No action can be taken on those bills until lawmakers return to session in September.​

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