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Testimony of Lucinda Babers, Director Department of Motor Vehicles Before the Committee on Transportation and the Environment

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Public Hearing on

B22-580, the “Veterans Specialty License Plate Amendment Act of 2017”

B22-500, the “Breast Cancer Awareness License Plate Amendment Act of 2017”

B22-423, the “Parks and Recreation License Plate Establishment Act of 2017”

B22-331, the “Nonbinary Identification Cards Amendment Act of 2017”

Testimony of Lucinda M. Babers, Director, Department of Motor Vehicles

Mary Cheh, Chairperson

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
11:00 am -- Room 412
The Wilson Building,
Washington, DC

Good morning, Chairperson Cheh, members, and staff of the Committees. I am Lucinda Babers, the Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). I am pleased to testify before you today on three bills introduced by the Council and one bill submitted by the Mayor.

B22-580 is the “Veterans Specialty License Plate Amendment Act of 2017.” This Bill, which was introduced by the Council, would require the Mayor to design and issue separate license plate designs for each branch of the United States Armed Forces. The Administration supports this Bill. We have submitted requests to the trademark offices of each military service (i.e., Air Force, Navy, Army, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) for permission to use the military service emblems on license tag designs.

B22-500 is the “Breast Cancer Awareness License Plate Amendment Act of 2017.” This Bill, which was introduced by the Council, requires the Mayor to issue a license plate promoting breast cancer awareness and establishes fee amounts (a $25 application fee and a $20 annual display fee) for the plates. The Bill specifies the fees shall be deposited in the Community Health Care Financing Fund. The Administration supports this Bill.

B22-423 is the “Parks and Recreation License Plate Establishment Act of 2017.” This Bill, which was submitted by the Mayor, requires the Mayor to issue one or more license plates celebrating the programs and services offered by the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). The legislation also permits the Department of Motor Vehicles to disseminate the Parks and Recreation license plates and collect the associated fees (a $25 application fee and a $20 annual display fee) for the plates, which will be used by DPR to revitalize facilities and increase access to summer camps for low-income youth. The Bill specifies the fees shall be deposited in the Recreation Enterprise Fund.

Finally, B22-331 is the “Nonbinary Identification Cards Amendment Act of 2017.” This Bill, which was introduced by the Council, permits applicants for a District driver license, learner permit, or identification card to designate their gender as "nonbinary." The Administration has no objections to this Bill as it is consistent with current District practice related to gender designations on these credentials. The District issued the nation’s first gender-neutral marker, as indicated by an “X,” on Tuesday, June 27, 2017. As of January 31, 2018, DMV has issued 160 credentials with a gender-neutral identifier.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify today, and I look forward to answering any questions the Committee may have.